[11th November 2014]
Ove makes a lot of traditional Swedish food, and back then I always used to ask what he was making and he used to let me taste it in return for a portion of my food when I made dinner. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m mostly a sandwich eater so feeling indebted to him motivated me to cook something involving a cooker or an oven once a week. I’d usually try to hit two birds with one stone by inviting X over for dinner. I’m lazy like that!
Because I already have a circle of friends here, it took me a little while to get to know and start hanging out with Nemi, Summer, and Cecilia*. To be real, other than Ove, I didn’t really instantly become friends with the guys living there either, but in general I think it is easier to make small talk with menfolk so I was a little more familiar with them through Ove. However, I soon realised that this is a golden opportunity for me to make my own female friends, instead of awkwardly making conversation with random girlfriend one of my friends might be dating at the moment. Anyway, eventually Nemi, Summer and me hit it off. Cecilia likes to keep to herself and her friends, and besides, she’s a bit of an authority figure seeing as she’s the corridor “mother” and a few years older than us.
Some weeks into the semester Nemi and Summer also started to join in our culinary experiences. We were then four people who’d have dinner together twice a week, so we decided that each of us wold take turns cooking. A couple of weeks ago, I thought it’d be great to have a “get to know each other” dinner with everyone on our floor, followed by a house party to celebrate the end of the first bout of exams . We all got on so well at that party that we decided to have dinner together once a week— and yes, even Cecilia thought it was a great idea! Ove suggested we start the tradition with a bang, since he was going home to his parents for Mårten Gås; he promised to make a goose dinner, complete with “Black soup” and Scanian apple cake on Mårtensmässan— a celebration for St. Martin of Tours. It’s kinda cool that Ove is such a traditionalist because, we get to experience these holidays that are particular to Sweden the proper way.
He couldn’t really explain why people do Mårten Gås though, so I had to Google it myself. Apparently St. Martin’s Day is not a Swedish thing, but a Christian thing! People all over Europe celebrate it, but I’ve never been aware of this day’s existence! Maybe it’s because Remembrance Day falls on the same day…?
So today Summer and I help him a bit with the soup, ‘cause the goose and cake Ove brought from home last night. He says his mother makes the best roast goose and apple cake, and she was nice enough to make extra just for us— bless her! However, apparently the soup is best when it’s freshly made. I think the fact that we use actual goose blood to make it grosses Summer out. But for me the soup ends up tasting great, as does everything else we eat for dinner.
Aside from the fact that both Summer and Nemi were not really into how the soup tasted, the goose an cake are devoured by everyone; the whole thing turns out to be a real feast! Many of the others, particularly Emil and Hampus* go all nostalgic about the last time they did Mårten Gås— which their parents stopped celebrating when they entered their early teens— so we get to hear how everyone does this holiday. It is quite interesting, since I don’t recall that X’s family celebrated it.
By the end of the dinner we decide to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail together, since half of the floor has never seen it. We also manage to talk Hampus into making dinner next Monday since he lives in the room next to Ove’s and sort of agree to go from room to room, so that the week after that would be Summer’s turn followed by Emil who lives in front of her, Nemi, me, Phillip, Cecilia and Jonas before we come full circle and it’s Ove’s turn again.