They are either winter white or gray with cross-stiching at the bottom and a tassel, Lovikkavantar och Lovikka mittens. Lovikkavanten was first created by Erika Aittamaa in the village Lovikka in Norrbotten in 1892. Erika’s husband worked in the forest and the family had many children and was quite poor. To earn some extra money, Erika (or Riga as she was called) began knitting. Once she made a mistake and made mittens so thick and stiff that she couldn’t sell them. Not knowing what to do, she washed them and brushed them with a carding comb, which made them soft. Thus Lovikkavanten was born. The demand got so enormous that Erika had to teach others how to make them. Erika Aittamaa died in 1952 at age 86. In 1961 Lovikkavantar became a registered trademark.

In some Scandinavian languages, saft is simply the word for juice, but not in Sweden. In Sweden saft has a special meaning: It refers to a sweet, fruity juice concentrate, which is blended with water and ice to make a refreshing cool drink. Saft is sold in a variety of flavors for people to mix to taste, and many make their own saft at home. The word is originally German, the same root word that is also responsible for the word “zaftig.” Many safts are made with berries, such as lingonberries, but it is also possible to find citrus fruit saft like orange or lime. The most popular or common saft might be hallonsaft (raspberry). In most cases, saft is produced by cooking, straining and sweetening the fruit. You then add water to taste.


Recipe for hallonsaft:
1.2 cups water
2 pounds raspberries
2.5 cups sugar for each 4 cups of saft
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Bring the water to a boil, put in the berries and let cook covered for 10 minutes. Squeeze the berries with a spatula against the sides of the pot. Pour everything into a straining bag and let go through for 30 minutes. Measure up the saft and boil it adding sugar and lemon juice. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Make sure to remove the scum. Pour into clean bottles and seal.

Plättar is a dish made either in a regular frying pan or in a plättlagg, a special griddle for making these small pancakes. In Finland and northern parts of Sweden, plättar is the word for both smaller and bigger pancakes, and Swedes often debate whether to call it plättar or småplättar (little plättar). Plättar and pancakes are made from the same batter. You can also buy ready made plättar in grocery stores, and there are different varieties like carrot- or spinach plättar. In Swedish there’s also the idiom “lätt som en plätt” (as easy as pie). In Astrid Lindgren’s “Barnen på Bråkmakargatan” Lotta hangs up her plättar in a tree and lets them hang there in the breeze, taking a bite whenever she is hungry. “I’m pretending I’m a little lamb feeding on leaves in the forest,” she says.

Recipe for pancakes/plättar:
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
Mix all ingredients to an even batter. For pancakes, butter a regular frying pan. For plättar, use a plättlagg.

What on earth is a Petterssonbåt? It’s a boat named after legendary boat designer Carl Gustaf Pettersson (1876-1953). Pettersson designed over 1,000 boats but was most known for his motor boats. A typical Petterssonbåt is long and narrow, carvel built with a characteristic “ear” that is a rounded transition from the foredeck to the plank-sheer. Among boaters these type of boats are often called Petterssonbåt or Petterssonare, even if they were designed by other boat designers.