Monday, January 19, 2009

The dinner started with the usual Stockholm formalities: a couple of drinks and a discussion of real estate. The host and hostess - my husband used to work with her - had just managed to sell their apartment, which is in an old industrial part of town that is now expensive new apartments and stores, complete with a streetcar line, all sprung up in the last five years.

A discussion of the price of rent, mortgages or an apartment just bought or sold is essential for the typical Stockholm dinner party.

But then when we sat down to eat the smoked duck breast and greens they'd brought back with them from Paris, all we talked about was food. What to get in Paris and what you can get here in the markets, how to make pesto better by mixing the nuts, the simplest way to cook salmon, how nowadays you can get such good wine that isn't French. Food, drink and food and recipes and more food, for more than three hours.

Since when did talking about food become as important as the food itself?

Funny how food is so much more of a class marker than it was in my parents' day. Well, maybe not more, but just in a different way, I suppose.

We did manage to change the subject a bit toward the end, but unlike our usual dinner parties, there were no heated discussions.

I think the husband's favorite part of the evening was when he got a goody bag full of bottles and jars from the hostess, who works for a huge French company that makes beauty products.

"Yes," she said, "I think the blue is for you. I use the green myself."

The Swedish word for the day is matkultur. It means cuisine.

p.s. I am slowly adding all my links at left, so don't feel left out if I haven't gotten to you yet. I will eventually...


Aymo said...

That's typical French, speaking of food while you eating (i.e. not the one you are eating, other food...)
The french theme of the dinner was thoroughly respected then...

thegayrecluse said...

I was going to say the exact same thing as Aymo (but I'll say it anyway...) In my experience, the French are the masters of food discussion, which is why they can often stretch out a meal for five or six hours (this is the traditional Sunday activity.)

Jeff said...

Brad and I often discuss Stockholm real estate at dinner parties, too! It's our retirement dream city. I've actually just posted my new favourite apartmet in Stockholm on my site - gorgeous! (Almost as nice as yours!!;)

At present, I'm trying to talk Brad into a 3-day jaunt to Iceland, which all of a sudden is extremely affordable! And it's only just over 4 hours from Halifax. I could use a soaking in the Blue Lagoon right about now!

Hey... You and the husband should meet us there - and then he'd have to go! ;-)


Salient Muse said...

I am new to your blog; my boyfriend lives in Orebro and I want to surprise him by learning Swedish, so I googled the topic and up you came. I look forward to the lessons, LOL! Thanks for posting!

Si said...

Yes, you must continue to populate your links list! When I can't sleep, that is one place I go to pass the late hours of the night/early hours of the morning. I read some of the most interesting things, starting out from your page.

Sandy said...

I hope to travel to Sweden someday to meet an e-mail connection, and am enjoying learning about the 'kultur' of the country. I love your "Swedish word of the day!"