The 2018 vacation is over…

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Today is my last day of summer vacation. It has been really unusual and when saying that I am of course, as every Swede, referring to the weather. We ALWAYS talk about the weather.  Why? Well, probably because it is normally very shifting. Sun, rain, wind, snow, cold, not that cold, cloudy, thunder. Yep, we like to discuss our past, present and upcoming weather. Or we are just bad at small talk, I am not sure what is the truth here really.

So what about the Swedish weather of 2018 summer

Well, I can tell you, we have NEVER have weather like we have had this summer. Never ever. This has been a HOT SUMMER! It started at May 6 and then lasted for a month approximately. Complete 100% summer weather. 25 degrees C. Every day. At work we had our lunch boxes outside close to every day, on the grass. Amazing. Every weekend felt like vacation. Wonderful feeling and very unusual for us in Sweden.

Then Midsummer was around the corner and then of course the weather had to go unstable. That is just plane old tradition. Running in and out with our tables, plates and glasses. From the air perspective you could see a the whole population of one country running around with tables like crazy. In?? Out?? In again? Hilarious sight really, when you think about it.

Two weeks after Midsummer up comes my vacation and I can tell you, I have not had a day of vacation this summer in Sweden where the temperature has gone below 25 degrees C. The main part of the days it has been between 28-32 and that is just insane. That NEVER happens here. But wait a minute, not actually true. In 2014 there was a huge forrest fire close to where I live. That year we were on vacation in US, but I remember that I was complaining about the US temperature (we did Route 66 and some other trips, all by car) and my friends in Sweden kept saying: We have the same temperature here! Around 30 degrees that summer as well so this is the second crazy summer in Sweden then.

Here are two habitants of ours that really like this hot kind of weather, Sukribe and Zilga. It will take until end of September or October though (I think) until we are able to eat them.

Green grapes, Sukribe

Green grapes, Sukribe

Blue grapes, Zilga

Blue grapes, Zilga

Sweden is on fire

And as a result of the high temperatures we have had a LOT of forrest fires this year. Around 60 when it peaked. We have got help from a lot of European countries which makes you realize that we are actually stronger together. It is really good to be able to move our fire forces to the spots that needs them the most. Poland came to us with a LOT of vehicles and fire fighters. We also got help from Germany, Italy, Norway, Austria, Lithuania, Portugal just to mention some. Plus so many Swedish volontiers.

THANKS A MILLION, EUROPE!

Vacation summary

But then, back to our vacation and to sum it up. The first week we went to Iceland, a cool and chilly country. Wilma was at Gittans Djurpensionat (a cattery) in Norrby, Berg, outside Hallstahammar. After Iceland Jörgen got sick. A few days later Jossan and Davron came to visit. Then both of them got sick. Since I am born a Wallin, I thought I would make it but NO. The last week of vacation I got sick. We all had a sour throats and headache and J&D&J had a fever as well, but fortunately I did not. So glad for that. But in between all the illnesses we have been going swimming to Tortunagropen, Gäddeholm and Tidö. I have read three books, and have started on number four as we speak. We have seen Mamma Mia 2 and then we have had a LOT of happy, relaxing days at home in our garden. Well, Jörgen has had a lot to do. Both vehicles and business wise but I have completely relaxed. Relaxing also means having enough energy to do pickled cucumbers, salt cucumbers, cherry jam, currant jam, growing different kind of beans, tomatoes etc.

So the vacation has been great apart from the sickness and also, I know that I should not complain on the weather, but when you have a hard time sleeping due to that you have a temperature in the bedroom of 30 degrees, well, then it is TOO HOT for me. Our neighbour installed AC in the house after a few weeks of this warm weather. Good choice. We had a fan in the house, moving it around to whatever room we stayed in.

We have also finally moved the play house out of its very wrong place in the garden. It was left there after the rebuilding of our house so it has been in this wrong spot for like 2-3 years now. Hidden behind it was my favorite flowerbed but all my flowers have died now. It is just plain soil there. So now I have to replan it all, woooohoooo. 🙂

The last three days of the vacation I paniced. I had two projects to finish in the garden and none was done. Friday I did the all the stones/tiles that should surround the porch. Heavy work but I am so happy with the result.

