Lacto Fermentation

Use for crunchy vegetables and fruit e.g. cucumber, root vegetables, cabbage, plums, blueberries etc. to give a deep fruity, pickled flavour.

Basic principles:

Weigh your ingredient, add 2% salt and wait, the naturally occurring lactobacillales will ferment the vegetables turning sugar (glucose) to lactic acid. The salt inhibits other microbes (possibly harmful) as does removing oxygen from the environment by keeping submerged in water.

Experiment 1.

Lacto-fermented Swede

Thoroughly clean a kilner type jar with a seal by running through a dishwasher cycle or filling with boiling water from the kettle and drying in a warm oven.

250g Swede or turnip cut into fine strips
5g Salt (non-iodized salt is best)

Add the salt to the cut vegetables and mix and squash with clean hands until a fair amount of moisture has leached out. Pack into the clean jar along with the liquid, top up with a little water to completely submerge. If the jar isn’t full, fill a small zipped freezer bag with water and place on top to keep the vegetables submerged.

Leave at room temperature for 5 – 7 days to ferment, open jar to release any gas produced every couple of days. Taste and when desired flavour is acheived store in fridge until used.

Experiment 2.

Lacto-fermented White Cabbage with Caraway Seeds

Thoroughly clean a kilner type jar with a seal by running through a dishwasher cycle or filling with boiling water from the kettle and drying in a warm oven.

250g Shredded white cabbage
5g Salt (non-iodized salt is best)
2 Tablespoons of toasted caraway seeds

Add the salt and toasted caraway seeds to the shredded cabbage and mix and squash with clean hands until a fair amount of moisture has leached out. Pack into the clean jar along with the liquid, top up with a little water to completely submerge. If the jar isn’t full, fill a small zipped freezer bag with water and place on top to keep the vegetables submerged.

Leave at room temperature for 5 – 7 days to ferment, open jar to release any gas produced every couple of days. Taste and when desired flavour is acheived store in fridge until used.

Hygge

The Danish word hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) has no direct or single translation, it can be described as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. In recent years it has been described as a defining characteristic of Danish culture and many books have been written on the subject.

Hygge has a number of key ingredients – atmosphere, pleasure, comfort and harmony are paramount and come from doing simple things such as lighting candles, baking, or spending time at home with your family: The high season of hygge is Christmas, when Danes don’t hold back with the candles and mulled wine.

Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.

Why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life!

 

 

Fika

Fika is considered a social institution in Sweden; it means taking a break, most often a coffee break where pastries and other baked goods are eaten. Fika is more than just a coffee break though, it’s about slowing down and taking time out usually in the company of friends or colleagues.

Fika can happen at any time of day and can take anything from 10 minutes to several hours, depending on how good you are at Fika-ing. It can be enjoyed at home, at work or in a café. It is a tradition observed frequently, preferably several times a day!

Accompanying sweets treats are often cinnamon buns, cakes and cookies, even open-faced sandwiches pass as acceptable fika fare.

It comes as no surprise that Swedes are among the top consumers of coffee and sweets in the world – or that Swedes appreciate the good things in life.