Simply the best and coming up this year on the same day as Fat Tuesday, a day devoted to the favorite semla pastry.
With pancake Tuesday coming at the same time many a Swede will focus on the Semla pastry, maybe it's time for pancake dinner with the traditional pastry as dessert? Here's a Swedish-U.S. baker who found a good reason to create a Valentine's Day treat of the scrumptious buns: For the love of semla
Be that as it may, guests at Pea Soup and Pancake Lunch hosted by the Dala Heritage Society in central Minnesota don’t have to be of Nordic extraction to enjoy the treats. The event was held just after St. Knut’s Day, so there was no plundering of the Christmas tree, and despite cold weather, the sun was shining, which brightened up the meeting room at the Mora Methodist Church, adding to the light and joy of all the folks who radiated sunny smiles from the great food and the good conversation.
The meeting agenda was minimal so as to provide the most focus on lunch: traditional yellow pea soup and the skinny Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and whipped cream. The kitchen volunteers were busy at their work stations, flipping pancakes and tasting a few to make sure they continued to meet the standard. Enough soup was available for second helpings until the pot was empty. President Gordon Hallstrom introduced the cooks, encouraged the sale of nuts — a fundraiser for the organization — and sang his own adaptation of “Happy trails to you.” A short total physical response (TPR) Swedish lesson was given by Valorie Arrowsmith so everyone in the room had a chance to do and say things like äta, dricka, stompa, flyga, dansa, simma och mera (to eat, drink, stomp, fly, dance, swim and more).
Several guests had more Swedish-related activities to do that day, as the annual Vasaloppet Banquet and fundraiser was being held in the evening. Members of the Dala Heritage Society are frequent hosts to incoming Swedes during the ski weekend in early February.
The Dala Heritage Society offers several events and programs during the year focusing on culture and celebrations in the Swedish-American tradition. For more information call 320-679-3869.
As for Swedish pancakes, it's simple really: 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1-1/4 cups whole milk, 3 eggs and 3 tablespoons butter is all you need. Whisk flour and salt together with half the milk. Add the remaining milk and whisk to a smooth batter. Add one egg at a time while whisking. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes, melt half the butter and pour into the batter and use the rest of the butter to fry the pancakes in a medium sized pan. Key for the "skinny" Swedish pancake is really to pour a thin layer of batter into the pan. Once the surface looks as if it's set and golden, turn the pancake and let it fry for another minute.
There's also a variety of ready-made mixes for Swedish pancakes on the market; www.sturdiwheat.com, www.aljohnsons.com, www.hemslojd.com to name but a few of the brands available among our friends in Scandinavian America.