5 Must Haves For A Memorable Swedish Midsummer

by Cornelia

When the last days of June arrive –  here in Sweden – we know that it’s time to celebrate ‘midsommar’ or midsummer.

Midsummer is celebrated – as always – in the Swedish countryside and on the day before everyone leaves town. The city streets are deserted and everything starts to close. This is the opportunity Swedes take to enjoy their short summers heading out on “semester” or vacation.

The holiday is an ancient festivity that brings together the younger and older generations together to sing and dance around the ‘midsommarstang’, or midsummer pole decorated with flowers and grass. It is called “Små grodorna” the traditional song and dance around the midsommarstang – meaning “The Little Frogs”.

The best part of Midsommar are the food and drinks. We decided to share a few recipes of traditional meals and drinks. Glad Midsommar –

1. Pickled Herring or “Inlagd Sill”:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 1 pound herring fillets
  • 2 cups distilled or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsps whole allspice
  • 2 tsps black peppercorns
  • 2 tsps chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves of cilantro
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2. Flower Garland or “Blomsterkrans”

What you need:

  • Flowers; one mid-size arrangement with approximately 20 blooms
  • Baby’s breath or similar
  • 4–5 greenery stems (the long stems of green leaves you can get at the florist)
  • Scissors
  • Florist wire

3. Cured Salmon with Potato Salad or “Gravad Lax med Potatissallad”

Ingredients:

  • one 3 1/2- to 4-pound salmon fillet
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bunches of fresh dill (the more dill the better its where the flavor comes from)

4. Sleep With Flowers Under Your Pillow

 

Yes, you read that correctly. This will help you find the one you should marry. Here are the steps you have to take:

  • Go out and pick 7 different wildflowers.
  • Jump 7 different fences without making a sound.
  • Take the flowers home with you.
  • Put them under your pillow and go to sleep.
  • You should dream of your one true love while you sleep.

 

5. Midsummer Strawberry Cake or “Jordgubbstårta”

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 90ml of warm water
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g of self-raising flour
  • 50g of potato flour

 

Filling and Topping

  • 350ml of double cream
  • 4 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450g of strawberries hulled and cut in half if very large
  • 200g of fresh raspberries

 

 

Added bonus:

Here is a clip from The Tonight Show where Swedish actress Alicia Vickander teaches Jimmy Fallon how to do the Små grodorna.