Örranaässjön, Nybro kommun, Småland SE May 2021

Slight drizzle in the morning at Lake Örranaässjön, Nybro kommun, Småland in south Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Örranaässjön is a popular visiting destination for exploring Swedish nature. You can walk, bike and/or canoe. Skiing is popular during the winter months here. You can also set up camp where you find comfortable. If you are in your caravan, there are designated caravan parking lots and amenities right next to the water’s edge. It will be a perfect way to wake up in the mornings while on the road in Sweden.

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Tallhöjdens Hotell, a perfect stopover in Simlångsdalen, between Gothenburg and Kosta, Sweden

A large Thai Buddhist temple deer figure, unintuitively but charmingly adorns a table at the restaurant in Tallhöjdens Hotell, Simlångsdalen, south Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

About 14 km east of Halmstad, in Simlångsdalen, there’s Tallhöjdens Hotell. We found the hotel when taking the E6 at exit 44. We did a little roadtrip between Gothenburg and south of Sweden, and were driving towards Växjö at the time. Although we were not too long on the road, a little over an hour, our morning coffee was beckoning, and we could not resist turning off the road into the inviting hotel parking lot in the early hours of the morning.

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Truffle prosciutto on a savoury chocolate and avocado parfait

This truffle prosciutto topped chocolate avocado parfait was inspired by the three ships of Christopher Colombus, the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria that sailed from Europe to the Americas between 1492 and 1502 in his quest for finding the fountain of chocolate and avocados. And chili.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Small coincidences of events led to the putting together of this parfait. A few days ago, we were at the local grocers who had on-going, a mini-foodfair at their meat counter. Amongst other bites they offered a taste of their truffle prosciutto which I found nice and interesting.

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At the Captains Table, Stenungsbaden, Swedish west coast, Sweden

At Stenungsbaden Yacht Club, Bohuslän, Swedish west coast, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

The west coast of Sweden is a summer escape of choice for Swedes. We usually make our way up to Marstrand if we have the drive time, but a little closer to Gothenburg is the drive to Stenungsön. Both routes to either islands are scenic, with opportunities to stopover at small flea markets along the way.

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Styrsö Valborg 2021, Swedish west coast, Sweden

At the quayside at Styrsö, Valborg weekend, Gothenburg southern archipelago, Swedish west coast, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Since the Middle Ages, Sweden has celebrated Walpurgis Night or Valborg on the last day of April. Valborg marks the quarter point in the sun-wheel between the vernal equinox and midsummer. The Nordic countries will usually switch over to summer hours and the day is celebrated by spending it outdoors, grilling, song singing and general merry making.

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A view from Långedrag Värdshus in spring, Swedish west coast


At Långedrag, Saltholmen, with a view towards the Gothenburg southern archipelago, Swedish west coast, Sweden.

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Over the weekend, the seas had moderately high waves, but the west coast of Sweden had generally clear skies. The combination of high water and good sun made it perfect sailing weather for children who were attending a sailing course at the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS) to go out to sea. Their small sailing boats bobbing on the ocean horizon was an exciting view to observe.

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Chèvre Figue à la Rose, Hugo Ericson Ost, Stora Saluhallen Gothenburg, Sweden

One of my favourite raw goat cheeses from France, the Chèvre Figue à la Rose.
At Hugo Ericson Ost, Stora Saluhallen, Gothenburg.

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

In Paris in 2016 I found myself exploring the shops along Rue de Grenelle. Here, in between Musée d’Orsay and Musée Rodin is one of Paris’ many culinary gems, the Barthélemy cheese boutique. This shop carried more than 200 varieties of unique, hand crafted French cheeses. Stepping out of that compact and cozy shop, I had in hand, two Chèvre Figue à la Rose. This goat’s cheese is made from unpasteurised milk. Crafted in the shape of a fig as it contains a fig within, this cheese is produced in the French region of Provence. The two I bought in Paris, I had those for breakfast the next morning, and fell in love with that cheese since.

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Trollhättan Fall and Locks area, west Sweden

Trollhättan valley of Gamle Dal, spring 2021.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

The Trollhättan Fall and Locks area is about an hour’s drive from the city of Gothenburg. We had warm spring/summer weather over the weekend, so we decided to take a drive to visit the city and take in some of the dramatic landscape. I have never visited the city of Trollhättan before, so this was pretty exciting for me. I was looking forward to exploring the city as well as the surrounding nature in the valley of Gamle Dal (Old valley).

