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November 2012

Of Sweden and Sandwiches

By now, most of you have probably read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yes, the book is about tracking and catching a mad man and solving a family mystery, however, as the story unfolded, I found myself thinking, “Man, these people eat A LOT of sandwiches.” Enough times that I noticed. Enough times that I counted (18 times in the first book—thank you Kindle word search). What are these magical Swedish sandwiches?

I did some digging, including sending an email to a friend who has spent some time living in Norway–another sandwich loving Scandinavian country. Turns out that sandwiches, or smörgåsar in Swedish, consist primarily of a single slice of bread, often dark rye, and a variety of toppings from seafood, to veggies, to spreads. My friend informed me that in Norway, “all the things that go on top are called, collectively, pålegg, which means ‘lay on top.’ Awesome, right?”

Yup, awesome. I decided to try out a few smörgås recipes on my own, relying only on what I had on hand.

Happily, I had a tube of crab spread in the fridge (the result of an impulse-buy during my last trip to Ikea), so at least one of my smörgås had genuine Swedish seafood paste involved. All of these were made on wheat bread because I don’t like rye (sorry Sweden!) Here is what I made:

Smörgås #1 – The Ikea: Sliced Cucumber and Crab Spread

The saltiness of the crab spread was offset nicely by the crispy and watery cucumber. Unfortunately, it turns out I don’t like crab spread, so this one wasn’t my favorite.


Smörgås #2 – The Pantry: Lettuce, Chopped Egg, Capers and Mayo

This one was easy to put together, as I tend to have all of the ingredients on hand and none of them necessitate a trip to a Swedish furniture store. The briny tang of the capers really was the best part of this sandwich, which was like a deconstructed egg salad.

Smörgås #3 – The Apple Pie: Granny Smith Apples, Peanut Butter, Honey and Cinnamon

This one has zero Scandinavian influence, but came to me as I was looking through the pantry for the jar of capers and had to reach past the peanut butter and the honey. It was a sweet end to my smörgåsbord.


So there you have it, a little taste of what it is like to be Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Well, at least what it is like to eat like them. And if you are wondering: yes, Billy’s Pan Pizza is real. But that is for another post.

Style by the Book: The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Find it at Wheelock: Floor 2M, J L95g

Lois Lowry’s The Giver tells the story of Jonas, a young boy who lives in a seemingly perfect society. There is no violence, poverty, pollution or social inequality. Upon every citizen’s twelfth birthday, they receive a career assignment based on their skills and aptitude. Citizens are content with their roles, and carry out their work dutifully.

We join Jonas on the eve of his twelfth birthday and impending career assignment, and what follows will slowly reveal the sacrifices underlying the community’s utopia. Jonas has been chosen to receive knowledge that all but one of his fellow citizens do not possess, and the more he learns about what life was once like– and may still be like elsewhere– the more he comes to doubt the community’s perfection.

The picture above represents Jonas’s eventual break with convention. From drab sameness to a strange apple to a daring sled ride, The Giver is a fascinating story and a young-adult literature classic. Find it, along with its equally wonderful sequels (Gathering Blue, The Messenger and eventually Boy, the newest) on Floor 2M of the Wheelock Library.


After months of endless TV commercials, inbox-clogging emails and exciting debates, Election Day is finally here! Be sure to vote tomorrow to ensure that your voice is heard (and to pick up a snazzy “I Voted” sticker). For more information, visit the Wheelock College Election 2012 Center. For those of you who are registered in Massachusetts, be sure to also read up on the three ballot initiatives so that you go to the polls well informed!

Now get out there and vote, vote, vote!

The winner of the 2012 Pumpkin Decorating Contest is…

Student Life for Mr.Pumpkinhead’s Great Student Life Adventure!  Apparently, Mr.Pumpkinhead is a senior here at Wheelock.  While he may have slipped under radar for some of us, Student Life has been right there, documenting his adventures as a Wheelock student.

Pumpkin Decorating Contestant 1 - Mr Pumpkin's Great Student Life Adventure

Student Life and their winning pumpkin submission

Eric Maitland was unfortunately cut off in the group photo. Sorry! We didn’t notice until much after the photo was taken!  His photo is on the ResLife webpage, in case you would like to put a face to one of the Mr.Pumpkinhead crew members.

The entries were all amazing this year (see this post for pictures) and we thank those who entered and those who voted.  Social Work, Student Life, ONCAMPUS Boston, Center for International Programs, Registrar, Disability Services, Financial Services, and Resource Center – we can’t wait to see what you will come up with next year!  Everyone else, I hope you’ll join in the pumpkin decorating fun for round four in 2013.

As for the raffle prize for our civic-minded voters, the winner goes to Barbara Morgan, Dean of Students (which is just a coincidence!).