February 12, 2013 § 26 Comments
aka Fat Tuesday buns, if you don’t know what any of those other things mean.
Yes, it’s Fat Tuesday, and while in some parts of the world this means shiny beads, and raucous parades with floats, and beignets, across Scandinavia, it means buns. I don’t know the history of how this particular regionally specific way of preparing for Lent came to be (I mean seriously, why buns? Why not, I guess.), but since I grew up with it, I’m awfully fond of it.
Basically, I wait for this day all year, just so I can eat these buns.
The best known of the Fat Tuesday buns are the Swedish semlor (the plural of semla). Theirs are sweet cardamom buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream. If you’d like you can drown them in warm milk before serving. Danish and Icelandic Fat Tuesday buns are more like pate a choux, stuffed with whipped cream and jam and topped with chocolate (and here I must also admit that the Icelanders actually eat theirs on the Monday before, which they call bun day. Those Icelanders, always trying to be different…). « Read the rest of this entry »
December 12, 2012 § 14 Comments
I have a major breakfast thing people. It’s pretty weird.
I mean, I knew I had a breakfast thing before – I’ve brought it up more than a few times, for example every time I mention breakfast – but I don’t think I knew knew. If you know what I mean. You know?
But now I know. When I commandeered the whole breakfast-making procedure at my best friend in Boston’s house – where I was the guest, mind you – and started turning out frittatas with arugula and over easy eggs with a brown butter vinegar sizzle, that’s when I really knew.
It may be Monday or Thursday, I may have a meeting at 8 am, but still I find myself compulsively fixing breakfast for myself and whomever else I can shake out of bed. Plates of migas, fried eggs with kimchi and orange aioli, potato cakes with smoked salmon, honey-avocado lassis, fresh baked corn bread with homemade ricotta. I may not be able to plan out my lunch, potentially not even dinner, but breakfast is likely to be a minor masterpiece.
I’d say it was a problem, if it weren’t so delicious! « Read the rest of this entry »
December 20, 2011 § 24 Comments
On the off chance that your holiday breakfast plan is not yet inscribed in stone; in case you aren’t already bound and determined to have a strata, or frittata, or sticky buns, or perhaps puffy pancakes or spoon bread; or maybe you’d like to just add some icing to your giant, decadent, multi-course holiday brunch cake; well then dear friends, may I venture a suggestion.
I actually feel a bit ashamed that I’ve been holding this recipe from you for so long. It’s a recipe that may, in fact, deserve a little shouting from the rooftops. And, it’s a recipe with a history, which means stories.
I didn’t know any of the stories when I first started baking the original version (this is a wholly different iteration, but we’ll get to that later), I just knew that I had the recipe copied down on an index card from my friend, and I had labeled it “breakfast puffs.”
December 13, 2011 § 12 Comments
Does’t that just sound like the food version of cuddling on the couch in front of a fire? Warm custard spoon bread. Every word there is like a friendly little squeeze. Every word there says to me, “I am unbelievably amazingly delicious and decadent. You should probably drop everything and make me right now.”
I don’t know why but I am an absolute sucker for foods that have the word spoon in their title. (I am a sucker for warm, custard, and bread as well. But, those are more standard enticements than you’d expect an eating utensil to be.) It’s like a short hand for something being so ooey gooey, soft, and tender that you have to eat it with a spoon. Like Nutella right from the jar.
I have been actively yearning for this dish for a year now. At least I have whenever it has been brought to my attention. Then, as with most other things that are actually important to me to remember (as opposed to random facts and other people’s schedules which stick in my mind with remarkable fortitude), I promptly forget about it as soon as I am not looking at the recipe. I don’t know why this happens, but I know I’m not the only one who does this. I’ve heard from all sorts of people that it can somehow take months or years for them to get around to making a dish that they desperately wanted to try upon seeing it.
Maybe it’s a built in mechanism to allow us the great pleasure afforded by deferred gratification. Maybe people did experiments on us when we were little, telling us not to eat the marshmallow in front of us, and this is the strategy we developed to succeed. Most likely we’re just scatterbrained by virtue of the way the information stimuli in our society are fed to us. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 26, 2011 § 35 Comments
Thanksgiving is over. Sigh…
Now let’s turn up the “Jingle Bells” and start preparing for Christmas!!!
Okay, just kidding. I’m not ready to start decking halls and listening to Christmas carols quite yet, no matter what the advertising industry wants me to do. Though the twinkle lights that have been appearing on the trees in the squares, making them look as though a little fairy has flown through and sprinkled holiday cheer dust everywhere, are bringing me a great deal of joy (thank you fairy and/or city decorators!).
October 21, 2011 § 7 Comments
Curse the design and marketing team at Crate & Barrel! Curse them for being good at their jobs! Here we are, still knee deep in October (arguably the best month of the year), and an idle flip through their latest catalogue has left me jonesing for Christmas (not only Christmas, but all sorts of related decorative elements that I truly do not need).
Christmas is, it must be said, my very favorite holiday and my favorite season (I have a major failing for twinkle lights and Christmas carols. What can I say? Character flaw, perhaps.), so it doesn’t take a ton to get me excited about it and chomping at the bit for it to come. But, to do so to the detriment of appreciating fall, glorious fall, well that would be tragic.
December 31, 2010 § 48 Comments
I’m finding it remarkably difficult to write this post. It’s always hard for me when I really, really care about something. You see, lefse for me, and many of my friends, is not just lefse. It’s so much more. But, maybe for the sake of those of you who haven’t had it – or haven’t even heard of it – I’ll start with what it is.
Homemade lefse (particularly when fresh) is hands-down one of the best foods on the face of this earth. Truffles, caviar, foi gras, lobster, you’ve got nothin’ on lefse. It is an inordinately traditional Norwegian potato flatbread. Simple. Soft and supple, a bit like a tortilla, but almost lacy thin and seductively buttery. Hot off the griddle, they are absolutely unbelievable. Our favorite – and the most traditional – ways of serving lefse are either wrapped around a hot dog and ketchup (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! You’ll never look back.) or spread with butter and cinnamon-sugar (brown sugar is equally tempting and adds a lovely caramel accent). Really you could use them to wrap up just about anything, including, it turns out, the phenomenal combo of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. They are so good, I can’t even begin to wax adequately eloquent about them. I would have to be a bard of potatoes.