Sunday, September 24, 2023

Diana Bread: The Lost Recipe

Years ago when Rick and I were living in Germany I accompanied him on a business trip to Stockholm, Sweden. A colleague of his and his wife took us out to dinner at a typical Swedish restaurant. I vaguely remember it as a dark and cozy place. Along with our meal, as restaurants tend to do, they brought a basket of bread for the table. It was delicious! It was a dark whole-grain bread, kind of dense and we identified lingonberries as the sweetness we were tasting. Our wait person told us it was known as "Diana" bread. I knew that somehow we needed that recipe. 

Bless Jan-Erik's wifes' heart, she managed to get the resturant to share the recipe with her. Only problem was that it was in Swedish, of course. We never saw the original recipe (see it above), just her translation of it. She wasn't comfortable translating into English, so she translated the recipe into German, which we knew and she felt comfortable with. But funny things happen sometimes and things are "lost in translation." She translated the Swedish "kummin" seeds to the German "kümmel", which we then translated into English as "cumin." The German to English translation was ambiguous and hard to figure out, but we took our best shot. Remember, this was 1983/84 and there was no Internet to help us, only our English/German dictionary. Well, you can imagine our shock when we bit into that cumin-laden bread!! Blech!! This was nothing like the delicious bread we had eaten in the restuarant. Of course it wasn't—it should have been caraway seeds, not cumin.

I can't remember ever attempting to make the bread again, but I do know we had the recipe for years, even after our multiple moves to Europe. The last time I remember seeing it was stuck in a binder with other recipes I had clipped and kept. Some years back, I think it was while living in New Jersey, I went looking for the recipe. I still had the binder and all the other recipes inside of it, but the page where Diana Bread was posted was empty. No recipe! Dang, somehow we lost it.

Well, years went by and off and on I wondered what had happened to it. I've looked everywhere. Just the other night Rick and I were sitting on the deck discussing recipes for the upcoming week and somehow Diana Bread popped into my head. We sat discussing if it was possible now to search online and find something about it. Trouble was, neither one of us knew the name of the resturant, only that it was in Stockholm somewhere. Rick is always up for a challlenge like that, so I let loose Sherlock Rick on the hunt for "The Lost Recipe: Diana Bread".

Here is the synopsis of his search which took place over several days in Rick's own words.

“Diana Bread” search

  • Not sure how the topic came up, but I started searching for the restaurant hoping to be able to contact them about the recipe.
  • First I searched on Google for “Diana Bread”. Obviously no meaningful results.
  • Adding the word “recipe” did not help.
  • So, I tried “Diana bread restaurant Stockholm Sweden”. I got a good hit on the words “Diana”, “restaurant” and “Stockholm”, finding the restaurant Kallaren Diana. But, the links were not useful. One was a review from a UK newspaper, but it did not provide contact info. Others were from sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, also not much help. There were a couple of links to Swedish resources, but scanning those was not helpful. I did get a general location: Gamla Stan. 
  • Research on that area led me to a bit more info, including a description of the restaurant: very old building, below street level, stone walls with wood beams…yup, that sounds right! Apparently a quite famous and popular restaurant first opened in 1971.
  • A Wikipedia search gave me an address without postal code. And, what might have been a good phone number.
  • I tried social media. There seems to be a Facebook page, but I was not allowed to view it.
  • In a “Hail Mary” move, I tried searching for “Kallaren Diana Stockholm menu”. Bingo! I found a link to photos of their menu in the New York City Public Library archives!
  • The four-page menu is mostly in Swedish, but with some English. And, on the last page…a recipe (in Swedish) for Diana’s Lingonbröd. (There is also full contact information.)

I did a word-by-word translation from Swedish to English and with a lot of guesses and assumptions, have come up with a recipe. We’ll try it (using caraway seeds not cumin seeds) and see how close I got.


So, being the adventurous cooks that we are, we are going to try once again to make "The Lost Recipe: Diana Bread" with our new translation. Stay tuned to this cooking channel to see the end result!

And, oh, by the way, if you are reading this and speak Swedish, feel free to send us your translation of the recipe.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Daily Bread

There is nothing quite like homemade bread. The aroma as it's baking, filling the house with a heavenly yeasty smell. The beautiful golden brown color of the loaves when they emerge from the oven. The crackling of the crust as it cools.

I hold the loaf up to my nose and breathe deeply of its warm scent. I am so tempted to cut into it there and then, slather it with sweet butter, picturing it in my head as the butter melts on the just-out-of-the-oven warmth. I ask Rick, as I do everytime he makes bread, can I please cut it now? I ask even though I already know the answer he will give. No, Lynne, it needs to cool before you can cut it, he says. It's a ritual. He knows I will ask.

So I wait. Impatiently. Walking past it again and again, touching the loaves to see if they are cool enough. The waiting is really hard. But as I was always told when I was little, good things come to those who wait.

Finally it's time, and I cut through the crispy outer crust with a bread knife. It's perfectly baked with a beautiful crumb, and warm enough that the butter melts immediately. Sooooo good. Yum. Now we can look forward to great toast for breakfast. 

