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Friday, December 9, 2016

give a little gift

A stress-free Christmas would be an awesome thing. Normally there is stress somewhere because of everything that needs to be done. The Christmas Pictures, wrapping gifts and the parties. Don't let the many things that on your to-do list bring you down. The Celebration of Christmas and the reason for the season being the Sweet Baby Jesus should be in the front of everything else. Take time and have some family time where adults make one list and children make another list of gifts they would give the world. When the list are complete take time and exam the list how different are they?? Have a family discussion about the list. Share with each other how much better the world would be if we loved each other like the Jesus loved us when he was born all those years ago. 

Take time and prepare a special meal for someone who may be ill, hurt, or just need a bit of company. My grandmother would always make up several Swedish tea rings and deliver them as she would Christmas gifts keeping in mind to deliver them prior to Christmas Morning. 

Swedish Tea Ring

1 cup chopped candied fruit 
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom


1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
2 eggs
1/4 cup shortening
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour


1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Candied cherries, optional

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining water and sugar; stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture, eggs, shortening, salt and 3 cups flour; mix until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. 
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 
Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 16-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Sprinkle filling over dough to within 1/2 in. of edge. 
Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Place on greased baking sheets; pinch ends together to form a ring. With scissors, cut from outside edge two-thirds of the way toward center of ring at 1-in. intervals. Separate strips lightly; twist to allow filling to show. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes. For icing, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and milk; drizzle over tea rings while warm. Decorate with cherries if desired. Yield: 2 tea rings.

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