Weekend Coffee Share – Christmas traditions in the making

Swedish Christmas Coffee

Welcome to the weekend coffee share. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? There is even Swedish Christmas beer, if you’d like to try. 

Swedish Christmas Beer

How is your week? It’s been an extremely intense week at work, with several co-workers down with a bad cold, meaning that the rest of us have been working even harder than we usually do to maintain the quality our school is known for (that we are very proud of). Two members of my team (half the team,) worked at a different department four days this week. Despite that it has been a great week with a Lucia celebration on Monday (some of the children at work compared their lucia celebration to the lucia celebration that the Swedish television showcased, and said that theirs were better,) Christmas party on Thursday (traditional Swedish Christmas food enjoyed in a dining area decorated for Christmas,) and a Christmas dance yesterday. We’ve been sledding, and crafting Christmas crafts every day. The kids had a great week.

Gorgeous sunset last night (or afternoon..it was 3pm.) The location is Källviksbacken, Falun. I posted a different photo of the same ski slope last week.

I worked my last day before Christmas yesterday, and now I am going to enjoy three (well deserved) weeks of holiday celebrations with my family. My kids have two more days of school before they start their Christmas break. We are actually going to have our big Christmas dinner tomorrow, since my son is going to spend Christmas with his dad. We are not going to exchange gifts of course, that would be a little weird to do this early, but we are going to enjoy a fabulous meal together. The only Swedish items at our Christmas dinner is meatballs, julmust (a Christmas soft drink,) julöl (The Christmas beer in the photo above,) gingerbread, and knäck.

Knäck, a Swedish version of butterscotch/hard toffee.

We made the knäck last night. Susanne mentioned making Knäck as a part of her Christmas tradition. It’s a Swedish version of butterscotch/hard toffee. In my recipe you boil equal amounts of sugar, heavy whipping cream, and a syrup made out of beet sugar (similar to molasses,) for about 15-20 min. Boil vigorously, and be sure to stir at all times with a wooden spoon, or similar. To see if it’s ready take a table spoon of the knäck and put the spoon in a glass of cold water, if the knäck sticks together it’s ready. I usually try to make a small “marble” with my fingers to see if it stick together. Or you can use a thermometer 120-140C/250-285F depending on how firm you want it to be, higher temperature = harder knäck. (290F is stick to your teeth hard.) Pour it into tiny baking forms, that you store in the fridge (at least to begin with.) 2cups of each ingredients is a doable size of the recipe to begin with, it turns into about 50 pieces of knäck. Some add chopped almond at the end, I like to make it with almonds, but my daughter doesn’t like that. Some add whisky or other hard liquor at the end. I have never tried that. I have tried different types of spices, like gingerbread spices and saffron. Yesterday we made it plain. Knäck is a fabulous candy. It is very sweet, and personally I only eat 1-2 pieces and it is very satisfying. When you eat knäck it’s like your tongue is curling itself due to the sweetness. It is a great, and very easy to make gift. It is commonly gifted in beautiful jars around Christmas time. Made right temperature wise, it does not have to be refrigerated after the initial cooling process.

Knäck is the perfect Christmas snack.

Other items at our Christmas dinner tomorrow will be turkey, sweet potato pie, rice, a green salad, fermented red cabbage, a Christmas rye bread (julvört,) and pumpkin pie. I’m going to have a busy day today preparing everything I can in advance. Including baking the gingerbread. I believe I’m going to start my day with a long walk to maximise my energy levels. What are you up to this weekend? I can’t wait to finally have plenty of time to catch up with all of you! Don’t hesitate to leave a link to your weekend coffee share post in your comment, (I’ve noticed that many bloggers don’t have a working link to their blog in their avatar.)

