Something M always loved when he grew up was the smell of Risgrynsgröt in the house. The cinnamon smell spread around the house, just like fresh-cut-grass-in-the-summer-smell and announced that Christmas was finally here. The best part with making Risgrynsgröt is that you can use it both as a breakfast meal but also as a dessert called “Ris a la Malta” which generally is served as a dessert during the Christmas and New Year holiday.
In traditional Sweden Risgrynsgröt has some very special and mythical meanings as well:
Marriage or not: You would put an Almond in the porridge before being served, the unmarried daughter who got the Almond in her serving would be likely to be married during the next year (similar to catching the bride’s bouquet). If you got the bitter Almond it was highly improbable that you would end up married in foreseeable future.
Pleasing the House elf (hustomte): Historically most Swedish people were farmers and it is told that a little house elf was living on every farm to help the farmer with the animals and keeping the farm safe (like Dobby from Harry Potter). The night before Christmas it was crucial that you would place a bowl of Risgrynsgröt with a dollop of butter in it for the house elf. Failure to do so would result in the house elf causing all sorts of mischief on the farm and release the animals.
It is also very easy to make Risgrynsgröt and takes just under an hour.
4 cups water
8 cups milk (we use lactose free)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter
2 cup rice (use Arborio rice)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon sugar
Melt the butter in a thick bottomed saucepan and put in the cinnamon sticks (whole), add the salt and all water when butter has melted, this will release the nice aroma from the Cinnamon. Bring to boil. When boiling add all the rice and let it simmer on low temperature for 10 min.
Add the milk and bring to boil, cover with lid and let it simmer on low for 30 min. Done. Serve warm or cold with cinnamon and sugar to taste.