Saturday, April 7, 2012

G ~ gaffel = fork


God morgon, klass!
(G + owed) + (myrrh (as in frankincense, gold and ...)+ gone) + kl + us)! I'm very proud of how well you're progressing!

Today's lesson is fairly practical. You've learned some cool words, but it's not often that you'll need to ask the person you stop on the street, “Where is my egen sommar stuga? Farfar is waiting for me! I have a bil!”

Today we're talking traditions and hope chests, and EATING.  In Sweden, girls don't wait to be engaged to start planning their silverware and china. They choose at a very young age what their pattern is, and then for Christmas and birthday relatives contribute to your pattern, starting with dessert forks and spoons. Today's word is gaffel, pronounced “cuff – c + g, which is guff then just say the letter L. Guff + L. It means fork.


My particular pattern is called “princess”. I don't remember choosing it at all, but I love it. This picture is from one of my birthdays, 13th I think.  There's my sis, and she's holding her spoons, while I have my spoons completed and have some forks.  It's the age difference, that's why she's behind :-) If you closer, you'll see we're wearing matching pajamas.  My grandmother always bought us the same EXACT thing.  Sometimes we had different colors, but they were always the same.  Complete fairness for both granddaughters. 

 Here are some shots of my treasures closer up so you can see the details of the the pattern.  As you can tell, polishing silver isn't one of my gifts.  






For the longest time, I kept these tucked away, saving them for...what?  I don't know what the final thing was that pushed me into using them, but I think it was probably when I read Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  Her main point is that we need to live NOW.  Not for some day in the future.  Not, "When the kids are...then we can..."  I realized this was my life.  It was half over.  If I was going to use these forks and spoons so lovingly collected for me by my Farmor, now was the time.  So I do.  I eat my yogurt with the spoons.  I pick snowcrab with the forks (they really are tiny, for tiny delicate, Swedish confections.)  I use them.  I think of Farmor, and that makes me smile.

Do you collect anything?  Does your family have a similar tradition?  What do you treasure from your Farmor or Mormor?

31 comments:

loverofwords said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
loverofwords said...

Years ago, I won't say how many, girls here in the Midwest chose their silver pattern, had "hope chests," in which they would put towels, etc. All before that special guy ever entered their life. And gift for birthdays, etc. usually included pieces from that pattern. Your pattern is lovely and I would use it, probably hand wash it though.

Lynn Proctor said...

my daughter and i have been planning and shopping searching all for her future wedding, which she says she is having--husband or not---fascinating post

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Polished silverware is overrated.
My mother has three sets of fine China she saves for special occasions and she keeps trying to give me a set. I keep saying no because I won't save it - I'll just start using it.

Darlene said...

Great post, and I love the design. I read something once, about a lady who had died, and her children were going through her things - lovely things that had never been used because she had been waiting for a special ocassion. Every day should be special.

Brian Miller said...

i wonder if that is where gaff came from...the hook you use on fish...hmm...it is a fun sounding word....happy saturday!

Sally said...

They are beautiful and I agree, use them now.

Anna Smith said...

Oh these are lovely. I don't think I ever collected anything, if I did I can't remember! :)

Universal Gibberish

Colin Smith said...

God morgon, Tina! Although it's actually afternoon here now, but you haven't told us how to say "good afternoon" in Swedish yet. Perhaps I should just stick with "hejsan!" for now. :)

I'm fascinated by languages, and it's so cool that some multi-linguists have taken this A-Z Challenge as an opportunity to share another language with us. And I would love to know a Scandinavian language, so this is really cool!

I agree that spoons, gafflar (I looked up the plural), toys, and pianos are meant to be used, not looked at. That doesn't mean you can't take care of them, but that you employ them for the purpose for which they were made.

Great article!

Inger said...

What fun this was! I must turn my friend fishducky on to your blog. She's learning some Swedish phrases and words, just for fun, and because we're friends. She will love your blog.

Kittie Howard said...

Beautiful post! I drooled over similar forks and spoons when we were in Sweden. They are sooo expensive, at least an arm and a leg for one. Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories.

Laurita said...

Such a lovely tradition, and I completely agree with living for the now.

H said...

Your chosen pattern is lovely. Good choice :)

I'm so glad you included the phonetic pronunciation for your greeting. I didn't say a single word correctly!!

Eliza Wynn said...

Another great post! I've always been into other languages. Thank you for the lessons.

