Now is the time on Sprockets when we post a disconnected jumblage of images with very little accompanying text, because our number of pictures is beginning to far outstrip our time available to write anything meaningful about them.

But we'll try, because the weather is pretty Amsterdammish again today (55°F and cloudy) and we don't have anything terribly ambitious planned for the day. If it gets any warmer, we'll bike to the sea (3km away), if it doesn't we'll stay here and allow me to strike a few more entries on my list of Classic Swedish Movies.

When we were in charmingly collegiate Umeå a couple days ago, among other things, we went to Konsum, which, aside from all of the interesting groceries and extra commas that this sentence is generating, is pretty fascinating in itself in that many people think of it as the "other" giant Swedish retail chain.

We ran into an acquaintance of Anna's in Umeå outside of Konsum (she lived there for 4 years), and he described the situation as being a tale of two retailers, one good, and one evil. He didn't say which one was which.

When Anna was growing up, all of the products really had this generic packaging. Everything. At some point in the 90s, they rebranded and remarketed everything, but they've now relaunched the old-school socialist packaging as a sort of ironic gesture and it's become quite trendy. Here is a much better picture.


Cut to some real Northern Sweden shit here. If you were bothered by the pig's blood crackers the other day, you may want to skip ahead here. But this tasted really good and I'm sure you'd enjoy it very much if you didn't know what it was. It's called (insert forgotten Swedish name here), and it's something that's only eaten at Christmas time, only eaten in Northern Sweden, and Anna's the only person in her family who eats it.

So, you take these crackers we bought the other day, and you soak them in warm chicken or beef broth with a little sugar added (or vegetable stock if you're a vegetarian, ahahahahahah), and then you carefully take them out of the pan and put a couple pats of butter on them and serve with a big dollop of lingonberry preserves. If there were Waffle Houses in hell, this is what they'd serve. It was, frankly, delicious.


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