Saturday, April 13, 2013

Signs you are raising a Swedish/American kid

So Little Swede is now 3, and showing signs of being a well-integrated Swedish-American kid. What are some signs you may be raising a Swedish/American style kid?

Ketchup on Pasta – Yes, I tried in vein to prevent this culinary disaster, but Little Swede loves ketchup on his pasta. And hates macaroni and cheese. How did this happen to my child? I do not know. 10 points for Sweden, 0 for the USA.

Peanut Butter and Jelly – Any time we go anywhere and sandwiches are served (open-face of course), Little Swede requests peanut butter. And guess what? No one ever has any. Not only does Little Swede LOVE peanut butter. He likes it with jelly, too. And when we are out of jelly, he will demand it with marmalade (???? British touches here?). No crusts allowed from the time he could speak. Kid is even more American than I am. I hate PB&J and go for straight up PB. Seriously. Every day for lunch, for the first 5 years of my schooling, I had peanut butter on white bread. (Yay for American schooling and no cafeteria) 0 Points for Sweden 5 Points for USA

Makes a mean pancake – Yes, by the age of 3, my Little Swede already knows how to whip up some killer pancakes from scratch. No we don’t let him flip them on the stove himself yet (he isn’t Pippi Longstocking – athough he wishes he was), but we do let him make the batter and keep an eye on everything. I still do not know how to make a decent Swedish pancake. But that’s OK I make a mean American Mickey Mouse pancake and THAT gets bonus points for me. 5 points for Sweden that the kid even knows that food is cooked in the kitchen not the restaurant.

Mamma says ‘cawfee’ – in perhaps the best thing ever, Little Swede shows off what little is left of my Jersey accent by telling everyone that Mamma drinks ‘Cawfee’ and Pappa drinks 'kafe'. Cawfee kicks kafe’s bottom. I think this about ties things up for America and Sweden, don’t you? 


  1. Ketchup on pasta is Swedish??? Things must have changed since I lived there.

  2. I don't know when you lived here Umepojk, but I've been living in Stockholm for my entire life, nearly 40 years, and ketchup on pasta has been a must for everyone I know since I was a child! And I love it myself, to me it's a mystery why anyone would object, it tastes so good, what's the problem? And don't say it's not fancy enough, that's not valid coming from americans... ;)

    1. Are you implying that macaroni and cheese out of a box with day-glo orange cheese powder ain't classy? Thank god the Canadians love it, too. We are not alone!

      Ketchup on pasta or macaroni has always just been considered rather 'WT' (white trash) in the US. Why this is? I could hazard a guess, but not going to bother. I'll let Little Swede enjoy his pasta and ketchup, while I horde all of the day-glo cheese!

    2. Well, as log as Little Swede eats in in Sweden, he will be considered perfectly normal and not WT at all! :D

      And I like making macaroni and mixing it with a little onion and a lot of cheese, in the pan so the cheese melts, and then I eat it with a spoon. Only when alone... :D I have never had american marcaroni and cheese, but maybe I would like that too then!

    3. (But when I eat macaroni with meatballs, it's always a lot of ketchup on both!)

    4. Oooh, is it an issue of me calling macaroni - pasta and vice versa? This has tripped us up a few times here in our house -- I ask The Swede to pick up some macaroni from the store and he always gets 'snabb makaroner' when I mean like penne or something, so I started calling it pasta so that I don't end up with snabbmakaroner all the time.... Sometime when you THINK you are speaking the same language, you still aren't! :)

  3. Glad to hear there is at least one Swede out there who doesn't put ketchup on their pasta Umepojk! In my anecdotal experience, my friends from Stockholm, Gothenburg & Malmö all do -- and so I will just sweep my brush and say all Swedes! :)

    I was introduced to it by my Swedish friend when I was 8 (so more than 20 years ago) snabbmakaroner and ketchup. My mother had a heart attack. My son calls it 'lunch'

  4. I love your blog! Im so glad I found it! I am a US lady and considering moving to Sweden with my fiance. Its wonderful reading about your experiences and perspective!