21 October, 2009

Elk and lattes

First, the lattes. Nothing to get TOO excited about, but Starbucks has just announced it is opening its first store in Sweden...in Arlanda airport in Stockholm. Too far from me to get a pumpkin spice latte fix, but pretty convenient for when we travel. And one of these days, that will actually happen.  We both have a 3-week break between Dec 18 and Jan 11, so we are thinking some place warm and/or sunny.  Any suggestions?

And I made elk for dinner last night. Not for Stu, but for the 3 Swedish kids, unappreciative of the occasion though they were. I had never cooked an elk before! Never even eaten it, in fact. Scandinavians are big fans of wild game, though. When we were in Oslo, we went to a semi-traditional Norwegian place for dinner, and I had moose stew and a few bites of SAK's reindeer (which, while she ate it, she happily sang "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to thoroughly gross us all out.)

The family just started getting a food service that delivers all the ingredients and recipes for dinners each week. A great idea, in theory. Of course, the recipes are IN SWEDISH, so I have to muddle through them to make something edible to a 3-year-old, which would be a challenge even if they were in English, since these are not kid-friendly meals (these kids don't eat cauliflower, much less kohlrabi!!)

So I chose one of the simpler-looking possibilities...a pasta-and-meat-sauce type recipe, but with ground elk. Or älg in Swedish. It smells pretty terrible while its actually cooking. But holy crap, was it good when thrown together with some garlic and onions and crushed tomatoes!  I have never eaten much meat, and for about a year or two, I was a full-on vegetarian. But since being in Sweden, I have reverted and am thoroughly enjoying being a carnivore. Or omnivore, technically. I haven't given up vegetables entirely.

Anyway, I have learned the hard way that I have to present food to these kids a certain way so that they don't have a complete melt-down at the dinner table. So the pasta was served on colorful dinnerware, and the meat sauce in all its elk-y glory pushed way over on the other side of the plate (not touching), with the giant squeeze-y bottle of Heinz Ketchup acting as mediator before anyone could utter a "bleh bleh" about dinner. Aaaannnnnnnddddd....

they still didn't eat it. It was chaos. Hopefully, the parents enjoyed my attempt, since there was an entire pan of elk sauce left untouched. But I think it was a gateway meat.  Watch out, I might have *Stu* cooking it soon...

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