Holiday Recipes Using Garden Ingredients

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As I grow food, I am more inspired to use it in new ways to share with others. The recipes below all include at least one home-grown ingredient. 

Gravlox Recipe



  • Salmon
  • Curing Mixture (for each pound of salmon mix together)
    • Sugar, 2 TBSP
    • Kosher Salt, 2 TBSP
    • Fresh Ground Pepper, 2 tsp
  • Dill ( approximately one handful for each pound)


  • Weigh your salmon and make your curing mixture based on your total weight. Mix the salt, sugar, and pepper together thoroughly.
    • NOTES:
      • These two fillets weighed around four pounds, so this called for 8 TBSP of both salt and sugar, and 8 tsp of ground pepper.
      • I usually just prepare one fillet at a time but gravlox doubles as a delicious Christmas breakfast--bagels with gravlox--so I made two fillets this year so as to not have to make breakfast for the rest of the holiday week.
  • Remove any pin-bones with your kitchen needle-nosed pliers. (Is this a common kitchen tool? I have permanently relocated these from the tool box to the kitchen!)
    • On a cookie sheet spread out cling wrap beyond the edges of the pan and place the fillet(s) on top.
    • Add the curing mixture to evenly cover the surface of the salmon.
    • Add your dill on top of the curing mixture, as much or as little as you like; I had to reserve some dill for the potatoes, so this was a bit less than I prefer.
    • Wrap the fillets tightly in the cling wrap, using several layers to maintain the curing mixture and dill's contact with the fish.
    • Place the tightly wrapped fillets back on the baking sheet to catch the juices that will be coming out through the curing process.
    • Place into the refrigerator for a minimum of two days; I find three to be the sweet spot. I often add some containers of leftovers on top of the fillet to press out some of the liquid and press in the flavors.
      • Note: we left the second filet curing for a week-and-a-half. The result? Saltier and dillier but with an even more buttery texture. Truly delicious!
    • Flip the fillet once per day until you feel it is ready. At this point (two or three days later) unwrap the fish and rinse it off under cold water.
    • Lay it out on your cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut toward the tail at an angle resulting in lovely beveled slices.


    • Enjoy!
      • Eat it as you cut it for a salty pick me up!
      • Use as a topping for crackers topped with fresh dill sprigs!
      • Top a savory bagel with cream cheese, capers, purple onion, gravlox, and tomato!
      • Top a toasted slice of sourdough or rye bread with gravlox, cucumber, radish, and tomato, and a dill and mustard sauce!

    We moved into our neighborhood this past July and our children made fast friends with the neighbors. It was through a casual conversation with the childrens' father that I learned about a local who makes his living fishing in Alaska in the summers; through this connection, we could order a large quantity of wild-caught sockeye salmon. We had just recently purchased an upright energy efficient freezer and I already had made plans to fill it with beef, pork and chicken from a local regenerative rancher, but to add wild-caught salmon to the mix? Dream come true as far as I am concerned.

    We love salmon, but this salmon is so incredibly rich in flavor, I cannot really compare it to other salmon I have eaten. Unlike Atlantic salmon, it is not fatty; unlike other sockeye salmon I have tried to cook, it doesn't easily dry out. The only thing this salmon begs for us to do it not overcook it and savor every bite. For this holiday, I took two of the larger fillets to make our Yul Bord favorite, gravlox. This was our second time making gravlox with this fish, but the first time with our homegrown dill. Yet again, it did not disappoint!

    2021 Yul Bord: Crackers, cheeses and cured meats (not pictured here as the four-year-old neighbor twins decimated the cured meets in a shockingly short amount of time ;-), gravlox, capers, lemons, sil (pickled herring), picked beets, and salad.

    Not pictured: Swedish meatballs, roasted potatoes, dilly sour cream, gravy, lingonberry jam, and horseradish cranberry sauce.

    Notice the amaryllis bringing forth so much color! This was the one with the broken stem which has made a beautiful cut flower all this week and looks like it will leave at least two more blooms for another week.

    We had our neighbors over for this year's Yul Bord as the kids spend so much time together we are essentially quaran-teaming at this point. Next year we hope to be able to invite more friends and neighbors after these strange Covid times when to care for one another means to keep our distance.; this is not really conducive to building community in a new place, but we will do our part. In the meantime, I am happy to share these recipes with you, the broader community of lovers of homegrown dill and well-prepared salmon!


    Saffron Buns / Saffransbullar / Lussekatter


    • 2 - 1/8 c. milk
    • 1/2 c. butter
    • 2 packets of dry yeast
    • 8 oz. sour cream
    • 1/2 gram saffron
    • 2/3 c. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 7 - 1/2 c. flour
    • raisins
    • 1 egg



    1. Heat milk and butter in a sauce pan to 100 deg. (F). Add yeast stiring until dissolved.
    2. Stir in sour cream, saffron, sugar, salt, and 7 c. of flour kneading until dough is smooth and silky.
    3. Let rise for 40 min. and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    4. Flour work surface and punch down risen dough, then divide into 36 pieces.
    5. Roll into a rope 5 to 6 inches long and then lay in an S-shape on the parchment paper.
    6. Garnish with raisins in the center of each S-curl.
    7. Cover with a towel and let rise another 30 minutes.
    8. Preheat oven to 325 deg. (F)
    9. Brush each bun with beaten egg and then bake until puffed and golden, 5 - 10 minutes depending on your elevation. Here at roughly 6500 feet, I wouldn't let them go longer than five minutes without checking on them.


    Butter Saffron Cake

    Swedish Butter Saffron Cake

    Dough Ingredients

    • 1/3 c. sugar plus 1 tsp.
    • 1 tsp. saffron
    • 2 tbsp. vodka
    • 1 c. milk
    • 1/4 oz. yeast (on packet)
    • 7 tbsp. melted butter
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 3 c. flour
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

    Filling Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp. butter softened
    • 3 1/2 oz. almond paste
    • 1/3 c. raisins chopped
    • Zest of 1 orange

    Topping Ingredients

    • 1 egg beaten
    • 3 tbsp. pearl sugar
    • 1/4 c. sliced almonds


    1. Stir in 1 tsp sugar, saffron, and vodka and let sit for 1 hour
    2. Heat milk to 115 F
    3. Whisk together yeast and milk in a large bowl and let sit 10 minutes
    4. Add melted butter, egg yolk, and vodka-saffron mixture. Whisk until smooth
    5. In a second large bowl combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk mixture to form a dough.
    6. Knead dough until smooth and let rest and rise for 2 hours.
    7. Butter a round springform pan and line it with parchment paper.
    8. Heat the oven to 350 F
    9. Mix all filling ingredients 
    10. Roll dough into an 8 x 20-inch rectangle.
    11. Spread filling ingredients evenly across the rectangle of dough
    12. Roll from the short side and then cut into 12 even rolls placing them concentrically in the springform pan
    13. Let rise for 45 minutes
    14. Brush the surface with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar and slivered almonds
    15. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes



    Meyer Lemon and Vodka.
    Main Ingredients
    • 2 homegrown, tree-ripened Meyer Lemons
    • 750 ml of Vodka

    Simple Syrup Ingredients

    • 1 c. sugar
    • 4 c. water


    1. Cut the lemons into wedges.
    2. Place them into a jar with a lid or a seal and cover with the full bottle of vodka.
    3. Place in a cool dark place for about 1 month.
    4. Strain out the lemons and evenly divide the vodka infusion into two 750 ml jars of your choice.
    5. Make the simple syrup in a saucepan.
    6. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, evenly divide the syrup between the two jars with the vodka infusion.
    7. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

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