Black slate (in Swedish skiffer)

Black slate (in Swedish skiffer) both for design and warmth

Saturday I started the repainting projects of 2 shed doors, one single door and one double door, so really three doors. We built the shed some 15 years ago so it was indeed time to repaint. Did all the cleaning that day. Sunday I did the first painting layer (grundade) in the morning. After that I put black stones (slate, in Swedish skiffer) from Bauhaus around our grapes. So beautiful. Monday it will be time for the first layer with ordinary paint. Fönsterfärg. Color: Cotton. Tuesday = second layer and ALL DONE!

Repainting necessary

Repainting necessary

Phuu, feels good to get those three small garden projects done, at least.

Now, just reading, chilling, trying to get into my head that tomorrow it is time to get back ni business. Time for WORK! 😀

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Svart- och röd vinbärssylt

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Vi har egentligen inga vinbär. Vi hade två buskar när vi flyttade till huset men de var så gamla och tråkiga och stod på konstiga ställen så de gjorde vi oss av med = slängde ut i skogen. MEN många år senare så har jag upptäckt att jag nu faktiskt har en liten röd buske och en liten svart. I skogen! :-O Och i år så blev det totalt 3 dl bär på dessa två buskar. Inte mycket men ändå. Och då blev det blandsylt av vinbär på EGNA bär, woohooo. En liten burk blev det.

  • 3 dl vinbär (jag uppskattade min skörd till 1 dl svarta och 2 dl röda)
  • 1 msk vatten

Kokas i 10 minuter.

Tillsätt sedan

  • 200 g syltsocker
  • 0,5 tsk vaniljsocker

Koka i ytterligare 3 minuter. Skumma om det behövs (det blev inget skum på min sylt).

Häll upp på väl rengjord glasburk, skölj glasburken i hett vatten alldeles innan du häller upp sylten.

Sätt på locket och märk sylten med etikett där det står innehåll och årtal.

Förvara sylten i kylskåp, sval eller i jordkällare.

Mor Maritas inlagda slanggurka ;-)

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Det här receptet fick jag via gurkklubben på Facebook.

Inlagd gurka

Mor Maritas inlagda gurka 😉

  • 1 dl salt
  • 1 liter vatten

Blanda ihop och blötlägg skivade gurkor över natten. Häll av saltvattnet på morgonen. Jag proppade ned alla gurkor jag kunde och det blev 5 eller 6 stycken av sorten Baby F1 (små slanggurkor).

Koka en lag av:

  • 1 del ättika 12%
  • 1 del socker
  • 1 del vatten
  • Rejält med senapsfrön

Lägg gurkorna i burkar och varva med färsk dill, inte dillkronor.

Häll sedan över den varma lagen i gurkburken. Jag gjorde en lag på 3 dl socker, 3 dl ättika och 3 dl vatten.

Låt stå i några dagar. Ät och njut.

De här gurkorna håller på burk i minst ett år, enligt receptmakaren. 🙂

Sockerfri bigarråsylt

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Det här är en sylt för att de som har diabetes ska kunna göra en egen, hemmagjord, bärrik men sockerfattiga sylt att till våfflor och pannkakor. Med extra gott samvete.

Bigarråsylt på burk

Bigarråsylt på burk

Det är ju normalt den stora mängden socker som gör att sylten håller att lagra länge och gör man då en sockerfri sylt krävs det att man tillsätter konserveringsmedel för att få motsvarande hållbarhet. Jag har därför testat att använda denna färdiga blandning av sötningsmedel, pektin och natriumbensoat. 🙂

Urkärnade bigarråer

1 kg urkärnade bigarråer

  • 1 kg riktigt stora, rejält mogna och urkärnade bigarråer
  • 1 påse Melatin för sockerfria sylter

Gör så här

  • Häll ned de urkärnade bären i en kastrull.
  • Koka under rörning i 5 minuter.
  • Tillsätt Melatinpåsens innehåll och rör så det blandar sig väl.
  • Koka i ytterligare 2 minuter.
  • Dra kastrullen av plattan och skumma av om det behövs. För mig blev det inget skum (skrogge) alls.
  • Häll upp sylten på fina, noggrant rengjorda konserveringsburkar i glas (lock med gummipackning, finns bland annat på Biltema).
  • Förslut/stäng burkarna omgående.
  • Torka av spill på utsidan av burken. Märk med innehåll och datum och ställ in i kylskåp.

