Wine from Skåne? Yes!
Would you like a glass of "Skåne" / Scanian wine? “Absolutely!” Oz Clarke, the British wine expert, exclaims euphorically after a visit to Europe’s northernmost wine district. After having tried some 30 wines, he wrote the following: “If you are used to drinking wines from the New World, or for that matter French, Italian or German wines – yes, any wine at all – then you will find that Swedish wines taste very different. Solaris is probably the most successful white grape in Skåne. It matures fully and give a high alcohol content, sometimes very high. Solaris gives floral, sometimes mineral tastes, often with hints of apples, pears, rosehip and lavender, but always with a steady, green acid that reminds us that the grapes have grown in Scandinavia. The most successful red sort is the rondo. It used to be known as GM6494, but that name was deemed impossible to sell. It is a study variety and gives a lot of color and taste. Southern England is almost too warm for rondo. But Skåne seems, at least for now, perfect for the grape. Enjoy it as long as it lasts. In a generation or so, these Scanian wines will most certainly be mainstream.”

The state of 'Medelsvensson'
Medelsvensson, the Swedish equivalent of Average Joe/Jane, has become a bit overweight, but s/he is better educated than s/he used to be. According to a fresh study from Statistiska Centralbyrån (Swedish Statistics), among the Swedish Medelsvenssons in 2009, 38% have higher education (higher meaning they attended college) compared to Medelsvensson back in 1990, when only 23% had higher education. In 2009, Medelsvensson spent 2 900 SEK ($440.28) a month on food, 2% more than in 2008. 54% of the male Medelsvenssons are overweight (and 37% of the women). During the last 3 decades, Swedes have gained weight because we eat more than we burn in calories (the average Swede consumes 3100 calories a day, compared to the average American who consumes 4270). Medelsvensson also increased his or her alcohol consumption and 'became more criminal' - over 1.4 million crimes were reported during 2009, an increase of 2%.

Inga-Britt Ahlenius: “Ban Ki-moon ‘a loser’”
Swedish auditor, public servant and former Under-Secretary General for the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services believes United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is a “loser”. Ahlenius left her job at the UN in August last year after 5 years, and left a 50-page long critical report, which spread quickly. Now that Ahlenius is back in Stockholm, she hopes her criticism will pave the way for the UN not to choose another “incompetent” leader in the future. She says her report was an attempt to “examine the selection process and find out how it’s possible to pick a loser”. “He hasn’t shouldered the mantle as a principal administrator. Ban Ki-moon views himself as a head of state,” she says and states that the Secretary General mostly preoccupies himself with ceremonial exercises. According to Ahlenius Ban is surrounded by an inner circle of advisors and yes-men, who she likens to “a Korean comfort zone”.

Vegetables in White Sauce (Stuvade grönsaker)
Most vegetables can be creamed alone or together in different combinations. Always start by first preparing the vegetable needing the longest cooking time. 4 portions 2 ½ cups vegetables 1 teaspoon salt per quart water White sauce: 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 2/2-1 ¾ cups vegetable bouillon and milk ½ teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper parsley (optional) Clean and cut the vegetables into smaller pieces. Boil them in lightly salted water until barely soft. Pour off the broth and set aside. Make the white sauce: Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan; stir in the flour and dilute with the bouillon and milk. Allow to simmer several minutes, stirring often. Season to taste. Serve with lightly salted pork, bacon or any kind of sausage or meat of your liking or simply as is, with no addition.