Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In the Kitchen/Holiday Spirit

NORWEGIAN JULENISSEN PURCHASED IN BERGEN, 1998.
A NISSE IS UNDER 4 FEET TALL AND IS THE [SHORT-TEMPERED] GUARDIAN
OF THE HOME AND FARMSTEAD. 

I'm still in the kitchen. Or maybe I should admit San Geraldo is still in the kitchen while I'm relegated to my office to cut parchment paper into circles for the bottoms of baking pans. Ten pans. Two circles per pan. That's twenty circles! (No need for intelligence briefings for me. "I'm, like, a smart person.")

(Click any image and get in the spirit.)


JAMAICAN BLACK CAKE, DAY THREE, STAGE ONE.
THE GROUND-UP FRUIT (AND BOOZE) MIXTURE. 

Every year, San Geraldo asks me if I want to cut the paper circles for the baking pans. Every year I have been conveniently busy doing something else. He always tries to make his request sound like he wants me to feel a part of the baking process. But I know the truth. He hates cutting these frickin' circles. This year I wasn't prepared to say "no" when he asked. Ten minutes of my life gone, just like that! (OK, you've heard it here; I'll do it from now on.)

SAN GERALDO NOW SAYS THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT.
TOO LATE! OF COURSE, THEY'RE PERFECT.

Meanwhile, although we do not have a Christmas tree (we wouldn't want the cats to have too much fun), I've emptied one of our two Christmas boxes and have strewn (well, carefully placed) decorations around the house. I'm now considering taking out the other box.

SANTAS GIVEN TO US OVER THE YEARS BY OUR NEPHEWS (I.E., THEIR MOTHER).
BUT, WE BOUGHT OURSELVES THE TWO FATTER ONES.

ONE OF MANY ORNAMENTS HAND-MADE BY SAN GERALDO.
(SUSPENDED FROM HIS CROWN OF GENUINE GOLD-COLORED ALUMINUM
AND GENUINE FAUX RUBIES AND EMERALDS)
.
BOBBLE-BODY SANTA FROM BERGEN, NORWAY.
JULENISSEN HAND-MADE FOR US BY COUSIN ELLEN IN BERGEN.
ANOTHER JULE NISSE FROM COUSINS INGER AND JAN OLAF.

Sweet memories and maybe I'm just a bit more in the holiday spirit.

31 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed seeing these beautiful decorations. You were smart to keep all of the special ones that include many warm memories. Simply wonderful. May your Christmas be another great memory as you embrace each loving and lovely moment. Merry Christmas from frrrrrrrrigid Minnesota! ❄️❄️❄️🎄❄️❄️❄️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine:
      More photos to come, thanks! My brother told me it was 29F in NYC when we talked late Sunday morning. It's been a chilly high 50s here today!

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  2. Isn't it incredible the memories that you unleash as you unpack these treasures. Memories of places, people and times long gone. These are the treasures we store up here on earth.

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    1. Willym:
      When we thinned out the ranks of our Christmas decorations before our move to Spain, it was not easy. But I'm so glad we kept what we did. All great memories. (And more photos to come.)

      Delete
  3. I can imagine the fun Dudo and Muso have! Beautiful decorations. Great circles, BTW, - I am impressed with the depths of your cooking skills. I am thinking (just thinking, at this stage) of making an almond tart with a powdered sugar snowflake on top for our Christmas cake. I wonder what liqueur/liquor would be best to douse it with? I must ponder this a bit more. A taste test may be in order. That should get me into the Christmas spirit(s)!

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    Replies
    1. Wilma:
      My culinary skills surprise even me sometimes. I like your taste test. My sister used to make a red wine chicken. A little red wine for the chicken; a little for Dale. A little for the chicken; a little for Dale. The chicken and Dale were both well-cooked.

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  4. Precious Nisses. The little ones always are. I'm glad you have sweet memories and more holiday mojos.
    I can't even cut one perfect circle, but 20? How do you do it?
    xo

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    Replies
    1. Oops, more holiday "mojo." But I suppose a person can't have too many mojos.

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    2. Robyn:
      I think it's perfectly acceptable to have more than one mojo. And, sorry sweetheart, you are much too tall for a nisse! As for those perfect circles, I've been telling you for ages about my exceptional culinary skills.

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  5. Great decorations and fantastic circles - you should have a medal for those Mitch. The cake mix looks very much like the filling for traditional English (Christmas) mince pies.

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    1. Coppa's girl:
      The Jamaican Black Cake varies from the traditional mince pies and Christmas cakes, but this year's looks much more like them since Jerry didn't puree the dried [soused] fruit as much as he usually does. It does have lots of similarities, though.

      Delete
  6. If these adorable nisser were in a box in my closet I'd be in the holiday spirit too. Your circles are just perfect and of course you should him!

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    1. Shawn:
      The nissen really do make me happy every time I get them out of the boxes. Jerry baked the first 5 black cakes today. My first 10 circles worked like a charm.

      Delete
  7. How sweet of you..the prof would have told me to get stuffed if i asked him to cut me a dozen circles out

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    1. John:
      I'm not always as direct as you and the prof, which is why avoidance has worked so well ... and why I felt obligated to do them this year.

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  8. Team work is better! Now you can't get out of it if you tried, Mitch!
    I really like your Santa collection. Very Christmassy around your place.

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      The circles took me, surprisingly, little time. And Jerry hates doing them. So, I'm glad I did them this year and will look forward to doing them next year (well, maybe that's an exaggeration; but I'll do them).

      Delete
  9. what lovely holiday decorations! for a minute, I thought you and SG posed for the first pix.

    "(No need for intelligence briefings for me. I'm smart.)" - (snort) I know where THAT line originates; it's from el pendejo naranjo!

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    1. anne marie:
      Yep, that's Jerry with the battle ax. I screwed up the "smart" line. I should have said, "I'm, LIKE, a smart person." (I think I'll fix that!)

      Delete
  10. That Jamaican cake looks amazing! I happen to love fruit cake of any kind (even better with booze). Getting into the spirit I see...or is the Spirit(s) getting into you?

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    1. Cheapchick:
      This is better than any fruitcake I've had. The spirits are getting into me and that has helped me get into the spirit. Whatever it takes!

      Delete
  11. Love all the ornaments and festive feeling in your home.

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    1. Stephen:
      We can both be Bah Humbugs. This has really helped.

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  12. I picture those things coming to life at night torturing me. But it feel festive none the less.

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    Replies
    1. mistress maddie:
      As long as you're nice to them, they protect hearth and home and tend to the crops, too. So, just be nice.

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  13. Fascinating I have never heard of a Nisse.

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      I first learned about them my first time in Norway in 1998. Wonderful!

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  14. I keep a scalpel in the kitchen to cut the paper circles with, trace the pan bottom with the razor, it is easier with removable bottom pans.

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    Replies
    1. Travel:
      Scalpel? A scalpel? San Geraldo would never let me wrap my fingers around a scalpel. I was an art major; and I have more scars from X-Acto knives than I care to remember. I'm really skilled with my accuracy but forget myself and get careless. I now even try to keep my distance from kitchen knives. You should have seen the new off-white tile floor I laid in Washington D.C. The blood stains were an interesting addition.

      Delete
  15. Replies
    1. Judy:
      I'm so glad I unpacked them. They all bring back only good memories!

      Delete

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