Twelve Treats of Christmas – Day Twelve

Swedish Tea Log

I’ve learned something these past weeks. If you write a blog about treats, you have no time to make any of them. I haven’t made my mother’s “Swedish Tea Log” in many years, but my mouth still waters thinking about it.

The “Tea Log” is my mother’s version of a Swedish Tea Ring. She always called it a “log,” because she never joined the ends, but instead formed a crescent with the dough, and made it so that the links of the log could be easily separated into little individual pastries. She liked to freeze them, heat them in the oven, ice them, and serve them with coffee or tea.

I used to make three of these every Christmas – one for us, one for a friend and her family, and one to freeze and look forward to in January.

In the bustle and craziness that comes with children and present giving, we parents looked forward to a mid-morning break.

Christmas Craziness

Christmas Craziness

I’d make a pot of coffee, bring out the Swedish Tea Log, and we’d sit and enjoy some moments of peace and warmth and togetherness by the tree.

I wish for all of you your own moments of peace and joy on this day. And a Happy, Healthy New Year to all!

"Swedish Tea Log," Carol Crump Bryner, gouache and colored pencil, 2015

“Swedish Tea Log,” Carol Crump Bryner, gouache and colored pencil, 2015

10 thoughts on “Twelve Treats of Christmas – Day Twelve

  1. Bonny Headley

    Those little splayed toes just capture the excitement of Christmas! Thank you for the gift of this 12 Christmas treats series. It is a delight I will come back to again and again. As I do now and then to the earlier posts. You have created a family and friends scrapbook for the 21st century. It is a wonderful accomplishment. The art works lift it above the mere narrative. I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays, Carol.

  2. Katy Gilmore

    Oh how I remember this particular sweet treat! Never thought of as Swedish anything, but as Carol’s sweet rolls – received on Christmas eve, eagerly anticipated, and devoured in the midst of Christmas morning bustle! Thank for years of those treats for real and these virtual sweet treats – and have the most wonderful day today!

  3. Allen Matlins

    Thank you for sharing this caloric holiday adventure. This was fun. Creativity has not deserted you.

    From Wikipedia Dessert
    The word “dessert” originated from the French word desservir, meaning “to clear the table.”[1] Its first known use was in 1600, in a health education manual entitled Naturall and artificial Directions for Health, which was written by William Vaughan.[2][3] In his A History of Dessert (2013), Michael Krondl explains it refers to the fact dessert was served after the table had been cleared of other dishes.[4] The term dates from the 14th century but attained its current meaning around the beginning of the 20th century when “service à la française” (setting a variety of dishes on the table at the same time) was replaced with “service à la russe” (presenting a meal in courses.)”[4]
    The word dessert is most commonly used for this course in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland whilst Pudding is more commonly used in the United Kingdom. Alternatives such as “sweets” or “afters” are also used in the United Kingdom[5] and some other Commonwealth countries, including Hong Kong, and India.[citation needed]
    Sweets were fed to the gods in ancient Mesopotamia[6]:6 and India[6]:16 and other ancient civilizations.[7] Dried fruit and honey were likely the first sweeteners used in most of the world, but the spread of sugarcane around the world was essential to the development of dessert.[6]:13
    The spread of sugarcane
    Sugarcane was grown and refined in India before 500 BCE[6]:26 and was crystallized, making it easy to transport, by 500 CE. Sugar and sugarcane were traded, making sugar available to Macedonia by 300 BCE and China by 600 CE. In South Asia, the Middle East and China, sugar has been a staple of cooking and desserts for over a thousand years. Sugarcane and sugar were little known and rare in Europe until the twelfth century or later, when the Crusades and then colonialization spread its use.
    Europeans began to manufacture sugar in the Middle Ages, and more sweet desserts became available.[8] Even then sugar was so expensive usually only the wealthy could indulge on special occasions. The first apple pie recipe was published in 1381.[9] The earliest documentation of the term cupcake was in “Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats” in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.[10]
    The Industrial Revolution in America and Europe caused desserts (and food in general) to be mass-produced, processed, preserved, canned, and packaged. Frozen foods became very popular starting in the 1920s when freezing emerged. These processed foods became a large part of diets in many industrialized nations. Many countries have desserts and foods distinctive to their nations or region.[11]

  4. vagabonde

    The Swedish log looks like quite a treat. I also like your painting of it. I spent over two weeks sick in bed from Dec 22 and missed all the holidays, decorations and goodies. Since today is Christmas celebrated by Eastern Christian Orthodox, we have been listening to Christmas music until now in honor of my Armenian father’s culture. I am still going to bake some goodies, but I guess I’ll make them for Chinese New Year since it is still ahead… Have a great 2016!

    1. Carol Post author

      And a great new year to you also, Vagabonde. I’m so sorry you were sick over Christmas. It’s a hard time of year to be under the weather. My husband was raised Russian Orthodox, and we always left our tree up until after Russian Christmas. And I like to freeze Christmas cookies and eat them until April!


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