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Love,

Maria 

Published by Maria

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat; mind, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. I now reside in the region where I was born Dalarna, Sweden. I am a mom, a teacher, a minimalist and a gardener. Love, Maria

21 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – Christmas traditions in the making

  1. I loved reading about your Swedish Christmas traditions, Maria. It is going to be a festive week at your house! I love the feasting that accompanies Christmas, topped with good company, it is the best. Knäck sounds yummy. I might make gingerbread cookies today. We’re supposed to get a wintery-mix storm, which I doubt will amount to much, but one never knows these days which way it’ll go, the line keeps moving. 😉
    Tomorrow we’ll see my son and his partner for a little hike and snacks afterward. My son isn’t into most of the traditions, sadly, so no big meal. They’ll be at her parents for Christmas, so like you and your son, we adapt the celebration. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. So happy that you enjoyed our traditions. Many Swedes have a more traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. It’s common to go out for a Christmas meal before Christmas, trying different restaurants and places that serve traditional Swedish Christmas food. This “try out” is always before Christmas, starting by the end of November. The real Christmas meal is eaten at home, or in the home of a close family member/friend. Different types of pickled herring, sometimes fermented fish, potato dishes, and Christmas ham are included in those meals, so are a particular type of small sausages “prinskorv”. I ate this food at our Christmas lunch at work, but I do not cook it at home, since no-one likes these things here. Not so many young people are into the pickled herring, there are endless variation of how to make them, some are really good in my opinion.

      Enjoy your time with your son and the hike. It sounds wonderful to do an activity together. I hope the storm doesn’t hit you bad.

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      1. The storm wasn’t too bad, thanks, mostly sleet and freezing rain, so the forest is glittering this morning! It is getting colder so the glitter should stay for a few days.
        My brother-in-law is of Swedish descent and loves pickled herring. Definitely an acquired taste, hehe. 😉

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    1. Thank you John! 3pm is early. Yesterday I was out walking in the afternoon, and around 2pm the sun started to set..it’s about to turn around soon 🙂

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  2. Once again Maria, you have my mouth watering with all the goodies you describe. I don’t know that I’ve ever had anything made with beet sugar. I am intrigued.

    You’ve mentioned this before but I can’t see what you see. Does my avatar have the link you mentioned? I’m not sure I recall how mine is set up so please tell me if I’ve managed to leave some step undone.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you come for a visit I’ll make something with our syrup (made out of beets.) Sugar beets are an ideal crop for our climate, and most of our sugar is made out of it. Carrots, sugar and grains are the only food that Sweden is completely self-sufficient in. (A little sad if you ask me, we could do so much better.)
      I’d love to invite you to Christmas dinner at our house, we’ll save that for another year 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Absolutely, one Christmas beer is coming right up. It’s dark and potent, with some sweetness (not too sweet,) well rounded.
      The sky was absolutely amazing on Friday, a great beginning of the holiday 🙂 Merry Early Christmas!

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  3. Beautiful sunset and yummy-looking knäck, Maria. Your dinner plan sounds amazing. Thank you for your coffee shares throughout 2021. I look forward to continuing our blogging connections in 2022. Wishing you and your family a relaxing school break and a happy Christmas.

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    1. Thank you so much Natalie! You have been a wonderful host for the coffee share. I really like the positive tone and how engaged your are with all of us. See you next year! Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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  4. I LOVE all the Swedish Christmas traditions. We use to have Swedish foods made by my older sisters, Mom and Aunt but many of the things made us younger kids did not enjoy eating like you’ve mentioned. I’ve let these traditions go. Maybe I’ll look into the sweets you’ve shared. They would be enjoyed by everyone!! ❤️ Loved having coffee with you today and I’m working on my last one for this year that I’ll share tomorrow morning. Enjoy your beautiful holidays!! 🤩 So happy you have that nice break! ❤️🎄☃️❤️

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    1. I bet your family would enjoy knäck 🙂 Please let me know if you try making it. I made it with maple syrup when I lived in the US, it turned out pretty good. Thank you for your kind comment. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful week. I am heading over to see if you have a coffee share ❤

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  5. Spending Christmas with family early or later is always a tradition that can be slightly adjusted, Maria, which is good since you are finding your way through your holiday season this year! Your food looks amazing as does that ski resort sunset. I wish you a beautiful Christmas and New Year. I will “see” on Instagram!

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  6. “Flat out like a lizard runnin”, is an Aussie term for this fun time of year. Thankyou for another amazing recipe the Knack look delicious & I love the little cloth under the plate too so festive. Love your traditions. I hope all your co workers have recovered well. The sunset is just magnificent thankyou for sharing your wonderfully amazing adventures.

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