Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15th

It's advent. Three of four lights have been lighted since December 1st. December for me has the last few years been busy with work. Long days, particularly long weeks, and a lot of over-time working. This year is the first in many where I don't have a retail job, therefore I am no longer a slave to the Christmas sales in the same manner as I've become used to. I've kept myself busy nonetheless, but it has not been spent on christmas-y stuff like baking, shopping or christmas gift wrapping. Strangely enough I havent had the time for that this Christmas. The kittens, London and daytime work takes it's tall on me.

The list of stuff to do during December is just getting closer and closer to deadline. I've got several gifts to buy, none are wrappet yet. I haven't found myself an outfit for christmas/newyears and what about those 7 types of christmas traditional cookies I promised myself to make? I haven't even made a ginger bread house this christmas. Mom would've been questioning that. I even had time for that when I worked in retail.

I haven't even put up christmas decorations yet! And I have to photograph the kittens soon. Need good daylight, so should stop being so busy during the few hours of natural light.

Anyway, I wanted this post to be about what defines christmas for me. A little wrap up of all the nostalgic memories that gives me christmas spirit.

I'm getting myself into a more christmas-y mood by eating my fav christmas nuts and fruits.

I'm quite unoriginal when it comes to christmas though. Much of my memories were around the food and my mom baking. We used to bake at least 7 types of kakes. I especially remember something mom called "Gome" which I have no idea how she made, but was some sort of cooked milk and crystalized sugar. She ate it during the whole christmas, and I remember my aunts eating it whenever they visited from Jæren. I don't like Gome, but I do treasure the memory of seeing my mom in the kitchen and the smell of it cooking. I also remember the crystalized sugar, which I always begged her to give me a piece of. (A lot of those pieces were later found scattered around with our lego). 

I remember late nights with orange and clementines. We always used to crack nuts aswell, and paranuts grew to be my all-time favorite christmas nut. I don't crack them anymore, I just buy them like in the picture. Oh, and homemade hot chocolate after long hours of showelling snow in the yard. My mom also used to bake something we call "Kakemenn" in norway. Basically just flour and sugar, haha. I never really liked them, but still the tradition of endless cookie persons that I got to paint. I remember that I used to dip them in milk. Those are unfortunately not one of the types of cookies I will make myself, they're honestly not that good, hah. 

Besides that we used to make "Kromkaker", "Serinakaker", "Konfektkaker", "Andreakaker", "Risboller", and "Sirupsnipper". We also used to make "Delfiakake". I'm aiming to make Delfiakake (which is immensly heavy and sickening btw), Risboller, Andreakaker, Konfektkaker and Kromkaker with my sister this year. Provided we have both written the recipes down correctly from moms cooking book. Which is mysteriously gone for some reason. 

As I grew older I kinda got to share the Christmas tree responsibility with my dad. We bought a tree together, and I always carried it up in the living room and got it in the tree-foot. From there I was in charge of lighting the tree, doing most of the decor and dad always did the finishing touch with glitters. 

Also, we used to eat hot rice pudding on the day before christmas. I'm not paticularly fond of it, but still we ate it cause it was tradition. When we were done, there was always a hell of a lot of rice pudding left, so mom took the huge black cauldron outside overnight, to feed something we call "nisse". In my family's tradition a Nisse wasnt just Santa Claus, it was small, chubby men who cared for the animals in the barns. So we gave them food, so they treated the animals better. I was always stunned to see someone had eaten the whole lot of rice pudding the next morning! I later came to realize that mom was the Nisse, and she had brought the rice pudding in to add sugar and cream to it, for the christmas eve desert tradition. (Here we all eat rice pudding with a topping of fruit sauce, and in the bowl of rice pudding there is an almond hidden. Without the brown shell, so it's almost invisible. The one getting the almond gets a present!) 

These are all treasured memories I try to recreate each christmas. But there is still this one memory that I cherish the most. On the day before christmas I go to bed and I remember having trouble sleeping. I was waiting for santa to come pick up my stocking and fill it with edibles! I had this superlong red stocking which used to be my dads skiing stockings, haha. I still use them. When I got up in the morning, my feet was touching something hard and noisy. It was my stocking filled with anything from nuts, extremily red apples, pears, oranges, bananas, chewing gum, a soda, a bag of chips, some sweets and hopefully a chocolate bar. This was always such a thrill. To pick stuff after stuff out of the long stockings. I'm definitely repeating this beautiful memory on my own as a grown up. Oh well, this blog got rather long. Happy readings for myself when I look back one day. I miss you mom!

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