December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Food

For years we've done a Swedish meal that Monte grew up with every Christmas Eve. It was what was done in olden day Sweden and maybe still by some. Monte is 100% Swedish and I am part.

We make a soup in remembrance of poor families who had only broth and bread. It is called 'doppa i grytan' meaning 'dipping in the kettle', a communal thing, because the family would line up and dip bread in the pot. The soup is made to stretch what little meat they had. We make it with homemade beef stock from bones, adding very finely chopped meat and vegetables. So we eat soup with bread, and home-made potato sausage. And we don't do lutefish! I did try it one year as more of a pudding/casserole, but we don't need it. And considering all it's processing, I doubt is has any nutrients left.

For desert we do rice pudding and fruit soup. The tradition is to hide an almond in the pudding and the one finding it will marry next. Sometimes I'll have a little gift. One year my brother Rob got the almond. I guess when he proposed to Karla he had the almond in a ring box. Is that right Rob?

A couple years we made ostakaka from raw milk. We decided rice pudding is the poor man's version of this clabbered milk pudding that tastes kinda like cheesecake. If no raw milk is available, then it's made with cottage cheese.

When I was dating Monte I exclaimed, "Fruit Soup?!!!!?!!!" thinking it sounded awful. But it's my favorite thing now. We always have it and potato sausage leftover to enjoy for the whole Christmas season.
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