World Cup food blogging – Sweden

I’ve been trying to keep optimistic about England’s chances in the World Cup, but it’s not easy. Michael Owen was the only forward in the squad with a history of scoring lots of goals, so that injury is a real blow. Crouch actually did OK today in midfield areas, but I just don’t think he’s a real goalscorer. At least Rooney gave a couple of reminders of just how good he is. But mainly: we still haven’t seen a performance of conviction or cohesion from the team as a whole. As long as they’re still in the competition, there’s a chance that they’ll suddenly get their act together, but at the moment it feels like they’re just limping from one crisis to the next.

Anyway. The food blogging. I didn’t fancy herring or akvavit, so I poked around on the web and found a recipe for pepparkakor (ginger biscuits). I just don’t get why Americans insist on measuring everything in cups. I mean, flour – OK, although I’d still personally prefer to measure it by weight. But butter? Why would you measure butter by volume? They turned out quite nice, a bit like gingernuts. Apparently they improve if you leave them for a bit, as well. I doubled the quantity of spices, because it just didn’t seem very much, and they certainly aren’t overpoweringly gingery.

Flies, again.

A little while back I was talking about the extraordinary number of insect species just within the UK, and I said:

What I find staggering about these numbers is that it implies there are so many different evolutionary niches available for such apparently similar creatures. Even the 51 species of mayfly are slightly mind-boggling, but how can there possibly be 6900 different ways of successfully being a fly?

Well, there are 6900 separate answers to that question, but here’s just one (typical?) example. They’re found a new species of fly in Scotland. “The tiny black Christii fly measures just 2mm long and lives under the bark of dead aspen trees.” But not, presumably, living aspen trees. Or dead willow trees.

Although I guess that just begs the question “what is so specialised about their behaviour that they can only live in such a narrowly-defined habitat?”