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Spring garden play in Aztec print

In an Aztec print and harem pants, Swedish west coast, spring 2021.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

It has been some very nice weather along the Swedish west coast in the past week. The morning temperatures begin at about 6°C but quickly rise to about 15°C. In terms of dressing for the weather, I remember spring as a somewhat confusing season in the early 2000s. As a tropical individual newly arrived in Sweden, spring was the couple of weeks when you left your home in winter temperatures, with warm hat and gloves on, but have lunch in just about summer temperatures. So the jacket and gloves come on and off throughout the day, depending on whether you are in the shade or in the sun.

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Pâté smörgåstårta

Pâté smörgåstårta made with lamb mousse, and heart and liver pâté.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

One of the more fantastic party culinary concoctions you can buy at grocery stores in Sweden is called the smörgåstårta, or the sandwich cake. A smörgåstårta is made by stacking white sandwich bread generously smothered inbetween with crème fraîche mixes such as the skagenröra, gubbröra or any other type of röra you prefer. The cake is then decorated with shrimp or ham on top, and dusted all around with dill or any other delicate salad leaves of your liking. They make attractive center pieces when dining at a party table, and it is versatile enough so that everyone can get just the right sized slice for themselves.

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From the week of the Spring equinox 2021

In celebration of the spring equinox week 2021, with some cake and Lent lilies on the table.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

There´s been a flurry of small activities in the week following this year´s spring equinox. From making a chocolate banana fudge cake to a sausage and bacon frittata for breakfast, I´ve been celebrating the start of spring in a variety of ways.

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Laxbutiken Ljungskile, Sweden

Getting that squeeze of lemon juice over a plate of warm smoked salmon at Laxbutiken Ljungskile, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Laxbutiken Ljungskile, Sweden.

The Swedish west coast makes for beautiful and scenic long drives. Along route E6, headed towards Oslo from Gothenburg, you´ll come to the neighbourhood of Ljungskile. Lungskile has about 3300 inhabitants, and it is located in the municipality of Uddevalla. As you turn off at exit 93 of E6, you’ll find a gem of a place called Laxbutiken, or “the salmon boutique”. Laxbutiken is a combined restaurant and shop where besides dining, you can buy and take home fresh salmon and a wide selection of salmon products.

As soon as I stepped into Laxbutiken, I became excited about dining at the restaurant, because of their appetizing display of a wide variety of delicious looking salmon bakes and dishes.

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Early spring, Tromsø, Northern Norway

A neighbourhood that is close to the city centre of Tromsø, in Northern Norway.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

There was intermittent snow whilst I was on my walk, with little speckles of light reflecting from the falling snowflakes.

The spring equinox on 20 March 2021 marked the beginning of some very long summer days in the city of Tromsø, in Northern Norway. I´ve spent slightly more than two and a half years here in this cozy and compact city, moving here in the summer of 2018 to work and live. When I first arrived, my first impressions of this Arctic city was that it was quaint, and a little magic. Those first impressions of Tromsø hasn´t as yet faded with me.

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Focaccia

Focaccia, infused with garlic, herbs de provence and topped with cheese.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

There is something about kneading dough with my hands that I find meditative and therapeutic. I love baking breads early in the morning, just before sunrise when it is still fairly silent all around. Dough playing, I find myself usually standing at the kitchen table, looking out over the soft lapping ocean waves with meandering thoughts over the week´s activities and happenings. And when did that bread dough begin to come together from sticky flour and water, to form a pliable soft ball? I haven´t a clue, but after about an hour of kneading, it usually does that on its merry own.

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Soufflé pancakes

Soufflé pancakes, served with a dollop of butter and a lacing of honey.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Soufflé pancakes

It´s all in the flick of the wrist. At least, that´s one of the elements of success in making this soft as cloud, soufflé pancake. Plus, my lemon custard cravings of late meant I had plenty of egg whites to put to use for all sorts of meringue related recipes.

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Neighbourhood weekend walk, Tromsø, Norway

Daylength today on 24 Jan. is about 3:38 hrs. Here, the sun casts a warm glow over the coastline of Tromsø, in Northern Norway.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

Short compilation of video and photos of the day´s walk.

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Zen ensō 2021

New Year´s 2021 along the Swedish west coast, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021

In Zen, ensō is a circle that is hand-drawn in minimal uninhibited brushstrokes. The circle can be drawn complete, or incomplete. More important, is that it expresses a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The transition from the last hours of 2020 to the first hours of 2021 in my view, is much like ensō in Time. All things in transition, endings into beginnings.

A medley of moments towards Zen ensō, the tail end of a circle, to begin a new. Moments of New Year´s Eve, weaving into the early hours of New Year´s Day, 2021.

