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I feel like writing, so here I am. Not that I have anything particular to talk about, but so what? That shouldn't ever stop a blogger, right? I look at the little calendar at the top right hand side of my blog and see that I have only blogged twice this month: pathetic. It seems to be a good month if I manage to write once a week. How will I remember anything if I don't write it down? I already have plenty of evidence about how threadbare the net of memory has become.

We ate a Mårtensgås dinner at Anders' parents' tonight. It's Martin's name day (Mårten is pronounced Morton, by the way), because it's St. Martin's Eve (as usual, the Swedes celebrate the holiday the evening BEFORE). If you want to, you can read all about St. Martin's Day. It's really only in Skåne that Sweden celebrates St. Martin's Eve by eating goose. It's mostly because this is the time of year when the farmers decided it was goose-eating time. Much like we decided in America that this time of year is turkey-eating time. There is a story that Martin of Tours (the saint the day is named for) didn't want to be named bishop so he hid among the geese. But the geese's honking revealed his whereabouts and he had to become bishop regardless. The geese were eaten as punishment.

Here in southern Sweden, a typical goose dinner consists of black soup, goose stuffed with apples and plums, red cabbage and applesauce and apple cake with vanilla sauce. This was actually a specific menu that was popularized in Stockholm in the 1850s and caught the public fancy.

Black soup, or blood soup, is disgusting by the way, so I was really glad that Anders' mom chose to serve asparagus soup instead. Asparagus soup with a little crème fraîche is MUCH better than soup made of boiled pigs' legs, goose blood, salt and vinegar with all the same spices as gingerbread.

I've actually tasted black soup once, at another Mårtensgås dinner we went to with friends some years ago. It tasted sort of like gingerbread, but mostly like blood. Blood sausage and blood pudding (similar to the sausage but minus raisins) are another traditional mainstay that can still be found on menus here in kids used to get them regularly for school lunches. Bleah.

When we still lived in Chicago, Anders made a goose dinner once for some friends. I remember how strange the fruit stuffing was to me at the time, who had only ever had stuffing made with bread. His apple cake, however, was to die for :)

Blood soup isn't the weirdest thing I've ever tasted, though I tend to be rather restrictive about trying really bizarre things. I have tried lutfisk (gross) and surströmming (grosser) as well. During our last day in London, while I was wandering around Marks & Spencer's, I saw a shelf full of disgusting novelty food items for sale, among them were scorpion vodka and BBQ-flavored mealworms. Squick!

Compared to that, blood soup seems pretty tame.

This afternoon, I walked into the kitchen just as a huge flight of several vees of geese flew honking loudly overhead. There were hundreds of them, at least, all flapping as hard as they could and shifting position slowly from front to back and up again. Their bellies flashed white in the sunshine as they zoomed past. I could still hear them for several minutes after the last of them had passed our house. South for the winter, or just fleeing a Mårtensgås fate?
mood: contemplative
music: Psychedelic Furs—Love My Way


Lovely post of this and that, Liz.

A couple things:

" how threadbare the net of memory has become"
Yes! I love it. What a vivid way of seeing and putting things, you have. : )

What!?! Are you telling me us that your Martin's name is pronounced Morton? Or just that St Martin....blah, blah, blah....
After all these years I have to switch it in my head!?!!
Do you know how that relates to the part of memory that isn't quite threadbare yet and wishes to hold on? (*chuckle*)

I want to propose you help me out a little bit and change the pronunciation of your son's name please, so that I can coddle my memory along. The dear is already struggling with the staggering news of a couple weeks ago that
Holly's town in the UK is pronounce EE-LEE, not E-LIE, as I have been pronouncing it all this time.
I'm pretty sure the UK isn't going to oblige me, so I thought maybe a dear LJ friend might. After all, the memory can only handle so much change, right?

no no, Martin is pronounced the regular way. It's Mårten that is pronounced Morton. :)

Thank the powers that be!

You've eaten surströmming?? Now that's bravery! I can't even imagine. I've had blood pudding in Scotland, but I wasn't a fan, and I'd guess the blood would be even less palatable in soup. Other than that, the Mårtensgås menu sounds pretty delicious!

Oh, and I'm cracking up about the geese being eaten in punishment. Thanks for the trivia!

To be fair, it was piled up with potatoes, creme fraiche, lettuce and wrapped in a thin bread wrap. Still: nasty!

From Megsie

I have never tried any of the things you have mentioned. My dad, however, LOVES him some lutfisk. Ew. I don't think I could brave the blood soup, or anything else thankyouverymuch. I am not as picky as I once was, but I still have a picky streak. BLOOD? Double EW. Love this post. You are an inspiration! xoxo

Re: From Megsie

The only good thing about lutfisk is the sauce that goes with it, and even that is only IN COMPARISON.


Luckily, even as a person of Norwegian-Lutheran heritage, I've been able to avoid lutfisk. I thought it was just a Norwegian thing - is it Swedish too?


Yep, but mostly at Christmas time.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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