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March 1

And it snowed over night. I don't know if it will snow more today; I hope so. Then I'm ready for spring!

On the first Sunday of each month, my parish has a "brunch". (Really, it's a lunch.) Usually I cook something, but yesterday after seeing Gomorra, I went to a new bakery in the neighborhood with Hardy. While there, I had a hot cross bun. It was so good that I bought 2 dozen of them to take to the brunch. I hope other people like them. You never know about things with candied fruit. Some people love it, others don't.

Hot cross buns, though, made me think of this wonderful Swedish bread that was for sale in the konditori only during Lent. I'll have to dig through my recipes...

It's a simple yeast bun with a bit of cardamom in it. After it's done, you cut off the top, then you scoop out of bit of the bread. That's replaced with a bit of marzipan. Then you put the top back on the bun. But you don't eat it quite yet. Instead, you put the bun in a bowl, pour hot milk over (not too much) and sprinkle with cinnamon. It's quite lovely.

If you go looking on the Internet, some people (most people) call them "semla" (plural "smelor"), while others call them (more specifically) "Fastlagssemla" (plural "Fastlagssemlor"). This gets at the idea that they should be eaten on Shrove Tuesday. However, when I was in Sweden, most people at them throughout Lent and the village bakery didn't begin selling them until the Monday of the that included Ash Wednesday. Most pictures you see online include a lot of whipped cream. The ones we had in Mullsjö had no whipped cream. I've made them with and without and prefer them without the whipped cream.

Here's a recipe. Feel free to use commercial marzipan, but use the best you can (with at least 50% almonds, if you can find it.)


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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
My God this sounds Good!
Hi Dale,

Always love your postings about food, and music. I'm sure everyone loved the bread you took to church. I used to love all of those pot luck dinners we had at my last church. Those dear old southern ladies down in Hamilton knew how to make the most mouth watering delights. I'd weigh 300 lbs if I was still there and close to it if I lived anywhere near you! Anyway, thanks for bringing to life the amazing sights and scenes and smells of Queens and NYC.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )