anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Archive for the ‘Love from Sweden’ Category

Glad Midsommar!

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swedish cottage

Celebrating the day of endless sun, whether or not in Sweden.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2013 at 00:01

Glad Lucia!

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It’s the day for celebrating light in Sweden: the tradition of Lucia.

As the child of a Swede that was intent on preserving tradition, I always knew what would come the morning of the 13th.

In the midst of the pitch black of a winter morning, my mother would gently knock on my door, the sign that I was meant to get up. Propping it open, she would walk away, leaving only the melodic sounds of Lucia sången coming from the downstairs speakers. I would rub my eyes and sleepily crawl out of bed. Outside of my door, a white robe was carefully hung, a thick red sash draped on top.

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Swedish Midsommar 101

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It’s summer solstice this week, which means it’s high time for Swedish midsommar, the best of holidays. Why? Because it’s a classic Swedish tradition that celebrates the longest day of the year, with food and drink at the center. In other words, an event to celebrate the sun. Put good food, a few glasses of aquavit and a table of friends together and you have yourself a party. Read the rest of this entry »

Listening To: Urban Cone – We Should Go to France

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A little indie-electro pop from Swedish group Urban Cone, which is the kind of song you should be listening to on a sunny afternoon.

Image: Urban Cone

Written by Anna Brones

April 13, 2012 at 14:10

Baking Swedish Semlor

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My favorite Swedish pastry? The semla. There are of course dozens of amazing Swedish baked goods, but this one is special because it only comes once a year. Baking a batch in the middle of summer or early fall? Unacceptable. The semla is meant to be consumed on Fat Tuesday, but of course that can be stretched out to include anytime between New Year’s and Easter.

Back to the semla.

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Written by Anna Brones

February 21, 2012 at 09:03

Glad Lucia!

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It’s Lucia Day in Sweden which means on the other side of the Atlantic it’s time for singing the Lucia song and baking saffron bread. And drinking glögg of course.

Saffransbröd – Saffron Bread adapted from Vår Kokbok

Almond paste

  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Mix almonds and sugar in Cuisinart or blender until a chunky paste forms. Set aside.

Saffransbröd – Saffron Bread

  • 1/2 gram saffron
  • 75 grams butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups flour
  • Currants for decoration

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Written by Anna Brones

December 13, 2011 at 09:30

Pepparkakor: Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

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Love collaborating with Johanna of Kokblog on recipes. Her illustrations provide plenty of inspiration.

I grew up, every December, carefully rolling out gingerbread dough. In the early years, it was an awkward dance of pushing and pulling a rolling pin about half my size. Flour tended to go everywhere, and I would end up grinning with dough pieces stuck all over me. Yet my mother simply left me to it, and if I rolled too hard and the dough got stuck to the countertop, I was forced to find a solution myself.

Dust with flour, roll, pull up dough, flip over and repeat until just the right thickness to slice into with a Swedish cookie cutter. These cookie cutters were carefully kept in a large tin – which had at one point in the early 80s held Danish butter cookies certainly purchased at duty free on one of her connecting stops in Copenhagen. Hearts, pigs, Christmas gnomes, the classic gingerbread couple; I loved, and still love, sorting through and picking out my favorites. Feeling lazy? There were always theFranska Pepparkakor to make, a much simpler process of rolling out a log and slicing the cookies. In fact, if Swedish Jul for Dummies were a book, this recipe would be in it.

Full article + recipes here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 8, 2011 at 14:11