Swedish election ugnspannkaka


A rainy Sunday in Accra, and we are back from watching “Crazy Rich Asians”, very enjoyable. Dinner is a Swedish classic: Ugnspannkaka med potatis och fläsk, an oven pancake with potato and salted pork (or bacon). This is in honour of the Swedish elections today (though the far-right surge is depressing). Classic Swedish peasant food, like a crustless quiche. Often just a pancake batter with bacon, but grated raw potato is very nice in it too. Here, I had planned to add in some frozen leek, as I am excavating long-frozen freezer items, but when I opened the box it was frozen chopped celery, so in that went instead. This is adapted from an ICA recipe, Ugnspannkaka med potatis och fläsk, which I downsized to fit my Pyrex dish.

Swedish election ugnspannkaka: oven pancake with potato and bacon

200 ml plain flour
2/3 tsp sugar
2/3 tsp salt
400 ml milk
2 eggs
2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated  (raw)
a cup of chopped celery and 1/4 onion (not traditional)
200 grammes of bacon, chopped and fried separately
1 tsp butter to grease the dish with
Optional: 3 tbs of grated smoked cheese  (not traditional, I just had some in the fridge)

To serve: lingonsylt, lingonberry jam

Heat oven to 225. Grease a 20×20 cm pyrex dish with butter  (if you do have a 20×30 cm dish, use the original Swedish proportions). Mix flour with salt and sugar. Add half the milk, whisk in eggs until smooth, then add rest of milk. Peel and grate the potatoes, mix into batter. Fry the bacon. Add the batter with the celery and onion  (those are not traditional but I am emptying out fridge and freezer before a trip).

Bake in middle of oven 35-40 minutes or so, until golden and set. Rest five minutes before serving. Serve with lingonberry jam on the side.


Tomorrow Kofi Annan’s remains arrives from Geneva. The state funeral of the former Secretary-General of the UN is in Accra on Thursday this week. Workers have been sprucing up the roads (see the newly painted white road edge). The public viewings start Tuesday

kofi annan poster


A walk through Jamestown

img_20180825_152702I’ve been meaning to do the Jamestown Walking Tour for ages. It’s a walk with local guides, every Saturday 2pm, only 30 GHS (6.5 USD). Jamestown and Usshertown are the oldest districts in Accra, built around the British James Fort and the Dutch Ussher Fort. The lighthouse is current closed for sightseeing, the walking tour is interesting. The Act for Change group doing participatory theatre is based in the community centre.


A Ga shrine on the edge of Jamestown. It looked very new, but was apparently refurbished for Chale Wote.  According to some legends the Ga people migrated from Nigeria, or from Israel. Jamestown is the oldest and poorest part of Accra, but very lively.


One of the roads built after fires in 1894.  Some say Jamestown has a hipster vibe, and locals are proud of their area, but it is quite poor; medical colleagues working there doing home visits tell me there are still children with acute malnutrition.


Signs from the Homowo festival. It’s a Ga area, as the sign also indicates: Pepsi wishing Gamashie (the area) a happy new year, for Homowo.


An older mural, on our way to the harbour.


It was quiet in the harbour, due the festival in the streets above.


Not as many boats as Tema, but still a considerable number. There is talk of a coastal development in Accra, from Christianborg to the Arts Centre, but who knows if that will ever happen. Politicians have also long promised to upgrade the Jamestown harbour.


Fishing boats.

Chale Wote festival in Jamestown

img_20180825_150255Last weekend we went to the Chale Wote festival in Jamestown. It’s a street art festival, though it was really too crowded on Saturday afternoon to see that much of the art and performances. Very interesting, though. We also went on the Jamestown Walking Tour (post coming), which is highly recommended.


A mural still being painted.

img_20180825_150332Reducing use of plastic and recycling is also a topic here.

img_20180825_152454Still early here. The streets were absolutely packed by 5 PM, with processions and performances, and we escaped home.