Our Family Dinner Book Club selection for the month of July is Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children, and will hopefully be a fun and interactive activity for the whole family. Head over to Growing Book by Book for some talking points to get the conversation started. Then visit Adventure in a Box for a fun craft to decorate your dinner table. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking (yes, that is her full name) is one of my childhood heroes. I loved her silly antics and the fact that her braided pigtails stuck straight out of the sides of her head blew my mind.
There is a young Daisy story in which I attempted to style my hair like Pippi’s. The idea I came up with to get my hair to stick straight out was to wrap approximately 26 scrunchies around my two pigtails. It worked! I had Pippi pigtails and was delighted enough with my creation to wear them to school. I have no memory of this next part, but according to Mom, older brother Sean spent the seven minute car ride to school explaining to me that people would make fun of my hair and that it wasn’t a good idea to wear my Pippi style to school. He presented his argument well and by the time we arrived at our elementary school I had removed every scrunchy and let my blonde hair fall down on my shoulders. Oh brothers. Can’t let their sisters express their individuality.
I may have lost my Pippi vibe that day, but I’d like to think I kept most of it. I’ve always enjoyed tales of people who approach life differently than the norm. I love when I hear, “you’re weird” from Abby and Katie. I thank them and tell them that weird is the best way to be.
I had so much fun creating this Pippi Longstocking dinner menu after reading all about the “strongest girl in the world”. I think she sets a good example for how to have fun, and she sure knows how to eat. When she sets up a picnic for her friends her food selections are: good sandwiches with meatballs and ham, a whole pile of sugared pancakes, several little brown sausages, and three pineapple puddings. Tommy and Annika once found Pippi making at least five hundred pepparkakor cut into hearts. She loves to snack on cinnamon buns and the “best little red-gold pears from the tree next to the fence outside Villa Villekulla”. For breakfast, Pippi “would sit on the kitchen table and, utterly happy, drink a large cup of coffee and eat a piece of bread and cheese.” My kinda girl, indeed. In our home, we have eaten dinner underneath the kitchen table, after dragging it into the living room of course, and we have eaten lunch on top of the table, taking a page out of Pippi’s book. I guess you don’t need to do those things for your family dinner book club, but I know it would make your dinner that much more Pippi-esque, and I think we could all use a little more Pippi in our lives.
Astrid Lindgren, Pippi’s creator, was Swedish, and there are a handful of Swedish references in this and the other Pippi tales. I thought it fitting to bring this heritage to our Pippi Longstocking dinner menu. We have such items as Swedish-style meatballs with wild mushroom gravy. Make sure to use the wild chanterelles that are available for picking in Sweden. Don’t forget to serve your meal with one of Sweden’s gems: lingonberry jam. You might need to head to your local international specialty store for this item.
Pippi Longstocking Dinner Menu
Family Dinner Book Club
Swedish Meatballs (recipe below)
Wild Mushroom Gravy
Roasted New Potatoes
Little Red Gold Pears
Some ideas to set up a sweets table that would make Pippi flip for joy:
Chocolate Silk Pie
Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream
- 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) milk (I use whole, any type should work fine)
- 2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- In a bowl, whisk together the milk, breadcrumbs, and egg, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine well. I like to use my hands to mix everything together.
- Using a 1 tablespoon measure, for the mixture into balls and place them in a baking dish, giving them about 1/4 inch of space on all sides.
- Place in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 25-35 minutes.
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