Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Coffee and Cakes

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody

Oh, my American friends.....so you think you drink a lot of coffee and eat way too many goodies here? Well, you are small time compared to us Swedes. Swedes love their coffee and what goes with it. In my childhood home, my mother boiled coffee. She would put water in a stainless steel coffee pot and  add coffee grounds to the boiling water and then let it cook. This produced a very strong and really good coffee. I doubt anyone makes it that way now.

 

For my mother's generation, coffee had to be served in dainty china cups with very thin rims. A friend of my mother's visited me here and refused to drink coffee from my all-American coffee mugs. So this was taken very seriously.


Usually, when you had your afternoon coffee or when company came for coffee, you would serve cookies and cakes on pretty plates, like the one above. This was also a serious business. And any time you stopped by a Swedish home, you would, and I'm sure you still will, be offered a cup of coffee.


These dishes belonged to my grandmother.



A few examples of various coffee breads.


Another little dainty coffee cup of mine.



This may be a Danish with raspberry or strawberry and vanilla filling.



This is a Swedish modern cup that a friend gave me last time I visited there. It's so Swedish looking that I'm showing it off again. Yes, it's one cup with a different pattern on each side.



Finally, all around town, any Swedish town, there are these coffee houses, called konditorier. At the counter, there's a display of cakes, cookies, and what we call coffee-bread. The smells greeting you as you arrive in a konditori are just wonderful and the temptations are too much for any normal human being to handle, of this I'm sure. So while you are imagining these temptations, I leave the letter C.

31 comments:

  1. coffee and carbs

    I knew it was in my blood

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  2. This was true of my Grandmother too. My mother however, was not happy about this tradition as it meant dishes to wash all the time:) Another tradition with my family was to put a large sugar cube (different than we buy today) in your mouth and sip your coffee through it.

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  3. That title grabbed me right away. lol...nothing better than coffee combined with cake, seems to be a very European thing.... we always had coffee and cake on Sundays.

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  4. I love your grandmother's dishes. My maternal grandmother came to the U.S. from Norway when she was 12. Norwegians are also coffee lovers, as I'm sure you know. Strangely, my mother did not drink coffee, and I can't stand the stuff. I guess we aren't true Norwegians.

    Love,
    Janie

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  5. Yesss, you Swedes sure do know your pastries. I used to love to have tea at the Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. So many sweets to choose from. I remember my grandmother always made egg coffee. Now it sounds terrible but everyone made it.

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  6. mmmm we have a few German Konditori here in Namibia and I've also whiffed the smells of which you speak ... heavenly.

    While the old-fashioned cups and saucers are beautiful (and a bit too delicate for ham-fisted me) ... I must say, I do like the modern Swedish crockery too.

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  7. I remember ladies coming to visit my mom and they would have coffee in the dainty cups. I think I need to try it... those delicate rims may impart a different flavor to the brew!!
    Mmmm.... I'm thinking I would love a piece of cardamon bread - with fruit pieces, right now! Yum!

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  8. For my mum it had to be tea. Coffee was the instant sort that was made with a spoonful of powder and boiled water poured on top. Mum's tea was always served in a china tea cup. She didn't understand mugs. Those coffee breads look like what we call Danish Pastries and very tasty they are too!

    (Every time I read one of your long thin posts I look at the photos of your lovely old dogs and it makes me feel sad because it reminds me of Josh... but then it's good to think about him... I just wanted to say this to you.)

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  9. Your post reminds me of the German/Bavarian tradition of 'Kaffee und Kuchen' -- fresh pastries to die for (and possibly 'of'). And the smells are indescribable -- except to say wonderful!

    Lovely cups and saucers -- though I confess to having succumbed to the use of a mug -- albeit a porcelain one!

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  10. Hi Inger .. we always had china cups - can't think when mugs came in .. I even bought cups and saucers for my flat in London the 70s .. I like china mugs now!

