After living in America for over a decade, you sometimes forget how cold and dark Scandinavian winters can get. In Sweden the winters are long and very dark. Imagine it being dark, completely pitch black, when you get up for school and work in the morning. When you return home early afternoon, it's totally dark again. When it does get light it’s almost just like dusk, not even complete daylight. That’s how a good part of the winter up North is for you!
As children we still went outside to play! No matter how dark or cold, you never wanted to miss out on the first snow. This meant outdoor lighting was installed in every corner of the yard to light the place up as much as possible. The first thing you would build with the snow was a “snölykta” or “snow lantern” to light up the yard, next was a snowman or a fort, if a lot of snow had fallen. If you had a nearby hill, sledding was next. To keep warm you had to wear several layers, a couple pairs of socks, hat, a couple scarves, and the cozy Lovikka mittens.
After hours of long, fun, and cold playtime we all looked forward to our mothers homemade hot chocolate! This was a treat often accompanied by ginger cookies, cinnamon rolls or almond cookies.
Here is the recipe to the delicious treat:
Mamma’s Swedish Hot Cocoa
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup milk
And of course a wet-it cloth for any spills!
Whisk cocoa and sugar in small pot till smooth
Place pot on medium heat
Slowly add milk
Mix well while adding milk
Whisk to smooth out any lumps
Keep the burner on medium-low to be sure not to burn the milk
For a sweeter cocoa, add sugar carefully while on heat
Recipe makes enough for 1-2 servings