Filling semlor with sweet almond paste requires great concentration from Astrid Foster, age 7. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/02/16/146985466/swedish-fat-tuesday-delicacy-kept-alive-in-portland#147040528">semlor</a>.
Credit Deena Prichep / NPR
Clara Peterson, 5, and Pia Patrikson, 6, take turns whipping cream by hand.
Back when refrigeration wasn't up to modern standards, Fat Tuesday was a time to clear your house of indulgent foods. This led to lots of rich recipes, from Shrove pancakes to King Cake. In Sweden, the specialty is semlor. A group of people in Portland, Ore., are keeping that dish — and a few other Swedish traditions — alive.
Picture soft, sweet rolls, sort of like brioche, piled with creamy almond filling. Now picture them being made by a room full of young, mostly blond children speaking Swedish.
This piece was not my idea. It was Linda Holmes'. If you're reading this blog, you probably share my regard for her take on popular culture. So my ears pricked up when she suggested I look into doing a radio piece on Kyle Killen.
A sweeping transportation bill being debated in Congress addresses how to prop up dwindling funds for the nation's aging highways. States with their own budget shortfalls are facing the same challenge. In California, researchers are trying to stretch those resources by developing next-generation pavements that are quieter and more fuel-efficient to drive on.
Alexei Venediktov, then editor-in-chief of Moscow Echo radio station, talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during an awards ceremony in Moscow, Jan. 13. Venediktov's ouster this month is seen as a sign that the Russian government may be cracking down on the independent media.
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From his office at Moscow Echo radio station, Alexei Venediktov discusses possible government interference in the media, Feb. 14. Soon afterward, he was forced out of his post.
With less than two weeks to go before Russia's presidential elections, the country's independent journalists are in a state of anxiety. Government-run media seem more open than ever to divergent viewpoints — but officials may be cracking down on independent outlets that go too far.
Two incidents last week suggest that the Russian government is prepared to lean on journalists — both domestic and foreign.
Nineteen-year-old Army Pvt. Cody Dollman has a look in his eyes that makes you think he probably used to fight much bigger kids on the playground back home in Wichita, Kan. He says he always wanted to be a soldier — both his grandfathers served in the military — but he's the first in his family to see action overseas.