Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tis the season

So we put up the tree and got the Christmas season off to a good start with out annual St. Nicholas dinner. This is a Playmobil Advent calendar that Mark's brother gave Maxwell when he was little.  You open a little gift box each day of December and built a Christmas scene.   The Santa sleigh was a Playmobil set he begged my mother for when he was three, it came with a camel and a nativity scene, which has gotten mixed up with the other 100,000 Playmobils we own.  The Santa and sleigh we have managed to keep separate, with the Christmas stuff.
We made cookies.  I am not really a cookie maker, so I usually leave that piece to Rolf, who makes the "Butter S", and every year I take a little of the dough and roll it out and make some cut out cookies and decorate them with sprinkles, and every year for the past 22 years he is horrified.  This year Freyja dusted most of the cookies with fuchsia sanding sugar and little candy stars and you would have thought he thought it was the best idea in the whole world.  I also made some Swedish ginger cookies, because they are really easy to make and because we already had the house pretty trashed by two little girls and one unruly dog.  They came out well, and the girls had a gay old time decorating them. 

Weighing the ingredients is one of the coolest things, much more fun than a measuring cup.

St. Nicholas dinner a day late, but not a dollar short.  Everything was lovely. I made my mother's apple, onion dressing, mashed sweet potatoes (not yams), with orange juice,  quince sauce with cranberry, sour cream gravy, cabbage sauteed with juniper berries, caraway seed, onion and apples, and a pork tenderloin for my step father, who might feel naked at a veggie dinner.   Rolf's girlfriend brought funeral potatoes, pickled beets and a carrot cake.  It was a fine feast.

My Great-grandmother, Grandma Koko's gold leaf glasses, and my special Christmas plates that Rolf surprised me with 20 years ago. Granma Koko was a little on the morose side.  I am happy to let her legacy live on here in lighter and more cheerful surroundings.

Every year I make a little A frame gingerbread house from a perfectly good Czechoslovakian kit and the world does not come to an end.  This year I thought it would be a good idea to make my own and it was a disaster, heaped upon a catastrophe.   Much yelling and swearing was involved and the walls fell down TWICE.  I will be returning to my tried and true model next year.

Freyja told her teacher about St. Lucia Day, and offered to teach the class about it.  She proceeded to look up information on the computer, on her own (with Onkel's help) and make a report for the class.  I was very impressed. She told the teacher "we celebrate St. Lucia, because she is the patron saint of light, and I am the light of my parent's life, that is why they named me after the saint. I am also named for the goddess of love." Someone had healthy self esteem!

quince sauce,  paprika and sour cream gravy and apple mustard sauce and a pea salad, which is not at all traditional, for St Nick's day.  The photos got all mixed up and I am too lazy to fix them.

Freyja and a friend mixing up the cookies

Then I decided to make an owl doll, for no good reason.  He came out pretty cute.  All hand sewn.  My design.

Approach the haus with extreme caution!!

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