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New Year´s Eve 2021 and dragonfly vision

New Year´s Eve, along the Swedish west coast, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

While humans have a trichromatic vision, seeing colours in combination of red, blue and green because of light-sensitive proteins in our eyes called opsins, the remarkable dragonfly has no fewer than eleven different visual opsins. Some species of dragonflies have 30 visual opsins [1]. Dragonflies and damselflies are colourful, diurnal insects that depend strongly on their keen sense of vision for an array of activities, from catching small prey in the air to forming territories. The compound eyes of dragonflies contain three to five classes of photoreceptors, with distinct spectral sensitivities covering the UV to red spectral range. These photoreceptors combine to produce a mosaic of images for the dragonfly, although how this visual mosaic is integrated in the insect brain remains uncertain.

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Saffranssemla

A saffranssemla. Like a semla, only with saffron added, along the Swedish west coast, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

I did a post-Christmas grocery store run yesterday in Sweden. To my horror, I saw trays of semlor being brought out from the bakery department. I took a double take on the trays, to see they were not actually large cream puffs, because, why not? But, there were no cream puffs. The trays were filled with luscious marzipan and cream filled semlor, headed to the bakery shelves. A lovely sight, but a little early, I thought.

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The Maine Coon

The Maine Coon with large golden eyes, that I call Chewie (Chewbacca), Swedish west coast, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

It´s been a quiet Christmas 2020 for this one too. He was born in Norway and at 8 years old, he weighs about 9 kg. He loves water, and loves playing in his water bath. He loves sleeping thereafter on top of an electric blanket, particularly the one found in the master bedroom. He often sleeps on his back, all four paws in the air. Else, on his side, lengthwise, with his long paws draping off the edge of the bed.

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Långedrag Värdshus, a Christmas table sitting by the sea

At Långedrag Värdshus for a Christmas table sitting, 2020, Swedish west coast.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

Julbord 2020, SE.

Långedrags Värdshus is a cozy restaurant by the ocean along the Swedish west coast, neatly tucked away in a corner near the Saltholmen ferry terminal. Saltholmen is the connecting point between mainland Gothenburg and the southern archipelago where we live. So while being proximate to Saltholmen, I think I’ve dined at this restaurant maybe three times in the past twenty years of living in Sweden.

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Sugee cake, Styrsö julbord 2020

The Eurasian sugee cake.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

A short compilation of photos and videos of sugee cake making at Styrsö, Sweden for Christmas 2020.

I learnt to bake semolina cake or sugee cake from my father. I began with cracking of the eggs for him, and separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. No shells or yellows in the whites allowed.

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Janssons frestelse, Mannerström´s Christmas recipe

Traditionally known as a dish for a quick supper fix, Janssons frestelse is a family favourite, and not to be missed at a Swedish Christmas table.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

Janssons frestelse, using Leif Mannerström´s Christmas recipe.

One of the first dishes introduced to me when I landed in Sweden is the classic Janssons frestelse. With heavy cream and potatoes with slivers of anchovies, this dish makes a substantial meal for that after party downtime, if you´re still awake.

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Gravad lax, Styrsö julbord 2020

Making gravad lax or cured salmon, is an annual tradition in our household. Salmon in itself is an extremely flavourful fish, the reason for as little herbs and spices used as possible for curing. As with years past, what you´ll need to find is an excellent piece of salmon.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

The Nordic oceans are renowned to produce meaty, flavourful fish such as cod, monkfish, saithe and salmon. These fish are delicious mostly on their own, and need very little herbs and spices to bring out their flavours. I like to pan-fry or lightly grill cod and salmon in a bit of butter, with salt and pepper to taste. But at year´s end, we often go with historical Nordic culinary traditions, where fish and meat are preserved by drying, salting or smoking.

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Styrsö Christmas 2020

Christmas table sitting at home at Styrsö, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

One of the more difficult things to manage is the process of change. For many years (could it have been more than a decade?) from when I was six to sixteen years old, the days of Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day, ran like clockwork routine. Mass at midnight at a designated church on the Eve of Christmas. Relatives, my mother´s side, would visit on the day of Christmas, marked 25th December. And Boxing day would be a round of visiting older relatives on my father´s side. As a child, I would even know what to expect at each relative´s place. A piano performance and Christmas caroling with my Granduncle Oz. At his place, we would always be served tea, and some of his generously proportioned (palm sized) homemade pineapple tarts. The visit to my Grandaunt Ruth would mean I would come home with something from Japan. A short round of gin rummy with my Aunt Mary, saving the real rounds of gin rummy and sherry, for New Year´s Eve when my father´s side, “the Cordeiros”, would gather at my parents´place. And then, as day turned into evening, it would be quieter sessions for Boxing Day, with older aunts and uncles to visit on my mother´s side. There, we would have cashew cookies, peanut cookies and pineapple tarts. We would keep ourselves entertained by peering into aquarium tanks where they kept little rotund goldfish.