Nu har du en sockerfattiga sylt med smak av sommar och sol som du förhoppningsvis kan njuta av hela den långa, kalla vintern.

Den här sylten blir ganska fast i konsistensen. Vill du ha en lösare sylt, tillsätt lite vatten eller 100 g mer bär.

Melatin

Melatin, för sockerfri sylt

Glutenfri bigarråpaj

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I år fick vi ENORMA mängder bigarråer. Trädet dignade av frukt. Ja förresten, dignar ska jag säga, för det är fortfarande en massa bär kvar i trädet. Stora, mörka och underbart söta. Förra året blev det 6 grader kallt precis vid blomningen så då fick vi inte ett enda bär. Allt eller inget! 😉

Bären är ju faktiskt godast att bara äta direkt från trädet men när man får så mycket bär som i år så får man hitta på lite mer saker att göra. Idag blev det en paj med choklad och nötter. Glutenfri naturligtvis.

Bigarråpaj

En paj med smak av bigarrå, choklad och nötter

  • 100 g smör
  • 1 dl rismjöl
  • 1 dl havregryn
  • 1 dl socker
  • 50 g choklad av valfri färg (mörk, ljus eller vit)
  • 50 g nötter (valnötter eller hasselnötter)
  • 300 g urkärnade bigarråer (cirka 4 dl)
  • 2 msk socker
  • 1 msk maizenastärkelse

Så här gör du

  • Sätt ugnen på 175 grader och ta fram smöret.
  • Blanda mjöl, havregryn och socker. Fördela smöret i blandningen och rör till en smuldeg.
  • Hacka chokladen och nötterna och rör ned i blandningen.
  • Kärna ur alla bigarråer.
  • Blanda bigarråerna med socker och mjöl och lägg blandningen i en smord pajform.
  • Fördela smuldegen över bären i pajformen.
  • Grädda pajen i mitten av ugnen i 30-35 minuter i 175 grader.

Servera med vaniljglass, vaniljsås eller bara med en klick grädde smaksatt med äkta vaniljsocker. Njut av den nygräddade pajen med en kopp starkt, härligt kaffe.

Mamma Berits goda snabbsaltade gurka

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Det här är ett gammalt recept som min mamma, Berit, har haft “aldrig så länge”, det vill säga typ JÄMT! Hon hittade det för en herrans massa år sedan i en veckotidning och hon sa idag: Ja, tänk om jag fick en krona för alla de gånger jag har lagt in snabbsaltad gurka i mitt liv. Då skulle jag vara rik.

Ja, inte skulle jag då bli rik på detta (nej, det ska jag ju bli på aktier, hehe). Jag har gjort inläggningen två gånger hittills. En misslyckad gång när jag fick hjärnsläpp och skivade alla gurkor innan jag lade dem i saltlagen. Det ska man INTE göra, herregud så toksalta de blev. :-O Nej, hela gurkor ska det vara och det gjorde jag gång nummer två, i förrgår. Gurkorna är redan goda. 🙂

Här kommer receptet!

  • 1 kg gurka (Västeråsgurka eller minislanggurka)
  • 1 liter vatten
  • 1,5 dl salt
  • 0,5 dl socker
  • 12 fina svartavinbärsblad
  • 12 fina körsbärsblad

Blanda ihop lagen och lägg i gurkorna. Sätt på ett lock och ställ in burken i kylskåpet i tre dagar.

Vill du “tjuvsmaka” innan så går det också bra. Det är gott redan efter en dag, bara mindre salt. Gurkorna håller sig cirka 2 veckor i lagen i kylskåp.

 

 

Bye, bye Iceland…

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Up, up, up! In the middle of the night. The alarm was set to 02.30. Off to the airport and then back home to good old Sweden. The flight is around 3 hours from Reykjavik to Stockholm, so not that long flight.

