Toilet Roll Crafts

Through the use of a toilet paper roll, some construction paper, pens and glue …

 

A candle for the table ...

... and some wonderful 'fish' !

Another activity for ‘Blue Peter’ fans!

 

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Santa Lucia Buns

The feast day Santa Lucia is celebrated in Sweden on the 13th December as a festival of lights. In the early hours of that December morning, ‘Lucia’ (a young woman dressed in a long white gown with a red sash, and a crown of candles upon her head) delivers freshly baked saffron buns to each house.

Our Lucia celebrations are a little way off, but already there are candles and shining stars in every window, and saffron buns are being baked!

Richard bakes a whole batch with the children every year !

Ingredients for 12 buns;

500g plain flour

10ml dried yeast

125ml natural sugar

5ml saffron powder

180ml warm milk

60ml softened butter

10ml sea salt

60ml raisins

2.5 ml ground cardamom

2 eggs

Topping;

beaten egg for brushing

30ml chopped almonds

15ml crushed almonds

1) Dissolve yeast, sugar & saffron powder in warm milk. Leave in warm place for 10 mins until frothy.

2) Beat 1 egg and add to yeast.

3) Stir in cardamom, salt & flour

4) Cut in butter and add raisins

5) Knead thorougly, return to greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

6) Preheat oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F / Gas mark 6

7) Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll into snakes, coil snakes into a spiraled ‘S’ shape.

8) Put on greased baking tray, brush with egg, sprinkle with almonds and coarse sugar. Let rise for 30 mins more.

9) Bake for 10 – 12 mins until golden brown.

Delicious – especially dipped in hot chocolate or coffee!

Christmas Market in Stortorget

One of the first Christmas markets of the year has opened – in Gamla Stan (The Old Town) in the main square, Stortorget. Christmas markets are a huge tradition in Sweden, where most articles sold are handcrafts or homemade delicacies. This particular market is rather touristy, but very pretty – the red painted stalls are set among the beautifully coloured painted buildings of the Old Town…

Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury)

‘Livrustkammaren‘ is one of Leon and Maya’s favourite museums, and one we have visited many times – so we just had to take our guests there!

It is full of beautiful carriages, suits of armour, swords, and the clothes and articles of Kings and Queens of Sweden. Everything is laid out in the carefully lit darkness of the palace dungeons …

There is also a lovely little children’s play area where you can colour a ‘royal’ picture, dress up like a princess or a King, play with figures of knights and princesses, or role play riding and driving a carriage.