Button button – who’s got the almond

The Swedish Rice Pudding I mentioned in my Dec. 14, Grand Forks Herald “In the Spirit” column, and on my last blog post, seems to have struck a delectable chord with lots of people. I’ve had calls and emails from readers who think as I do – this is a dish that needs to be on everyone’s Christmas menu.

Lois Moore, a faithful reader, was one of the callers. Lois, now retired after 34 years of teaching at Schroeder Middle School in Grand Forks, says Swedish Rice Pudding was a Christmas Eve tradition in her home when she was growing up.

“I never remember a Christmas Eve that we didn’t have Swedish Rice Pudding,” Lois said.

One of Lois’ grandfathers, Charles Johnson, came from Sweden and her other three grandparents were from Norway, hence a love of this pudding has been passed down through the generations.

Not only did everyone enjoy the taste, there also was excitement in the eating.

Lois’ mother would always add an almond to her pudding because according to legend, whoever ended up with the almond in their mouth would be especially blessed in the coming year.

“We were so full of lutefisk and lefse,” Lois said, “but we ate the rice pudding anyway because we wanted to see who would get the almond. It was a big deal. My mom was always so excited if my brother, John, got the almond because then he would have a good farming season the next year.”

An addendum to the almond legend says that whoever gets the almond will be the one to be married the next year – if they are of age, of course.

I’m chomping at the bit because I have everything I need to make this pudding for our Christmas Eve dinner, including the coveted almond.

Until Soon

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