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Sjöporten

A little buffet of pepparkakor. At Sjöporten, a restaurant located right next to Erikbergshallen, in the same building as Hotel Villa, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

Sjöporten is a small, cozy restaurant located in the building adjacent to the events hall, Erikbergshallen. If you´re coming from Oscarsleden on the side of the city of Gothenburg, you can reach the restaurant by ferry from Klippan Färjeläge to Erikbergs Färjeläge. The ferry ride is about five minutes, and the ferry stop, Erikbergs Färjeläge, lands you at the doorstep of Sjöporten.

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Candy apples

Candy apples to brighten any dessert section at the Christmas table this jultide season.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

The jultide season is characterised by tinsel, mistletoe and gleaming red apples that bejewel the julbord. Making candied apples is a quick project. I had seven small apples to work with, so the glazing took under 20 minutes, or the time that your sugar takes to come to between 140°C to 158°C (hard crack candy stage).

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Pineapple tarts and pirate coins Pieces of Eight

Making pineapple tarts in semblance of Spanish ‘Pieces of Eight’ colonial ‘pirate money’ or cob coins, to the value of eight reals, along the west coast of Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

Pineapple tarts, the making.

I last wrote about making pineapple tarts in March 2010. My thoughts then were focused on the method of making pineapple tarts. The open-faced tarts with a cross over the top was something I grew up learning to make in the Eurasian household. As a child, I remember that there were many more rules from my mother about how to make pineapple tarts. It had to be shaped in a certain manner, crossed over the top and pinched over the crosses in a certain manner. I thought these were rules of good, and proper baking. I was never told why we made tarts in the semblance of a coin with a cross on top. I always thought it was a show of kitchen craftsmanship and that you tried to make the tart as pretty as possible.

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The little chocolate shop, Kronhusgården, Göteborg 2020

“Just browsing” is a non-concept in this little chocolate shop, Göteborgs choklad och karamellfabrik. It took discipline to not walk away with half of what was available for sale in this shop, for the home Christmas chocolate basket.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

It was four years ago that I stepped into this little chocolate shop around the corner. I call it “the shop around the corner” because it´s located in a corner of Kronhusgården at Kronhuset in Gothenburg, Sweden. Built between 1643 and 1654, Kronhuset is Gothenburg´s oldest secular building designed by royal architect Simon de la Vallée. This shop has always had an air of magic around it. Small, cozy and candlelit warm, you find your way around it in an instant, marveling at the wonderful sweet creations lining its shop shelves.

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Chicken and duck liver pâté

Chicken and duck liver pâté served with a slice of red wine marinated cheddar.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

A medley of different pâté recipes here, using grated ginger to Herbs de Provence.

Liver pâté is a food that is terribly unsexy to photograph. The eating of it however, is a different story. Rich and velvety on the tongue, chicken and duck liver pâté, made with a hint of your favourite port wine is a taste of sheer luxury.

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Norsk ribbe and reflections on environment adaptation

Norsk ribbe, oven grilled pork belly with crackling over the top. The signature feature of the Norwegian style grilled pork belly is its thick layer of ultra crispy crackling.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

This festive season, my personal reflections are on questions of personal adaptation to new environments, and new living conditions. Adapting to a new environment and culture can be challenging. In my case, I´ve found myself adapting to being in new places and living conditions elastically, meaning to say, some fittings are easier done in some contexts than others. Taking the example of local food appreciation, it took me several years of living in Sweden before I stopped shopping at local Asian grocery shops. Food is closely connected to personal childhood experiences, the reason why from Proust, madeleines can have their moments that draw you into another world that once was yours. And there were so many petite madeleines that made up my personal Singapore narrative that it would have been a point of decision to live forward. So it took me a few years before I began to genuinely enjoy Nordic foods, from where they were cultivated at local farms, to how they were processed (salting, drying, smoking etc.) and how they were served. So while even some Swedes would disagree with semla hettvägg, I am for one, loving it.

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Saffron brioche

Saffron brioche, a Lussekatter variation.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of brioche to be found in the baked confections section of Swedish grocery shops. These new bakes were certainly Instagram worthy, sitting in neat rows on the display counter. I loved how they looked and most of all, the confectionary section of the shop drew crowds from the dofting aromas of combined caramelized sugar and butter.

