January 28, 2007

Porridge for people on the move

Today´s Swedish word: gröt. Means porridge.
An old tradition in Sweden is to bring porridge to people who just have moved to a new house. You don´t see it very often these days, but we in our family have always brought it to new neighbours and friends and I think it is a nice touch and an unpretentious way to make people feel welcome. Rice porridge is traditional for Christmas but we have it now and then during the year, for example sometimes when the harvest is done or when we have guests in the evening (my parents have their dinner at noon and eat lighter in the evening).

Last weekend A. and I was invited to my mother´s aunt and uncle, a lovely couple in their 80´s, for a lutfisk dinner, together with some other relatives living in the Stockholm area. (When I count my blessings this is one of them - even if my close family is far away I have lots of relatives from both my mother´s and father´s side living around here.)

Since they moved house in April and I haven´t got around to see them after that I wanted to bring a small gift but I ran out both of time and ideas. Then it struck me: porridge! I could bring porridge, but not ready porridge since the menu already was set for the evening. Said and done, I took a nice cellophane bag, filled it with porridge rice (round) and decorated it with a nice ribbon and a long cinnamon stick I bought in Copenhagen in December. Voilà! The beautiful wooden box and candleholder is made by my grandfather and my grandmother painted the horses.
Risgrynsgröt (Rice porridge)
Serves 4
150 ml round rice
300 ml water
pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
700 ml milk
a piece of whole cinnamon
Bring the rice to the boil with water, salt, butter and sugar in a pot with thick bottom. Not stainless because it will burn! Let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until the water is almost absorbed.
Pour in the milk, put in the cinnamon and stir. Let the porridge simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes, watch it so it doesn´t burn and stir carefully once in a while.
Serve with ground cinnamon, caster sugar, cold milk and I also like mine with a small knob of butter. Why, you have to celebrate a new home!


Steve said...

How very Finnish of you! See: http://www.saunalahti.fi/~marian1/gourmet/10_1.htm

Looks good and similar to the Risgrynspudding recipe I sent you.

Good luck with you "Dare" list.

Libbycookie said...

Such a lovely gift. I am very fond of old-school etiquette and traditions. I'm not sure if I should show up to a Southern California resident's house with rice porridge...but I'll think of an appropriate substitute!