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Yule Cookie – English Matrimonials

English Matrimonials

1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ¼ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of butter
3/4 cup of raspberry jam (Mom used Mary Ellen but use the good stuff)

Measure flour, sugar, oats, salt and butter into bowl.
Mix with hands to a crumb-like consistency
Place half of mixture in an ungreased 6×10 Pyrex pan and press firmly
Cover with jam and top with remaining half of mixture
Press firmly
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes

Should be slightly candied around the edges and not too moist in center
Cut when cool
Makes 3-5 dozen

The recipe can be used as a dessert by substituting 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce or cherry or apple pie filling for the jam. Serve warm with ice cream.

Grandma Sjoberg’s Coffee Bread

Mom always made this Christmas morning.

2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
2 yeast cakes
1/4 cup lukewarm water
8 cups flour
2 eggs

Scald milk in small saucepan; stir in melted butter, salt, sugar, and cardamon. Cool mixture to luke warm. Pour water on yeast. Stir until dissolved.  Pour into milk mixture. Add beaten eggs and 4 cups of flour. Beat well and work in remaining 4 cups of flour.

Place on board and knead until smooth. Place dough into greased bowl, cover with damp towel and let rise 1 hour. Punch dough and let rise again about 1 hour. Return to board and shape into 4 braids. Top with nuts and granulated sugar.

Bake at 350 degree oven until medium brown.

This was another recipe my Grandma had to stand by my great-grandmother with measuring equipment to translate “a little of this” and “quite a bit of that”.

Mom’s Split Pea Soup

It was 37 again this morning and I’m bloody cold. It’s soup weather and if I make this , I’m afraid I’ll sit in it to get warm. Anyway this is the family, AKA the Swedish sides recipe and I’m afraid it isn’t vegetarian because if you leave out the pork it’s flat.

1 small package of split peas

1 onion chopped

2 carrots sliced

3 inch sprig of fresh rosemary

2 ham hocks

Salt to taste

  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot. Add water according to the pea package plus 2 cups. Cook until the peas mash when pressed with spoon, at least an hour.
  1. Remove the vegetables and blend until smooth. Remove meat from the bones and return vegetables to the pot. Mix well

Good with corn bread and honey butter.

This was my Swedish great- grandmother Hilda Sjoberg’s recipe and the rosemary was my mother’s addition.

I thought this went with the time of year.

Yule cookie – Grandpa’s Shortbread

For anyone’s holiday pleasure that wants to make it, here is my great-grandfather’s Scottish Shortbread recipe.

1 lb of flour, preferably unbleached, this equals 4 cups

1 lb of butter and don’t you dare use margarine! That would be a crime!

¼ lb of brown sugar but I cheat and use a loosely packed cup which is more than a ¼ lb.

Cut a large rectangle of brown paper out of a paper bag and put it aside.

Combine all 3 ingredients by hand, no cheating with a mixer! Until it is a smooth, well mixed ball of dough.

Pat out flat on the brown paper about ½ inch thick. Prick with fork to break apart later or don’t and just break it into bits when done.

Place in 350 degree oven for around 15 minutes or until light tan. Do not slip a pan underneath. Just put the paper in the oven. The grease from the butter will prevent the paper from burning.

Remove from oven. Let cool a bit and serve with a nice cup of tea. I prefer Twining’s Prince of Wales.

Our great- grandfather was a professional baker and all our family bakes. So this is required for holidays.

Yule treat – Fudge Pie

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter (1/4 pound) melted
2 whole eggs
1 square (1 oz) bitter chocolate
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 Tsp vanilla

Mix together sugar and butter
Beat in the 2 eggs
Melt over hot water 1 square chocolate, cool slightly and beat in butter mixture.
Sift before measuring and beat into the butter mixture the flour.
Add vanilla

Bake the batter in a greased 8 1/2 inch pie plate in a slow (325) degree oven for 30 minutes.

The pie will look and feel moist and gooey but don’t on that account bake it longer. It’s supposed to look and feel that way.

