When B was a much younger boy, his mom had to hide food. Imagine, a house full of boys and she had to HIDE the food.
In fact, when things got really bad, she resorted to putting a lock on her chest freezer in the basement. (Being an English teacher, I realize that I'm bordering on misplaced modifier in the previous sentence, but GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER! That's my mother-in-law we're talking about.)
Back to business . . .
When I first came into the family and heard stories of all this food-hiding and freezer-locking, I have to admit, I was appalled. Having grown up in a household full of girls who ate just the right amount, no more and no less, and who actually ate slowly then sat around for the conversation after the meal, it was hard to get my brain around B's family's habits. It was a bit of culture shock for me.
After 23 years of living with this boy, however, I have grown to relate to my mother-in-law on a whole new level. The food level.
Last night I had a small plate of cookies sitting out on the counter which were left over from earlier in the day when a couple of ladies stopped by. This statement in itself would just leave B scratching his head. "Cookies . . . left over?" Does not compute.
Anyway, the cookies were sitting on the counter as B came through the door and, as is his custom, he ate one. Before dinner. Oh, don't get me started.
And then he asked, "Is this all you have of these? They're my favorite."
I slyly smiled and shook my head. "No, there are more."
"Where are they?"
"You think I'm telling you? Not a chance, Buddy!" O.K., those exact words probably didn't come out of my mouth, but something like that was implied.
Suddenly, the lightbulb went on in B's head. His eyes got wide, and he turned to look at me. "You're hiding food, aren't you?"
We're having guests this weekend. OF COURSE I'm hiding food! And not just from B. We also have three daughters who love these cookies too.
And so, in honor of my beloved family who could easily find the cookies if they wanted to (hey, his mother is not the only woman in his life with a chest freezer), I'm giving you the recipe for our favorite Christmas cookies.
These are called Brun Brot, and they are a Swedish cookie which I learned how to make from my dear college roommate, Bonnie. Bonnie was a Swede-of-all-Swedes--too blonde for words. And, thanks to that lovely Swedish complexion, she looks the same today as she did in college.
Every so often Bonnie would grab a pound of butter and make these delicious yummys. I started making them a few years ago, and now my family begs me to make them every year at Christmas. They are so easy to make, I should do them more often than just at Christmas, but for some reason I don't. I want to keep them special.
A couple of weeks ago, when I made my "stash," I actually took pictures to help guide you through the process. So here we go . . .
Brun Brot (Swedish Cookies)
3 sticks of butter, softened
2 Tbs. Karo syrup (light or dark)
2 tsp. almond flavoring
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Mix all ingredients together except the colored sugar. (Bonnie says it works best if you do it by hand. I'm a bit funny when it comes to stuff like that, so I use a mixer. You do whatever you like.)
Place on a cookie sheet in 4-6 long ropes. Barely pat down the tops of the ropes and sprinkle with colored sugar.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until barely brown.
This is how they look when they come out of the oven.
After the ropes have been out of the oven for just a few minutes, cut them into strips. (Don't let them get too cool or they won't cut easily.)
Here's how they look when they're done.
And hide them, quick!