We’d been planning since Easter, Miss E and I. Amending the menu, adding a dish here a dish there, contemplating what drinks to bring. And then finally the big day came: Midsummer. This tradition won’t make sense if you’re not Scandinavian. No other nationality lust after the light as much as we do. No one takes so much pride in dancing around a May pole, singing songs and drinking snaps. No one understands how awful it feels when your pessimist friend says “That’s it, it will only get darker now”.
That’s why there were over hundred enthusiastic expat Swedes celebrating Midsummer with a massive picnic in Hyde Park on Saturday.
We were a big group gathered around a yellow table cloth, sharing our food and drinks like brothers and sisters (ironically, very non-Swedish). Miss E’s and my food were obviously the most thought through, but there were some other highlights on the table.
We had smoked salmon wraps with cream cheese, chives and chopped spinach.
Potato salad with radishes, lettuce, chives and parsley. Be gone mayo, I say!
And so we began eating. Meatballs, chanterelle quiche, soda bread, sausages, rhubarb vodka (homemade of course) and other bits and bobs.
Check out Miss E, also known as The Pie Lady.
This is about a quarter of all the Swedes (with guests) that were there. Unfortunately you can’t catch a glimpse of the May pole. It was short but we still managed to dance around it.
Bless the Bankers for showing up three hours late and with random food. At least they were well dressed.
It was a successful celebration this year too, and Miss E and I slept happy that night, relieved that meatballs, rhubarb vodka and the salmon wraps came together. Next year however, I’d like to be in the Stockholm archipelago, enjoying sill, snaps and sunset.