Crayfish and the end of summer

Two things are really important for me during the month of August: eating crayfish with friends and family, and taking a tour to the islands in Stockholm’s gorgeous archipelago.

Opinions always go high as to which brand of crayfish are this year’s best. Each newspaper publishes their own #1, people talk about the best crayfish they have ever eaten, and friends meet to have a crayfish testing party. For these one usually starts with the cheapest crayfish (and least tasty) and ends with the most expensive ones that often also are the tastiest (not always though). Ever since I cooked my own crayfish, some 15 years ago (caught in a lake in southeast Sweden, and cooked according to an old recipe of a colleague’s grandmother) I refuse to buy imported crayfish. Nothing compares to freshly caught and cooked crayfish (with loads of dill, of course) – the taste is absolutely fabulous.

My first crayfish tasting of this year was last Friday at a friend’s home – crayfish caught in Lake Vättern, and accompanied by cheese, bread, beer and snaps. Delicious! The next crayfish party will be with my whole family in a week’s time. Probably we will (at least partly) follow the suggestions published yesterday in DN: eating crayfish the way Strindberg may have eaten them! Sounds great!

Luckily the weather was great this weekend (it almost always is in Stockholm :-)), so I could take a trip out in the archipelago. Stockholm’s archipelago has more than 30,000 islands and small rocky islets. A boat trip passing through the narrow passages between the island and with views on the sea, the many picturesque houses, the predominantly pine forests, and all the sailing boats is really an experience. This year’s excursion went to Finhamn, a rather large island to the northeast. Finhamn has for a long time been a typical holiday island for Stockholmers and has many small and simple cottages, a large and pretty youth hostel and a good restaurant (we tried it!). Although many people visit Finhamn, it was quiet and really pleasant. There is not much of a sandy beach, but the huge polished rocks are great for enjoying the sun, and the small paths through pine forests make for an easy hike. Next year I will explore another island, and maybe, and hopefully I will even find time for my long-planned island hopping, before the summer comes to an end.

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