Friday, December 7, 2018

Make Some Lucia Buns

St. Lucia's Day is celebrated in Sweden on December 13 during the darkest days of winter. Martyred St. Lucia depicts the “bringer of light” at festivals throughout Europe – and Bishop Hill too! Here in Bishop Hill, during our two-night festival, visitors are served sweet treats and coffee by young girls dressed as the saint. The celebration opens our Christmas season. Our Lucias wear white gowns and crowns of greenery with candles symbolizing the promise of the sun's return to the cold dark world.

In Swedish homes on Lucia's day, the young girls of the family dress as St. Lucia and present their parents with breakfast in bed. The breakfast tray usually includes a pot of tea, some milk, and some St. Lucia Buns or Lussekatter (Lucia Cats). These saffron buns get their name from the whimsical shapes they take when made: figure-eight shaped cats, "S" shaped for saffron. 
• 1 cup milk
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 pkg. dry active yeast (4 1/2 tsp.)
• 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs, well-beaten, plus one egg white
• raisins or currants to decorate

Crumble saffron threads into melted butter. Let sit 30 minutes to an hour; this intensifies the saffron flavor. 
Heat milk to a light boil, turn off heat when it reaches the scalding point, with small bubbles across the top. Stir in melted butter, sugar, and salt. Pour mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool. Stir in yeast and let sit for another 10 minutes. 

Add 3 1/2 cups flour to the liquid. Stir in two well-beaten eggs. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough – just enough so the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover with a clean towel and allow dough to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Punch down the risen dough. Lightly knead two or three times on a floured surface. Pinch off small handfuls of dough and roll into snakes. Shape snakes into "S" shaped buns or other desired shapes. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with the towel again, and allow buns to rise until doubled - about an hour. 
Decorate them with raisins, brush with egg white, and bake in preheated 375ยบ oven about 15 minutes or just until brown. Makes about 20 St. Lucia Lussekatter.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Farewell Bob Carter, July 15, 1944 - November 7, 2018

This bit of sad news made it to the in-box of this BHOSA blog. Since there are so many in Bishop Hill that fondly remember Bob, his obituary, provided by his friend, Cain Burdeau, is shared for you here.
Bob died on Nov. 7 in a town in southern Italy. His death was caused by a stroke. He was in Puglia for one of his annual visits to longtime friend, Bob Burdeau.     

He was born in Los Angeles on July 15, 1944 and was raised a Quaker. He grew up on his family's farm in Washington and at a young age was one of the first locals to buy a hay baler, testing out his precocious entrepreneurial skills. Bob spent a year of high school in Guatemala and was also in student-led political protests there.

One of his many accomplishments was writing the alma mater of Battle Ground High School to his mother's musical composition. As a young man, he worked as a political intern in Washington, D.C. As a Quaker, he was a conscientious objector.

He journeyed to Alaska by boat and became the sole member of the East Addington Trading Company. He sold hard-to-come-by items to residents up and down the Alaskan panhandle, announcing his arrival at harbors in his boat by firing off cannons.

The sea remained a constant in his life. He built a sailboat, the Kelly Bogus, at Wyman's Marina in Anacortes. For more than 20 years, he worked on fishing boats and tenders, much of the time as a captain. He built a house on Gravina Island, near Ketchikan, and a house in Germany, where he lived in the off-season of fishing, with his then-wife and children.

Later, he worked as a tow boat and barge traffic controller on the upper Mississippi for Ingram Barge Co. while living in Bishop Hill, Illinois, a Swedish settlement of religious pilgrims.

With the death of his beloved younger brother, Richard Carter, Bob turned to the Camino di Santiago in Spain for solace, beginning many years of arduous walking through Spain. In his final year, he walked through Bosnia, Macedonia and Albania. His final walking trip, in Assisi, Italy, was with dear friends from Anacortes, Washington.

He was intensely spiritual throughout his life and liked to attend religious ceremonies wherever he went, regardless of denomination. He owned few possessions, preferred a jacket rather than a pillow to rest his head on and routinely gave away his belongings. In Bosnia, he gave his sleeping bag and bedroll to a Syrian refugee he met in a park.

In his final years, he cultivated a new passion: film-making. A strange encounter he had in the 1970s with a mysterious Italian from Puglia became the inspiration for "Nasumice", a feature-length movie he made with Caleb Burdeau, the director. The movie was premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival in August, with Bob in attendance. Bob was working on the script for a new film based on his experiences with the East Addington Trading Company when he died.

