Happy Summer Solstice Folks – Swede 101

If you are reading this on your foam wondering what the hell I am talking about, today (Wednesday) is the Summer Solstice. This means that today is the longest day of sunlight for us folks in the Northern hemisphere. Or if you happen to know a guy who is from Sweden it means one of the most important boozy events of the year in Sweden. For today Midsummer is a day of decadent indulgence with its root in pagan rituals. 

Now stop right there, no I didn’t shed my clothes down to my birthday suit and danced naked around a Maypole, they have scruples in Park Slope Brooklyn. To give you a quick nickel tour here is what Google said about the festival in Ikea land.

Midsummer is an occasion of large gatherings − and to be honest, many Swedes take advantage of it to fulfil their social obligations so that they can enjoy the rest of their holiday in peace. In many cases, whole families gather to celebrate this traditional high-point of the summer.
Swedes like the world to be well-ordered, so Midsummer Eve is always a Friday between 19 and 25 June. People often begin the day by picking flowers and making wreaths to place on the maypole, which is a key component in the celebrations.
The maypole is raised in an open spot and traditional ring-dances ensue, to the delight of the children and some of the adults. Teenagers tend to stay out of it and wait for the evening’s more riotous entertainment.

Mrs. Trumpet and I were invited via proxy from LZ and following the Mermaid Parade we headed to the home of the Swede and SJ in Brooklyn. F the Swede welcomed us with open arms and a fruity drink as he explained to the group assembled that traditionally the Midsummer eve starts on a Friday. “If we actually did the party during the week everyone would not make it to work the next day because you normally drink until the sun comes up.” Here I am thinking to myself that I may need to visit Sweden after hearing this.

The Menu consisted of traditional Swedish fare; Meatballs, Pickled Herring, Boiled New Potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives. Grilled Salmon and SJ’s native Pilipino dish of  Lumpia that was killer. The booze consisted of  Swedish Vodka and some drink with schnapps that was pretty good and gave me a great case of MPH the next day.

Ok enough about the menu and drink, what I found that was so great about this evening was the sense of pride that could be seen beaming from the host when he would describe a dish or lead the group in song. Sure, I didn’t recognize the song because it was in Swedish but you appreciate the deep appreciation of someone’s heritage. That is what makes living here so cool, you get to experience someone’s heritage and you don’t have to leave the state. We said our goodbyes and got back to our apartment where we promptly passed out but thank you to F the Swede and SJ for the hospitality.

IMG_1135Salmon and all the trimmings

IMG_1134Not much of a Herring fan but I was nice and tried a piece of it. (and spit it out in my napkin)

IMG_1133Meatballs and Potatoes

IMG_1132The table was packed with food and good times

IMG_1139Who knew that LZ could also make flower crowns? Not sure why the red onion was there but this was the flower crown workstation.

IMG_1138Mrs. Trumpet and LZ in their flower crowns. And no jackasses I wasn’t wearing one!

Again, thanks for the hospitality and next time we will do a Memphis BBQ in Park Slope!

 

 

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