Miscellany

Tuesday, 24 April 2012



White petals


Exuberant tulip


Delicate quince blossom


April showers


Salt and pepper squid.
With squid-hater George away at the weekend we feasted.
I used frozen squid tubes, sliced them into rings, tossed them in a bag of cornflour, sea salt and coarsely crushed black peppercorns before frying them in about half a centimetre of oil.
We ate them hot from the pan with a squeeze of lemon and some bought mayonnaise to which I added more lemon juice and crushed garlic.
Utterly fabulous.


Simple, frugal supper.
Moong dal, chapatti and cucumber raita



Coconut ice cream.
I made this pudding  to use up some double cream leftover from the weekend. It's one of the easiest puddings in the world. Today I had the brilliant idea of pouring it into my ice cream maker.
It was delicious. If only I'd thought to make some chocolate sauce we could have had Bounty sundaes.

Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia in the Danish crime drama The Bridge.

The Bridge
New scandicrime Saturdays on BBC4.
Ooh, this one is good, but then they all are. It's Swedish and Danish. The bridge of the title is Oresund Bridge which links the two countries. Copenhagen and Malmo are only 40 minutes apart. A body is left lying on the bridge across the line which separates Sweden and Denmark. Swedish detective Saga Norén is in charge assisted by Danish detective Martin Rohde. She has no social skills whatever and appears to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum, his social skills are perhaps a little too good as he has several children by different women. When we meet him he is recovering from a vasectomy. The story quickly becomes complex and compelling.

I'm fascinated by language and I'd love to know which language is used when Swedish and Danish characters are talking. Rohde addresses a roomful of Swedes and is met with a blank stare of incomprehension. He repeats himself slowly and they understand. Is he speaking Swedish with a strong Danish accent or is he speaking Danish too fast for the Swedes to understand?  If there are any Danes or Swedes reading I'd love to know how it all works between you.


39 comments:

  1. That ice cream looks and sounds delicious! Making me very hungry xx

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  2. Oh my goodness, salt and pepper squid is one of my top ten favourite snacks. I love it with garlic mayo. Is it really as simple as you make it sound?

    Going to have to google that Indian dish because I have no idea what it is but imagine it's lovely.

    Nicki

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    1. Yes Nicki the squid is that simple. The dal is just moong or mung beans which have been hulled and split (I bought mine at Tesco)cooked with spices and stock until soft -about 30 mins. It's like a soup really only with less liquid.

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  3. Love squid - reminds us of holidays in Ibiza. Coconut icecream sounds divine!
    Victoria xx

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  4. Lovely post Sue. That squid looks lovely & has reminded me that I have some hanging about in my freezer too. We are also enjoying 'the Bridge'. After 'The Killing' and 'Borgen' Mark & I like to think that we are fluent in Danish. In reality - not an idea. Hmm. Think the languages are similar - like Spanish & Italian. They can understand each other but they are not exactly the same.

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  5. Lurve squid. Will have to get some. Soon.
    And I need to watch Scandicrime on catch up tomorrow while I do the ironing.
    What lovely things to look forward to. Ax

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    1. Wow, can you Iron and read subtitles at the same time or are you fluent in Scandi?

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  6. It is like Karen (post #4) says: We understand each other but it is two different languages.

    At lot of the words are close or the same but pronounced different. Then some words can't be compared at all and some words are completely different but exists in both languages but have there own meaning. An example of that is "taske". In Danish it's a handbag and in Swedish a whore! :)

    To me - I'm Danish - I think Swedes sing more when they speak compared to Danish.

    Okay, and now it gets really crazy! Both Swedes and Danes understand Norwegian as well and the spelling is very close to Danish but with a lot of spelling mistakes. So there you go. :)

    I haven't seen the actual series but I bet he speaks Danish very slow. The joke is that the Swedes don't understand Danish as good as we understand Swedish. This is due to us watching Swedish television but only the people in southern Sweden can see Danish television. Or that's how it used to be before cable TV.

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    1. T, tak! (I hope that is the Danish spelling and not the Swedish) That's really interesting. How wonderful that not only do you all understand each other but you all seem to speak fantastic English as well. I bet you Danes speak German too.

      I think we are lazy about languages because English is spoken in the US and therefore everyone learns it. Also we have only one border and that's with an English speaking country.

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    2. Hi Sue,

      You're spot on with the spelling! In Swedish it's tack.

