Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Swede Dreams.

Avocado and egg smørrebrød with hunters sausage and strawberries. Välsmakande! That's Swedish for tasty!

I have a secret love affair with Sweden. Okay, I guess it's not a secret anymore. Sweet, supple Sweden with it's quiet demeanor and tender, juicy meatballs. Just thinking about it makes me want to rub butter all over myself and... Oh you're still here. Hmm Where was I? Oh yes, Sweden is great. I have dreams of living in a small gothic castle off the coast of Gothenburg where I raise sheep and bats and make my own cheese. From the sheep, not the bats.

Ikea. I suppose we have to talk about it. I hate their furniture. Uncomfortable square sofas made of blonde press wood. No thanks. I will however take a trip to Ikea just to have Swedish meatballs while sitting in their depressing cafeteria. While sitting there enjoying my 'probably not the best introduction to Swedish food' meatballs I am blinded by the flickering 70,000 watt florescent light bulbs and surrounded by sad, bland people with their scores of screaming children. Anyways, once in a while I go there to buy candles or a cheap wooden spoon. Plus they carry a delicious brand of lingonberry preserves that go very well with the 100lb bag of frozen meatballs I've purchased.

My favorite rye crispbreads and my armpit. Enjoy.

Oh yeah. There's also ABBA or as I like to call them "The Devil". I just don't trust music that is so damn happy and on roller skates. Just hearing them makes me go into a fit of rage wanting to punch every blonde with a bowl cut in sight. When I live in my creepy castle I will have a moat filled with sharks and lions and spiders and broken glass. There with be a "No ABBA beyond this point" sign posted at the base of my driveway. Break this rule and it's into the shark lion spider glass pool with you. No exceptions.

Anyways, one of my favorite things to eat is Smørrebrød which is Swedish for open faced sandwiches. Just get yourself some dark rye breads or rye crisps (which are my favorite for the crunch). Slice an avocado. Drizzle a little garlic aioli (or this). Hard boil an egg and put that on there. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little hunters sausage if you like. Or perhaps some pickled herring. Maybe some lutfisk. Just kidding. I have nightmares about being forced to eat this rotten, see-through, gelatinous fish. I would rather drag splintered toothpicks and asbestos across my eyeballs than eat lutfisk. But yeah, you can pretty much put whatever you want on smørrebrød. Add some fruit on the side and you have a lovely little Swedish meal. Afterwards eat a whole bag of Swedish Fish candy. Yummmmy!

My mean, vicious cat guards the Swedish Fish. Gimme some candy you selfish, awful creature!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soylent Greens.

Greens. I hated them as a child. I felt as if they were some alien torture device used to put the fear in children. I ate pretty much most things as a child including dog biscuits and rusty nails (long story) but greens made me unhappy. I didn't have the sort of mother that would make me sit at the table until I ate everything off my plate like some deranged dinner table prison guard. No, my mother figured that since I ate pretty much everything else off the table that the fact that greens were my kryptonite was okay by her. It wasn't that I hated vegetables. I loved corn from a can with lots of butter and pepper and green bean casserole made from cans. Oh and creamed corn from a can as well. Except for the occasional French dressing smothered salad we really didn't do too much in the way of fresh vegetables. Even our potatoes came out of a box.

Once I made a giant batch of mashed potatoes and set up a stand outside my house. I thought the idea was brilliant. Everybody loves mashed potatoes so why not start up a mashed potato stall in the cul-de-sac? My mashed potato wagon had become one of Woodstock Georgia's first food trucks. Cheap bastards. Surprisingly not one single customer. Where else could you get a room temperature cup of barely mixed potato flake paste? Tell me? Where? No where. I was way ahead of my time I guess. I ended up building a potato glue tower and sat across the lawn throwing rocks at it.

Anyways, I love greens now. Stewed collard greens are one of my favorites. I like corn off the cob and fresh green beans. My mashed potatoes come from the ground (well, actually the market). Sure, I add bacon to most vegetables but the sentiment is still there. Bacon just happens to be the party hat to go with the collard green party dress. Know what I mean?

Southern Collard Greens

1 1/2 quarts water
1 1/2 pounds ham hocks (or 1 lb. of diced bacon)
4 pounds collard greens, rinsed and trimmed
1 medium onion, diced (Vidalias if you can get them)
6 dashes of Crystal hot sauce
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper tt

Place the water and the ham hock in a large pot with a tight lid. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add the collards, onion, and hot sauce. Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Shred the meat off of the ham hock and return to the pot. Season to taste. That's it. Deliciously simple. xo