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Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Day 10 – 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas – Swedish Sausage

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It’s Day 10 of the 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas, and today we’re making Swedish Sausage. I’m not sure if it’s really Swedish, or if that’s just what they call it. Regardless, Grandma and Grandpa had this every year for Christmas, and if we weren’t able to be together with them on Christmas, we’d have it whenever we got together this time of year. It’s one of those things where if I have it once a year, I’m good. It’s getting hard to find now, but I called around and found a store that carried this Swedish potato sausage. I remember this so well from the growing up years. Grandma would be standing at the stove in her holiday apron, being so careful with it, making sure it was cooked just right. She was dead serious about her heritage and this was one of those things that seemed to be a big part of it along with lefse, all the Scandinavian cookies, and her stories of her family and their traditions when she was growing up. She loved to tell the stories and she had a rapt audience in me!

swedish-sausage

Funny thing – when she says that it’s from the “store” here, she means the store in the tiny town one mile from where they lived. They must have gotten the sausage there until the store closed sometime in the early 1980’s.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Swedish Sausage

Cook sausage in a glass pan in 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Cover for the last half of cooking time.

Cut into pieces and fry in pan (she must have originally just left it in the oven but turned the sausage half way through the cooking time but I know that in later years, she would cut it and fry it in a pan).

Serve.

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When putting it in the pan for the oven, I pricked it in a few places with the tip of a knife so there would be no blow-outs. Halfway through she said to cover it, so I used a bit of foil.

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After baking, it’s time to cut it into pieces and brown it in the fry pan.

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It wasn’t exactly the same flavor as I remember, but it was good. I’m sure every place that makes it has their own recipe and spices that they use.

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Try this delicious and spiced sausage, and you’ll be trying a bit of Swedish heritage. It smelled so good in the oven and for a few minutes it took me back to Grandma’s kitchen at Christmastime. I got a bit emotional, but I still enjoyed the warm and wonderful fragrance of the Christmas memory.

 

 

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Day 1 – 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas – Swedish Cardamom Bread – My 500th Post!

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Here we are on Day 1 of the 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas! This is so exciting! I’m going to share some baking, some crafts, and some just plain awesome Scandinavian stuff. There will be some new things and some things that I’ve posted about in the past, but I want to make sure you get to see them again.

There is one more exciting thing about today – it’s my 500th post!!! I seriously can’t believe it! I’ve learned a lot and it has been so much fun to make these recipes of Grandma’s for you! There have been recipes from other friends and family, but Grandma’s recipes have been the main focus here. This has brought back a lot of memories, not just for me, but for my whole family as we’ve gotten to remember so many good times with Grandma and Grandpa at the farm and beyond. Ok, ok – I have to stop or I’ll get all emotional!

So let’s move on to our 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas! Today we’re trying a new thing. This is not one of Grandma’s recipes, but she would have LOVED this one! Swedish Cardamom Bread is a sweet bread that I made for a Christmas gift for friends a few years ago. It’s pretty, it’s delicious, and it’s impressive. I found the recipe at about.com and you can find it here. The link is to the recipe for the dough, then click on Vetebrod for how to do the braided loaf. Because it’s a bit complicated, I’m not going to retype the recipe here. You can go to the website if you want to print out the recipe and make this delicious sweet bread.

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Can you ever really have TOO much cardamom? I think not. Next time, however, I will crush my own cardamom seeds instead of using ground cardamom just to see if I can get even MORE cardamom flavor into this sweet bread.

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And can you ever really have TOO much butter in your bread? I think not.

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I have to say – I love my mixer. Doing all this kneading by hand would be rough. After the kneading I just let it rise right in the mixer bowl.

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Knead it a few times by hand to make a nice smooth ball, then cut it in half. We’re going to end up with 2 braided loaves.

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Cut each half in 3 pieces, roll them into snakes about 18 inches long, and then braid them together, tucking under the ends.

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Beautiful and ready for another rise.

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Gently brush on the egg glaze and them sprinkle the pearl sugar over top. I was informed by my family that I was too stingy with the pearl sugar. I was told to “load it up” next time. Can your really ever have TOO much pearl sugar. I think not.

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Here are the beauties out of the oven!

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This bread is delicious warm from the oven with some butter and/or jam. It’s perfect for your afternoon “fika” or coffee! Make this now, wrap it well, and have it in your freezer for those unexpected guests that drop by. If word gets out, you may end up with a lot of afternoon coffee company!

 

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Krumkaka

Seeing this photo of me at 1 year old reminded me so much of Grandma and Grandpa, the farm, and holidays spent there, that I just had to share this one, too. Holidays were always spent with family and a lot of conversation, family stories, laughter and love swirling around the room. This photo is so funny! Can you say “presents?!!!” Haha! I seem to like the ducky toy enough to ignore the other present that looks like it’s bigger than me!!

