Sunday, September 9, 2007

Crayfish party and bacon pancakes

Friday night Daughter and I went to the SACC/SWEA ( Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Swedish Women Educational Association) sponsored typical Swedish crayfish party held at the IKEA store in midtown Atlanta.

We were squeezed too tight (table rows were too close together, round tables in rows only added to sitting an moving discomfort) but the party was a typical kraeftskiva (crayfish party in Swedish) : noisy, rowdy, fun! An opportunity to meet local Swedes, speak Swedish, and sing Swedish “snaps-visor” (=alcohol praising songs) while eating tons of crayfish cooked in a dill-spiced water.

Eating whole crayfish without proper crayfish utensils is pretty difficult, but Daughter had a stroke of genius and initiated use of a heavy water glass to smash crayfish claws with in order to get to the meat inside them. Found followers soon, since it beats risking your teeth: less troublesome and a lot less expensive, should a crayfish prove too tough for either teeth or glass.

It was already a second crayfish party this year for me. Last weekend we had a “family” crayfish party on the huge balcony of my mountain place. “Family” and not family, since the “crowd” was a tad dysfunctional (?) or at least unusual: Daughter, me and my Ex-son-in-law. Yet we had a good time. It is always nice when a divorced couple can be friends and socialize with each other.
We ate crayfish (purchased from IKEA), with good Swedish cheese and even better - not Swedish - red wine (but we also had Swedish Elderberry Aquavit for the sake of tradition. I usually avoid such strong alcohol in an undiluted form, but Elderberry Aquavit tastes surprisingly mild, so I had a whole shot), watched a beautiful sunset over the lake, and later the fireworks from a couple of marinas around it - since it happened to be the Labor Day weekend. Very festive.
The Jake-o- Lantern, in Sweden called a full moon lantern and used to lit crayfish parties is still hanging over my terrace table. I wonder what my American neighbors are thinking seeing it hanging there at the beginning of September, since for them it is a Halloween decoration. They might think, that I, an immigrant, somehow got the American traditions wrong.

Yesterday, after getting up late ( at Daughter’s condo in Atlanta) after the crayfish party, we scrambled to make our reserved time for breakfast at the Original Pancake House.

Daughter wanted me to try the southern specialty of bacon pancakes. We have both been living - off and on - in the US for the last 25 years and always avoided the combination of bacon or sausage with pancakes, eating - if we indulged in a typical American breakfast - separately eggs and bacon and then pancakes. But a few months ago Daughter went for a retreat and there the only available breakfast food was bacon pancakes, so she decided to brave it… and fell for them. I do have to admit: surprisingly good, too good in fact, so I am lucky I am moving away in a month's time to a place where, hopefully, no one will serve them, so I might avoid gaining a ton of weight. ;-) To tell the full truth, we weren’t brave enough to smear our pancakes with eggs before pouring maple syrup over them, so - smart as we are ;-) - we ordered those pancakes without eggs.

I am moving in a month, sort of overseas, and, anyway, to an island, which poses a special sort of challenges, you might think, so what am I doing starting a blog and blogging about crayfish and bacon pancakes? Ah, well, today I was supposed to sort my study - things to take, things to throw away, things to leave with Daughter…. so I decided to distract myself from that mundane and oh so boring duty by starting a blog… until it was time to go see Benjamin Franklin exhibition at Atlanta History Museum

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