Since we are now in the holiday season, and holidays mean eating special foods, I asked Dublin Library staff to pass on some of their favorite holiday-season recipes.

My own favorite recipe comes from Christmas potluck parties hosted by Mrs. Tuula Beals, whose Finnish language classes I attended for several years.  My favorite dish was riisipuuro – rice pudding.  The cook puts at least one onnenmanteli (a blanched “good luck almond”) in the pudding.  Whoever finds an almond in a serving is expected to have good luck throughout the coming year. 



1 quart water

1 1/2 cups white rice (short- or medium-grain)

3 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 blanched almond (or more to spread the luck around)


Place the rice in hot water, bring to boil and let simmer.  Add milk and bring to boil, then let simmer till very soft and sticky, at least 40 minutes.  Stir often to avoid scorching.  Add salt.  Serve warm or cold with fruit syrup or with cinnamon, sugar, and milk.


Peggy Tollefson sent me this recipe:



3/4 cup soft shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup applesauce

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1 cup raisins


Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Mix shortening, sugar and egg. Stir in applesauce.  Blend dry ingredients and mix in.  Stir in raisins.  Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes. 

Carmin Cerullo gave me this recipe:


This is a recipe for Norwegian Potate Lefse.  I actually just made it with my grandmother 3 weeks ago when I was in Seattle.


3 cups mashed or diced potatoes

1/2 cup margarine

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup half & half. Can go up to 1/3 cup if mixture is dry.  Add while potatoes are warm.


Add all these ingredients and mix well; we usually use our CLEAN hands!

Cool the potato mixture!

Add 1 1/2 cups flour

Each batch should make about 12 equal portions.

Roll thin and banke on a hot griddle.

Store in the refrigerator.

I like to put cinnamon and sugar on mine, but you can fill them with anything, sweet or savory.  Many people put tuna salad inside; you can basically put anything in the lefse.



Some books for the holiday season that you might want to borrow are:

Christmas with Paula Deen:  Recipes and Stories from my Favorite Holiday by Paula Deen   641.5686 DEEN

Al Roker’s Hassle-Free Holiday Cookbook:  More than 125 Recipes for Family Celebrations All Year Long by Al Roker   641.568 ROKER

Some books for children who enjoy cooking are:

Holiday Cooking Around the World:  Revised and Expanded to Include New Low-Fat and Vegetarian Recipes compiled by Kari A. Cornell J641.568 HOLIDAY

A Kwanzaa Holiday Cookbook by Emily Raabe   J641.59296 RAABE

Here comes Diwali:  the Festival of Lights by Meenal Pandya   J294.536 PANDYA