The Bakery

My father was of Danish heritage and my mother Swedish. I never had much in the area of Danish food but Swedish? Mercy. . . . . My favorites were Swedish meatballs, Swedish pancakes (my personal recipe is posted on January 31, 2020), lingonberries and Swedish baked goods. To this day, our family will have a variation of Swedish meatballs at Christmastime. But the baked goods have fallen by the wayside. . . . . .

So it is ironic that my mother’s grandparents got off the boat from Sweden in the early 1900’s. And shortly after arriving in Chicago, my great grandmother – Hilma (Johnsson) Sandell – opened a bakery in the basement of 4244 N. Crawford Ave. The family lived upstairs. From my earliest days, I remember devouring limpa bread, cardamom coffee cake and peppakakor cookies. On rare occasion – it was a sockerkaka – a sponge cake with strawberries and peaches (and the obligatory whipped cream). Ahhhh . . . “sweet” memories.

Chicago has a few good Swedish restaurants (Svea, Tre Kronor and Ann Sathers) and a Swedish area on the North Side appropriately called “Andersonville. ” There is the Swedish American Museum that chronicles the immigration of Swedes to shores of America. There used to be a Swedish Club (my dad was a member) but no more. There is a hospital (Swedish Covenant) and a college (North Park University) that have Swedish roots. For Swedish baked goods, I have had cross country deliveries from Hulda’s Swedish Baked Goods in Brookline, NH ( http://www.swedishbakers.com ). Plan to drool if you peruse the website. . . .

Every family comes from somewhere – and most families retain or at least recognize their culinary roots. I am no different. So you will excuse me while I wolf down a few peppakakor. . . .