fredag, december 23, 2011


Jultomten / Santa Claus

Santa Claus and Christmas

Santa Claus is known worldwide as the kind, elderly man who brings presents to children. Santa Claus will be used in a massive scale as a commercial eye catcher, especially after 1930, when Coca-Cola for the first time him in their commercials.
There he had a big white beard, black boots, a big red coat and an infectious laugh. Just as we know and love him today.

The Tomte was a kind of shadow farmer with supernatural powers who made sure that the farm has good luck with it.
He was often considered the first man who grew up at the farm, and are not going to rest after death, but always have to make sure "his" yard. He appeared reluctant, but is described as an older man and less than people (exactly how small ranges), often with a white beard, black clothes and hood. It was important to keep in with him and do not annoy him in any way.
The Tomte had a surly temper and could retaliate if such misbehaving animals or treated him disrespectfully. Above all, he kept watch over the animals in the stables and barn.
In gratitude for his work gave the site a bowl of porridge. According to a later tradition, he would be particularly fond of rice pudding (sötgröt), which therefore also called the "Tomte"- porridge.
Stories include how he in anger kills a cow when he gets a pat of butter in his porridge, or how he is rewarded with new clothes, which, however, means that he considers himself too fine to continue with their work.
It also says something about peasant society's values ​​to the Tomte, the farm's protective nature, is a man, while the witch, wilderness protection essence, is a woman.

The Tomte has a lot in common with "vätten". Both belong to "oknyttens" crowd and stated, for example, to keep the memorial tree, and "gårdsvätten" is another name.

Christmas Decorations
Christmas decorations have been around since the old Christmas markets in Germany during the 1600s. It was especially Santas that were used to decorate Christmas decorations, that is, sugar sticks, gingerbread and other Christmas candy. In the 1800s, became many other Christmas decorations widespread. At that time, especially Christmas decorations made ​​of tracing paper, colored tissue paper, these Christmas decorations that could contain small cute things like nuts, cookies, raisins or fruit.

Christmas traditions
Christmas is a wonderful holiday filled with lots of food, gifts and a whole world of Christmas traditions. Christmas traditions as we know them today, slowly took shape during the 1500s, when the special food in Europe in connection with Christmas.
Today, Swedish Christmas traditions a mixture of hundreds of different Christmas traditions from all over Europe. The most basic of all Christmas traditions is probably that in line with the Christian faith, will there be peace on earth, the night that Jesus was born. It is the foundation for all other Christmas traditions.

Almond in the porridge is not a very old Christmas tradition, it was not until the 1800s that it became customary to add almond in rice pudding. Whoever got the almonds would perform a rhyme. There was even jocular suggestion that the one that got the almonds would be married in the near future. Rice pudding was the first one lyxvariant of vitgröt which was the usual Christmas porridge. In time, rice pudding more common than the white flour porridge. Porridge was often served with a dollop of butter. It was according to tradition very important not saved in the butter in the plot grötfat. On the whole of that Christmas is a blend of tradition and exoticism. Christmas traditions old familiar menus extended with exotic news.

Swedish Rice Porridge (Risgrynsgröt)

2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup rice (short-grain rice such as pearl rice or arborio rice)
4 1/3 cups milk
cinnamon stick
(1 tablespoon sugar)
Bring up to the water to a boil in a heavy pot with salt, butter and a cinnamon stick.
Add the rice, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the milk, and bring to a boil.
Lower the temperature to your lowest setting,
cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes.
Preferably don’t stir until the porridge is ready.
Add sugar to taste.

Christmas Cookies

115 g butter, soft
115 g sugar
1 egg
175 g flour
0,5 tsp baking soda
55 g glace cherries, chopped
55 g citrus peel
55 g sultanas
dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 190C.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the egg.
Add the flour an baking soda and mix to a soft dough.
Mix together cherries, citrus peel, and sultanas.
Stir half into the dough.
Place 18 heaped spoonfuls of dough onto baking tray, spaced well apart.
Sprinkle with rest of the the fruit.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until pale golden.
Leave to cool completely.
Drizzle melted chocolate over each cookie.

For an old-fashioned Christmas is sweet straw decorations,
these are hung on the Christmas tree and in the windows.
The traditional straw goat is obvious.

A swedish "vätte".

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