All went really smooth and before we knew it we were back in the warm Swedish weather of 2018. Back to this summer every day temperature of 28-33 degrees C. Yes, every day!! It is really crazy.

Rushed to the backside of our house once we were home to check on the cucumbers and tomatoes that had been without any water for 6 whole days. The were not looking good but they were actually alive. AMAZING and a BIG surprise to me. I was sure they would be dead, gone and finito. So happy!

And so this Iceland trip has ended and I say the very same thing I always say:

Borta bra men hemma bäst!

A jeep tour out in the wilderness…

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Today was Jörgens day. His dream day. But the day did not start that well, we had a misunderstanding on the pickup spot. The girl in the Arnarhvoll Center Hotel reception said to stay at bus stop 5, but the pickup bus stopped at the hotel entrance. And even though the driver went into the reception, he was not informed that we were waiting at bus stop no 5. So we missed one hour of our tour dy right from the start. Not a great start when you have only a one day tour, it is important to be able to use every hour of that day.

We are on our way

We are on our way

ISAK 4×4

We came to the company ISAK 4×4 and there the car was waiting for us. At first they did not have the GPS ready for us, they wanted us to go the old-fashioned way, just by map, WHAAAAT????, but it was all sorted out eventually. And off we went…

Lupins, lupins and yet again lupins

Lupins, lupins and yet again lupins

The beautiful lupins are EVERYWHERE. Like oceans of lupins. I think it looks really great but what will happen in like 20 years. Will the lupins be exactly all over the place. I fear that is what will happen.

Our goal for the day trip is Landmannalaugar and I can just recommend you all to take this trip. It was magnificent.

Our route

Our route

 

Landrover happiness

Some serious Landrover happiness

The roads were great and sometimes we came to waters we had to cross. Real highlight sessions for Jörgen! 🙂

Mountain flowers

Beautiful mountain flowers

 

More flowers

More flowers

 

So cute mountain flowers

So cute mountain flowers

 

Jörgen is checking the depth of the water

Jörgen is checking the depth of the water

 

Fjallur ku

The Fjallur ku

 

The snowball

The old mountain throw a snowball tradition

When I was small we (my mother, father, brother and me) often went to Norway for summer vacation. In two cars together with my aunt and uncle and my two cousins. These were great trips. And back at that time, whenever we came to snow (and you always come to snow in Norway, even though it is summer) we always stopped to play and throw some snow balls. So, this is tradition. Important stuff. So I forced Jörgen to stop here. 😉

Beautiful sceneries where ever we look

Beautiful sceneries where ever we look

 

Landmannalaugar

This is how you live at basecamp Landmannalaugar

All together, we had a wonderful day in the Landrover, a real adventure and I cannot do anything else but to recommend you do the same. Rent a 4 wheel drive kind of vehicle and head up in the mountains, if you ever visit Iceland. And ALL of you should drive, it is GREAT fun!

And I think you should visit Iceland. At least once in your lifetime.

Lazy day…

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Today we had a whole day off. Resting. Relaxing. Reading. Chilling. Resting. Relaxing. Yea, you get the picture…

The Volcano House

The only thing we actually did, apart from relaxing, was that we went to the Iceland Volcano House. This was actually really interesting. We watched two movies, one was from the eruption from Eldfell in 1973. The eruption came without any warning, but luckily there had been really hard wind the day before so the complete fishing fleet was still in the harbor. Hence they were able to evacuate everybody from the Westman islands and they were then given temporary help with shelter during this time. The guide said that Sweden also helped and built a number of wooden houses and these wooden houses are still very popular, so they go for really high prices whenever they are sold.

The second movie was from the latest volcano outburst in Eyjafjallajökull, 2010. And yes, you all recognize that one. A lot of people got stuck all over the world, since all flights were cancelled for several days, due to the volcano ash cloud. People had to find alternative ways to get back home then. By train, bus, hitchhiking, boat? Yes, whatever vehicle they could find that still were able to transport people.

Finally some Mexican food

Then we went to Hard Rock Café for lunch, and OMG, that was good, as always.

Nachos El Grande, my favorite

Nachos El Grande, my favorite

And we also managed to squeeze down an ice cream as dessert. Super yummi!