    Time for tea - but with a coffee cake and I'd be a happy Easter bunny! Great story line .. thanks Hilary

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  11. wow. refusing to drink coffee out of an american mug. :)

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  12. Coffee and Cakes-two great C words. I drink lots of very strong coffee. The way your mother used to make it sounds interesting, I may need to try that out.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts :)

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  13. We were in Sweden four days and I gained five pounds! Couldn't get past the konditorier. Now I know why Swedish friends insisted upon serving coffee in dainty coffee cups. And they served a homemade bread that looks very much like the third one, above the tiny cup. Do you know the name of this bread, Inger? How to make it? Maybe I shouldn't ask -- er, back to those pounds.

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  14. Okay Inger, when are we leaving? I love coffee but better yet, I love the cakes tht go with it. I might be as big as a house though! I love your Grandmother's china-very dainty and delicate! But the cup is not the right size; I love a monster cup to hold all my coffee :)

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  15. Beautiful china, yummy pastries--& I LOVE your 2-sided cup!

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  16. My late mother had several sets of china, and a lot of extra cups. The various sets are now distributed among us and our children. And there'll be more for our grandchildren. The "extra cups" are on a high ledge in our little dining room.

    Only we didn't drink much coffee; in our home, it was often tea. And goodies — not very often. My wife drinks neither tea nor coffee; I sometimes have tea, but not as regularly as my parents.

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  17. I love this post, Inger. It reminds me of my grandmother, she always had 7 types of cookies/cakes on the tray when she was serving coffee, prepared in exactly the way that you described. It gives a richer taste, in a way and I really liked it. I started to drink coffee when I was 9 years old or so. Lovely memories!
    HAve a fantastic day!

    Eva

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  18. That's so interesting! You have just made me incredibly hungry with those pictures.

    Just A Nice Girl

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  19. Hi Inger! I love drinking out of the more dainty cups. Look at all those coffee cakes! Now, my hubby loves coffee cake but me (though I love cake) it's not my favorite unless it happens to be chocolate. I forgot that you were doing the A-Z challange. I remember how I loved reading your blog when you did it last time.. Of course, I always love coming to visit you... regardless.

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  20. Kul inlägg! Jag är väl inget kakmonster men min sambo gillar bullar, semlor och bakelser. Men han kan ju äta det. Kram!

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  21. Not one for coffee, I love tea, but the pastries make me hungry just looking at them!!!

    Cat

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  22. This is a community reply: I must say, in defense of Sweden that as a rule people were thin there, even with all the goodies I showed in the pictures. After McDonalds and all the rest of the fast food arrived, weight was put on across the board. I know because once I didn't go back for 15 years and the difference in how people looked was remarkable. I always wanted to throw this out there and I guess this was my opportunity.

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  23. Oh I forgot about the sugar cube, that's so true, sipping coffee through the cube. Really old people did that when I was a kid.
    Egg coffee, what a coincidence, I am just reading a book where they describe how to make this coffee. They call it Cowboy Coffee. Sounds really good to me. And cardamon coffee bread, that was the best. And Kitty, the cake pictures came from a cookbook, so there should be a recipe. And, finally, thank you all for reminding me of all these things about coffee and cake I had forgotten. I am so happy you like my alphabet journey so far.

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  24. What a lovely theme. I'm enjoying your posts - following so I don't miss one.

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  25. oh my gosh, now I have a cake craving ;)

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  26. My mother made coffee the same way.

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  27. Such a great tradition and so nice to have coffee in such a beautiful cup. Not quite like our modern ones!

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  28. Beautiful little coffee cups. I inherited many dainty litte cups and saucers from my grandmother. They are something to behold! Now if I only had the other Swedish goodies to go with them, I would be a happy camper.

    Visiting from A-to-Z Challenge
    Sandy. Http://msmousecleanshouse.wordpress.com

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  29. i just came across your blog. All i can say is that you remind me of the year I lived in Sweden (Uppsala). I fell in love with the beauty of this small country, but most of all the Swedish people. We have Swedish 'friends for life.' I always love traveling to Sweden in any season. I love the coffee and the tradition of fika (coffee and snacks). Thank you for your posts. I shall read more when I have time. I must find out where you live now; looks like a lovely desert area.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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