This year Greg and I decided to have a Swedish Midsomer party. Well, maybe I should rephrase that. I decided a party would be fun and Greg went along with the idea.
Midsomer is traditionally celebrated on the last Friday between June 19th and the 25th in Sweden. It’s a prelude to the long days of summer and just a really nice time to visit with friends, eat some really good food, and play games.
Our house is pretty small, about 1000 sq. ft. so, if we have more than four people over, it feels very crowded, very fast. Having an outside informal “do,” is a perfect plan for us. The yard is about ¾ of an acre, full of decomposed granite paths that lead to the orchard, the quail hill, a dry creek full of odd bits of metal figures, and several key-hole gardens. There are also a lot of open areas for activities. We invited the neighbors, friends, and their dates, for basically an all ages sort of thing. The games included Yard Yahtzee, Corn Hole, Horseshoes, Kubb (pronounced coob), a card game or two, and a garden scavenger hunt that took all over the yard.
Kubb is a fun kind of a yard game. It’s based on an old Viking victory celebration, where they used the skulls and femurs of their victims to play the game. It sounds a little gruesome, but today’s games are played solely with wooden dowels and blocks. The game can get a little complicated, as it’s played in innings and the throw line moves around a bit. Basically you want to knock down all of your opponents block, and the king, (a taller block in the middle of the playing field), in one turn. If you do, you win. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and depending on how the inning went, the ownership of the blocks and the toss line get moved around. Like in 8 ball, you don’t want to knock the King down before the rest of your blocks, or you automatically lose. That was by far the most popular game people played, mainly because it was so different.
We also set up a station to make floral crowns. You can’t really celebrate Midsomer without a floral crown. It used to be only the girls made and wore them. But nowadays everyone makes one. That turned out to be a lot of fun, and people had something to take home.
Food was set up in traditional Scandinavian help-yourself style. There were Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce, roasted chicken with a dill sauce, and sausages. The salads included a watermelon onion and lime salad (sounds a little odd, but it was good), a cucumber and dill salad, and a Swedish potato salad. Dessert included Double Chocolate Banana Bread and Almond Cake topped with cream.
Greg and I made a Midsomer pole, that the group was going to dance around and sing Sma Grodorna ( The Little Frogs). There was a lot of hopping involved and with the temp nearly 96 degrees, people really wanted to stay in the shade, so we passed, but the decorated pole looked very festive and we kept it up for a few days.
They did, however love doing the scavenger hunt and had a lot of fun digging through the wheelbarrow filled with prizes. It was a slightly different version of a regular scavenger that I made up with sticks, tags, and anagrams.
It was a new experience for most of our friends, but it really was a great time. In fact, they enjoyed it so much, that we gotten a bunch of requests to do it again next year. This may develop into a tradition.
What I love about this kind of party, is that there is plenty to do to keep you occupied without feeling like you have to participate. If you want yo play, you can, or if you just want to sit and soot the breeze, you can do that too.
In the next few posts, I’ll go into detail on what we did at the party, and how you can put a fun version of your own together ,fairly cheaply.