A Tale of Three Goats
Once upon a time, three little Billy goats were feeling a bit gruff. They hadn’t eaten since they left the barn in the morning, because during the night, their meadow had been grazed to the ground by a herd of reindeer, one of whom had a red nose!
The goats trotted and trotted, looking for fresh grass under the snow. But they had no luck. At last, they came upon a raging river. On the opposite bank, rows of cranberry bushes poked their heads up through the drifts. Lunch called!
The water looked deep and cold. But they soon spotted a stone bridge. The littlest and liveliest goat boy danced ahead. When he jumped onto the bridge, a troll leaped at him, all smelly and ugly.
“I eats goats for lunch,” the troll roared, “and you looks mighty tasty!”
“Don’t eat me,” said the goat boy. “My father’s bigger and fatter than I am. He’s coming right behind me!”
The troll licked his chops at the thought of such a big plate of goat for lunch, followed by his favorite dessert, cranberry troll cream.
While the troll hesitated, the goat ran right past him, into the cranberry fields unharmed, where he began filling his tummy with fruit.
Soon daddy goat jumped onto the bridge, and the old mean troll wasted no time. He leapt into the goat’s path and bared his teeth.
“You don’t want to eat me,” said Papa goat. “The grandaddy of all goats is coming just behind. He’s bigger, fatter, and juicier than any goat you’ve ever munched on.”
The troll’s mouth watered at the thought, and goat number two ran joyously into the cranberry fields.
Just then, goat number three lumbered onto the bridge. He was old, but he was strong, and just as mean as the ugly troll. He wasted no words. He just kicked the troll in the head and knocked him into the rough waters below, where he disappeared from sight.
Never again did the old troll bother the three goats, who lived on to enjoy cranberries ever after.
In Canada cranberries are often served at Christmas to dress a crispy turkey.
But in Norway where the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff began, cranberries also make a delicious tangy dessert, served to trolls at festive times.
And why wouldn’t trolls love this frothy, fruity cream? Cranberries have many magical properties. Their juice is a powerful bacteria fighter. It’s long been used to ward off urinary tract infections.
But it also protects us from cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, kidney stones, and even tooth decay.
All this comes from the large amounts of antioxidants cranberries bring, plus their tart acid goodness.
Fresh berries are usually only available in the fall and early winter in Canada (and Norway), but the juice is available for year-round protection.
If you eat cranberries often, sweeten them or their juice with stevia to reduce sugar consumption. Stevia sweetens acid foods deliciously. But if you want a more complex flavor, use a little maple syrup or honey in addition. Make sure you use sugar, though, in troll cream, because that’s what stiffens the egg white.
In honor of my Norwegian grandfather, I now present the recipe for Troll Cream. Much thanks to Recipe Reminiscing for introducing me to this Norwegian traditional Christmas food… and to the trolls, of course, for coming up with the idea in the first place!
Troll Cream, AKA Cranberry Snow
Makes three or four 3- or 4-ounce servings
- 8 ounces (1 cup) cranberries, washed, stems removed, and pureed in a food processor
- 3 or 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 1 good shake of cinnamon (or use the traditional pinch of cloves)
With a hand mixer, whip the egg white until it forms soft peaks. If serving this to small kids, the elderly, pregnant moms, or people with compromised immune systems, check out my post on how to cook eggs for use in raw egg recipes.
Whip in the sugar until the whites are shiny and quite stiff.
Whip in the crushed berries and cinnamon.
Spoon into pretty bowls or pudding cups.
Troll cream should be prepared just before serving, but you can make it earlier and whip it up again when it’s placed on the table.
This dessert is delicious on its own, but it also tastes great with sweetened Greek yogurt. Or you can make a custard for it from the left-over egg yolk.
The contrast between tart and sweet is delicious. I tried it with more sugar, but it was best as I’ve described here. I think this combination of sweetened meringue and fruit would also work with raspberries.
- How to cook eggs for use in raw egg recipes – if you are cooking for kids, pregnant mamas, or people with compromised immune system, learn how to eliminate all risk from eating eggs.
- Make a date with cranberries and digest some good feelings – Yummy date and cranberry breakfast-squares provide fuel that lasts and nutrients that brighten your mood.
- Getting in the groceries that send cancer packing – Salad foods are known cancer fighters! Check out Dr. Li’s salad tower with its potent antioxidants and stay healthy.
- Meet Auntie Oxidant – A tribute to anti-rust agents in plants – Dr. Richard Cutler, former Director of the National Institute of Aging, says, ”The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.”