Christmas coming up!

IMG_5566Long time no blogging, feel like it’s hard to beat my last blog post, the Island doesn’t get much more beautiful than that…no who am I kidding, it is a small paradise whatever the weather. That said I’ve spent most of today indoors baking. Second of advent I have a Christmas market in my gallery/barn and there is so much to prepare! Last year the gallery looked great but I didn’t put any xmassy decorations in our home until a few days before Christmas. Today I washed all the windows, put the traditional lights up and also had time to pimp the barn a little bit. I’ve started baking already, the traditional Swedish Lussebullar or Lussekatter as most people say. The are buns with lots of saffron, decorated with raisins and we also put sugar on top. We also made a ginger cookie and white chocolate cheese cake which tastes very promising!

The weather this winter has been as usual varied…we did have heavy snow for a day but then it rained away. That morning with the snow the chicks were so funny. They all queued to get out as usual but froze in their tracks and then desperately dove back in. Before when we’ve had only Hedemora(a traditional Swedish heritage breed) they haven’t minded it too much but this mixed race bunch did. Only Lilja(Lilly) dared to get to the food outside and then dove back inside. He(we hoped that is was a she when we named him) is so gorgeous, pitch black and the tail feathers are growing by the day. I had to kill two cockerels last week and it was the toughest  so far because they were so big and strong. Now we are hoping that Lilly will get to stay all depending on how load he will be. Peanut the other cockerel born in spring is doing great, he is so goofy but still manages to keep the flock at peace. We caught him chasing his own tail feathers one day…but if any of the hens are mean to another hen he is right there to brake it up.

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Peanut with his posse

 

Devil-cats

DSC_0673It’s funny living on Hönö I’m finding out new things about the Island and the islanders all the time. Maybe it’s a coincidence but all the people I work with eat Lussekatter without Saffron. I questioned this meaning that eating a Lussekatt is like eating a cinnamon bun without the yummy stuff. They just shake their heads and give me the ”are you for real?” look. For me it’s one of the best things about Christmas, well it’s actually supposed to be eaten at Lucia. I remember hearing about how Saffran was so expensive when I was a child and my mum would double the amount given in the recipe, it was luxury! Maybe they couldn’t afford saffran on the island?
According to my recipe book Lussekatter are all about the Devil in the shape of a cat. Another weird mid-eval tradition that still live on. There are many different ways of shaping them but usually they look like an ”S”. You decorate them with raisins and sometimes, like I do, with sugar.

If you want to try making them yourself, here’s my favourite recipe:
175g butter
2,5dl sugar, 50g of fresh yeast, 1tsp salt, 2 bags of saffron(0,5gx2), 14dl fluor and 5dl of milk. Melt butter, pour in milk and heat to 37°C. Pour some on the yeast, stir and add the rest. Morcel saffran with some sugar and add to the liquid then sugar and salt. Add fluor and work the dough for 10 min. Let rise for 40min. Roll and shape figures, let rise for another 30 min. Brush with egg, decorate with raisins and sugar. Bake in 200°C oven for about 8-10 min or when they have the right colour. I always add 250g of Kesella but don’r really know the equivalent for it in English, it’s like a yoghurt but more protein and thicker in concistensy, but this is not a have-to.

Swedish lussekatter

IMAG3845-1Kick-started Christmas with baking some Lussebullar last night. They are buns with saffron and are traditionally baked like an S with raisins as decorations. I am not a big fan of baked raisins so our family has added pearl sugar to the equation. We tried a new recipe and it gave very fluffy buns but took ages to rise, had to turn the oven on with the oven door open and shut the door to the kitchen for the dough to show any life. Next time I think we will stick to our old recipe. Of course we(my daughter and I) couldn’t help making some funny shaped ones. Another word for Lussebullar is Lussekatter(Lusse-cats) so we ended up with many Lusse-cats, rabbits and Lusse-pigs.
Tonight we will feast on what we baked, store bought ginger cookies and Glögg(mulled wine). Bring on Christmas!