I just read a recipe for Saffron Bread. Now, my mom was a fairly mediocre cook, although she did manage to get supper on the table for seven people every single night, which I can't even do for one person one night every seven months. She was a good baker, though, and one time, in about 1966, I think, she made Saffron Bread for my French class because we had learned that France exports that spice. The bread was just white bread with lovely saffron in it. Oh, it was delicious!
Well, the recipe I read was on Studio @ 620's website, http://www.studio620.org/. They're having a Sankta Lucia celebration, a Swedish celebration. I can't really picture St. Pete as having any particular ethnic group in abundance, unless people from Ohio are considered a tribe, but if I could, Swedes wouldn't have sprung to mind. I mean, do you even know a Swede? a Norwegian? a Finn? Of course you don't! That's why Garrison Keillor's so funny on A Prairie Home Companion! He can make fun of all those Scandinavians because no one even knows one. You don't have to worry about offending anyone at work if you repeat a joke from the show because no one's Swedish anyhow.
Okay. I admit I married a full-blooded Swede and we did, in fact, live in Minnesota where they really do talk like the people in Fargo. I think the worst thing about those four years was that no one knew Italians enough to even insult us. Wop meant nothing to them. Guinea was half a rodent. When the in-laws came to dinner, I'd make Italian meatballs the size of your head, just to rub it in about their teeny-weenie little bitty Swedish meatballs. Really. Why bother with a meatball the size of a Milk Dud?
This recipe tells us to divide the dough into THIRTY pieces. Are they kidding? Then we're to roll those thirty bits into "traditional shapes." Hmm. Whose tradition? The Swedes'? What would that be? Lutheran Churches? Lingonberries? Cheese? Well, raisins follow, in any event, on top of those shapes.
And then -- and this part really wobbles the mind -- we're to bake these things for FIVE MINUTES. Okay. If you're not a reader, you've hated the last couple of blogs. And if you're not a baker, you're already hating this one. But really. What bakes for FIVE MINUTES? Nothing. Nothing bakes for five minutes. Banana bread is an HOUR. Even chocolate chip cookies are eight minutes. But FIVE minutes for a yeast-bread?
Do you think this is a Swedish joke I'm just not getting?
Okay. One (1) time I baked one (1) thing for five (5) minutes.
I quit smoking on July 5, 1992, and I was determined to not gain any weight because of that. I signed up for aerobics classes at the old YMCA downtown. I bought a pretty white leotard but no one ever saw it. I wore it under baggy tee shirts. Well, one day when I was headed for the Y again, I saw that the leotard had not quite dried from the day before. No problem. I tossed it in a Teflon-covered cake pan and put it in the oven at 250, just about the lowest you can go. It was sort of a stationary dryer. It was a good idea. Except that it wasn't. It started melting at about five minutes as you see from the photographic evidence presented here.
I'll let you know if I bake that bread. I know that saffron is about a thousand dollars just to look at. In fact, the recipe calls for a gram of it. Who cooks in grams?
Those freakin' Swedes ...