Christmas is not over yet, even though the present opening is over, and the madness of exchanging the presents have started.... However, I promise that this will be the last "Nisse" on this blog, this year. Next year I will try to make his female partner, "Nissemor".
He is shy, doesn't want anyone to see him, but he is around. All year. And you have to treat him well, or he might be very insulted and move! That means bad luck! Christmas Eve, he likes a treat of rice porridge, don't forget it!
Growing up, preparing for Christmas was much more then decorations and gifts. My mother would wash the entire house, walls, windows and ceilings, even the attic would be scrubbed, and Christmas curtains would be hung. She told me once that in her home, when she was a little girl, they would actually scrub the wooden floors with sand to get them ready for Christmas. I remember me and my siblings, all with little aprons, helping her baking cookies. It was a mess, and it had to be at least 7 different kinds, don't ask me why, it was tradition. Off course I still try to make at least 7 kinds. She would also make all these specially spiced sausages, and off course home made marzipan figures. I loved those and remember sneaking one when she wasn't around. When all the special food was prepared, she scrubbed down the kitchen. Then the decoration could start. It would be her embroidered Christmas table clothes, red candles, some angels and Santa's (nisse), and table decorations made with pine branches, cut offs from the Christmas tree. The tree would come in "little Christmas Eve", the 23rd, so that when we woke up the next morning, it had been decorated in all its glory. With candles, strings of home made paper garland, flags, and paper heart baskets. The more fancy and breakable balls would be hung towards the top, together with the angels. I remember how exiting it was to come downstairs, it was dark, the only light on was the one on the tree. I would just sit there in the dark and admire it......
I was tagged by Silja . So now I have to tag 6 people.
This is how it works: If you have been tagged, each player of this game starts with writing " 6 weird things" about themselves on their blog, as well as stating this rule clearly. Then you have to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Leave a comment on their blogs that tell them that they are tagged, and that they need to read your blog.
My family has been very helpful, the list of my weirdness could have gone on for miles.
Here is some: 1. I play very loud brass band marches when I'm in the car. I love it! Sitting on red light, the car is bouncing up and down.
2. A few months before Christmas I bury lamb-ribs in salt for a few days, hang them to dry for a couple of months, and then eat them at Christmas Eve.
3. I snort when I laugh.
4. I speak Norwegian with English words, and opposite. Who can understand it?
5. I am known to play loud Norwegian music and cry, when I clean the house. Pretty effective.
6. My kids favorite: Tired of my children talking with food in their mouths, I yelled: "Don't eat with food in your mouth!" Needless to say I couldn't hold a straight face after that one....
These will go under someones tree, and I am ready for something new. I wish I found some good, not to thin, and not to thick and not to expensive, wool yarn. I want to make a sweater for my grand daughter. The hunt is on.....
Obviously I have been doing other stuff than knitting..... The house is now fully decorated, even the Christmas tree is done, against all personal traditions. Late evening the 23rd would be the day to hang ornaments on the tree, so that the kids could wake up to the lit tree in the morning the 24th! It however had to happen early this year, do to a tight schedule. As always, we hang the Norwegian flags on strings, these on the picture are pretty old, but still in use every year.
I still need to bake a few cakes for the freezer, after that I will feel much better ...
Baked these cookies today. We always made these for Christmas growing up, they are pretty easy, and came out great. So I want to share the recipe, only thing is that you need to make the dough the day before, nd let it rest in the fridge over night.
"PEPPER NUTS" 2,5 dl (1 cup) light corn or sugar syrup 2 dl (little less than a 1 cup) sugar 65 gram (4 table spoons) butter 1/2 dl (3 table spoons) whipping cream 1 teaspoon ground star anise (I used 1 teaspoon concentrate) 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 3/4 teaspoon baking soda (natron) 500gram (3,5 cups) flour
Bring syrup, butter, sugar and cream to a boil. Combine and add all dry ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate over night. Make small round "nuts" and place them with some space, on a greased baking sheet, or use parchment paper. Heat oven to 400F (or 200C), and bake for 8 min. Makes about 120 cookies. Have fun!
Being busy with work, delayed the Christmas decorating. The fact is that the advent calender didn't get hung till this last weekend. It was in those dreaded boxes, stored at the loft above the garage... Filled with candy, Emilia forgave me. Sunday she had some friends over to make cookies. I got to finish the makings today.
A friend of mine sent me this picture. It's taken about 2 weeks ago here in south/west Houston. These creatures live in a park there (Brazo Bend), dipping in a lake. There is no fence in between the alligators and the track where visitors walk. She said: "It's just like walking around the lake at home (Stavanger/Norway), only difference is that instead of ducks, we have alligators".....
A Norwegian tradition is putting out "rice porridge" for "Nissen" (the Scandinavian Santa) at Christmas Eve. The truth is, he gets really sad if you forget about him.
It's also a tradition, at Christmas, to hide an almond in the porridge when it's served for the family. The lucky person that discover the almond, will get a price. Most often a small pig made of marzipan. In our family, "the lucky" would hide the almond, and the rest of us would over eat, searching for it.
As the first Advent candle was burning, we got a whole lot of dirty work done this weekend. Finally, after 4 weeks with no water and no cook top in the kitchen, we got the counter tops installed. Hurray! And I'll tell you, the electricians were not even in their car, before I was ready to tile! It's a fun, but dirty job! Jeff helped me cut the odd pieces, four hands work better then two. Doing the grout, I like to smear it with my hands, getting it better into the cracks and crevices. Bad idea! After working a 1/4 of the job, I had blisters and bleeding finger tips. There after, I wore out several pair of gloves... With drying time, several rounds of cleaning and cleaning, and more cleaning, the job got done. We love the result, and we even managed to get in a beautiful Advent Concert in the local church! Music for the soul! Rounding the day off with a glass of "Gluen wine " in front of the fire place (it's cold here in Texas!!), and we had a perfect weekend!