He is survived by his children, Oliver Carter and Iola Carter of Germany; his step-daughter Mira Kovacova of New York City; one grandchild; one brother, Roger Carter; and a host of friends throughout Italy, Germany, Washington state, Illinois and many other places he lived in and traveled.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanks to all of the volunteers who set up, baked cookies, sold cookies and cleaned up. Our 2018 Cookie Walk was a great success! 
Have a fun and safe holiday season.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cookie Walk Coming Soon

Join us for our annual
at the Colony School
Fri, Nov 23 and Sat, Nov 24 from 9am to 4pm
Grab some tasty treats for the holidays! 
Purchase confections by the pound.

This is a fund-raiser for, and sponsored by, 
The Bishop Hill Old Settlers' Association and 
The Bishop Hill Community Methodist Church.

Special thanks to all our local bakers who make this event a success! We are grateful to you for taking the time to make and donate such a delightful selection of sweets. We ask that they be delivered to the School between 7:30am and 9am on Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Lowell Gilbert, June 10, 1941-November 3, 2018

Former Bishop Hill resident, Lowell Gilbert, 77, of Rock Island passed away Saturday Nov. 3, 2018, in Rock Island. Lowell and his wife, Judith, were previous proprietors of the B H Colony Hospital B&B. While residents, they were active in Bishop Hill's organizations. Lowell leaves behind many friends who will miss him for the kindness and quiet good will he always showed his Bishop Hill neighbors.

A memorial visitation and celebration of Lowell’s life will be 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Ave., Rock Island, with a Time of Remembrance by family at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Jordbruksdagarna 9-29 & 9-30

Jordbruksdagarna is a bit hard to pronounce; it is Swedish and means
"earth work days" or "agriculture days" 
but to an Old Settler, it means it's time to make the STEW!

Mother Nature has been stingy with fair weather this season. This weekend may be no exception. Please know that rain or shine the stew will go on. In the event of a cool miszzle, stop by the Colony School where both fellowship and our traditional beefy stew will warm you right up!

Please join us for Jordbruksdagarna 
from 10am to 5 pm
Saturday, September 29 & Sunday, September 30

BHOSA Traditional Colony Stew and Rice Pudding!
Music: Hammer and Pick - Noon & 2pm
Nordic Dancers - 1pm & 3pm
Children’s Games - 2pm 
Forging / Flax Processing / Rope Making / Woodworking / More!
Pumpkins, Mums, Goat Milk Products, Gourds, Popcorn, 
Antiques, and Primitives. Petting Zoo by the Burns Booster 4-H club
Saturday only
Brian “Fox” Ellis, as John Deere, will present a century of
 agricultural history at an 11 am performance in the village park gazebo
Sunday only: 
Community Church Service 10am   

BHHA Food Stand with Svenska Varm Korv, Swedish Hotdogs, and
Pork Burgers 11am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday

Galesburg duet, Mockingbird, will perform old time blues on Saturday from 1-3pm. 
Join the fun south of the Hotel from Noon-4pm on Saturday and Sunday for 
Brick Making / Corn Husk Dolls / Apple Cider Pressing / Corn Shelling 
Sorghum Pressing / Cooking / Hard tack baking

Concert by singer/songwriter from Uppsala. 
Johan Johansson will perform songs about Swedish history
at 11am on Saturday 

Tour of Bishop Hill with Brian “Fox” Ellis Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. 
This tour is both educational and entertaining for all ages;
adults $10, children $5

Vintage baseball featuring the
Springfield Long Nine and the Chicago Salmon
Games played by 19th century baseball rules
starting at 11:30am on Saturday

The BHHA will dedicate the Spets Stuga, at 404 North Erickson Street, 
as a children’s pioneer playhouse at 4pm on Sunday.
Refreshments will be served in the Dairy Building following the dedication.

 11am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday making stops at 
the Henry County Museum, the Village Park, and the Colony Church 

Outside Antique Tractors and Equipment Display

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Bishop Hill celebrates Old Settlers' Day on Saturday, September 8

The Bishop Hill Old Settlers’ Association was organized in 1896 to observe the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Bishop Hill Colony. Since 1962, Old Settlers’ Day has been celebrated on the second Saturday in September. This year the BHOSA, now in its 122nd year, will hold this annual event on Saturday, September 8th.
We invite the public to join us at the Bishop Hill Colony School for a Chicken Dinner served from 11:30am until 1pm.  In addition to some delicious baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, slaw, Swedish rye bread, homemade pie, and good strong coffee is included with the meal. The price of a meal is $10.00 and comes with a beverage and dessert.  Children under 8 years old pay half price - only $5.00.
After dining, head to the Village Park Gazebo for the afternoon program. Highlights include music by Bishop Hill’s High Society Band and stories of the Colony passed down from generation to generation. This year, Jelena Todorovich will be our featured speaker. Patrick Sloan will provide the musical entertainment.
In the event of rain the program will be held at the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church. 

The following day, on Sunday September 9th, the Colony School will host former students and teachers of surrounding area country schools as they gather to celebrate their heritage at the annual Colony School Reunion.