Sweden


The Easter Book is a look at some of the foods we eat around Easter. Meals like lamb, Hot Cross Buns and Simnel cake are all covered and include simple to make recipes for you to try.

Not only that we take a look at some of the many traditions and foods that Germany and Sweden practice and eat at Easter, from the Easter Bread, Gravlax, Jansson’s temptation and others. All the recipes in this book are simple to follow with outstanding results you and the family will love to eat this Easter.

Included within each chapter is information on such things as why we eat lamb and how the idea of eating lamb for Easter came into being.

Why we have the German’s to thank for some of today’s popular traditions.

Did you know that the Easter bunny came from the Germans?

What other traditions do the Germans have today and are any of them from days gone by?

1. Easter is a time to burn the Christmas trees in Germany!

2. A tradition started in Germany was the boiling and painting of eggs which were then used to decorate bushes and trees to represent the “Easter Tree.” The boiled and painted eggs represented new life, sunlight and growth for the oncoming spring.

Want to know the connection between birch, witches and Sweden?

  1. The whole Easter affair in Sweden starts on Thursday when witches flew off to Mount Blåkulla or Blue Mountain to meet with the devil.
  2. People painted crosses on their doors to ward off these evil spirits that were supposed to be around and also hid broomsticks.

Read the book to find out why they hid broomsticks in Sweden and more!

The Easter Book

The Easter Book– Amazon Kindle Version

The Easter Book– Other E-reader formats including Epub, Palm Doc and more

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Around where I live in Sweden there’s nothing but woods and forests and this is perfect for all kinds of animals including moose (elk) and deer to roam peacefully without human’s bothering them. I have seen a few deer since coming here although never a buck, only kids and females. As for a moose, well I am beginning to think they are the stuff of legends! Never, ever seen one in the wild!

This time of year all the hunters around here are getting ready for the oncoming season. It means they start to have practice sessions and fine tune their rifles in the woods nearby, they also build hides and hunting platforms which I guess they will use once the season is upon us.

Hunting Guide.

The hunting season itself in Sweden is a little varied depending on which species you want to hunt.

Roe Deer: The hunting season starts in August when you can hunt for the bucks then from today, 01st October you can hunt for all Roe Deer.

Moose (Elk): The hunting season for moose varies too. In Northern Sweden the season has already started as it starts in September, the South started today, 01st October.

There are many different species of animals and birds you can hunt for in Sweden including Grouse, Capercaillie (which is a kind of Grouse), Hazel Hen and then animals like the Bear and Beaver. Sweden did have a Wolf cull last year, 2009, which courted much controversy. In fact they now have to re-import Wolves from other countries as they shot most of their own.

Can Anyone Hunt?

To hunt in Sweden is not really easy to do but visitors can go on a hunt if they hold a hunters permit and have insurance. You must not go it alone rather use a hunting co-operative or go with another hunter. There are many laws when hunting so it pays to take advice before you do anything. 

 

Anyway we were out walking a few days ago and saw a well hidden hide in the corner of the field. Now when hunters build these stands they are well constructed but basic with no coverage on it and certainly not hidden, this 1, well.

As you can see from the following pictures most are rather crudely made although they are sturdy enough. They also seem to build them anywhere although I am sure they only put them up if an animal has been sighted. I’m not an hunter so I am guessing.

 

 

 

1 in particular was built very well and camouflaged. It was in the corner of the field under a large pine tree, a reasonably good arc of fire with open ground all around it.

Whoever built this must have prior knowledge of something they wanted to hunt around here, what though I have no idea.

 

 

As you can see it’s rather well hidden and would almost certainly be well hidden for anything that comes through the trees in front of it.

I have no idea who built this but it’s probably a farmer around here with too much time on his hands if you ask me. 1 thing, it’s right close to the road so I hope they are careful if they do use this, the last thing they want is to be arrested. Actually that might be a good idea, at least the animals would be safe.

I am going to keep my eyes peeled in the next few days and weeks and listen for gun shots. I will even walk down there and see if it’s still there. 1 things certain though: Now it’s hunting season around here I WILL NOT go into the woods anytime soon!!!

I spend quite a lot of time in Southern Sweden in a small 300 year old house. All

around me are fields and trees, trees and, erm, trees. Well there were lots of trees. Apparently the Swedish Government have given permission for logging companies to go ahead and cut down whatever they want to. Originally it was cut a tree down you replace it with another, but it seems that’s gone out of the window, around here anyway.

On the way to the next village which is 3 kilometres away there are swathes of trees from pine to silver birch. As you can see form the first 2 pictures it’s very thick which is a haven for all kinds of wildlife. It was here last year that we saw a Ural Owl by the side of the road scavenging. That owl was huge and wonderful but it wouldn’t hang around while we took a picture.

Now on the other side of the road:

It seems they have cut down MOST of the pine trees and left some of the silver birch standing, BUT also cut down lots of smaller trees.

It really is sad to see all those magnificent trees cut down and taken away on those large logging trucks. They seem to work day & night too which is a nuisance when you are trying to sleep.

It’s not just this area where they are cutting down the trees. All over this area they are going into once wonderful forests and cutting them down. They seem to cut from the inside out, maybe that’s just me though.

Today I was checking my Twitter account (@SensibleLiving) and someone I follow posted a link to a website that is trying to get Europe to STOP this ILLEGAL logging. @stephenfry the wonderful comedian, philosopher and general wonderful man posted this link on Twitter:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_trees_not_tricks/?vl

PLEASE follow this link and fill out the form. It only takes a few seconds BUT could make our Governments take notice and action against these Governments which are ILLEGALLY cutting down our beautiful forests for their gains.

Do you really want to go from this:

To this:

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I am fortunate enough to live in an area where there are a few lakes nearby. Actually you aren’t far from a lake no matter where you are in Sweden.

1 lake in particular is called the Övden. Its a small lake when you compare it to the likes of the Åsnen which is also nearby and a quite impressive 150 kilometres long.

Nevertheless its a popular lake with locals and visitors alike but at one time it was a hidden gem with only the locals and a few curious holiday makers who stumbled on it. The lake itself is situated just of the 126 road just past Lönashult. To get to it you have to drive down a 1 kilometre road which is only wide enough for 1 car most of the time. All along the road are pine and silver birch trees lining the road and you get the sense you are driving into a large forest and can be a little intimidating. At the end the road opens up and you are presented with a glimpse of the lake in front of you and a rather large car park.

As I said Övden was once a hidden gem around these parts but now during the summer there are lots of tourists from Denmark, Germany and other parts of Sweden, all clambering to get the best spot so they can sunbathe after taking a dip in the rather warm water. We love to come here as well and soak up the warm summer sun and get our feet wet. Well actually I don’t always go for a swim. Why? Well I like to sit and watch the world go by, write and maybe read while the boss swims.

In summer there’s a jetty which allows swimmers to go quite far into the water before jumping into the water. Diving in isn’t recommended in any lake in Sweden as underneath the water lies hidden obstacles. I am talking about stones and large ones too that have been left over from the last ice age. It seems Sweden was a dumping ground for these rocks as the ice age slowly moved Northwards. They are everywhere, even in the farmers fields and my garden.

And yes there’s also a small beach which is a firm favourite with kids.

There are some amenities too including a toilet which doubles as a changing room, and a BBQ area. The BBQ is popular with the local kids around here and during summer they like to have BBQ’s and drink a few tinnies. Of Coke and Fanta not alcohol, this is Sweden after all!

Don’t expect the loo to be comfortable with soft clean towels. Instead it’s a portaloo inside a wooden shed but Hey! Most places in Britain don’t offer you a rock to sit on!

There was once a phone but it seems it doesn’t work anymore. Actually it’s been removed but they left the box.

 

 

 

 

 

I love coming here around this time of year, early autumn. It’s peaceful and calm with only a few birds making a noise. I love to walk through the woods that surround the lake and take pictures with my trusty Kodak Z730. Also at this time of year there are lots of mushrooms and toadstools growing and I love to take pics of them, but I will post that another time.

 

 

 

 

One thing that could be a problem when I go traipsing off into the woods, hunters. I don’t want to get shot by some half a sleep hunter who thinks I am worth shooting! I always think of the film Hot Shots! and the hunter scene!!

 

Soon the lake will be frozen and snow will lie all around as another Scandinavian winter arrives. But until then I am going out and enjoying the early autumn. It truly is a wonderful and magical time of year.

The local transport authority started putting these along the road early last week:

They are there so drivers can see where the road ends and the grass, or in most cases near me, where the ditch starts!! Last winter I saw lots of cars in the ditches near me as they had slid off the road. The snow had completely filled and covered the ditches and most drivers never knew they were there until they slid into them!

It only seems like the week before that they removed them, now they are putting them back again!

Now I know winter’s just around the corner. I hope it’s not as bad as last winter, snow from the 15th of December and it stayed on the ground until the end of March.

Where did the summer go??

I have spent an hour this morning assessing the damage after the wet and windy weather we have had over the last couple of days. I have lost a load of apples from the apple trees and 1 of the roses has been snapped at the stem. It seems to be alive still but it’s the only stem I have on this old rose so hopefully I can fix it up and secure it too a trellis.

I have been seed collecting too and collected a few poppy seed pods, sweet pea’s and also Pot Marigold or Calendula officinalis. These are German seeds and they call them Ringelblume.

I love these as they have beautiful yellow and orange flower heads which the insects love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One other thing I have done this morning is pick plums from one of the trees we have. I didn’t go up any ladders this time as last time I fell off! Instead I took the one’s I could reach. I managed to get 3 kilos of plums and there’s still more higher up in the tree. Add them to the 3 kilos we got last week and we have picked 6 kilos of plums from one tree. I am pleased with that as I am sure the other half will be too.

Happy Birthday to You.

Squashed Tomatoes and Stew.

Bread and Butter in the Gutter.

Happy Birthday to You!

It’s also a very special day today for someone who I know. Yep the old timer has a birthday today! No not me but the boss, she is 21 again today so Happy Birthday to her!

Oh well that’s enough fun for one day, better get back to writing now!!

One thing I have in my garden is butterflies. Hundreds of them all day everyday, during the summer that is!

Today I had this one turn up.

I snapped quite a few pictures then spent over an hour on the net trying to work out what species it is.

Anyone know what species this beautiful butterfly is?? There are 120 different species of butterfly in Sweden so it must be one of them, I just can’t find the one it belongs to!

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