The many uses of vodka

Never underestimate the uses of vodka. Making pastry with 42 Below.
Food is one of the things that brought the Two Girls together.
We like to cook it, admire it, think about it, talk about it, eat it, read about it and gift it.  And we like when it’s gifted too!
In our post Class consciousness II: Working class roots we learnt about family connections and the meaning of mazariner to Snuva, a girl about town who has Swedish heritage.
The Two Girls thought her post pretty sweet and were inclined to discover more about her Swedish treats.
Mazariner what?
Like some of the best things in life, it involves pastry!

Our answer came from Cheryl Marie Cordeiro (you can find the recipe), Singapore-born and Swedish-resident blogging about fashion, food and travel.

Filling the pastry cases with blackberry jam and topping the jam with the almond mixture.
Mazariner (or singular, mazarin) is a traditional Swedish almond tart, often served at Christmas.
This is our take on Ms Corderiro’s recipe:
  • a small dollop of blackberry jam in the base of the pastry
  • a teaspoon of vodka in the pastry and instead of water, vodka was also used to bring it together
  • lemon juice instead of water in the icing.


Mazariner baked straight from the oven.

You know the adage about cooking with wine? One for the pot, one for the cook. Well the same could be said about vodka pastry.  Making mazariner gives new meaning to the concept, to bake blind.

Then with a little Hobart-sleuthing, one of the Two Girls kept her fingers crossed and found Snuva’s house and dropped off mazariner for her assessment.
Mazarin with lemon icing.
Then with the same incredible powers of deduction, Snuva found one of the Two Girls and came over for afternoon tea with her family’s version. We learnt more about mazariner, family connections and Snuva.


Family connections and meaning

Snuva has Swedish heritage on her great grandfather’s side. He took the lineage to the USA.  We jump a few decades because it’s important to the Swedish connection and we discover that his son, Snuva’s Farfar (grandfather), was unable to enlist in armed forces during WWII after a serious car accident.  Instead, he was employed as photographer for the League of Nations.  A pretty impressive gig no doubt and not without its challenges: Farfar photographed atrocities in the death camps.
And as you could image, it changed his life. Farfar and Farmor decided they didn’t like either side in the war and moved to Sweden and the family reconnected with their heritage.

Snuva’s family recipe delivered to the home of One of the Two Girls one lovely Sunday!
A little about Snuva aka one of our fav fans
In high school I studied French.  When I started tertiary education, I added
German as well.  I found out about a programme where I could gain
university credit while working in Europe, so I spent two summers working in the
Swiss German speaking part of Switzerland.  I then went to university in
Paris.  I then did a MA in the north of England, and afterwards was a bit
aimless.  I strayed to south Wales, Sweden, and London.  I visited an
Australian friend in Sydney I knew from Paris , and eventually moved there,
partially because I didn’t know what to do next and had no visa to permanently
live or work in Europe!
I was surprised by how much I
loved Australia; who knew this amazing place was hiding so far away from
Europe, where I thought I would settle?!  I loved Sydney, but after 5
years there the traffic and congestion got to me.  

How did I end up in Hobart?  That is where the love of reading, learning, languages and travel that my Farfar and Farmor instilled in me comes in.

 After a weekend in Hobart, I decided I had finally found my place to be me.  And I have.  I still love to travel, but now I have a place to call home.


Final words on Swedish culinary tradition

Snuva pooh-pooh-ed the question about whether she does any other Swedish cooking.
She reckons the Swedes are a little bit mental and points to their love of fermented fish as evidence.  It didn’t seem appropriate to argue the toss.  She did say however that she
preferred cheese on rye but that was the only other thing Swedish that touched her kitchen.

She did confess a small obsession with a Swedish chocolate available at Ikea stores.
And she did provide a tip for her mazariner: use a slow oven, turn off the fan force, it makes them lighter and chewier and crisper on top.
So thanks to her post we got to meet the lovely Snuva and find out about her life and a lovely little Swedish dessert we would not have otherwise known.
And p.s Snuva liked the mazariner even though they weren’t traditional with their jam and lemon icing but that like all good cooking families, everyone has their own way of making them 🙂
 Have you got any family specialities you’d like to share?

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