Swedish Christmas meatballs

 

Swedish Christmas meatballs

Christmas is approaching. I presume that most of you are aware of that. You may have started putting up the Christmas decorations yourselves. If not, you just have to walk out through the door to be surrounded by glittering stars, flashing raindeers with associated Santa Clause, obscure little gnomes, and millions of Christmas lights.
You know it’s high time to start planning the Christmas dinner.
Here in Sweden, we must start planning in good time if we are to have a chance to be ready on time.
The list of required food items is long. There has to be, ham, potatoes, stewed kale, pickled herrings, smoked salmon, spare ribs, mushroom omelet, mustard, sausages…..

It’s easy to get overwhelmed. And from a food waste perspective, it’s quite depressing. We have to waste most of the food we are cooking because there’s no chance that we can eat all of it. Something I use to rant about to my family’s dismay.

But we have tried to reduce the amount of food the last years. Instead of cooking everything that is supposed to be on the Christmas table, we are focusing on what we want.
For me, that includes three things. Ham, pickled herring, and meatballs. A small potato to the herring is desirable, but not necessary. If I can also get a glass of good Christmas beer and a schnaps, I’m more than happy.

But meatballs are a must.

And for most other Swedes too. I don’t think I have ever experienced a Swedish Christmas meal without meatballs. What can I say? We take our meatballs seriously.

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Reduce-food-waste Quiche with anything

reduce food waste Quiche with anything

Food waste. It has been a while since I have ranted about this issue. So it’s time to write a little about it, right? It needs to be written about because the amount of food we are wasting in the western world is horrible.

Food waste infographic

Those figures are just freaking bizarre. We must all do something about it. Me too, because I’m far from perfect. Therefore I’m constantly looking for new strategies to reduce the amount of food that slides down into the waste bin. One thing I use to do every week is to make an inventory in my fridge. I’m looking for food that starts approaching its expiration date and trying to compose a meal of it.
It’s good for two reasons.

  • I find food in time before it becomes inedible.
  • I find food that already is inedible.

The second reason is almost as important as the first. It’s distressing to find fuzzy stuff in the refrigerator unless it is a blue cheese.

In last weeks inventory, I found a piece of sweet potato, some feta cheese, a jar half filled with olives, some scallions, and one tomato.
The tomato was a bit soft and the sweet potato looked somewhat tired, but I decided to use it anyway. The rest of the food items were not in such a critical state, but they wouldn’t stay fresh for so much longer. I paid special attention to the feta cheese, but finally, I decided that it was OK.

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