Earlier this past week I was at the Swedish Consulate in New York City and picked up The Swedish Kitchen by Liselotte Forslin, published by Svenska Institutet. As I settled in for a relaxing evening with my family yesterday I thumbed through the pages and had to take a great long pause at the ‘Cosy Friday’ section. I had forgotten about the term fredagsmys and it’s cozy, familial implications. Friday evenings at home with your family have an entire tradition surrounding them in Sweden, connected to food rituals and deeply ingrained in the national conscious.
I started my Friday Feast this year in part to transform the energy of an evening that I often find to be problematic. My husband even joked earlier this year, asking if I had been cursed by a gypsy regarding Friday nights. Last night we watched comedian Iliza Shlesinger’s Confirmed Kills and her bit about party goblins hit the mark for me (and was hilarious). If I even think about heading out on a Friday night my party goblin will start putting her dancing shoes on. Of course, as mother to a young child, going out at night period is pretty non-existent on my priorities list anyway….
Yes, I believe in the energy of days. Saturday nights have been easy for me- dynamic and lovely. But I realized a good long while ago that Friday nights posed some sort of secret challenge. Certainly solving the riddle did include staying tight and cozy at home. In my university years I recognized it was more satisfying for me to do creative work at home those nights and save Saturday for the socializing. But I wanted to elevate and transform the energy with some rituals of my own, as simple as they may be.
Cooking was an obvious solution. It’s of course not the only day I cook but there’s something special about Friday Feast for me. I am often thinking of dishes with the idea in mind of perfecting family favorites or experimenting with various plates to develop favorites for future meals and vegan food tasting parties.
I usually don’t nap with my son but yesterday I did. It wasn’t a normal nap but rather a late in the day, extended one (almost 3 hours). The type of nap that leaves you feeling a bit disoriented in the evening. But my husband had a plan. Mediterranean tasting plates are a fixture in our house- we are constantly working on improving and perfecting our garlic rich homemade hummus. As our son and I settled into the living room for the evening, he got busy in the kitchen, blending chickpeas and chopping veggies for a simple but rich and flavorful plate of onions, tomatoes, warmed naan and pickles. We settled in for the night to watch a romantic comedy and stand up special and play cars with our son. The perfect Fredagsmys.
From The Swedish Kitchen by Liselotte Forslin