Friday, December 28, 2007


Tonight we're going up to my mother's for our traditional Swedish-style Christmas feast (usually we have this meal on Christmas eve, but it was a bit much for Mom this year, so it's been delayed a few days). My mother's family is largely of Swedish background (also French, Russian, and Lithuanian), and certain traditional family foods are made for certain holidays and seasons, shrimp snitters being among them.

The verb "at snitte" or "snitt" means "to cut" in Scandihoovian (well, in Danish and Swedish, anyway), and snitters are small hors d'oeuvres made with crackers or bread as a base, with butter, mayonnaise, paté, aïoli sauce, soft cheese, or other similar on top, with meat slices, seafood, and vegetable sliced thin on top of that. They're like tiny open-faced sandwiches.

This question came up last year, too, when we went to a solstice celebration thrown by some local Scandinavians. Verice and Jackie Doble recently had a Swede visiting with them (Jackie's niece's beau), and he recognized the term. In fact, when we visited their house on Christmas eve, he was making Swedish meatballs (another Christmas staple at my mom's house) and snitters (using tomato, cucumber, dill, crackers, and thin slices of dry salami--yum!).

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