Ellie
Ellie's Blank Book
Ellie's Couch
Help Michigan Pets

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

I use everything now. I've never been much of a collector. I wish I would have started something earlier in life. Those utensils are beautiful!
dreamweaver

sue berg said...

WOW! Love this blog -- where I can learn some Swedish as well as read something interesting. It is an interesting tradition to begin collecting the silver and dishes so young. Though, I think my grandmother did collect "for" us as we grew up but we didn't get the flatware until much later. Right now, I would love to collect anything except the cats who live with us ... we have too many of them. (But I can't decide which ones NEED to move out -- they are all far too lovable, even when they misbehave)...)

ediFanoB said...

There is no such a tradition in Germany.

In my youth I collected stamps.

It is 1:30 am in Germany and I'm too tired to write more.

Good night.

Heather Murphy said...

This is a great tradition and a great idea to start early. When I got married, we only got one set of china! How sad is that? Actually it was a blessing in disguise because I am not much of a "china" person anyway.

Laurisa White Reyes said...

I used to collect postcards, had hundreds from all over the world, but have since misplaced the box they were in. Probably somewhere in my garage. http://1000wrongs.blogspot.com

Andrea said...

Love those photos ad the pattern!

Nicole said...

Those are some lovely designed forks and spoons! Yes, I collect a few things including dolls, coins and stickers. My family does not have a similar tradition of contributing to the future engagement of the young girls and while I would love to have a set of nice china and silverware, I am glad to not have experienced that tradition because at the rate I'm going, I would be a wreck right now, lol.

The pressure of expecting to be engaged one day can cause lots of unnecessary stress to a young girl as she becomes an adult and the years go by but the knight does not come riding through town on a white horse and then knocking at her door. It's just too much for me to handle. I think I'll stick with my coins and barbies! lol.


~Nicole
Blog: The Madlab Post
@MadlabPost on Twitter

P.S.

That childhood photo is ADORABLE! :)

Dawn said...

Oooooo, such lovely pieces! My mom recently visited and brought a china tea service she had saved from her grandmother's collection. It is beautiful and delicate, so I placed it in a glass cabinet for display (it is one of those things that was never "used" in our family, just displayed!) The only collections I have are various items indicative of some of the places we have visited....
Dawn

Rosalind Adam said...

What a lovely tradition. We certainly have cupboards full of lovely dishes that we never use. I'm also bad for buying new clothes and then not wearing them because they're new. You're absolutely right. We should live now!
A to Z of Nostalgia

Anna said...

Kära Tina!
Det är som om du har skrivit en dikt till gaffeln! Så filosofiskt. Ska man använda eller spara sina släktklenoder? Jag har inte fått precis silvergafflar, men så mycket annat som påminner om hädangångna släktingar.
Återigen så skrattar jag och gråter när jag läser vad du skrivit.

Kramar,
Anna

overcomingloneliness.com said...

I love your post. What a neat idea to spread out the collecting over time instead of a mad dash at the end. Me thinks I might get a start for my girls early : )

I collect camels......it's a long story : )

Rhia Roberts said...

I love this. I have three adopted children and having something to pass down to them is very important to me. I have three dinner services (one each) dating to the 1950s and am now working on getting silverware. I have two sets. I love the sense of history and belonging these things bring, don't you?
Rhia from Five Minutes for Inspiration (about # 802 on A through Z Challenge list).

Anita said...

These are beautiful & I'm so glad that you're using them instead of hiding them away. I don't collect anything as such, but do love filofaxes :)

Anita said...

These are beautiful & I'm so glad that you're using them instead of hiding them away. I don't collect anything as such, but do love filofaxes :)

Pa Ul said...

this is antique, lovely

g-girl said...

the pattern is so cool. i love that you pick out your pattern in your youth in sweden. :)

Denine Severino Taylor said...

Oh my gosh -- that pattern is so beautiful! Have never seen anything like it. Use it! Wear it out! My mother uses to tell a funny story about my little Italian "Nana". In the days when people bought whole heads of lettuce (not in bags), she would clean and wash the head of lettuce and save the "heart" of the lettuce, considered the best part. What used to drive my mom crazy, was that she would save it, but for whom? Who was she saving it for? If she wasn't willing to serve it her sainted son (my Dad), then who the heck was she holding out for? It always made us laugh...and run for the heart of the lettuce and eat it up!