3rd of Advent – Let’s make Gingerbreads

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So another week has flown by and yesterday was 3rd of Advent, which means there are only 2 more Sundays left before Christmas.  We went out and did a little bit of Xmas shopping in the afternoon. This year we have left it a bit late.  Like very late.  Actually, we only just started the shopping yesterday.  The shops were not that busy, I find where we live now, it really never gets as crazy as it used to be when we lived on the other side of town at Christmas time.  We only had to queue once which was when we were waiting to have our photo with Santa. The kids are getting older so I am grateful that they still agree to do it, but it has become a tradition for us and I enjoy looking at them and see how much they change each year.

When we got back we decided to make a batch of Gingerbreads.  I had prepared the dough the day before, so it didn’t take long to set up.  We ran out of time to ice them, so we’ll do that today hopefully.

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The Build Up to Xmas

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For me, the build up to Christmas, is always nicer than just that one day in December.  I really enjoy the decorations, the smell of the tree, wrapping presents and the baking.  I tend to stagger the baking, not all the things I love at Christmas has to be consumed on Christmas Day, I rather have lots of little treats throughout December.  This weekend I am making Rocky Road, that’s the second batch by the way as the first lot disappeared in less than 24 hours.  I’m also making toffees and gingerbreads.  On the 13th of December it’s St Lucia in Sweden, but it also happens to be my husband’s birthday, so I will make a batch of saffron breads for St Lucia, as well as a baked cheesecake for him.  Some of these goodies may not see it out to Xmas day, but that doesn’t really matter, as long as we’ve had some in the middle of the build up to the big day.

This cake here is a Chocolate Fudge-Cake that I make throughout the year.  I normally make a Chocolate Cream Cheese American Frosting, but I wanted it to look a little more Christmassy so I didn’t add any cocoa.  It looked so sweet, I didn’t want to cut it, but that didn’t stop the rest of the family digging in.

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2nd of Advent

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Last night was the 2nd of Advent, so the countdown continues to Christmas.  Only 3 more Sundays until the big day.  Wow!  That’s not long and I have hardly started buying presents and need to start writing out a big list of everything that I need to organise or else it will get too overwhelming.  This week I’m going to start on some of yummy foods I like to make at Christmas time, such as gingerbreads, toffees, daim, and closer to St Lucia (13th Dec) saffron breads.  I’ll keep you posted!

1st of Advent

So last night was the 1st Of Advent, meaning it’s only four Sundays til Christmas.  Each Sunday we light one more candle to count down and have some mulled wine & gingerbreads.  To me it’s the start of the Christmas season.  I have also hung a star in the window like most Swedish people do.  I buy the mulled wine from IKEA, but you can make it by yourself too, something I have not tried yet.  A craze started in Sweden a few years ago by serving Blue Vein Cheese on Gingerbreads, and although it doesn’t sound like it would go, it is divine!  It’s not the same having Christmas in summer time, but this year has been a very cold start to the summer season, so it almost works.  Happy 1st of Advent!

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Christmas! – This Year I’m Getting In Early

  What’s not to love about Christmas I say?  For me it’s not just one day, it’s the whole month of December to enjoy.  I always have the decorations up by the 1st of December.  In order for me to do that, I usually start mid November, slowly going through my Christmas boxes, sorting out what to use and what not to use this year.  Some years I prefer everything to be white and gold, other years lots of red.  Having grown up in Sweden I still love many of the Swedish traditions and try to teach our children to enjoy and cherish these too.
Last night I baked a Gingerbread Cake, using my Great Grandmother’s recipe.  She passed  away a few years ago and I just love baking her recipes. It really makes me feel so happy inside as the memories of her pop into my head and fills my heart with love.
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Some of the things I cherish at Christmas time are:
  • Hanging paper stars in the windows
  • A Real Christmas Tree – the smell is divine
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th of Advent
  • Paper Advent Calenders
  • Watching the daily Advent Calendar on Swedish Tv online
  • Cloves pushed into the skin of oranges which fills the house with a Christmas smell
  • White Fairy Light (no coloured lights here)
  • The Baking – Gingerbreads, Toffees, Biscuits, Saffron Breads, Wholemeal Tea Cakes, Rocky Road and Daim just to name a few
  • Mulled Wine – topped with sultanas and almonds
  • The Cooking  – so much goes in here
  • Edam Cheese
  • St Lucia & Saffron Breads (13th December)
  • Candles everywhere – even if its stinking hot
  • Christmas Music
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