Fika & Wild Swans in Stockholm

Ah, midsummer.  The harsh ways of the world won’t find you if you are near Nordic water, swans, and fika as the solstice dawns.  That’s where I was last year – travelin’ solo in the Swedish archipelago – and I thought I was turning 56 on my mid-summer birthday.  My family later corrected me – I was a mere 55.  But for a few magic hours, I was timeless in a sea-spray of tiny islands with a beautiful bevy of wild swans, a basket of shrimp sandwiches, and a wicked coffee buzz from spending the morning on a fika-crawl around Stockholm.

Susie Norris, cookbooks, fika, recipes, pate a choux, pastry swans

Susie Norris, Stockholm, cookbooks, cooking classes, food market gypsy, culinary travel blog

What it Fika?  (also known as “finka”)

Fika is designed to keep you happy with warmth and beauty and human comraderie.  It is the Scandinavian tradition of sitting down with friends or colleagues for strong coffee and sweet pastries, morning and afternoon, and it creates highlights. Midsummer Day, the summer solstice holiday that falls in late June, is celebrated with family, friends, and bonfires for internal and external warmth.Susie Norris, food market gypsy, recipes, fika, cookbooks

In this gorgeous landscape of blues, greens, greys, and vivid reds, fika pastries carry out the palette. Red currant, boysenberry, meringue, and chocolate harmonize in pastry cases around Stockholm. Most famously, the lime green princess cake, crowned by a single pink rose, has classic artistic quality.  My wanderings led me to a palace of pastries: Haga Bageri

…and these are the beauties:

Susie Norris, Food Market Gypsy, food blog, cookbooks, recipes Susie Norris, sweden, recipes, fika, pastries. cookbooks, culinary travel fika, pastries, Susie Norris, Food Market Gypsy, cookbooks, cooking class

Susie Norris, fika, cookbooks, baking, food market gypsy #foodmarketgypsy, pastries, recipes

swedish sandwiches, fika, susie norris, cookbooks, recipes, baking, culinary travel, food market gypsy

If I ever have another lost year and disappear in time again, you’ll know where to find me: among the swans and pastries of Scandinavia.  Here are a few great books with recipes to bring the timeless delight of fika home to you:

Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge
Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge

The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trine Hahnemann (and all of her other books)

Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats

Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break,…Anna Brones

The Scandi Kitchen: Simple, delicious dishes for any occasion
The Scandi Kitchen: Simple, delicious dishes for any occasion Bronte Aurell

ScandiKitchen: Fika and Hygge: Comforting cakes and bakes from Scandinavia with love

The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson

Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking

Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking  Darra Goldstein

The New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian Kitchen

The New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian…

Simon Bajada

…and while we’re on the subject:

The Wild Swans at Coole by W. B. Yeats

And here’s NYT on the story just this July 2017.

Susie Norris, recipes, cookbook, food blog, pate a choux swans, pastries, fika

 

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