Saturday, December 20, 2014

Preparation for Traditional Festivities

It is a sunny day today! We saw a bit as well yesterday and after several days of gloom it was a glorious sight! This morning I lingered in bed, enjoying the bright sun and the shadows that played across the lovely green walls. The colour glowed this morning – a beautiful green touched with blue, like a grove of trees with the reflection of the sky in every dew drop.

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Friday was lefse day - we are having our Norwegian Christmas Eve just a few days early so that everyone can come (well, not everyone - the NZ people are still on the other side of the world).

With 8 lefse cooking at a time - Carm manning the spatula and me with the rolling pin - we got a double batch done in less than 2 hours. Teamwork!

We had a few hours to catch our breath and then went next door for a neighbourhood gathering at Laurie's. If anyone deserves the title of Martha Stewart it would be Laurie. She has an unusual design flair - empty frames and screen doors were suspended horizontally from the ceiling, framing light fixtures and huge candelabras. She had old wooden shipping boxes used in ways I'd never think of. I felt that I had stepped right into a magazine. I wished that I had my camera so that I could capture some of the ideas for my own home.

There was one more task to prepare for our Norwegian dinner tonight - potatoes. It is traditional to have boiled potatoes as part of the meal, and since we already have a huge bag of potatoes we often bring them cut up and ready to cook. Carm peeled and I cut. Apparently it seems that I WRECKED the potatoes by cutting them too small... once the dead horse was well beaten, Carm drove to the village to get another bag. Carm peeled, and I barely cut, leaving the potatoes in giant hunks that will surely never cook.

As we worked Carm regaled me with stories of boiled potato lunches when he was growing up. His mom would wash the potatoes and then boil them whole. The kids would each get potatoes on their plate to peel and toss with olive oil and oregano. Carm still loves potatoes and will eat them any way they are served.

All was not lost with the small bits of potatoes - I'll save them in water and boil them up tomorrow night for one of Carm's favourite suppers: potatoes, black olives, green beans, green onions, lemon, and if I'm feeling extravagant, a bit of mayonnaise. Otherwise it will be dressed with chicken broth, lemon, garlic, and dijon mustard. YUM! And the hard work is already done. The beaten horse has jumped to life!

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I’ve given up my search (at least for now) for artificial greenery to put in the corner of my bathroom. Inspired by something we saw at a store, I cut some branches from our trees (of which we have no lack), and Carm helped me trim them up to fit. We found some tiny LED lights powered by batteries and added a few decorations. I think it turned out rather nice!

 

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller