In Sweden, the main Christmas celebrating is done on 24 December. After the ritual of Donald Duck, the presents are opened and then dinner is eaten.
The traditional Julbord, which Björn’s mother orchestrated every year to perfection, consists of pickled herring, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs with kaviar,
the Julskinka (ham with mustard), boiled potatoes, Janssons Frestelse (a sort of potato casserole with anchovies), cabbage rolls (which I can totally get behind because they’re also a Russian thing), handmade köttbullar (meatballs – ours were moose, lamb and wild boar),
Prinskorv (sort of like hot dogs, but better), a ball of cheese and bread, and a cheesecake.
This was our first year assembling the feast ourselves, and the first we have done at home instead of going to Jönköping. Beer, wine and shots of aquavit are usually drunk before, during, and after the meal, but this year we also added my kickass eggnog with rum, tequila, whiskey and hazelnut liqueur. Because, hey, let’s start our own traditions! (I also introduced the hanging and filling of stockings, which we open on Christmas day, because that was MY tradition. I still have the stocking I was given on my very first Christmas, when I was six months old.
The one Swedish Jul tradition I am not completely onboard with is the Christmas Day dinner of lutfisk served with potatoes and peas. Not that lutfisk is bad…it’s just bland. It’s basically like eating hard-boiled egg whites. Which is great, I love hard-boiled eggs. Just not necessarily for Christmas dinner. And I don’t really like peas all that much, either. We would always eat it at Björn’s mom’s house…but this year, we are having goose and starting our own tradition (which also includes the oranges my mom always used to put in our stockings).
The first Christmas I spent in Sweden, I drew this silly little drawing of a “lute fisk” as a joke for Björn’s brother…and today I got the idea to update it a bit with Abys. And a Singapura. Just a sketch for now, but…Happy Christmas, everyone!
4 thoughts on “Aby-a-Day – 25 December: The sole of Christmas (Cartoon Tuesday)”
Interesting, charming and informative! While doing time in Minnesota (yes, unfortunatively, that’s the way I looked at it), many Scandinavian friends had lutefisk annually and I can only call it an acquired taste.
From what I gather, there’s a difference between Norwegian and Swedish lutfisk, the Norwegian being even more an acquired taste. I usually eat it at Xmas because it’s traditional, but it’s not like it’s a favorite staple on the Xmas table. It’s a reminder of poorer times, when people had to rely on dried fish to make it through winter.
It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas! My human is totally down with the goose – she has cooked it before, and although she was recuperating this year and not up to anything, she is hoping to make it next year.
Lute Fisk! I love it!