I was right. I discovered one of the most magical and beautiful children’s books I have ever seen, “Children of the Forest” by Elsa Beskow. This book is over 100 years old. I immediately recognized the stunning artwork…I have seen those tiny mushroom hatted children before. I feel in love the instant I held the book in my hand. My daughters fell in love with the book too. The book follows the lives of a family of little people who live in the roots of a pine tree. Elsa Beskow captured the spirit of Sweden in the book. The family goes berry picking and foraging for mushrooms, they play in the water, fend off a snake and preserve the food for the winter. The older children even go off to school, where they are taught by the owl and their classmates are other woodland animals.
After reading this book I was inspired to make something with mushrooms and berries. Unfortunately, this is not the best time of the year for mushroom picking in Canada. There is still snow on the ground in some places and certainly cold weather. I decided to skip the mushrooms and head straight for some blueberries…with Swedish waffles.
Just under 1/3 cup of butter (3 ounces)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/5 cup of flour (1/5 of a cup is 3 1/5 tbsp)
400 ml cold milk
1/2 pint blueberries
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Melt the butter and then allow to cool.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Add half the milk to the dry ingredients and incorporate.
4. Add the remaining milk and the butter, mix until there are no lumps.
5. Pour levelled amount into pre-heated waffle press. Bake according to your waffle press.
HOT TIP: This batter is thinner than “North American” style waffles thus the waffle didn’t bake evenly, I simply flipped the waffles and baked them a little bit more until they were golden on both sides. It really depends on your waffle press.
Blueberry compote and whipped cream
1. Place blueberries in small saucepan with honey.
2. Simmer over medium-low heat until blueberries break down to a consistency you like.
3. Pour heavy cream into a chilled metal bowl, whisk until soft peaks form.
We served our waffles as dessert. Commonly, Swedish waffles are made in a press that is shaped like a flower with heart shaped petals. I have to say I enjoyed the texture of these waffles. They were lighter and airier than the waffles we usually make. Served with the blueberry compote and whipped cream these waffles were delicious. I’m sure this is what the children of the forest must eat for breakfast and dessert.
To add to our Swedish adventure, the girls made their own children of the forest. Using bare peg dolls, they created their own families with mushroom cap hats.
All they needed were a few markers, some tissue paper and white glue.
We will be taking them outside with us and playing in the garden with our new little friends. I can hardly wait to see where we are off to next.
Hope you enjoyed our latest adventure. Please visit the other blogs participating in Around the World in 12 Dishes. There are many other amazing recipes and crafts inspired by the beauty of Sweden.
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