Icecream at Hard Rock Café

BIG ice cream at Hard Rock Café

In the evening we went to the hotel restaurant. Jörgen had a very nice burger with french fries and I had a sea food soup that was heavenly delicious, with warm, gluten free bread. And then of course we had also one glass of wine each, not to forget.

So, you see, not that much happened this day. Food and movie time and complete relaxation. 😉

Time To “Tölta”…

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Today it was Time To Tölta or as we say in ABB, TTT. All expressions that are even worth bothering about should have it’s own three letter shortening. That is ABB standard rule and regulation. 😉

Here we are again, the same procedure as every morning, standing at busstop number 5, waiting for the pickup.

The cowboys are ready

The cowboys are ready

The Eldhestar ranch

Only a short ride from Reykjavik, around 30 minutes in the bus, we arrived to the farm Eldhestar. Once here, everything went very smooth. We got all the necessary gear like helmets, rain coats etc. Our guide was Kalle, a guy from Sweden, who has worked at the ranch every summer for the last five or six years ( I think). We were seven in our group, us four, then a couple from Las Vegas and then our guide, Kalle.

Soon time to "tölta"

Soon Time To “Tölta”

The Icelandic horse has one or two extra paces (way of walking/running). It is called “tölta” in Swedish. So the fifth pace is “tölt” and the sixth pace is “flying tölt”, which means tölta but really fast. All our horses were very calm and relaxed. And Kalle told us to let them walk right behind one another. They are used to that and they do not get irritated, like other horses might. My horse was anxious to keep connected to the horse in front of him so he was very easy to get to “tölta”.

All are so happy thinking: I got the best horse!

All are so happy thinking: I got the best horse!

Here we are, the whole Icelandic Riding Eldhestar Team. We had a really great day, I love going horseback riding. The funny thing is, we NEVER do it at home, in Sweden. But we close to ALWAYS do it on vacations. How come?? We could do it in Sweden as well. They even have Icelandic horses quite close to where we live, at Ängsö. At least they used to have tours there earlier (I googled it and the home page seem to be “gone”).

The Tölt Team

The Tölt Team

Our tour lasted for around 2,5 – 3 hours and then we got back again to the farm. No-one had fallen off and we were all very pleased with the tour.

We survived the adventure

Yeey, we survived the adventure

Strolling in the city and some pub crawling

The rest of the day we had nothing special planned. We booked a dinner in the hotel restaurant, which we later on cancelled.

The Muppet show

You might think this is from The Muppet show, but it is just Rebecca and Jörgen

Since it is so chilly in Reykjavik you can any time, any day go visit a pub and have an Irish Coffee (as if an excuse really is needed to do that)!? 😉

Irish coffee

Irish coffee, warm, strong and tasty

Next stop was at another bar/pub and there we had the happy hour red wine. Happy hour price was the same as in our hotel bar, 900 IK instead of 160 IK.

All of a sudden we felt hungry, looking at all the burgers the waitresses carried around in there, so we decided to stay for dinner. We cancelled the hotel dinner reservation and had a pub burger dinner experience. T’was GOOD. 🙂

Håkan Juholt and the Cadillac orchestra

Walking through town, back towards our hotel, there was this man that all of a sudden came out of a building where music where playing, asking us to please come in and listen to an old rock’n roll band. Some famous guy that had played in Elvis band was there. I told the guy he did not have to speak English, that we were from Sweden, so he switched to Swedish. He invited us to come in and listen for a while, no fee needed, so we joined. Then Jörgen said to me: You see who this is right? And I said, he looks familiar and Jörgen said: It is Håkan Juholt, former party leader of the Social Democratic Party. The Cadillac Band from Sweden were playing some good old rock’n roll music so we stayed for around half an hour. Very nice actually.

Ted and Rebecca leaving

This evening was Ted and Rebeccas last evening in Reykjavik, they were smarter than us and left after 4 nights, which means saving at least 8000 SEK which would have been the extra fee for the hotel only. Visiting Iceland is expensive, OMG, I could have bought some good old stocks for that amount of money! 😉 But we had a plan so we stayed two more nights in the hotel so we waved them off and then went to bed.

What the plan was? Well, just continue reading…