December 13, 2012

A 1959 Smorgasbord

Have you ever? I mean do you ever, er, shall I put this...Smorgasbord? I've always been curious about the traditional Swedish buffet spread. It's a word I toss around pretty frequently to describe any assortment of vittles, though I've never been quite sure exactly what a Smorgasbord consisted of besides probable mass quantities of pickled fishes. Not too long ago, I was flipping through some of my old magazines when I came across an article on the traditional Scandinavian meal in the December 1959 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

1959 smorgasbord

Turns out there's more to it than just a wintry all-you-can-eat free for all. There are actually three different courses requiring three separate trips to the buffet table. I totally called the pickled fish thing though. And this being the 1950's, you just knew there was going to be some tomato aspic thrown in there.

1959 smorgasbord

And now I know! I've actually become quite interested in Swedish traditions as of late. My heritage is Swedish on my father's side of the family, (hence my fair skin and blue eyes) but I've never known a thing about the culture past the aforementioned pickled fish and dala horses.

My good friend Heather of Audrey Eclectic has fallen in love with Scandinavian culture and through her excitement I've learned so much about my family's heritage. Today's post is part of her St. Lucia Blog Procession so if you're interested in Swedish or Scandinavian culture in general, head over there today (or use the doohickey below) for a joyride through Blogland in honor of St. Lucia. Heather has even started a new blog devoted entirely to Scandinavian goodness called Scandinavian Folk. Check it out!

And hello to any new friends who have visited me by way of the St. Lucia Procession. Nice to meet you!


Heather said...

Ah! I love it! I shoulda known you'd find some vintage fabulous Swedish photos!
And wow, aren't the epic photos? That's a lot of meat, beans, and meat balls! I've been learning about lutefisk lately...not for the faint of heart! Actually...sounds kinda dangerous ;)

Briana Shepley said...


Susan said...

Oh my, that smorgasbord looks so enticing - what a cool vintage article you found! Now I'm craving some Swedish's nice to meet you via Heather's blog procession!
- Susan

Lauren said...

I love vintage women's magazines. I definitely get a lot of good blogging content out of them, but I haven't been lucky enough to find a smorgasbord guide in any of the issues at my house! This article is awesomeness.

Danzel @Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes said...

Wow... I love vintage and I love Scandinavia, but posts like this make my vegeatarian self do a double-take. ;o) Great pictures! Pleased to meet you via the Lucia Blog Procession!

white.sheep said...

This salad is also known in Poland.We eat this dish often. God Jul.

Mema Sifa said...

Now this is my kinda blog. Love vintage, especially your Santa head.

Martha said...

Nice to meet you too! And thanks for telling us more about Smorgasbord - I, myself, did think it was mostly about pickled / smoked fish :)
very rich and lavish feasting - yummy!

Heather S. said...

Have you ever been to Lindsborg, KS (aka "Little Sweden")? I haven't been in ages, but I seem to recall lots of Swedish food. And Dala horses everywhere you look.

Susan said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! This Swedish heritage blog hop is fascinating. This past summer I had an art residency in Galesburg, Illinois and fell madly in love with the nearby, historic village called Bishop Hill ... a mid-19th century Utopian society that settled there and is now a living museum. Check it out at:
Again, Thanks for the comment on my blog!
Merry Christmas
(I'm German ... but when reading about Christmas in Sweden as a child, I wanted to be Swedish and wear the candles on my head. I am the oldest of four girls and thought this was a great idea!)