Friday, February 3, 2012

Surprise! Swedish Semlas...

It was just a simple ordinary Thursday afternoon.  Then the doorbell rang, or Evan just opened the door, as three year old's like to do.  Luckily it was my neighbor friend Ashley delivering this delightful little box of treats from our friend Josefine.  Josefine and her family are from Sweden and are currently living in the U.S. for her husband's job.  Her third baby girl, Julia, was born in the U.S.  Josefine loves to bake.  And we are all happy for her efforts!

The entire packaging was perfection.  No detail was spared:  curled multi-colored ribbon, a beautiful box with a window to display the goods, a handmade card and handwritten note! (SIGH!)  It was amazing.  I felt that all was right and good in the world.  Someone had cared enough to go to this extreme for me.  I felt all the good karma gods were shining on me.
 Even a gold sticker to remind you that, yes indeed, what you are about to experience is HOME MADE!
Another detail:  a Swedish flag to suggest, "these were handmade by a fabulous Swedish woman and they are a traditional Swedish treat." Just look at that whipped cream and scant sprinkling of powdered sugar!  I soaked in every detail.  I just held the box in my hands for a few seconds to take it all in.  I love nothing more than attention to detail.  I appreciated it more than Josefine could know.  AND, I hadn't even TASTED the goods yet!
And a handwritten note on the back of the handmade card?  (I mean you had me at the doorbell and now this??!!!) And now I present to you "Fun Facts about Swedish Semla":  (as explained by Josefine!)
~Some people eat semla in a bowl with hot milk (Josefine just eats it "as is!")
~In the "old days" people were supposed to be fasting this time of year and a semla was their treat at the end of it
~The official Semla day is February 21, 2012, always 47 days before Easter

So what the heck is a Swedish Semla?  (Think Fat Tuesday and its friend the paczki (pronounced po-on-skey.  Traditional to Poland, this is a fried dough filled with a sweet filling)).   This Swedish Semla is a cardamom (a traditional Scandinavian spice in the family of ginger) spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off and insides scooped out and then filled with almond paste and whipped cream.  And there is nothing like homemade whipped cream.  My Swedish mother-in-law, Kerstin, would make homemade whipped cream for Sunday morning breakfasts, turning them into something special.  
 Evan Reed proudly displays his Swedish heritage!
 Bengt Reed is delighted to come home to such a treat!
 Do you think they liked Semla?
I wanted the kids to take a bite of Bengt's in case they didn't like them.  I surely wasn't going to waste these treats on the kids!  Bengt said "I'm not sharing this!" and the kids exclaimed, "We want our own Mom!"  So I let them have their own!  I know Josefine would have wanted that!
 Whipped cream on noses never gets old.
 Evan Reed sports the beloved homemade whip cream on his (partially) Swedish nose!
These were the remaining semla after the children got their grubby little hands on them!  I ate mine all by myself and savoured every bite before I even told the hubs and kids such a treat was in our house.  I wouldn't let a morsel go to waste.  I will admit to eating too much of what you see here.  I even went so far as to eat the cardamom bun (the kids ate all the whipped cream and almond paste off) with a smear of butter (Gasp!) before I went to bed.  Thank goodness I worked out today!
And this is the end of our Thursday Surprise of Swedish Semlas from Josefine!


  1. I love that you savored yours in peace. Good woman

  2. Wow, that is the sweetest thank you I've ever got! You are so welcome, adorable kids! I liked that they really put their nose in the whipped cream, exactly the way to do it. I think I just created an annual tradition here...Xoxo Josefine