I have an announcement to make… I have set up a shop at SpoonFlower where I’m selling patterns for fabrics and gift wraps etc.
Some of the patterns are specially designed to make one single tea towel (see above) by selecting the Fat Quarter size (27″x18″) and their Linen-Cotton Canvas fabric. This fabric is also a perfect match for tablecloths, napkins, aprons, bags* etc. There are of course plenty of other options.
Soon there will be more patterns in the shop. For example I have been working on some flower patterns and as soon I have proofed the samples I will put them up for sale.
I hope you enjoy them.
* for tote bags I would choose their Heavy Cotton Twill fabric. Its a slightly thicker cotton canvas. See more fabric types here.
After being tired of not finding great Knäckebröd, Scandinavian Crisp Bread in the stores around my neighborhood in East Village, I started to make my own. Traditionally they are made as round wafers with a hole in the middle so you could store them hanging on a stick in the roof. They are often made with rye flour and rolled out with a special rolling pin with knobs. However I usually don’t use this tool and I like my home made knäckebröd as small crackers flavored with either or a combination of some: caraway seeds, fennel seeds, sesame and rosemary. My recipe is based on Alice Brax knäckebröd recipe.
25 grams fresh yeast
1 tablespoon honey
200 ml (almost 1 cup) kefir or yogurt
400 ml (1 2/3 cup) water
600 ml (2 ½ cup) rye flour
about 600 ml (2 ½ cup) regular flour
100-200 ml ( ½ – 1 cup) regular flour
caraway seeds, toasted and crushed
fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
sesame seeds, toasted
dried Rosemary, crushed
flaky sea salt
Warm the yogurt with the water to 37°C (100°F). Dissolve the yeast in some of the warm yogurt mixture. Add the rest of the liquid and blend in honey and rye and regular flour. The dough will be quite sticky. Cover the bowl and keep at room temperature in a non-drafty area overnight or for at least 6 hours.
When the dough is ready, work in just enough of regular flour. Knead the dough on a floured counter top until the dough is smooth. Preheat the oven to 225°C (435°F).
Divide the dough into 15-20 equal parts. With your fingers sprinkle either caraway, fennel, sesame or rosemary together with flaky sea salt over each part and roll them into balls. Use a rolling pin and some regular flour to roll out every ball of dough very thinly. Using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut into approximately 5 cm (2 inch) shapes. Place as many as you can fit on a greased baking tin. Bake the crackers immediately for about 8-10 minutes in the middle of the oven. depending on your oven you may have to turn them around to get nice all around color. When finished let the breads cool on an oven rack or a clean table. Keep the crackers in sealed containers.
This recipe was first published at Honest Cooking, 21 September 2011
Also check out my Wild Fennel Knäckebröd I baked in Sicily, with sourdough and Perciasacchi semola.
At the end of June or the beginning of July is when St John’s wort starts to bloom. In Sweden, the plant is both common as a perennial in gardens and wild in the woods. I find them every year next to my house on the edge of our gravel road. I pick the flower or rather the buds to soak in vodka. In Sweden we call the spirit Hirkum Pirkum which comes from the Latin name of the plant, Hypericum perforatum.
As I’ve said before, St John’s wort is supposed to heal angst and depression. In the old days it was used to drive spirits away. You just needed to hang some twigs of the herb over an image of the ghost or even the devil and that specific spirit would leave you alone.
For the snaps essence: Pick about two tablespoons of St John’s wort buds (skip the flowers that are in full bloom). Rinse and clean them if neccessary. Put the flowers in a jar or a bottle. Cover with 200 ml vodka and soak for about 8 hours. Strain and add some more vodka if you like (I added about 200 ml). The result is a pink and pretty delicious snaps! (You can soak it longer if you want a sharper taste).
This recipe was first published in Honest Cooking, 4 July 2011.
In the old days they used to add different kinds of herbs to vodka. Back then it was often for healing purposes but also as a way, I think, to take out some of the sharp taste in pure spirits. Wormwood was used to cure loss of appetite, both Caraway seeds and Fennel was used to treat digestive problems and St John’s wort was supposed to heal angst and depression.
Whether these cures are true or not my husband and I enjoy flavoring pure vodka with different kinds of herbs and plants. Some of the herbs we find during the summer in the woods (St John’s wort and Bog Myrtle) or in our own garden (black currant, wormwood and coriander). My husband has even engaged one of our friends, who has a backyard garden in Brooklyn, to grow wormwood (for Swedish Bäsk) and sweetgrass (to make Polish Zubrówka).
To make aquavit you don’t really have to go to the woods, you just need three simple spices that you may already have in your pantry: (one table spoon) coriander seeds, (one table spoon) fennel seeds and (one and half tablespoon) whole caraway seeds. Crush them roughly with a mortar and pestle and soak them in 200 ml pure vodka for a day or so. Let it soak longer for a stronger essence or less if you want a lighter taste. Strain and dilute with more vodka to the taste that you like. I recommend using the lightest pure vodka that you can find. For example, outside of Sweden I suggest Swedka or triple-distilled Smirnoff and in Sweden I recommend Renat.
Enjoy Snaps with different kinds of cured herrings, crayfish (Swedish style), caviar and oysters.
This recipe was first published on Honest Cooking, 28 April 2011.
A week ago I was asked to be one of the contributers at Honest Cooking. This online culinary magazine started just a couple of weeks ago and the articles are written by food & drink writers, chefs and photographers etc from all over the world. I think its a impressive work the editor Kalle Bergman and all the other contributers have done so far and I’m honored to be part of it. Yesterday my first post Squid with a Bite was launched.