Scenes from a marriage.
Do you remember “Scenes from a marriage” with Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson? It was a Swedish film and mini-series, written and directed by Ingmar Bergman in 1973, and it caused quite a commotion at the time, with its intimate look at a marriage. “Scenes…” is now going to be put up on Dramaten in Stockholm with actors Livia Mullhagen and Jonas Karlsson under the direction of Stefan Larsson. “At first when I was asked, I thought ‘Isn’t that a bit old?,’” admits Karlsson, “but as I read it, there’s a lot I recognize, it’s about our time too. I just have to get rid of the feeling of ‘playing’ Erland Josephson.”

A different kind of semla.
It’s time for semlor – have you had yours? If you’re too tired of the traditional version, here’s a fancier one made of a so-called Karlsbaderdeg, a dough that has more butter and eggs than usual. The Karlsbaderdeg, raspberries and pistachio nuts make these semlor a yummy (and pretty) alternative. Ingredients: 7 Tablespons butter, 7 oz milk, 25 g yeast, ½ teaspoon salt, 3 Tablespoons sugar, 4 egg yolks, 3 cups flour, 1 egg for brushing. Ingredients for filling: 2/3 cup pistachio nuts without shells, ½ cup sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, ¾ cup raspberries, confectioner’s sugar for decoration. Preheat oven to 475˚ F. Melt the butter. Add the milk and make it lukewarm. Crumble the yeast into a big bowl. Pour some of the milk butter liquid into the bowl and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Then pour in the rest of the liquid. Add salt, sugar, egg yolks, and most of the flour. Work the dough until it’s shiny, then pour a little bit of flour on top of it and let it rise till it’s doubled in size under a tea towel. Work the dough on a floured table, divide it into 30 parts and shape them into buns. Put the buns on baking sheets (don’t forget wax paper) and let rise till almost double in size. Beat the egg slightly and brush the buns with it. Bake for 5-8 minutes and let cool under a towel. Meanwhile grind the pistachios. Mix with sugar and milk. Strain the raspberries and whip the heavy cream. Cut off the top part of the bun. Distribute the nut mixture in the semlor, add a dollop of whipped cream and a bit of the raspberries, put back the top and dust a bit of the confectioner’s sugar over it.

A jacket for spring.
There are many jacket models to choose from. In Sweden, the jacket is definitely a focal point this spring. A short-sleeved one perhaps? One with a more masculine feel? Or a striped one?

A woman in Lund bit her former boyfriend in the chest. They had ended a long relationship, and he was just going back to her place to pick up a couple of tires for the car, when they had another fight. They were seated in the car discussing the woman’s new boyfriend, when all of a sudden she got terribly upset and began to claw and bite him. Lunds Tingsrätt (Lund District Court) judged it an assault and the woman has to pay her ex 1020 SEK as well as 3000 SEK in fines.

A drink for each landskap.
Food and wine critic Ulrika Nyström Ljung has written a book called “Landskapsdrinkar” with a drink for each landskap. That requires some serious knowledge about our landskap (districts). The drink has to represent what each landskap is about, and according to the author they do. “It was a lot of fun,” Nyström Ljung says, “and some drinks were easier than others.” She wanted to use fruit and berries local to each landskap. “Salmbär,” she explains, “is a berry that only grows on Gotland, so obviously that went into the ‘Gotlänningen.' I have two favorite drinks but Värmlänningen is the best. It has ripe wild strawberries and rum in it.” Here are some recipes. “Värmlänningen” ingredients: ½ cup wild strawberries, ½ lime, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 3 Tablespoons light rum, sugar, and ice. Stir the wild strawberries with the sugar and let stand until the sugar has melted. Squeeze the lime. Pour a bit of sugar on a saucer, dip a highball glass in lime juice and turn it in the sugar. Pour the lime juice, the wild strawberry/sugar mixture and the rum in a bowl and crush the ingredients with a mortar or something similar. Put the ice in the bowl and mix everything until the drink is smooth, but don’t let the ice melt. Pour into the glass with the sugared rim and serve right away (don’t forget to sing “Ack Värmeland, du sköna”). “Hallänningen” ingredients: 2.5 Tablespoons gin (or soda water for an alcohol free version), 1 Tablespoon concentrated elderflower juice, ½ lime, wild strawberries, lemon balm. Fill a bowl with ice, pour in the juice, the gin (or soda) and the juice of the squeezed lime. Stir. Layer a glass with new ice and wild strawberries. Sift the drink into the glass and garnish with lemon balm or some other edible flower. “Gästrikaren”. Ingredients: 5 oz freshly made coffee, ½ cup coffee liqueur (or a teaspoon of sugar for an alcohol free version), vanilla ice cream (not low fat!), 1 Tablespoon whiskey, a pinch of coffee. Brew the coffee. Let the ice cream sit in the fridge for half an hour. Mix the ice cream and the whiskey in a deep bowl. Use an electrical mixer and make sure the ice cream is soft but not thin. If you get it too thin, put it back in the fridge. Mix the coffee and the liqueur in a glass, put in a spoonful or two of the soft ice cream. Put a pinch of newly ground coffee on top.