Rick has not made bread all summer—too hot to keep the oven going for hours—both during the preheating time necessary for the pan it gets baked in, and for the baking time itself. But with the beautiful temperatures we've had for days it finally made sense to fire up the oven. Welcome, cooler weather.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

A Name for My Blog ... Finally

No, you have not come to wrong site. This old "new" Jersey Girl lives in the South now and is not really a "girl" anymore. No, I have not changed my gender, just my age. Finally, I found a name for my blog. Please don't tell me you hate it (although my sister will hate it because she dislikes anything Southern—including sweet tea and grits—although she has lived here since forever, or it least it seems that way to her). It reflects my Southern exposure which is my life now. I do like sweet tea, and I didn't think I would, but really it's no different or any sweeter than drinking a Coke. And I do love grits, or if you want to be fancy and give it an Italian flair you can call it polenta. Same thing either way. 

Whether or not I continue to blog in this space is anybody's guess. I am going to try. I do occasionally still feel the urge to write things down. Not often, but when the urge hits I now have a new space to put down those thoughts. My old blog had a lot of photos, mainly because I used to take many, many photos. My camera and I were inseparable. These days It's a little different. I don't have the botanical gardens anymore to roam around in and I find fewer things entice me to pick up the camera. I might go through my old photos and post some of my favorites. Relive the "old" days, if you will.

Who knows what you might find if you come back once in a while? Leave me a comment and let me know you were here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023


(photo: one of the dogs' chew toys)

Yep, that's me — a dinosaur. Or my blog is I mean. At least that's what Rick tells me. I told him I wasn't going to post updates on FB anymore and he looked at me like I was nuts. Why not? he asked. I tried to explain to him that I really don't want to air my feelings to all and sundry on FB. Just to the people who really care to read. So he said: Lynne, nobody goes to blogs anymore. That's old school, obsolete! Now it's Tick-Tock,Twitter, Instagram and whatever else the latest fad is called. Everybody wants instant gratification these days, just skimming the surface of a billion different feeds instead of slowing down and really caring to get to know people. Really, the narcissism that exists these days! All the selfies, all the bragging rights. It gets old. I've had to just stop following certain people.

Back in 2006 when I first started my blog, everybody was blogging. It was a fun community and mostly we had each others' backs when times weren't so good for one of us. You read a person's blog and after a time you got to feel like you knew them personally. I even met a fellow blogger, Sally of Lettuce Eating, when I lived in New Jersey. She was in NYC for a few days visiting and I took the train up to meet her. We walked to Central Park and chatted for a few hours. Of course, there were some sham blogs, mostly the ones that were always all 'woe is me' and coming up with horrible things that just kept happening to them. But they were far and few between. I loved my little blogging community. Plus, blogging gave me a creative outlet for writing and my photography. I miss all that. I miss Reya, Pod, Sally, Jane, Steve just to mention my favorites. 

And now I am told I am obsolete. Should I even be starting to blog again?? I wonder. Anyway, here I am.

I was not going to share updates to the blog on FB like I said above, but good ol' hubby told me again that no one would bother coming to the blog just to see if I had done another entry. So, here I am, posting an update on FB. Come and see me, read me ... or not. If you have a blog, let me know please! I'd love to start reading blogs again.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Another One Bites the Dust

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone and another one gone
Another one bites the dust.  

Another year gone. Another Christmas season. Another birthday and finally, at the end of the year, I am a year older, marching steadily onward to that major milestone of 70 that is still a few years off. Do you think I could get away with saying, since my birthday is so close to the end of the year, that I am actually a year younger? Funny, I don't feel that old. Which I guess is a GOOD thing. Sure, I have my aches and pains and my formerly broken foot rears its ugly head once in a while, but not very often. I have no real complaints.

In the new year I promise to blog as often as the spirit moves me instead of keeping all my crazy ideas and thoughts to myself. Lucky you if you stumble upon it for I am no longer posting new entries to Facebook. After all, it's really not for eveyone even though it's public as heck. Right now I am sitting on my deck — yes, outside! — on New Year's Day, while back in Colorado I believe they are bracing for yet another snowstorm. Rick is watching a football game, ugh. I actually think I am winning right now because I am sitting here with a glass of Chardonnay, listening to bird song and being caressed by a soft breeze. No jacket, just a shirt. It's lovely. North Carolina weather has been treating us well. We had rain yesterday and I do love those rainy, gray days! Especially when they are followed by such a lovely day as today.

I look around me and in some ways can't quite believe we landed, once again, in the perfect spot. Perfect house, perfect town. If you had told me last year that I would be here, in North Carolina, and loving it I would not have believed you. And living in a house built in 1935 close to town. I know I've said the same thing before, but I am still in a state of disbelief. It all happened so quickly! AH!! I can hear the church bells ringing 2:00 from town as I am typing, right now! Perfection. I can't wait for the longer days and those lazy evening meals on our shaded deck, grilling a yummy meal and sipping on wine. Spring here must be wonderful.

As far as resolutions go, I don't really have any. I do want to explore more in the coming year and maybe rent a VRBO on the Outer Banks. They have some that are only accessible by 4x4 and inhabited by the wild horses.  (The beaches, not the houses!) I think that would be an experience to remember. I also read years ago about a place in the Blue Ridge (or was it Smoky?) Mountains where a huge number of fireflies come together and put on quite a spectacle. I think fireflies are magical and I'm so glad to have them back again in my life. The cicadas too.

I have no more thoughts to put down, so I guess I'll close this up now. Happy New Year everyone!


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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