Broccoli, Black Bean and Chickpea Pancakes

As of tomorrow I am officially going on a two week hiatus I think. Not sure depends I guess on how much internet access I have and how motivated I am to blog while we are driving from Budapest through Slovenia to the Croatian coast. Rest assured I will be taking notes on all the culinary lovely I will be discovering along the way and share them with you when I get back. I am hoping we will be able to find one of those farmhouses in Slovenia that I have heard about, that invite in people off the road for a home cooked meal. Bring on the freshly milked cow juice, parasites be damned. In any case until then this will be my last recipe for the next minute.

But before that, we will be celebrating one of Sweden’s most beloved holidays, Midsommar. Yes, there is a May Pole shoved into the ground for the celebrations. However, in contrast to the American Maypoles I have experienced, there are no ribbons twined around by boys dressed in leather bibs and girls in milk maid braids. What Sweden has is a pole all dressed in flowers including a cross arm with two wreaths hung at each end at the top. And yes it does look like a mans penis buried in the dirt. Being a naive American I didn’t see the resemblance until a Swede said don’t you see, the wreaths are the testicles and the pole is the penis. Yu need to know that back in the day the men would bury their seed in the fields to ensure a bountiful harvest. Thus today, a population no longer superstitious dressed in modern street clothes, we dance around the may pole slash penis to celebrate the longest day of the year and the growing season ahead. Mostly we just love an excuse to throw a party.

Once the dances and the songs are sung around the Maypole slash penis a buffet of pickled herring and meat balls among other things are put on the table along with an array of herb flavored snaps. Snaps is not to be mixed up with the sweet puck-alicious peppermint schnaps American teenagers are acquainted with. Swedish snaps is essentially vodka enfused with a variety of different herbs and flowers such as elder flower, anis, wormwort, St. John’s Wort…the list goes on. It is served ice cold in a shot glass and is consumed after a song appropriate to the occasion has been sung.

For example roughly translated:

Helan går sjung hop fra la la le. Om inte helan tar inte heller halvan får….It all goes down, sing hop fra la la le, If you don’t drink it in one gulp neither will you get half. It alllll gooooes downnnnnn Sing hop fra la la la le.

In short Midsommar is celebrated with song, dance, pickled fish, lot’s of snaps and a phallic symbol. We start the party midday and end it shortly after sun up just a couple hours after sunset. Depending on where you are in this long country that can mean the sun never sets so the party never stops or the sunsets, but before you can brush your teeth the sun is up again and it’s time to keep going. It’s a lovely experience these white nights, but they come with a price. The summer solstice also marks the waining of the sun. Up until this point the days just get longer. Now they will just get shorter again and for me that is a little depressing. It means winter will be back sooner than it should.

So, while I am not Swedish, in reality have no business trying to even attempt pickled herring, I have made a couple batches of my favorite herring, because Susan hinted that I should, to celebrate my on coming depression. My X’s grandmother’s mustard herring and my own salsa herring that I invented from my garden are now in my fridge awaiting tomorrow.

Here is a German IKEA commercial about Swedish Midsommar that was BANNED by the IKEA head office. The day after is ooohhh soo true actually! Ironic as the German’s really want to be Swedes. It’s pretty funny.

No recipes to follow my skills at herring are far to unpredictable.

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On a completely unrelated subject, this is my attempt at getting away from bacon.


Broccoli, chickpea and black bean pancake mix ready for the pan.

Opps forgot to check the camera settings before I ate it all up.

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Broccoli, Black Bean and Chick Pea Pancakes

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Ingredients

1/2 Can Chick Peas

1/2 Can of Black Beans

4 New Potatoes boiled and chopped

1/4 Cup of Broccoli boiled and separated into small florets

1 Celery Stalk chopped and sauted in olive oil

5-6 Chives chopped

Garlic Salt and Secret Spice

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Directions

Boil your new potatoes and broccoli until soft. In the mean time chop your celery and saute in a splash of olive oil. Whiz your chickpeas until smooth with a hand held mixer or smash with a fork. Add the potatoes, broccoli, celery, chives, garlic salt and secret spice. Mix well. Then in the pan add a bit more olive oil and maybe some regular cooking oil on medium heat. Don’t let the pan smoke it will ruin your olive oil. Add a couple large spoonfuls of the mix into the pan and pat down into a patty. I haven’t used egg or flour to hold it together so it won’t flip in one piece. It will be more something between a pancake and a hash. Saute on each side until it becomes a golden brown. Serve along side eggs and spinach or anything really.

Takes about 20 mins.


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