Monday, October 17, 2011

From Crayfish to Steamboat... Welcome to our humble home..

August this year has been busy, with Crayfish season, hence there's an excuse to have Crayfish Parties.   We were having crayfish (1 - 2kg) practically every weekend.  (You can buy them frozen or fresh - they are salted and boiled) Let me tell you, by the end of September, I was so scared of any form of shellfish!

When crayfish season begins, it's a much anticipated event, where friends gather along the table, eat boiled crayfish, have a bit of salad, enjoy some Vรคsterbotten pie (strong and cheesy) and of course, let's not forget the shot of snaps (usually Akvavit - which is 40% alcohol)!

As peeling those tiny critters is quite time consuming, imagine how much alcohol consumption could be digested at this party.  Also, traditionally, there's 'drinking' songs being sung in Swedish before you take a shot of the snaps!

We of course threw one at our place.  We had ours in the beginning of September, which means daylight hours were slowly getting shorter:

We had ours outside our courtyard, but please excuse the scaffolding in the background ;)

As you can see lots of crayfish! and the pie on the left side...

 I think someone's already majorly hammered at this stage..  Too much beer or snaps?!

Camera shy! =D

October month has been pretty cold.  We decided to start throw a steamboat (depending on where you are, some places call them hotpot) party which is excellent to keep away the chill!  So far this month, we had 2 steamboat parties at our place.  As we know, steamboat is not Swedish (heh!!) but it's something S & myself have always enjoyed when living in Asia as well as in Australia.  

All I did was boiled the stock the night before (2 chicken carcases, 2 stalks of spring onions, 3cm ginger and about 5 cloves of garlic).  Most people tend to start with just water, as when we throw those meat/seafood/veg etc into the water, the soup will tend to get tastier by end of the night!  You can make the soup quite spicy if you like or keep it mild as I have done as not many people here can eat spicy =)

Our table setting

Condiments to go with it.  I love the chilli oil and the bamboo shoots!

Noodles - you can use any type of noodles.  I tend to use vermicelli as it's a lot lighter and with so much food, you don't want your guests to get too full on the noodles

Seafood (prawns and octopus) and mushrooms

Welcome to our humble abode =)

Tofu (deep fried and soft) on the left top, chicken and pork slices (sliced finely) on the top right and all types of balls at the bottom (beef balls, fish balls, octopus balls, lobster balls, cuttlefish balls and even pieces of deep fried tofu stuffed with fish paste).  You can buy all these from your asian supermarket!  Yes, even in Stockholm! ;)

Let's not forget the vegetables.  Again, you can find all these at your local asian grocery.  I tend to use 2 - 3 different types of vegs, to give it a bit of variety..

This is traditionally not use for steamboat, but we had to make do with a rice cooker.  Here we put through all the food (it depends on which cook faster, you put them in and lastly put in the vegs as they cook quite instantly) into the pot, and let it sit a while until it boils...  That's when you serve and start tucking into your food

Couple of our guests

Here we are, waiting for our food to cook.

Let's say we don't let our guests go home hungry.  We just had a steamboat on the weekend, and guess who is left slowly eating all the leftover food.. *cries*

Happy Autumn! =)