Every Christmas Eve we celebrated with Dopp i Gryta - but we didn't actually know that was the name. It was a tradition that our Grandma Millie's parents did back in Sweden, and they continued it with their Swedish (and other) neighbors in good, old Missouri. We called is "duppenda". Something obviously got lost in translation, but none the less, I finally found out that the tradition is real, although probably not still done that much today. Certainly not today, due to Covid-19, but probably just not done as much in general. Let's bring it back, shall we? In a safe manner, of course!
Basically, you simmer some roast and sausages (hot dogs/brats) in a big pan (Recipe at the end). You eat the meat and dip your bread in the pot ( a community pot - see why this won't work during Covid?) You stand around the pot, eating, drinking, and talking. You invite your neighbors and whomever is around in Dopp i Gryta. Another cool thing was we got root beer - which was a real treat even for me as a child, and I can imagine that my grandmother was thrilled to get a real root beer. So my kids are getting real root beer (the expensive kind, not A&W).
I can see how this tradition got started. Poor people, in small villages, sharing what they have. All the meat in the pot, dip the bread - everyone share on Christmas Eve. One of the darkest nights of the year and one of the holiest nights of the year - why not light it up by sharing the food you have, drinks, laughs, stories with neighbors and friends? How special that would be - especially in a time where people worked so very hard, every day, all day - no real breaks. Holidays were the only times for breaks, and even then you still had to milk the cows, feed the animals, collect the eggs. It meant so much to our ancestors to spend their rare down time with one another, to get to celebrate with one another.
I hope that you are able to spend some time together, even if it isn't in close physical proximity to one another. Remember how hard our ancestors worked so they could enjoy a day together, they couldn't even dream of calling someone or a Zoom meeting. A day with good food and drinks, with stories and laughs, and most of all, to worship and give Thanks to the One who has blessed us so much.
Dopp i Gryta
1 Beef Roast
1 Pork Roast
Kosher Hot Dogs
Bratwurst (or Beer Brats - whatever)
1-2 teaspoons Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1-2 teaspoons allspice (which seems like quite a bit but it is right)
Brown the roast separately, add to pot. Add scrapings from pan you browned roasts in, add can of beef broth, add spices, add water to cover meat. Bring to boil, reduce, simmer 4-6 hours, add hot dogs, brats, etc. simmer another 20 minutes or so. Then go.. ...dip your bread, grab your meat, sing a song, tell a tale, do a toast. We use rye bread, black bread, etc - but use whatever you like. And to my family - remember. Because if we don't share the memories, no one will. Love you all!