Table for One? Sweden Pop-up Restaurant to Serve Solo Diners Only

Stacey Lastoe wrote . . . . . . . . .

The cost of a three-course meal at Bord For En (Table For One), a pop-up restaurant in Sweden opening May 10, is left to the diner’s discretion.

And that is diner, singular, just like the restaurant’s name suggests.

Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson are the couple responsible for the unique concept. Located in Värmland, roughly 350 kilometers (217 miles) from Stockholm, the restaurant, or the restaurant’s single table and chair, more accurately, is situated in a lush meadow.

The promise — and premise — is no interaction with others. This is an individual experience meant to be enjoyed in isolation.

There’s no waitstaff and nary another guest in site. Throughout its limited run (it will be open through August 1), one person a day will be served so Persson and Karlsson can give their full focus to the guest.

The couple is not trying to turn tables and, indeed, are not doing this to make money.

They say they won’t allow spectators either: “We want to avoid the feeling of being watched while you eat your food. We all are facing difficult times and there are people who have lost their jobs, a loved one or even their mind.”

Eat now, pay whatever

Persson and Karlsson devised the Table for One concept on a whim one evening several weeks ago when Karlsson’s parents showed up at the couple’s home as Covid-19 made its way around the globe.

Karlsson notes Sweden has issued recommendations, not flat-out restrictions, around social distancing practices.

Despite that, Persson and Karlsson decided rather than let Karlsson’s at-risk parents inside the house where the four could enjoy a shared meal under normal circumstances, it would be prudent to set up a table for them outside in the garden a safe distance away.

This unusual dining experience served as an inspiration for something more official. Thus, Table for One was born.

“We welcome all, no matter what financial situation you are in. The price of the menu is up to the guest,” says Karlsson, who, along with Persson has experience in the hospitality industry — she, front of house; he, back of house.

Karlsson and Persson work in radio, and though Karlsson says the question “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” is haunting everyone, she hasn’t figured it out yet. Still, the couple says they might expand Table For One “when this is all over.”

Socially acceptable dining

In many international cities, dining alone, whether at the bar or a two-top in the corner, is not only acceptable but also normalized and cherished.

Still, not all restaurants have embraced the practice of the solo diner. Karlsson is optimistic that Table For One will further lessen any lingering social awkwardness surrounding the solo diner: “I have had a dream about it being socially acceptable to dine by yourself, and maybe now we are getting there?”

“The mere image of the lonely chair and table is a call to solo experiences.”

Three courses, one guest

The menu, inspired by Persson’s travels and memories, is set through the restaurant’s months-long run. Swedish-style hash browns, smetana (a type of sour cream), seaweed caviar and wood plucked sorrel is the starter.

Following the first course is yellow carrot-ginger puree, browned hazelnut butter, sweet corn croquettes, serpent root ash. Dessert, called “Last Days of Summer,” is ginned blueberries, iced buttermilk and viola sugar from beets on the couple’s farm.

Drinks will be served as well, but all will be of the nonalcoholic variety.

Think elderflower, seedlip and strawberries served in a small bottle, thanks to curator Joel Söderbäck, who helms a couple of high-end bars in Stockholm. Söderbäck plans to take advantage of locally farmed and seasonal ingredients to create his concoctions.

The food and drink will be brought to each guest in a picnic basket tied to a rope leading to the restaurant’s kitchen window.

Asked whether exceptions will be made for more than one guest, say a couple who have been self-isolating together, Karlsson says “unfortunately not.”

“It feels sad to say no,” she adds, while praising the authenticity of the self-isolation experience.

“We might be isolated, but do we spend time with ourselves? This is an opportunity to do that. You are worth spending time with.”

Source: CNN

Dried Cherry Cheesecake Muffins

Ingredients

5-1/2 oz butter, plus extra for greasing
scant 1 cup cream cheese
generous 3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups self-rising flour
generous 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a deep 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. Melt the butter and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese and sugar together, add the eggs one at a time until well combined, and then stir in the melted butter.
  3. Mix the flour and cherries together in a bowl, then stir gently into the batter. Spoon into the prepared muffin pan, filling each hole to about two-thirds full, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Eat warm or cold, dusted lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 12 muffins.

Source: Brunch

In Pictures: Food of Weekend Brunches in Hong Kong Restaurants

Potatoes Serve High Quality Protein that’s Good for Women’s Muscle

Michelle Donovan wrote . . . . . . . . .

Researchers from McMaster University have found that the potato, primarily known as a starchy vegetable, can be a source of high-quality protein that helps to maintain muscle.

The findings, reported in the journal Nutrients, highlight the potential benefits of what is considered a non-traditional source of protein, particularly as dietary trends change and worldwide demand has increased for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived sources.

“While the amount of protein found in a potato is small, we grow lots of potatoes and the protein, when isolated, it can provide some measurable benefits,” says Sara Oikawa, a former graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster and lead author of the research paper.

The researchers recruited young women in their early twenties who consumed diets containing protein at the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 0.8 grams of protein/ per kilogram of weight/day, which would be approximately 60g of protein for the average woman or 70g for the average man.

One group of participants consumed additional potato protein isolate – in the form of a pudding—doubling their intake of the RDA to 1.6g/kg/d. Another group received a placebo.

Researchers found the women who consumed the additional potato protein increased the rate at which their muscles made new protein, while the placebo group did not.

“This was an interesting finding that we did not expect,” says Oikawa. “But it is one that shows the recommended daily allowance is inadequate to support maintenance of muscle in these young women.”

Perhaps more interesting, she says, was that a form of plant-derived protein, which has generally been thought to be of lower quality than animal-derived protein, can have such a beneficial effect.

To study the impact of weightlifting, the research team then instructed both groups of women to exercise only one of their legs.

“This method is a little unconventional but allows us to see the effect within the same person and not have to add more people who were exercising,” said the study principal investigator Stuart Phillips, who is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster and a leading researcher on protein and exercise.

In the leg the women exercised, scientists did not find any extra benefits from potato protein.

“That finding, which some may find disappointing, is in line with the rather small effect that protein has compared to exercise itself,” explains Phillips. “In other words, exercise is just such a more potent stimulus for making new muscle proteins compared to protein.”

The demand for protein has risen dramatically to meet the increased demands from the rising global population and plant-based proteins could fill that gap.

“This study provides evidence that the quality of proteins from plants can support muscle,” says Oikawa. “I think you’ll see more work on plant-based protein sources being done.”

The research was funded by the Alliance for Potato Research & Education.

Source: McMaster University

Breastfeeding May Help Guard Against Diabetes

Breastfeeding is good for more than babies: New research suggests it may protect new mothers from developing diabetes for years after they give birth.

The study included 85 women who breastfed and 99 who did not. They were assessed two months after giving birth and each year after that for at least three years.

Compared to those who didn’t breastfeed, mothers who breastfed had improved pancreatic beta cell mass and function and lower blood glucose (sugar) levels, reducing their risk of diabetes, the investigators found.

These benefits continued after women stopped breastfeeding, lasting for more than three years after they gave birth, according to the study published recently in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The South Korean researchers said the milk-secreting hormone “prolactin” in breastfeeding mothers not only promotes milk production, but also stimulates insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells that regulate blood glucose.

The researchers also found that “serotonin” — a chemical that contributes to well-being and happiness — is produced in pancreatic beta cells during breastfeeding. Serotonin in pancreatic beta cells act as an antioxidant and reduce oxidative stress, making mothers’ beta cells healthier.

Serotonin also induces the proliferation of beta cells, thereby increasing the beta cell mass and helping maintain proper glucose levels, according to the researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Because pregnancy causes weight gain and increased insulin resistance, it can increase the risk of diabetes. Other factors — such as a history of gestational diabetes, age and obesity — also affect a pregnant woman’s risk of developing diabetes after giving birth.

The risk of diabetes after delivery is highest among women who’ve had gestational diabetes and/or repeated deliveries, the study authors noted.

“We are happy to prove that lactation benefits female metabolic health by improving beta cell mass and function as well as glycemic control,” said Hail Kim, a professor in the institute’s Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering.

“Our future studies … may lead to new therapeutics to help prevent mothers from developing metabolic disorders,” Kim added in an institute news release.

Source: HealthDay


Today’s Comic