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You can tell by the eyes that I don’t have any idea what’s going on, but I like it!!

Thinking of Grandma and Grandpa, the farm, and the holidays spent there brings me to another Scandinavian recipe! We always have Krumkaka at Christmas and they’re one of my favorite Christmas cookies. My mom has a stove top krumkaka iron that we usually make these cookies on, but this year we’re trying something new. My husband gave me a krumkaka iron for my birthday and it’s ELECTRIC. An electric one is great, but the BEST part about it – it’s a DOUBLE. Yes – you can cook 2 at a time!!! That means it goes twice as fast!! That’s a good thing – a very good thing – because this recipe makes A LOT of cookies. We usually cut it in half and THAT makes a lot of cookies. We sometimes have had a Scandinavian baking day (I’ve posted about a couple of those other cookies – Sanbakkelse, Spritz Cookies, Lefse, and Lefse #2) where my mom comes and one or both of my daughters, so the baking of all these cookies goes faster. If not faster, it just seems like it with all the conversation, family stories, laughter, and love swirling around the room. Sound familiar?

This card has my mom’s initials on it, so it originally came from her. There was another recipe on the back of the card from someone else, but it’s basically just the front recipe cut in half. But with more vanilla. I used the recipe on the back of the card (the half batch) with more vanilla.

Krumkaka

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This one has the “Good Recipe” connotation on it!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Krumkaka (half batch)

Beat well:

2 eggs

Add:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat.

Add alternately:

1 1/2 cup flour

Scant 1 cup milk

Mix well.

Cook in krumkaka iron half a minute on each side if using stove top iron (I used my new electric iron and it took about 1 minute and 20 seconds to cook.

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Even if you have softened butter, I’d beat it well when adding the rest of the ingredients so you don’t have lumps of butter in the batter.

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Yay! Here’s my new electric iron! Put about a heaping teaspoon of batter on iron and hold it shut for about 30 seconds when cooking.

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After the cookies are done, remove them from the iron and immediately roll them around the wooden cone that is included with the iron. I’m hoping Santa brings me an extra wooden cone because I found that it would definitely help to have two when cooking two cookies at a time. The second cookie sometimes gets a bit too hard to roll if you don’t stay on top of the rolling thing. I mean, not that you can’t find something to do with those cookies that crack when they sat too long. Someone has to be the taste tester, and luckily, my husband is there with a can of Reddi Wip to squirt into those cracked ones to hold them together and make sure the batch is ok. Hmmm. Maybe there was an ulterior motive involved with this birthday gift.

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Aren’t they pretty?!! This batch made about 46. The first ones got a bit lighter than I like them to be, but I was still learning how to use the new iron. We’ve since made a second batch and they were better. I’m learning! I hope you get a chance to try to make some of these great Scandinavian favorites! Gather your family or helpers, make some memories of your own, and feel the love!

 

 

 

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Swedish Macaroons

This Easter picture is of me with Grandma’s oldest sister.

She never married and never had children but she always made all of us kids feel so special.

She loved to pinch our cheeks and give them a wiggle.

That was her trademark!

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I still remember that cute little Easter basket that I think was made from a cottage cheese container.

I love that they had special containers for holidays back then.

I still have the big basket and use it to decorate every year.

I also remember that beautiful blue chiffon dress!!

Today’s recipe is for one of my favorite cookies.

What recipe that  I’ve made is NOT one of my favorite cookies?

Ha!

I love coconut!!!!

I don’t remember Grandma making these – I sure wish she had!!!

I’m not sure why they are named Swedish Macaroons unless it’s because they’re almost a cross between macaroons and meringues.

I guess that makes them a little bit different from the regular type.

Swedish Macaroons

There is a bonus recipe of Chocolate Macaroons on the back of the card, but I’ll make those another time.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Swedish Macaroons

3 egg whites

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 pound shredded coconut (I’m sure this is just the regular sweetened kind you find in the grocery store – not sure they had unsweetened back in the day)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg white until stiff.

Fold rest of ingredients into beaten egg whites.

Drop small bits onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake in slow oven (300) until brown.

I baked them at 350 for about 8 minutes – they were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

I like them that way.

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I beat the egg whites until they had stiff peaks.

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I folded all the ingredients into the egg whites.

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I used my trusty ice cream scoop to make about 30 macaroons.

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I love that they are of a meringue cookie type consistency.

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I really love coconut.

Yep – really good!

 

 

 

 

 

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Ost Kaka – the Easy Kind

The recipe for today is another dish that we had at my mom’s birthday dinner.

Ost Kaka is a Swedish tradition and this recipe is the easy kind.

I also have Grandma’s recipe for the more difficult kind where you have to cheese the milk yourself using rennet instead of using cottage cheese.

I’ve never made the more difficult kind by myself – I want my mom to help me the first time so I know what I’m doing.

Maybe we’ll explore the recipe for that more difficult kind at a later date.

