My Swedish grandfather was a well known "household tyrant," as my mother put it. However, he had a soft spot for his food. Having traveled and worked in North and South America, he developed a taste for exotic foods, like artichokes and Stilton cheese. When he had guests for dinner back in Sweden, he supervised every detail of the meal and its serving. The maids had to put soup bowls full of steaming water under each guest's plate to keep the food warm. My grandfather chose the wines with care. He grew up in a household that always had a cook and his household had one also. And yet, in 1910, the year he and my grandmother returned to Sweden, he presented her with a handwritten cookbook! Many of the recipes were attributed to his own mother, who must have enjoyed baking. Other recipes are attributed to people I never heard of. On the one hand, I find this an endearingly tender thing to do. On the other hand, he might have done it because he wanted his food perfectly cooked and my grandmother should see to it! He was perfectionist in everything. After they divorced, she added some of her own recipes.

CORRECTION: A SWEDISH READER OF THE FACEBOOK SITE TOLD ME THIS IS NOT A COOKIE RECIPE, IT IS FOR A SPICE CAKE! THANK YOU.......The recipe pictured is for soft ginger [cookies] CAKE and he has pronounced them especially good. The recipe is attributed to his mother. It starts with 1/2
skålpund (about 210 grams) brown sugar and 4 eggs and one whips them for a half hour! Into this one blends 11 lod (a lod is 1/32 of a skålpund, or about 13 grams) wheat flour, 1 knifsudd (a measure for powders equal to 1-10 cubic mms) [hjortronssalt] CORRECTION THIS SHOULD SAY HJORTHORNSSALT which means deer antler salt, see comments, which is a substance like bicarbonate, giving a yeast-like effect, plus cloves, cinnamon and orange peel to taste. One should use a form that is well-buttered and dusted with flour. Apparently everyone knew how hot the oven should be and how long to bake the cookies because the recipe stops there. One of these days I must try it out. I've done my own translation here, so please, any Swedes feel free to correct me. (See Comments for correction to my translation and the deer antler salt!)



Eva Severinson
03/16/2014 12:24am

Hjorthornssalt means dear antler salt, which is sodium hydrocarbonate, once upon a time made from dear antlers.

03/16/2014 8:18am

Eva, thanks for the correction...I incorrectly wrote "hjortronssalt" when as you point out it is "hjorthornssalt." How fascinating....deer antler salt! I looked it up and it is also called hartshorn in English. It was used in Scandinavian and German recipes in the 1600 and 1700s and kept soft cookies from turning hard. They also made a jelly from the deer antlers which had numerous medicinal uses. (Wikipedia).

Carol Anne Hjoth Kuse
03/28/2014 7:51am

I am so glad Cyndi's List daily update brought me here. As you can see my maiden name is Hjorth. Great grandfather Andreas spelled his surname Hjort. We had been told it meant deer, but this proves it. I am looking forward to joining this site. I have an old photo that I think might be of Andreas and Bentja Hjort. As soon as I can dig it out I will send it because there is no one left to ask.
Happy dance! (Genealogy speak)

03/28/2014 9:45am

Hi Carol Anne, Thanks for the comment and for coming to the site. Yes "hjort" definitely means "deer." It is interesting that your family added an "h" at the end. Would love to add a photo of your great grandparents here.


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply