Follow Ups


In answer to your burning question, no, I did not make it through an entire weekend eating only the foods that Frida ate. I broke down each day sometime after lunch either through chocolate, salted nuts, or some combination, as in this first-of-the-festive-season plate of white chocolate treats I made to welcome my (possibly diabetic?) neighbor home from the hospital:

with dried blueberries, cherries, and apricots, hazelnuts, walnuts, salted almonds, and golden raisins













On a healthier note, I accidentally used three cups of rye flour instead of three cups of wheat flour in the bread for the Smörgåstårta, and it still came out fine and was relatively easy to slice:

Bread! Sliced! Crusts! Removed!











Turns out 50% of the baby shower attendees, including all four of the ladies, were pregnant! The first layer was salmon-themed, with half beautiful smoked salmon and, on the other portion, a half-assed salmon mousse with lots of black pepper (white-wine-poached salmon, dill, mayo, and whipped cream, but no gelatin because we were eating it in a cake, not as the molded-into-a-mermaid centerpiece of a 1972 3-martini brunch):

smoked salmon, red onion and watercress












The second layer was shrimp, except that 1/4 of it was egg salad for the shrimp-averse. Shrimp salad (boiled rock shrimp, celery, mayo, chives, and lemon juice,) is freaking delicious and makes me want to keep shrimp on hand in the freezer at all times. Also, it’s pretty:

Shrimp allergy? No problem! Wait, how allergic are you?













And then came the third layer of bread and the cream cheese/sour cream mixture (erroneously billed as sour cream/mayo in the previous post, which would have been gross. Cream cheese over mayo any day!)

How is that I'm only now realizing how mid-20th-century this whole enterprise is?!













Then, things turned unintentionally Christmassy, in a dilly shrimp way:










Oh, you’d like an eyeful of that sweet action? Here you go:

and a smoked salmon rosette for the non-pregnant menfolk

So there we have it. Smörgåstårta. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Rye flour? No problem!
  • Anything’s fun if it’s frosted.
  • When you’re washing white wine and champagne glasses after a baby shower at which every single woman was pregnant, you realize that it was only the men drinking the bubbly and the spritzers. For some reason (probably a decade spent in Texas,) this, combined with a complete absence of empty beer/whisky/sour mash bottles, makes me giggle.
  • The 8 of us ate the whole thing (with sides of green and fruit salad) and didn’t need a nap afterwards. Hurrah, Scandanavian food!
  • A 75 cent investment in a shiny cardboard cake board is maybe the best money I’ve ever spent. (Sorry, white chocolate morsels, for your somewhat sad foil-covered paper platedness.)
  • You can wash the salmony cardboard cake board after using it, but it still won’t be reusable. (Mom and Oma Eifert, I’m talking to you. I appreciate your willingness to treat the crusts of the Smörgåstårta bread as viable sandwich material, but next time I’m at your house, I don’t want to see a fishy, warped, 75 cent piece of cardboard stuck in the back of the pantry ‘just in case the smell goes away when it dries.’ Feel free to wash it after use, but only as a favor to the recycling community.)


Here’s the recipe I used for the Smörgåstårta bread, frosting, and layering instructions. (Except for substituting rye flour for the white flour, and molasses for the ‘dark syrup’.) For filling, I think that you could use anything that you’d put on a bagel, especially if it has little crunchy bits in it (onions, celery, cucumber, etc.) The assembly instructions call for moistening the bread layers with sparkling water. I did this, and would definitely recommend it if you’ve made the bread in advance. Even though I made the bread the same day, the extra moistness helped keep the cake together when it was sliced for serving. If you end up making one of these, or something vaugely similar, please let me know! Also, if you went to any smart brunches in 1973, let me know if I’ve recaptured the essence here. Next up? Devils on Horseback!


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