This Swedish bread plate literally fell out of the roll top desk my mother took with her when she moved to assisted living recently. (It’s a very nice place and we’re all very relieved our mother has taken to the new place so well, is eating better, and also is no longer driving.)

My Swedish is abysmal but I think the inscription, “Bättre grov kaka än ingen smaka,” translates as “Better coarse bread than none.” If readers who know colloquial Swedish have a better translation, please let me know!

Swedish Bread PlateI have to believe this is my great-grandmother’s bread plate, or perhaps even her mother Carolina Larsdotter’s possession. Anna’s nephew, her brother’s son, came from Sweden to visit the family in Chicago. Perhaps the bread plate was a gift to his aunt.

I’ve written about my Swedish great-grandmother, Anna Larsdotter Hann, before. I admire her for raising three children under the age of five, including her youngest posthumous child and my grandmother, after she was widowed at the age of 33.

Anna lived in Chicago, had limited English, and scrubbed floors, did piecework, and took in laundry to support her children. She never remarried, but raised her three children in Chicago with the help of her maiden sister Hedda. She lived to see her children married and started successfully on their own lives and families.

We’ll never know how this wonderful Swedish bread plate entered the family, but I’m glad it’s newly discovered.