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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glad Midsommar!

I'll admit it, this post is already several weeks late. Amidst all of our American summer celebrations, I've been distracting myself with thoughts of Scandinavia. Summer here is all lemonade stands, fireworks, sandy picnics at the beach, you know the drill. It's high time we talked about celebrating midsummer right! This week's particular summer-themed Scandinavian fascination comes in the form of Midsommar, the (obviously) mid-summer holiday celebrated in Sweden in late June. Summer in Sweden sounds like a cool drink of fizzy, ergonomically designed minimalist lemonade to me, and I want to go, desperately. Who cares if there are only two months of sunshine every year? The same is true for much of the United States!

My midsommar inspiration was initially sparked by Emmas Designblogg's posts on summer in Sweden: warm days, green grass, sunny skies, what more could you want? Admittedly, living in California as Jeanne and I do, we have a lot of sunny days and green grass, but the allure of Sweden just does not stop. I think it's the novelty of summer days in Sweden and the exuberance of the midsommar celebration is so exciting!

Ida at Interior & Inspiration has lovely pink and white table settings for your summer picnic lunches. Add a couple of citronella candles and we're in business! I love the haphazard flower arrangements, as if the flowers are all just plucked from a sun-drenched field and thrown into glass receptacles from the recycling bin--voila, beautiful!

There's even snapshots of midsommar moments on Flickr, including this mouth-watering gem from Flickr user Staffan Ekstrand:

Mmm, strawberry pavlova...as a summer birthday girl, I can't get enough of desserts like this. This past week, I celebrated my 25th with ice cream cupcakes from Rick's Rather Rich Creamery here in California--a layer of yellow cake, a generous scoop of lemon lavender premium ice cream, topped with a hefty spiral of real lemon frosting with lemon sprinkles. It was HEAVEN.

A cute post at Asian Living in Sweden takes a different perspective on midsommar celebrations--how must Sweden seem to the outside world? In college, we had a huge maypole out on the lawn every single year, with students in dresses and ribbons in their hair dancing around. It was pretty kooky, but a fun, exuberant celebration of springtime when Massachusetts finally starts to thaw out, just a little. Everything seems so simple around the maypole or the midsommar ring dances, the rhythm of life is the easiest to fall into and stay there. I imagine it's a lot like those shows where they put a dozen people in yurts on the English moors and make them live as if it were the year 5 B.C. I'm only exaggerating a little bit.

Food photographer Sweet Paul shares his grandmother's Norwegian recipe for "farmers' daughters dressed in veils," also known as an apple compote parfait. How simple and lovely is that? Obviously, Scandinavia has cornered the market on efficiency and streamlined, flatpacked design, but you can't get any better than a cold dessert designed for maximum deliciousness in every bite. (Note: Japan also has a large stake in the deliciousness factor of parfaits, particularly those involving green tea pudding and ice cream. More on that later.)

Speaking of food, check out Swedish brand Indiska's soft, casual models' summer picnic, just for midsommar. And here's the video for Jonna Lee's second single, "Lake Chermain"--hanging out, rocking out, walking backwards:

THAT's the life, my friends. Cold sparkling drinks, delightful nibbly bits, good friends, short pants, hot summer days, all bound together with a whiff of nostalgia and a touch of whimsy. That's what midsommar is to me, so I'm going to go out and celebrate!

1 comment:

FAPORT International said...

Nice video!! you have a nice post..

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