Monday, April 27, 2015

I just want to keep typing Sju Sorters Kakor over and over



From Fika, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall:

“To have a real fika means using the classic recipes that everyone knows (what the Swedes call klassiker), either those from one of the Swedish cooking bibles like Sju Sorters Kakor (Seven Kinds of Cookies) or Var Kokbook (Our Cookbook) or those passed down from one generation to the next.”

As luck would have it, there was an English edition of Sju Sorters Kakor on amazon. How could I not? 


First published in 1945, Sju Sorters Kakor has been revised several times and it’s a dazzling, bright, cleanly-designed, and compact book with an astonishing variety of desserts packed into 188 pages. Pretty little color pictures accompany most recipes, some of which call for hartshorn salt

I’m not even going to pretend I’m sheepish about buying yet another cookbook. That would be the kind of reflexive, coy, apologetic female self-deprecation I despise and at which I excel. (Right there? That was an example of the self-deprecation I was talking about.) 

I love owning this book. Good purchase.
Birgitta's almond torte from Sju Sorters Kakor
Nothing new was cooked this weekend, except the Swedish pancakes from Fika, which are lovely, fragile, soft, and crepe-like. I squeezed lemon and sprinkled sugar on them and when Owen saw them he complained that they were “thin, like tortillas, and won’t carry flavor.” I said, “Yes, they’re really disgusting, don’t feel like you have to finish.

He came back for seconds, said, “I don't want you to waste the batter.” 

This morning I asked if he wanted more of the “disgusting” pancakes and he said, “Yeah, but only because I’m really hungry.” 


I don’t want to make Owen out to be a brat.  He’s not. You’d like him. He’s kind and earnest and talkative and interested in stuff.  Complaints about my cooking are a joke and a habit in this house, a family tradition. He and are great friends and then sometimes I take away his computer keyboard and he gets really, really mad and insults my cooking. At this point, I could not care less. 

23 comments:

  1. Anybody who's had a teenage child will recognize certain elements of Owen. If he likes baseball, I should introduce him to my younger son, who is 13 and also resents losing privileges "just because [he] forgot." It's Isabel whom I find a little implausible. So serene AND beautiful.

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    1. What is it with these boys and "forgetting?"
      As to Isabel, there were some silent years. Really silent.

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  2. I have a Swedish cakes, cookies and bread cookbook that my parents brought home from a trip to Sweden 30 years ago. The only thing I've made from it is cardamom bread (which was excellent), but after reading this post and the last, I just want to go home, find it and cook All The Things. Or order Sju Sorters Kakor.

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    1. Oh, you should find that book. Maybe it's even the same one I bought?

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  3. You can order hartshorn or baking ammonia from King Arthur Flour,,,,smells very bad but totally loses the smell after cooking.

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    1. I saw that. Maybe I will. They say it makes cookies extra crispy.

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  4. I have such wonderful memories of the konditorei by my hotel in Stockholm. Near the door there was a wooden table covered with a checked cloth piled high with cups and saucers. You helped yourself to coffee from a giant silver urn and chose an exquisite pastry from a long glass case. The pastry was brought to the table by a blonde girl wearing a black ruffled apron. The cafe overlooked a sunny, cobblestone square bordered by beautiful houses. The whole experience was just unbearably wonderful and I remember thinking that Americans just don't know how to live.

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    1. That sounds really, really great. We don't know how to live, it's true. I've never been to Sweden, but your description made me think of an afternoon I spent with my sister in Hamburg, watching all the people at these outdoor cafes eating cream-filled cakes. I wonder if it's even possible to find a cream-filled cake at a cafe in my town.

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  5. Another one I might need. I love the photos from inside the book. When I au paired in Sweden, my charges loved having Swedish pancakes for dinner as a treat. I absolutely love them, and I think the way you and Owen tease each other is adorable and loving.

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    1. I love those photos too. What is it about them? The slightly faded colors?

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  6. I wonder if you have this American classic:
    Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (Facsimile Edition)
    available from Amazon.
    It has the recipes for the cookies that everybody remembers and brings to every gathering.

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    1. I do, and it is the original spiral book from the 1970's. I use it all the time. Classic cookies, clear and easy directions, great results every time. You can tell our favorite recipes from the drips and smudges on the pages. Highly recommend for kids who are moving out of the house, a way to still have their favorite tastes from home.

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    2. I don't have it. I'll look for it.

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