On drying clementine slices

Yesterday, we went to the basement and looked through our Christmas boxes. Candles holders, zinc, gold, silver, ceramic. A basket with my favourite vintage glass ornaments wrapped in torn newspaper and packed in egg cartons kept closed with rubber bands. A couple of straw julbock [Yule goat]. Many adventljusstakar [Advent lights]. Four paper stars with their cables all tangled and their light bulbs wrapped in ...

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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. Lussi, an evil figure roamed the land along with her lussiferda, a horde of trolls and goblins. 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

Saffran, pepparkakor, lingon och mandel. 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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Saffransbullar med mandelmassa

[Swedish saffron and almond buns] Sunrise: 9:33 AM Sunset: 1:28 PM Temperature: -11.8°C The Swedish saffron and almond buns you see here were made on the twenty-fourth of November. Perhaps, it was a Tuesday. Or a Monday. But I remember how we made the dough the night before. And topped it with marzipan butter in the morning, just as a trumpet in the distance started ...

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Julhyacinter

Sunrise: 9:22 AM Sunset: 1:33 PM Temperature: 0.1°C Over the next couple of weeks, days are going to get much shorter. This morning, after I went for a sunlit-walk around Nordanå, we potted the julhyacinter [Christmas hyacinths] that we got over the weekend. Now a few hours later, candles have been lit up. In the tree. On the table. By the windows. There is mjukt ...

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Vaniljfudge

Sunrise: 9:20 AM Sunset: 1:36 PM Temperature: – 1.9°C I made some fudge yesterday. Vanilla fudge, of the old-fashioned kind. And really, I have no idea what it even means – old-fashioned fudge – but I saw it somewhere and liked the sound of it. Old-fashioned. Perhaps, with more ingredients than your standard condensed milk recipe. Perhaps, it’s the cream and sugar. Or the way ...

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Honungssnittar

A story about honey biscuit-slices, Christmas nook and the first advent Sunday Sunrise: 8:57 AM Sunset: 1:51 PM Temperature: 2.9°C Things haven’t evolved much since the days of my childhood Christmases. The tree gets decorated early. Biscuits get baked. So does my mom’s pain d’épices. Some years, Aïda and I will attempt to make marrons glacés [candied chestnuts], which is never a success since most ...

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Lanthandeln

[The country store] Nordanå, Ernst Westerlunds allé, 931 22 Skellefteå Lanthandeln I wanted to do an advent calendar on the blog this year. To document my first Christmas in Sweden. Except that after planning the posts, drawing illustrations, and baking a few – of the many I had on my list – traditional Swedish biscuits, I realised that it actually went against everything I believed ...

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