• meatloaf-like odds and ends
  • an interest in culinary cultural immersion.


Arrive in Sweden.

Delay the inevitable; survive primarily on cheese, coffee and pastries.

Note that your children are hopped up on ramen, coffee and pastries.

Attempt to get comfortable cooking in a foreign kitchen; fail.

Succumb to the inevitable; buy fridge-case meatballs.

Note that meatballs don’t come with gravy packet; panic because you have a reputation for producing terrible gravy.

Search the cornerstore for gravy.

Realize it’s probably not called “gravy” here.

Locate and buy brunsås, the gravy of Scandinavia.

Sauté pre-cooked köttbullar/meatballs in butter; commit to cooking all meat in butter for the foreseeable future.

Serve with boiled small potatoes, legit lingonberry jam, and brunsås.

Wonder if it’d be so bad to just eat a brunsås sandwich.

Buy a different brand of köttbullar for comparison; find that the increased onion content mingles nicely with brunsås, your new favorite food.

Commit to making köttbullar from scratch before you buy any more pre-made.

Go without köttbullar for two weeks.

Decide it is time; go to the store to buy ingredients.

Squeal with internal delight when you find premixed ground beef and ground pork at the butcher counter; purchase 500kg and marvel at the metric system.

Put meat in the fridge and feel intimidated by its presence for a few days.

Pick a weekend evening when you’re feeling pretty high on life and longing for brunsås, and pull that meat out of the fridge.

Search for a recipe online; scan and say to self, “Beef, pork, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, onions, that’s it?”

Discard recipe and mix contents on the fly, because this is nothing but tiny meatloaf, and you can totally handle tiny meatloaf.

Remove rings from fingers and get intimate with the ingredients.

Come up for air; heat pan and cooking fat of choice.

Drop in first batch of balls; overcrowd pan, be inpatient waiting for the meat to sear and release, and generally make a mess of it.

Scrape what remains of the first batch onto paper towels; drop second batch with renewed dedication.

Turn on over-stove fan to dissipate smoke.

Scoop second batch onto paper towels; question your predilection for home-cooking and open window.

Drop third batch into burnt remnants and tiny bit of oil left in pan; watch as they cook up perfectly.

Gently ladle third batch onto top of meat pile in bowl.

Dump contents of brunsås packet into cooking pan and scrape up all that tastiness stuck to the bottom, adding a splash of water and milk.

Serve with potatoes you over-confidently boiled, like, 45 minutes ago, because you grossly underestimated how long it would take to cook the daggum köttbullar; garnish with lingonberry jam.

Dude. So good.

Lament that there will be no leftovers as you gorge yourself on meatbitsås.


*Originally posted on Revelations in Absurdity.