, , , , , , , , ,

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and a happy New Year.

Sorry things have been a bit quiet on this front for the last few weeks- Christmas got pretty stressful there towards the end, and stayed that way until New Year. Seems like every time I wanted to sit down and write a post, something else has reared it’s head and made it difficult for me to find the time.

Let me catch you up photographically with the Christmas-now happenings.

First, I had to frantically finish up the Christmas gifts for Yngve and his dad. I sewed   Yngve a shirt and his dad a new bathrobe in red wool.

Yngve's dad jauntily models his new warm wool bathrobe.

It was hard for me to get them both done in time since I had to work on Yngve’s when he wasn’t home and try to put away all the evidence before he got back from work, and then try to work on his dads in the evenings.

I haven’t taken a picture of Yngve’s shirt yet, but I will!

On Christmas Eve, which is the day Norwegians celebrate Christmas, Yngve and I had a special breakfast together with some traditional foods:

We had pickled herring of two varieties, one “plain” and one in a tomato sauce

We also had salami, smoked trout, boiled eggs (to be eaten with the pickled herring) and something called Sylte, which is extremely similar to (but not quite) what is known where I come from as “Souse,” in other places it’s called “Head Cheese.

We also had some “Leverpostei,” which is just a pork liver Pâté, and a selection of breads, including a hearty pumpernickel I had made a couple days before.

Needless to say, it was a lot of breakfast for two people and we ended up having Christmas breakfast for several days afterwards. :P

After breakfast, I made my last Norwegian cookie (talk about last minute!) and then packaged up several of each to take to Yngve’s dads for Christmas dinner that night.

The last cookies were Rosettebakkels, which are incredibly delicious and fun to make.

You make a thin batter into which you then dip a special iron, then you submerge the iron into hot oil, which fries the “cookie” and it takes on the shape of the iron. They are very lacy and crispy, beautiful to look at, and, they are dusted with powdered sugar which to me makes them awesome.

And a few days before Christmas Yngve and I made pepperkaker (sort of like Norwegian gingerbread, only better) together and had lots of fun cutting out all the shapes. I had some of my own cookie cutters, but also had some from Yngve’s childhood as well. It was really nice to make them together, I really enjoyed it, and I look forward to pepperkaker fun next year!

Oh AND I managed to make Macaroons again. Turns out that my mixture was a little too “loose.” I needed to add a bit more coconut until it was sort of “dry.” They turned out awesome.

Here are all the 7 sorts packaged up to go to Christmas dinner:

Yngve’s dad cooked dinner, and we enjoyed traditional “ribbe” (pork ribs) sourkraut, potatoes, julepølse (Christmas sausage), brusselsprouts and lots and lots and lots of beer and aquavit. (Norwegian anise flavored liquor)

I snapped a picture of the table as dinner was being served.

After dinner, we all sat around and had cognac, coffee, (more beer) and cookies. We talked and laughed and opened gifts and had a nice time.

Yngve thought it was funny to snap a photo of me in a slightly inebriated state:

but did not appreciate my returning the favor

Actual Christmas day, we got up late and waited for my family in the US to wake up so that we could all get on skype and open gifts together on video chat.

It wasn’t as good as being at home, but it wasn’t horribly bad, either.

I was still pretty sad on Christmas day and had to fight back the tears more than once.

For New Years, Yngve and I stayed home, watched a movie, then walked to Kristiansten Fortress to see the fireworks. The fortress overlooks practically the entire city, it was really awesome to see fireworks going off in every direction, and then the fireworks directly overhead. It was a really amazing experience, and was probably the best New Years I’ve ever had, even it was pretty boring by some standards.

Since then, we’ve been busy cleaning up the post-Christmas mess and finally finishing up the craft room. The floors are done, the shelving bought and assembled, and (almost) everything put away. I still have a bit to go yet, but I’ll get there.

I’ve got a lot to share with you this coming year, and I feel its going to be an especially exciting one!

I really hope that this year brings the best to each and every one of you.

Happy New Year!