Cool in pan, cut into 6 pieces and dish each piece into individual dessert plates. Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Star Wars and other musings

Yay! I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year, 150 books. It’s still 27 books fewer than last year but I was gaming a lot this year so not as much reading got done.

Today is the work holiday party after work but I won’t be going. I’ve already been sick twice this morning and that would be tempting fate a wee bit too much.

I hope I feeling okay tomorrow morning  because I want to be able to drive up to Montrose and get a loaf of Limpa and maybe some Vort for Yule at our favourite Swedish bakery, Berolina’s. http://www.berolina.com/ They only make Vort in December and if they have some lemon Danish, I’ll get those as well or Lucy buns since St Lucy’s day was this week.  But all that is a big if since I may just crawl into bed tonight and stay there. I’d love to take a walk up in Franklin Canyon or over to Descanso but I fear that may not be able to be done either. I hate being sick. I’m still waiting for precertification of my surgery. I want this over and done and that frigging tumour out but even that may not be much help if the cancer has spread and I have to start chemo and/or radiation.

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I went and bought new pjs and another pair of the light fleece pants at Target and they were having a sale. It’s always nice when you have to buy something that isn’t in your normal budget plan and it’s on sale. Pjs at Target are 40% of at the moment if you need a pair and this pair of fleece pants have the Minions on them. I love the Minions. The other pairs I bought before have Storm Trooper helmets from Star Wars and a plain black pair and a red buffalo plaid that is also the Rob Roy tartan. Since Rob Roy is an ancestor, it’s all good.  I also bought a Yoda Oral B toothbrush because, well, it’s Yoda, it’s one of the battery operated ones and I just killed my last Oral B of old age. My sister got the Darth Vader light saber one that talks and lights up. We are such geeks.

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I bought our tickets today for a Christmas Day showing. My brother would have been so excited to see this one. In 1977 when I was working my first summer at a Girl Scout camp my brother started harassing me to see this stupid movie. He knew I was a big Science Fiction reading fan. I’d started reading Heinlein in 8th grade in 1968 so he thought I would like and finally in July when I was on a day off he kidnapped me and took me to the Plitt theater over on the West side. It no longer exists but it was one of the first theaters with reclining stuffed chairs and cup holders. I was still under duress but he was paying and I wasn’t that into until those words crawled up the screen, “ In a period of civil war…” and I was lost.

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The summer the second movie came out we came down from camp and saw it every day off. By the time the summer was over, I’d seen it 13 times and The Empire Strikes Back is still my favourite. When we acted it out over the summer I ended up Yoda. This meant I spent a lot of time in a bathrobe with green face paint and my elf ears. We had a water shortage that year so we couldn’t have campfires but we got around it by using our lightsabers in a tipi formation. The first lightsabers were very cool because they were long white tubes on flashlights and they came with an assortment of coloured gels so you could make them all different colours. You could tell who people were in the night by what colour the lightsaber coming down the trail was and of course mine was green.

I loved the Bill Moyers’ Joseph Campbell series

When I graduated at CSUN instead of Pomp and Circumstance we had the medal ceremony from a New Hope to receive our diplomas.

We went to Star Wars celebration when it was here in 2003.

When the prequels came out for some reason they opened in Pasadena at noon and I took the middle of the day off to see it and met my sister at the theater and then went back to work afterwards. The prequels were not as good as the first three but still it was STAR WARS!

I’ve read most of the Star Wars books over the years, We have the VHS and the DVDs and now we get to be there again in that galaxy far far away and listening to John Williams’ wonderful score once again. I just wish I could share it with Cam too.

 

 

 

 

 

Yule Cookie – Walnut crispies

2 Squares bitter chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in heavy saucepan
Add all other ingredients except nuts
Beat well by hand
Spread mixture in greased jelly roll pan or 3 (8×8 inch pans)
Sprinkle with nuts

Bake in  400 degree oven for 15 minutes
While warm cut with cutter into bars or squares
Break apart when cool.

Makes 4 dozen