      I did have 3 years of German language but never really used it which is a shame. I do understand a fair bit though but when it comes to speaking it it's a whole other story. The grammar is tough but if I have to I can make myself to be understood.

      When you come from a small country you have to learn to speak one or more of the major languages and English seems to be the first one to learn in Scandinavia. I started to learn English at 11 but today the pupils get it when 9 years old.

      Best wishes,
      Tanne

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  7. I am unforgiveably neither Danish nor Swedish but I took delivery today of a goodly supply of gram flour so that I could try those flatbreads you mentioned. I wondered, as I packed it away, what you keep in your store cupboard (as many cookbooks have such a section) - did I miss a post on that along the way?

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    1. Mise, you are forgiven for being neither Danish nor Swedish because being Irish wins hands down over any other nationality.

      I did indeed write a storecupboard post a while ago. It's here
      http://thequincetree65.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/old-mother-hubbard.html

      The post preceding it is also about storecupboard stuff. There's no mention of gram flour I'm afraid, that's a new addition to my shelves.

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  8. Totally off subject-my grandparents were from Denmark and when my grandfather drank, his vocabulary became a muddle of both languages which we called Dinglish. We never learned the tongue because he wouldn't allow it, "we're American now" he would say...until he got drunk. Dee

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  9. DeborahS8:46 am BST

    I've been visiting close friends in Denmark for about 30 years now and over the years have learnt to understand a lot of Danish. Its been a real treat watching the Danish crime stuff on TV,and improving my grasp of the language at the same time. I managed to 'get my ear in' with Swedish through watching lots of Wallender,and now am entertained through The Bridge by following as much of the Danish as I can and picking up the odd word of Swedish too.

    I'm a great believer in the power of tuning in to the music of a language as a real key to helping learn it.

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    1. Absolutely Deborah. I suspect that the ability to tune in is what makes someone good at learning a language. My husband doesn't have it all and can't understand how I can tell Dutch from German (for example) when I can't speak either. Danish definitely sounds different to Swedish.

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  10. Oh, you and your ice-cream maker. That's cheating! (I'm enjoying The Bridge too, though it took us nearly a full episode to be entirely sure that the woman with the two children and the policewomen weren't the same person. Could they not cast people with at least a different haircut?)

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    1. Did you spot Vagn from the Killing as the father of the heart donor?

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    2. I did, Sue! Was beginning to think it was my imagination as he doesn't appear in later episodes. I thought I'd got over my Scandi habit after Those Who Kill - I felt a bit grubby after watching that - but I'm hooked again, it's almost as good as The Killing.
      Completely agree with Coffee Lady about those confusing hairstyles, though ... I was in quite a muddle!

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  11. Your ice cream looks delicious. Oh and it definitely isn't cheating?! I don't like any of those TV programmes - why does any drama have to involve murder, decapitation and strangling (usually of women?) Far too much crime happens in real life to want to read about it or see it on TV. The stuff of nightmares for me, so I really can’t watch it. I don't want Cranford either, just a regular involving drama that I can still get my teeth into but don't need a stomach of steel for. I bet that Denmark and Sweden produce some and would love to see that exported instead.

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    1. You might have enjoyed Borgen Faye. That was a Danish political drama all about coalition politics. Not the most thrilling of subjects you might think but surprisingly gripping and wonderfully acted.

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  12. A new scandi crime series! Hurrah! How did I miss that? Probably because Game of Thrones is my current guilty pleasure (totally OTT, fabulously wooden acting and some fabulously fabulous acting, lots of cod-shakespearean dialogue, and just utterly bonkers - dragons too!) So something a little more grounded would be perfect to fill the evenings when I am awaiting the next instalment from Love Film.
    Squid looks good too. I once told the girls that it was home made monster munch, that seemed to do the trick.

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    1. Oh I quite fancied that, hasn't got Sean Bean in? It's on Sky isn't it? - which we don't get. I recently gave up Love Film because nearly every disc I got seemed to be damaged.

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  13. Pati from London2:00 pm BST

    mmm...I can smell the skid from here, they look yum! How many episodes of the scandi thriller have we already missed? x Pati

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    1. Two, Pati. They may be repeated during the week.

