Scandinavian Smorgasbord

Smorgasboard (3)

Travis final recipe from his Swedish themed Raddish Kids was a full smorgasbord of recipes… literally! This loaner word to English (which we translate as “buffet”) actually translates to “sandwich table” in Swedish. Travis learned that in Sweden, you take five trips to the buffet table for a different course each time, including some we wanted to try and some that were decidedly not vegan (pickled herring, gravlax). We loved this recipe trio of side dishes to go with the meal, and served it with rye bread and our leftover meatballs.

Smorgasboard (2)


For the Swedish preserves:

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 water

For the pickled cucumbers:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the dill potatoes:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds baby gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. To prepare the preserves, zest the lemon with a grater. Reserve the lemon for another use. Add the zest to a pot, along with the cranberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the cranberries pop. Let cool at least 10 minutes and your preserves will thicken. These can be made in advance, too!Smorgasboard (5)
  2. To prepare the cucumbers, cut the cucumber in half and grate into thin slices with the long slit of a grater. Combine the cucumbers in a bowl with the cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tbsp sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.Smorgasboard (4)
  3. To prepare the potatoes, combine them in a pot with 1 tablespoon salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until very tender. Drain.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the sour cream, dill, and black pepper in a small bowl. Serve the dip with the potatoes.Smorgasboard (6)

What a different meal this was! Definitely a great way to introduce your kids to new flavors, smells, combinations, and food customs.

As a little exercise, I then challenged Travis to imagine his own dream smorgasbord. I read a little more about the history of the term for him and we watched a quick clip of proper smorgasbord set-up.

I had Travis check out Sweden’s location on a map, which helped him understand why the Swedish diet was so heavy on fish.

Dream Smorgasbord (1)

Travis went through a few food magazines and cookbooks to find inspiration for his version.

Dream Smorgasbord (3)

As luck would have it, I had most of these items on hand, which meant he could have a smorgasbord lunch of: French fries, vegan fish (so appropriate!), tofu salad, and brownie cookies.

Dream Smorgasbord (5)

For some final learning with the meal, we read about Swedish Handicrafts like wooden Dala horses, traditionally carved in front of a fireplace in the dark days of winter.

Dala Horse (1)

Rather than wood, Raddish provided a cardboard cutout of a horse to color in. Travis thought gluing on the head was fun!

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We capped it all off with a Swedish food wood search.

Dala Horse (2)

Your Child’s Voice

Child's Voice (1)

I haven’t recorded Veronika since she was still in the babbling phase. Now, she’s using words, phrases, and even full sentences, and I wanted to make sure to capture the moment. You’ll probably have to try several times before you capture the sounds you want in a game like this, but set aside some time today for audio recording, no matter what age your child is!

In the good old days this task would have required a cassette player and tape and lots of patience. Today, I just tapped the voice record app on my smart phone and sat down by Veronika. I gave a brief intro, including her age and the date.

Next I coaxed her with a few cues, like singing the first line of favorite songs. Luckily she played along and chimed right in. Old Macdonald Had a Farm is a favorite, for example and I caught her on tape calling it “e-i-e-i”.

Child's Voice (2)

She asks for lots of songs like this, including, “uppa” for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (as in: “up above the world so high”).

Child's Voice (3)

Once we’d recorded a few songs, I tried tricking her into saying current favorite phrases. Her first full sentence is “All done with…” whenever we finish something, i.e. “All done with diaper,” “All done with water,” etc. I got the recorder ready as these moments approached over the course of the day, and captured her little voice saying the words. “All done with dinner!”

Child's Voice (4)

This is definitely an activity you can return to again and again. Pretty soon you’ll have a whole library of adorable audio clips!