Archive for December, 2008

Jul Bord (Christmas Table)

December 25, 2008

Julbord at Gate Gästgiveri. Arvika Sweden.  Blog entry and photos by Kurt’s mother, Phyllis.


We all spiffed up a bit to go to the Julbord at Gate Gästgiveri, a twice a day event in an exclusive restaurant until December 23rd.  Reservations required.  The building appears to be a large old house with a sturdy barn close by.


Most of our sightseeing is done in the dark, of course.  Daylight is short this time of year.  On our way to the Julbord, we got a close up look at the large wooden lighted candelabra that welcomes people to Arvika.


The house/restaurant was decked out for Christmas—red table runners with candles and fresh greens centerpieces.  Groups were seated at their own tables—some large, some small.  The warm soft candle lighting was just right.hpim0887


Glögg was available in small glass cups, very hot and adorned with almond slices.  We also had choices of other beverages.


The serving room had a central table laden with choices.  In one corner was a table with bread including butter, jam, cheese, white rolls and what I wanted to call Limpa but Kurt tells me, limpa refers in general to a loaf of bread, not necessarily the rye, caraway version I had in mind.  The main table had “sill” (pickled herring of various persuasions), stuffed eggs with tiny shrimp, a platter of shrimp, and an entire side of different types of salmon: smoked, sushi, peppered, etc.  Many sauces were available around the platters including a colorful beet relish plus a couple cream based fruit salads.  There were large trays of thin sliced ham,  roast beef, and salamis.  Small pickled pearl onions were mild and crispy.  Yum.100_1330


Two different cold loaves of meat were served.  One looked and tasted much like the head cheese my parents made a few Christmases in my youth.  They would cook an entire pig’s head, pull off all the meat and press it into a bread loaf pan where it would gel into a sliceable form.


Another sideboard held the essential boiled potatoes and brown beans.  Included here was an egg custard (savory) and a very tasty potato casserole called Janssen’s Temptation, a dish that appears in the Swedish cooking lexicon.  Swedish potato sausage, great dainty meatballs, roasted short ribs, along with Brussels sprouts completed that section.


On the other side of the room were desserts including cheeses, hard and blue with grapes, fresh pineapple and melon.  The flan and creamy rice pudding were garnished with yellow ground cherries.  A slightly thickened strawberry sauce was provided to top off the rice pudding.  The very chocolaty mousse was lovely, too.





Around the comer in the next room sat a coffee altar.  The Swedes do know how to serve coffee.  Pepparkakor and assorted candies were here.  A pink and white marshmallow candy shaped like a tomten is a popular and classic candy.  Lily’s class party treats included those, too.100_1333


At Kurt’s urging I tried blue cheese on the pepparkakor and it is more pleasant than you might think.


The girls had fun collecting foil cups from the tiny truffle style chocolate candies we all liked.  A cute three-year-old boy with moussed spiked hair was fascinated especially by Savannah, Yarrow’s friend from Two Harbors who is accompanying us on this visit.  He became an active donor of empty foil cups, which Lily and Savannah flattened into “poker chips”—enough so they had 23 when they counted at home.


All ate heartily and went home well satisfied.