It’s Ingrid’s turn to make dinner, and it’s going to be pizza. Store-bought pizza dough and tomato sauce combined with fresh toppings doesn’t get you gourmet quality, but I like the result better than what I get at most pizza places.

Speaking of cake lasting for weeks… we still have cherry cake in the freezer from last summer. We just don’t eat much sugary stuff, despite my loving photos of chocolate pralines and writing about dessert.

The kids’ sugar intake and other potential addictions are most easily regulated by simple, somewhat fuzzy rules. I myself chafe at rules. So when the family is away, I celebrate by breaking rules.

I eat lunch late, when I am truly hungry, rather than at an hour that suits everybody’s schedule. I read a magazine while eating. And I have a piece of cake afterwards.

(Meanwhile I still miss having a proper camera, and the way the small one never makes things look the way I want is seriously annoying me.)

For no particular reason other than that I felt like it, I cooked a three-course meal for dinner. Toast with a tomato and avocado topping, veggie hamburgers, and no-bake raspberry cheesecake.

I like eating dessert, but I rarely make one. Mostly because it usually doesn’t feel like it’s worth the time it takes, no matter how delicious it turns out. A cake or a batch of cookies lasts us weeks, but dessert that takes half an hour to prepare is gone in five minutes. If I was ridiculously rich, I’d hire a dessert chef or order catering desserts every weekend.

I love persimmons. They’re a perfect combination of juicy and sweet and tangy. They’re like a winter version of plums.

They’re also making me switch supermarkets.

Coop, one of the two local supermarkets, almost never has them (and when they do, the persimmons are hard and nearly flavourless) while the other, ICA, reliably stocks perfectly juicy and ripe ones.

For years, I was a loyal Coop customer with a membership card and everything. When we first moved here, I always chose Coop because their store has enough space for prams. ICA was very cramped – with a pram I was always blocking someone’s way, or vice versa – and the store felt kind of grotty, too.

Now all kinds of circumstances have changed and I’m on the cusp of switching my loyalty to ICA.

Pram-friendliness is obviously not relevant any more. ICA has redesigned their store so it feels much brighter and tidier and more spacious. But the main thing is that nobody at Coop seems to know or care about fruit and vegetables, whereas someone at ICA obviously does.

I do much less shopping in the supermarkets nowadays, anyway. I buy much of our groceries online, but I don’t trust the online shops with fruit and veg. Carrots and onions and apples are easy. (Although I was once delivered a bag of apples that were so unripe they were basically inedible.) But when it comes to produce that needs to be carefully handled or chosen, or to be just ripe enough, even many physical stores fail. (Such as the Coop store here.) The odds of some anonymous picker at the online shop getting it right are slim to none. I do not want unripe bananas or hard pale tomatoes. So ICA gets most of my custom from now on.

I cooked a meal from a Linas matkasse meal kit today. Oven roasted cauliflower with a lentil salad and a yoghurt an goat’s cheese sauce.

Adrian is often a bit sceptical about “Lina food” in advance. (Maybe Ingrid is as well, but at least she doesn’t keep saying so every time.) Afterwards he gives his verdict: thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs sideways or something in between. Sometimes he is pleasantly surprised. One Lina recipe is now among his absolute favourite dishes. (Pasta with green peas and goat’s cheese.)

Today, Adrian rated the cauliflower a 7 out of 10 and the lentils a 4. Ingrid had the exact opposite opinion: a 4 for the cauliflower and a 7 for the lentils. (Eric and I meanwhile thought both parts were a bit dull and the whole thing below average.) And I guess someone at Lina’s must have thought that this was really good. It’s interesting to see how much our preferences differ.

I cook almost all our meals, but Eric does the Sunday dinners while I am at swim school with Adrian. It struck me this Sunday that his meals somehow don’t taste as much to me as the meals I cook myself. Not because they don’t have flavour. It’s more like the signals don’t reach my brain as strongly or as fast as the signals from my own cooking.

My only guess is that it’s because I spend less time thinking about the meal. When I cook, then I think about what I will cook, then think about it while I’m cooking. I also taste it and smell it for a good while. By the time I sit down to eat, my brain is already prepared and anticipates what’s to come. Whereas when Eric cooks, and especially if I’m not even in the house, the meal can be over before my brain has even properly processed it.

Myself and my mum, cooking a New Year’s Eve dinner. Ingrid took the photo.

Bruschetta with smashed avocados and cherry tomatoes; spinach and ricotta cannelloni with tomato sauce and bechamel sauce; chocolate and blood orange semifreddo.

My mum joined us to decorate gingerbread cookies.

The annual Making of Lussebullar.

Eric enjoys making and kneading the dough.

Ingrid enjoys tasting the dough…

… and making plaited buns.

Adrian got the knack this year of rolling the dough “worms” that you need for making the traditional lussebulle shapes.

Plenty of buns were produced. Since we’re making them quite close to Christmas this year, and generally eating less sweet stuff than we used to, there’s no risk we’ll run out early.

Malt bread or vörtbröd is part of Swedish Christmas tradition. It is sometimes possible to find decent vörtbröd in supermarkets if you are lucky, but none compare to the ones that Eric bakes. Rich, spicy, most and yet fluffy.

It is almost impossible to have too many whisks.

I don’t like buying or owning unnecessary things, especially bulky things that we/I rarely use. We actually gave away our food processor – not because we didn’t find it useful, but because we didn’t use it often enough to make it worth the space. I think not just twice but many times before I buy a special-purpose item.

Everyday tools are a different matter. I want to have enough whisks, kitchen scissors, measuring spoons, saucepans and mixing bowls etc in the kitchen so I can work without ever worrying about running out of them. If I’ve used one decilitre-sized measuring cup for something wet, I want to be able to grab another one for flour, rather than wash and dry the first one. I want a spiral whisk for sauces and a balloon whisk for cake batter, and then one more of each so I can always just work.