For me it is very important to pass on Swedish culture and tradition to my kids. We are a mixed family living in a third cultural environment (husband American, me Swedish living in Switzerland) and sometimes I feel sad to realize my kids won't be 100% "Yellow & Blue" or "Stars & Stripes" for that matter. So, I have found some really great Swedish Wows!!! that I warmly recommend to others who live a similar life to mine.
Lennart Hellsing - Sweden's dr Seuss
This great author plays with words and rhymes in the most fantastic and catching way. I would say he is a Swedish Dr Seuss (anyone who doesn't know of "The Cat In the Hat" or "Green Eggs and Ham"???).
The book Hellsingland was given as a birthday gift to Luca Bo in June and as it was a special edition to celebrate Lennart Hellsing 90th birthday it included a CD with 20 of the songs and rhymes in the book. My kids LOOOOOVE both the book and the CD. Everybody sings along and so even moi. A must have. My personal favorite is "Ticke Tack, här kommer Peter Palsternack - Ticke tack ticke tack, dansande på tå och klack i sin gula frack Tick tack...". And of course, the illustrations are absolutely fantastic too!!!
The Swedish Advents Calendar
The fact that I can let my kids watch the Swedish Advents calendar via Internet is fantastic. I am so happy that they get the chance to experience this big tradition that I grew up with. Check out Superhjältejul. A fun and accurate calendar this year. This is a big WOW!.
Christmas Saffron Rolls
Who can go through December and Christmas without the deliscious "Lussebulle". A very Swedish sweet pastry. Easy to make, yummy to eat and loved by everyone you meet. We have already gone through three batches of it in my house (the first one was finished within hours after baking them). We have them as breakfast treats, school snack, afternoon snack, evening snack or just because we want one and love them. Here comes the recipe that can be alternated. I have personally skipped the raisin part as we don't really care for them and instead I have added pearled sugar to sprinkle on top. Enjoy.
(About 30 rolls)
175 g (6oz) unsalted butter
5 dl (2 cups) milk
50 g (1 3/4 oz) fresh yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 dl (3/4 cup) sugar
1 g ground saffron
1 egg (optional)
1-1 1/2 liters (6 1/2 cups) all-purpous flour
1 beaten egg for brushing
Handful of raisins for decoration or pearled sugar
1. Melt butter, add milk and heat to 37˚C (98˚F).
2. Crumble yeast into some of the milk mixture and stir until dissolved.
3. Add remaining liquid, salt, sugar, saffron, egg (if desired).
4. Knead in enough flour to make smooth and elastic dough that cleans the bowl, by machine or by hand (I stir in flour and then knead the dough smooth on a table).
5. Sprinkle with flour, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
6. Knead dough smooth with just a little flour on table. Form dough into rolls and garnish with raisins. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 225˚C (425˚F). Brush buns with beaten egg, sprinkle pearled sugar (if desired). Bake buns for 5-10 minutes. Cool covered. Enjoy.