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At the Center of Tradition

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Dale and his wife Voni gather on the couch with their granddaughter Erin, sharing about the tradition of gathering around food, this copper pot always at the center.

Dale recalls back to Christmas Eve when he was a kid, when his grandfather and dad would return home from work in the afternoon and help prepare the food for Christmas Day. The whole family would gather around the stove dipping their bread in the broth, eating through the evening.  Dopp i grytan (dip in the pot) as they referred to it. Something the family likely brought over with them when they emigrated from Småland, Sweden, in the 1860s.

Over time, as the family grew and times changed, the meal on Christmas Eve became a little more formal. At some point, Dale’s mom introduced Cherries Jubilee to the menu, and for as long as Dale can remember, the dessert has always been served in this copper pot.

Voni shares the recipe: “It is really just dark sweet cherries, pitted, and peaches plus some brandy that we set alight. We turn down the lights and watch the flames. When it stops we serve it on vanilla ice cream and eat it.”

 Today it continues to be a staple of Christmas Eve. After dinner and presents, everyone gathers around the pot on the kitchen island - a 21st century version of dopp i grytan.

dale swenson pot