A special Christmas surprise

I’m writing this on the first day of winter as defined by the astronomical calendar. In my heart, though, winter started early morning, on the second of November. That day, we walked through the old town; snow on the ground, snow twirling down, snow on the roofs. We were completely alone and really, I couldn’t not believe the beauty before my eyes. Today, a little ...

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Glad Lucia, a lussekatter history (and recipe)

Traditionally eaten for Santa Lucia on the thirteenth of December, lussekatter – also called lussebullar – have a nebulous history. One that’s laced with Christianity and paganism, German and viking heritage. In fact, even the origin of the Lucia celebrations is quite elusive. [heading_right]Lussi, an evil figure roamed the land along with her lussiferda, a horde of trolls and goblins.[/heading_right] Lussinatta once coincided with the ...

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Swedish pepparkakor

This Swedish pepparkakor recipe isn’t one that comes with many traditions. It was in fact created on the very first weekend of advent earlier this month after days of formula research and calculations. We had just brought upstairs two cardboard boxes labelled hastily JUL 2015 [Christmas 2015] from our förråd [storage] and there were candles lighting our house to the most beautiful shade of gold; ...

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PS. Time to start baking with saffron

[heading_right]Saffran, pepparkakor, lingon och mandel.[/heading_right] If you sat on the windowsill, here with me – yes, right now – you’d see many things around us. The stars and advent candles, fluttering in every house. The snow, covering roofs till the horizon and further. In my kitchen – and I suspect many others – saffran, pepparkakor, lingon och mandel [saffron, gingerbread, lingon berries and almonds] pervade ...

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Glöggmys

We have stars glowing by our windows. And snow when we look over the roofs of Skellefteå. We have a batch of saffron, almond and orange biscotti in the oven. And one of pepparkaksdeg [gingerbread biscuit dough] in the making: there is cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves infusing in water, along with butter too of course! And soon the dough will come together. We have ...

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Kladdkaka du dimanche

[Swedish chocolate cake, of the Sunday kind] Everytime I come around here, a whole season has gone by. There was summer and its endless hours in the kitchen that I now call home. But before we knew it, the time for semester [holidays] came. And went. Two weeks in our stuga [cabin] in the middle of the woods; and I still stand by my words ...

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An autumn day

We went for a walk today. And for once, I remembered to take my camera along. Our official purpose was to pick rönnbär [rowan berries], but really, I just wanted to wrap myself in a golden hour that comes everyday a bit sooner. We walked by the river. And crossed the dam that seems more of a waterfall at the moment, as water gets released ...

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Almond and raisin tea cake

I’ve been thinking about this cake ever since my mum emailed me earlier this week, asking for a good recipe for cake aux fruits confits. Growing up, cake aux fruits confits was always the last one left on a birthday dessert table. Slices of dry cake, studded with always too little candied cherries, of the bright-red kind, which if you’d asked me twenty years ago ...

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Bonjour juin, rhubarb edition

Let me tell you the story of yesterday. Or rather, of yesterday afternoon. We stopped at the gas station. Two French hot-dogs and bad cups of coffee later we turned right on the old road towards Kusmark. It had only been a couple of weeks since our last trip and yet, the never-ending sun turned the fields into a thousand shades of green. There is ...

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Raw carrot cake energy balls

The days are now long again. With the sun setting at ten thirty pm and rising just a short hours later at two thirty am. And when I told Svante last Sunday “Det känns som sommar idag.”, he was quick to answer “Det är sommar.”, something that went in unison with his rhubarb plants, which have dramatically grown over the span of a few weeks. ...

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Carrés au citron

[Lemon squares] You can ask any chef; staff meals are a luxury in the restaurant industry. Over the past ten years, I’ve come across almost anything. The baguettes we’d be sent to buy at the wonderful Des gâteaux et du pain, sliced in half lengthways, and placed on the bench along with a container of Bordier butter, one of home-made strawberry jam, and one filled ...

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Kalkbruket

We passed by this abandoned lime kiln on our way back from Åsen, and I had to stop the car. We parked by the small house across the road. We walked around the beautifully-decayed factory and right then, an almost-alternate reality opened in front of our eyes. It was breathtaking. Perhaps you don’t know, but I’m fascinated with industrial buildings, especially those that have been ...

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