Thursday, September 4, 2014

The 3-Week Plan: Day 4

The husband´s plans were changed again, and we were back on the original Thursday plan of soup and cheesecake.

For some reason, I have spinach in the freezer, can´t think why, but it needs to be eaten. I also had a portion of mixed-root-vegetable-mash leftover, so I made that into a soup, seasoned with nutmeg, and served it with hard-boiled eggs.

After a vegetable soup, some sort of pancake-type thing is called for (or so we think) and I have been pining for Swedish cheesecake, ostkaka, for weeks. This is nothing like English cheesecake, actually it is not a cake at all, but rather a pudding. Ostkaka is an ancient dish with roots in the Middle Ages or earlier, perhaps mostly associated with Småland nowadays, a southern region that I have spent a lot of time in, as my mother is born there and her family´s presence is documented there since as far back as there are reliable church records, at least 500 years.

When I was little and we stayed with my grandparents, my grandmother always bought ostkaka from Vrigstad. Unfortunately, that particular ostkaka is not available here, so I had to make do with something that claims to have a more northern flavour. I should, absolutely, try to make my own next time. It´s a bit complicated if you make it properly, with rennet and milk, but you can cheat and go with cottage cheese. I would, I think. Maybe next time.

The husband was very happy with the soup, he pronounced it "the best spinach soup ever", which was nice of him. With ostkaka one must have jam, and it´s been a while since I made my own, but I found a new one in the store, an ecological wild-raspberry jam, that was very tasty.


  1. I remember my first cheesecake, which I have since learned was New York style. It was a pie, not a cake, and didn't taste anything like cheese lol I like cherries on mine.

    1. Cherries are wonderful. I mostly associate cherry jam with Salzburger nockerl, which is a kind of sufflé that I haven´t made in years - must make it soon! My grandmother always served ostkaka with strawberry jam. Never whipped cream, but many people use that as well. It makes it a bit too heavy, we think, more dessert-like, not so much like a second dish.

    2. Around here cheesecake is definitely a dessert, served as a pie wedge much firmer than your photo. The fruit topping is more like, oh... do y'all have canned pie fillings? More like the cherries that would be used for cherry pie filling than a jam. When I think cheesecake, I think this:

      I've never seen anything like Salzburger Nockerl

    3. Yes, that´s the kind of cheesecake that Swedes would call "cheesecake" as opposed to "ostkaka". It´s popular for fika, but not so much as a dessert, and it´s definitely an import of later years, but we have incorporated it as we did pizza and china food.

      I remember tinned cherry pie filling from my year in Iowa, one of my host mums used to put it in her recipe (which was a ready-mix from the store) for brownies. I have never seen anything like that in a Swedish store, but perhaps you can get it in Stockholm at those who specialize in importing foreign foods, I don´t know.

      I like cheesecake-cheesecake, for fika, but it´s a whole different creature than ostkaka-cheesecake, which is more food-y than fika-y, if you see what I mean. ;-)