The holidays are all about family traditions. What makes the holidays so special is the fact that no family has the same traditions, every household is different and unique! My family has many holiday traditions; some have been passed down through generations and others have been created in just the last few years.
|Julbord: Our Swedish Christmas Eve Dinner|
My favorite family Christmas tradition involves food (of course!) and also celebrates my mother's Swedish background and heritage. Every Christmas Eve my mother prepares a special type of Swedish smörgåsbord called the julbord, which is the standard Christmas dinner in Sweden. Like the Sweds, we all gather together and feast on ham, Swedish meatballs, scalloped potatoes, lingonberry jam, green peas, pickled herring, and limpa bread... while sipping on glasses of glögg.
|family trip to Stockholm, Sweden in 2008|
Smörgåsbord - a type of meal served buffet-style with multiple cold and hot dishes of various foods on a table, originating in Sweden. The Julbord is the Christmas version of this type of meal.
Swedish meatballs - a classic Swedish dish. Swedish meatballs are made from a mixture of beef and pork, flavored with nutmeg and allspice and served with a rich beef and sour cream sauce.
Lingonberry Jam - a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine. A jam (only berries, sugar, and a small amount of water) made from lingonberries, a berry plentiful in Scandinavia. Similar to a cranberry.
Pickled Herring - yup, it's just that. Pickled, sweetened herring, called inlagd sill, is the most traditional of Swedish appetizers.
Limpa - Limpa bread is a Swedish rye bread flavored with molasses, anise, and orange peel.
Glögg - Mulled, spiced wine (served warm).
|Authentic Swedish meatball plate in Stockholm, Sweden|
|loaves of Swedish limpa|
Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from pans onto cooling racks. Brush hot loaves with warm molasses.
While you are enjoying the holidays with your family, take note of all the wonderful traditions you've created through the years.... they are yours, and yours alone. It's quite a beautiful thing.
Merry Christmas all! Skol!!