book review

The Land of Long Ago Book Jump and a Little Dragon Bread

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I was straightening out the bookcase when I came across an old family favorite by Elsa Beskow The Land of Long Ago. 

It’s the story of a brother and sister, Kelly and Kai ,who created a dragon made of a log. Oh, how they wish it could fly and go to the Land of Long Ago! A garden gnome casts a magic spell which magically transforms the dragon into an actual flying beast. As the children sit on their “pretend” dragon they are quickly carried off to the Land of Long Ago.

On their incredible journey, the children meet a princess, rescue a knight, trick the King of the Trolls, and live as a prince and princess themselves in the Land of Long Ago.

Missing their “real” parents back in the Ordinary World, they must find a way home. Will their tree stump dragon survive long enough to get them there?

I cannot count how many times I’ve read this book or how often this book was read to me as a child. I was so happy to discover it again amongst the stacks of our bookshelves. It was like an old friend had appeared once again. I left it sitting out on an end table and each one of my children in turn has picked it up , sat down, and read it. Afterwards, looking up they say , “this is such a great book. Do we have any Dragon Bread ?

Something To Do:

Ah yes, Dragon Bread. There are certain stories we’ve read through the years which have developed a tradition and this book is one of them. We would always make Dragon Bread to go with our dragon story. Thought you might like to as well. The actual recipe I got from my friend Sara but the designing part is all ours.

Dragon Bread

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups  flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Mix together the yeast and warm water. Let it rest. In another bowl, mix eggs, oil, salt, and sugar. Add flour. Add yeast and water mixture and mix until blended. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it’s firm and smooth, then round it into a bowl coated in a little oil. Turn the ball over once to coat both sides of dough with oil. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Now place your dough on a greased cookie sheet  or use parchment paper and shape it into a dragon.

Shaping your Dragon:

  • Make your dough into a long rectangle.
  • Take a section off on the left hand side of the dough for the head.
  • Take a little section off of the right hand end of the dough for the mouth, and feet.
  • Pull the end of the right hand side of the dough to make a tail.
  • Attach the head.
  • Place a ball of dough under the head for the mouth. Feel free to add almond slivers for the teeth.
  • Place the feet under the dragon body.
  • To decorate your dragon you can use dried fruit, almond slivers as spikes or do as we have and use your scissors to make dragon scales.
  • Cut down the middle of the body first and then another row on down on each side of the dragon’s body.
  • Do the same to the head. As much or as little as you’d like.
  • Add raisins or craisins for the eyes.

Some people cover and let their dragon bread rise again for about 30 minutes. We do not however ,as our children like the shape of their dragon to remain the same.  Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 25 minutes.

How’s that for tasty treat!  Dragon Bread is a tradition in our house, how about you? What tradition does your family have that is inspired by a book? Please share!

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