We have this dish at all family celebrations – holiday or otherwise.

Really, any excuse to make this is what we’re looking for.

Ost Kaka - the Easy Kind

The aroma of this dish baking in the oven is the epitome of comfort food for my family.

This one really brings back memories of holidays and celebrations at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Here is the recipe as I made it (I doubled this):

Ost Kaka – the Easy Kind

Mix together:

1 box of cottage cheese (24 ounce)

4 eggs

1 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 pint Half-n-Half

Put in 9″ x 13″ cake pan and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

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It really doesn’t look like much when you first mix it up.

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Grandma never liked it to get too brown (even though we all like it a bit brown on top).

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This dish is another one popular with the Scandinavian farmers in the area where my grandparents lived.

It’s made with dairy ingredients easily accessible to them.

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Out of the oven it’s a thick, custardy pudding.

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It was an integral part of my mom’s birthday dinner.

Comfort food at it’s finest.

Maybe if we close our eyes, we can pretend that we’re in the dining room at the farm and they’re still here with us celebrating.

We don’t need to pretend.

They’d never miss a celebration!

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Swedish Meatballs

Today’s recipe is another one that comes from my aunt.

Our whole family loves Swedish Meatballs.

I made these meatballs for my mom’s birthday dinner last week.

We went the traditional route and had some Swedish favorites.

Grandma had written on the top of the card that she usually doubled the recipe.

I also doubled this recipe when I made it because we were 6 for dinner and I was sending some home with my mom.

The term “we were 6” or 12 or 20 was another one of Grandma’s ways of speaking.

Back in the day, they would actually have had this dinner put in the local paper.

It would have said something about having had a birthday dinner for my mom and “we were 6”.

They would tell exactly who was there and if they were from out of town, where they were from and possibly how long they were visiting.

Next would be about the meal itself: Swedish meatballs, Ost Kaka (which will be in my next post), green beans and birthday cake was served.

It was big news when celebrations of any kind were held out in the country where they lived or in the nearby small town of Svea (population about 100 now).

Even though it seems like a weird and gossipy thing to do, now we put it on Facebook – with pictures!

Swedish Meatballs from Sue

Swedish Meatballs from Sue 2

I do so love these meatballs.

Here is the recipe as I made it (but I doubled it):

Swedish Meatballs

Mix together:

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3/4 bread crumbs (I used two bread crusts chopped in the food processor)

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

Roll into balls and brown in frying pan.

Remove meatballs from pan and then stir into fat in the pan:

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Then stir into this mixture:

2 cups boiling water

3/4 cup sour cream

Return meatballs to gravy and cook 20 minutes.

We did make this gravy the last time we made these meatballs so this time I tried the gravy Grandma had written at the bottom of the card:

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can of water

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

Whisk together, add meatballs, and cook for 20 minutes.

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It’s a pretty fast recipe – it doesn’t take too long to pull together.

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If there’s a way to keep meatballs round, I don’t know it.

You could make the meatballs smaller than I did.

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The gravy is thick and bubbly.

This is the double batch of meatballs and gravy all in one pan.

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No – that’s not mashed potatoes.

It’s Ost Kaka, which is another Swedish treat I will have in my next post.

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My son’s exact words at dinner -“I could eat these til I puke!”

That means they’re REALLY good.

They really are delicious.

Thanks for another great recipe and tradition, Susan!

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Liza’s Swedish Cookies

The recipe today is one that I never remember Grandma making.

I can’t ask her questions and my mom didn’t remember having these very often, so I was on my own about how to make these and what they should look like.

Liza’s Swedish Cookies is one I hadn’t heard of before seeing the recipe in her file.

I have been known to look up some of these recipes online in case I don’t know what they should look like or can’t figure out how to do them, but I couldn’t find anything close to these anywhere.

Liza's Swedish Cookies

Liza's Swedish Cookies 2

I read this through about 20 times before starting to make the cookies.

It just wasn’t making sense to me – but I think I figured it out.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Liza’s Swedish Cookies

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Form into long ropes in thickness and length you desire – 2 to 4 lengths according to the length of cookie sheet.

Brush with egg white (I whipped it up a bit with a fork) down the center and top with chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from cookie sheet and cut diagonally into cookies.

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When I was done mixing the ingredients, it looked somewhat like graham cracker crumbs.

How were these supposed to stick together?

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I used my hands to mix the crumb like dough together and the warmth of my hands helped it stick together.

It still didn’t hold together until I just put the first log onto the cookie sheet and LIGHTLY rolled it into a log.

If you do this too hard, it will just keep falling apart.

Keep trying – it will work!

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I used sliced almonds but you could use any chopped nuts.

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I cut them diagonally and they look great.

They’re a very different kind of cookie.

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They were a bit of work, but so worth it.

I would say they’re a cross between a biscotti and a shortbread.

Another great cookie to have with that afternoon coffee or tea.

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