Cafés got around into producing brioche bakes too. Popular variations of brioche that can be found in Swedish cafés include kanelbullar brioche, and chocolate pull-apart loaves. Sold on the idea of brioche, one advantage of starting Christmas bakes early is that you get to experiment with variations of recipes and styles to the confection. In this case, my interest for Lussekatter haven´t waned, so I tried a brioche version of these saffron buns.

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A revbensspjäll winter medley

A revbensspjäll winter medley.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

Jultide along the Swedish west coast city of Gothenburg is characterized by long winter nights, the warm glow of street lamps over cobbled stone streets and its markets.

From about the second week into December every year, the city comes alive with julbord events or Christmas table sittings. The julbord or Christmas smörgåsbord is something to experience because it contains quintessential Swedish traditional foods that you can try in one sitting. From various flavours of preserved herring, warm prinskorvar snipped at each end to resemble tiny pig trotters, Swedish meatballs served with lingonberry jam, lutfisk served with green peas, winter spices and a copious amount of melted butter, to Ris à la Malta with the hope of finding that one almond in the entire pot for dessert, the julbord is a feast for the palate and a culinary narrative in itself. And yes, I wouldn´t forget, the neat display of double chocolate fudges at the dessert table.

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Lussekatter AW 2020

Lussekatter AW 2020.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

It is a couple of weeks to the annual St. Lucia celebrations on 13 December in Sweden, and if I seem a little saffron bun nuts at this time of year, well… I am. I do however have some comfort in that the Nordic grocery shops are already bringing out lussekatter, saffron buns and gingerbread cookies to brighten the long winter nights at home. So why not have a go at making batches of saffron buns at home too, St. Lucia being one of my favourite days that lead up to Christmas itself, and it being one of the highlights of the jultide season.

Lussekatter compilation AW 2020.
Video & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

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Nordic julstämning 2020

Nordic julstämning in November, 2020.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

I walked into the stores just about end of October and saw a curious sight of a juxtaposition of Halloween and Christmas decorations. At the meat counters, Christmas sausages and pâte were out for the buying, right after you´ve walked past the large orange pumpkins at the fresh vegetables counter for the Jack-o’-Lantern carvings.

So it seemed a little bit of a close call for festive seasons in the Nordic region when Christmas threatened for a minute or two to swallow up Halloween. But on second thought, in Sleepy Hollow spirit, I don´t think Halloween would mind it at all.

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Pirog

Pirog with a Saison 1858, Brasserie Du Bocq.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

My first encounter with a pirog (a meat filled bun) was in a summer in Sweden at the ferry terminal called Saltholmen. Located along the Swedish west coast, Saltholmen is the gateway terminal to the southern archipelago summer bathing places of Gothenburg. The breezy boat ride, the scenic routes and the occasional street food sellers that bring with them pastries, ice-creams, sweet and savoury buns and summer fruits all make for pleasant trips out to the southern archipelago along the Swedish west coast. Although quieter this year over the summer, there were enough local and international visitors to the southern archipelago for the ferry terminal to set up specific queues for each incoming and outgoing ferry to the islands.

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Autumn ragout, a recipe from the Netherlands

An autumn ragout of veal, puff pastry and roasted vegetable sides.
Text & Photo © JW van Hal, CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

Personally, I think it’s fun to share recipes with family and friends, particularly if they live in a different part of the world and have different culinary traditions and heritage. The current global pandemic also seems to have the effect of bringing out that home cook in us. With digital video conferencing tools that enable shared cooking and culinary experiences online, I know of a couple of friends who cook and dine together in the virtual realm in real-time, generally having a good time with interesting conversations.

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Festive egg halves

Egg halves topped with skagenröra, trout roe and dill.
Text Photo & Video © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2020

One of my favourite appetizers is the Swedish style egg halves. I love the festive and luxurious look of them sitting polite and snug on the plate, patiently waiting for you to pick them up and savour them. They are no doubt, a staple at the Swedish julbord (Christmas table), where restaurants and homes will each have their favourite versions.

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Down peanut butter lane

Chocolate peanut butter jelly cocktail, made with juleøl (Norwegian Christmas beer) and cognac.
Text Photo & Video © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2020

There was only ever one time in my life when I was growing up in Singapore that I tried Smucker´s Goober Grape. I often heard of peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwiches from watching Sesame Street as a child, but growing up in Singapore, the school lunch looked rather more like mee siam, fishball noodle soup and chicken rice rather than peanut butter and jam sandwiches. If my mother would pack lunch for me, it would come in a two compartment tupperware. On one side would be a peeled hard boiled egg, and on the other side, some baked beans. My lunchbox content was considered fairly “western” because other mothers would pack fried rice with spam or stir-fried bee hoon with spam for their children in their lunch boxes. I loved my hard boiled egg.

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