It’s February 30!

The Swedes have had a messy relationship with the month of February. In 1700, the Swedish Empire planned to change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar by omitting leap days for the next 40 years. Unfortunately, the Great Northern War (fought between the Swedes and an anti-Swede coalition led by Tsar Peter the Great) started the following year, and the Swedes forgot to eliminate leap days in 1704 and 1708.

In 1712, the Julian calendar was restored and an extra leap day was added, giving the calendar the little known date: February 30, 1712. (In 1753, the Swedes changed to the Gregorian by eliminating the last 11 days of February).

It’s snowy here in the Hudson Valley. What better way could there be to celebrate February 30 than with accordion-cut Hasselbackspotatis (Hasselback potatoes) named for Hasselbacken, the restaurant in Stockholm that first served them. Smaklig måltid!

Hasselback Potatoes
4 medium russet potatoes
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Course sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down between two chopsticks. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 1/8 inch intervals.

Arrange the potatoes in a baking tray and insert the garlic in between some of the slits. Then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

While these are brilliant as they are, rosemary and/or parmesan cheese can also be sprinkled on the potatoes before baking. (The photo above is from Serious Eats.)


2 responses to “It’s February 30!

  1. Perfect choice for today. Please remember, I live around the corner from the Swedish Embassy. Always love fun facts about my neighbors.

  2. Monica Roslow

    so simple and yet so elegant!

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