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    2. Pati from London3:28 pm BST

      Oh dear... Am not sure whether I'll have the time to catch up as I'm in the middle of my Uni exam's revision.... (It's tempting though!). Sorry about the spelling mistake yesterday, I meant squid (obviously!). x Pati

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    3. Pati from London3:31 pm BST

      Sorry, I forgot to mention that I love squids like you cooked them but in the Spanish Basque region, where I come from, we traditionally cook them in their own ink and they are easy to make and delish... but some people get scared as the dish is black! :-)

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  14. Hello
    I too am a fan of the Scandi thriller and spent a entire Sunday watching The Killing on BBC i-player. My family were a bit peeved but hey-ho! Pati could catch the two episodes that way.

    By the way Sue, your blog is brilliant - LOVE the photos and the recipes, two things very close to my heart. I am a fledgling blogger and recently became owner of a Nikon D3000. The family are growing used to my cries of 'no you can't eat it until I've taken a photo' ....

    Looking forward to reading your next post.

    Carole

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  15. Anna King8:37 pm BST

    We are loving The Bridge too, watched both episodes on iplayer last night. I feel that if I watch enough Scandi dramas, I may end up fluent in Swedish/Danish through osmosis. Unlikely but so far can say thank you (tack) and goodbye (hey do.
    How did you take sunshiney photographs? We have only had wind,rain and thunder here in West London.

    xx

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    1. We had quite a spell of sunny weather yesterday morning so I rushed into the garden and made the most of it.

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  16. Anonymous10:01 pm BST

    wow, the squid looks amazing, I love it and always order it in restaurents (Carluccios in Stratford do an amazing one) but have never done it at home. Tesco don't seem to sell frozen squid in my postcode-do you mind me asking where you buy yours from?x

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    1. I bought frozen squid tubes from Waitrose. There were 4-6 large tubes in a 400g bag. They were £3.59 a bag.

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  17. I loved all your blossom shots and that quince blossom is beautiful - I must look out for it when I go on my walks.
    I wish your food shots weren't quite so delicious looking, I've been trying to do my spring diet since before Easter (very bad idea with all that chocolate in the home!) Now I'm managing better, though weekends are holding me back... I'm sure you know the story!
    Your April showers shot on leaves is lovely and fresh looking. April is certainly living up to its reputation this year and the March winds, which we didn't have in March, are trying to get their own back. What on earth will happen in May?!
    If you like detective stories with a touch of Swedish, do you know the Henning Mankel series with Inspector Wallander? I've read them all and they're pretty terrifying and yet so well written, you can't put them down. Some of the stories were even made into films with actor Kenneth Brannagh as Wallander... maybe a little miscast as I had imagined the detective quite differently.
    Have a good day!

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    1. Sandra, I haven't read any Wallander but I saw the Branagh films. I also saw the Swedish ones with Krister Henriksson which were excellent. They were my first experience of Scandinavian drama.

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  18. Sue do you take the Radio Times, the one for the current week has a breakdown of all the Scandi drama we can expect to see on television soon. Finally, the second half of the US version of the Killing will air next week. But I'm sure it won't compete with The Bridge which I agree was compelling.

    I was trying to learn Norwegian a while back when a possible move to Norway was on the cards. Sadly that didn't happen - although as you're basically required to learn two dialects and I'm not great at languages it was actually something of a relief! - but I do find I understand some of the words in Danish and Swedish. Only problem is, having married into a family that was Polish until a few generations ago I also have a smattering of Polish and I get muddled when words are the same. For example Tak in Polish is yes!

    A Swedish work colleague told my husband that a Swede living in Malmo will be entirely intelligible to a Dane, but that if your Swede is from Stockholm that's less likely. I found it telling when the actor who had recorded the tapes said that the requirement was for a standard language speaker. I wonder how many different dialects there are in these languages, anyone know?

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    1. Just bought the RT, will check that article out, tak!

      It is fascinating isn't it? I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds language so interesting.

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  19. Sue, I am new to your blog, and how lovely it is! I love squid but for some unknown reason have never though to cook it at home, I will have to try. We are regular daal eaters though, even the toddler. As for the Bridge, I have it lined up on iplayer as I love the scandinavian offerings that are coming thick and fast at the moment.

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  20. Being Swedish from Lund (very close to Malmö) I do understand Danish when spoken slowly - and when not spoken in a too broad dialect. Actually, I find Norwegian easier to understand. However, people from northern parts of Sweden tend to find Danish almost impossible to understand, but then again, they pretent not to understand us southeners either....

    I believe that most Danish understand a slow Swedish too.

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    1. Tack Irene,I'm finding this all so interesting.

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  21. Oh! that squid looks delicious, and I want to watch that show, too, but I don't think we get it here. Hmm. Maybe I can find it. Hmmm.

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