Usually we love cross country skiing during the Christmas week. But this year we have no snow and have to settle for our feet only.
After too much food it is great to come out for a long hike though. Terje and I packed our backpack with coffee and lefse - with brown cheese again. Several of you asked about brown cheese yesterday. It is made of goatmilk, and rather sweet. Typical Norwegian.
Everybody are talking about the weather here these days, and about the global warming. Are the days of White Christmas history? Take a look at Potato Prints climate crisis cartoon.
During breakfast yesterday I just knew that I wanted to stay home from work to make bread! I had no time to bake bread before Christmas, well it has hardly been time all year for much bread.
I looked through the kitchen cupboards and found white and more dark grained wheat flour, some spelt flour, rye and sunseeds, and in the fridge I had yeast and oil. This was all I needed, and after breakfast I made the first dough for "Four Grain Bread", enough for 4 big breads and about 20 small ones.
One of the Australien boys came into the kitchen, drawn there by the nice smell, and asked what I was doing. I told him I was making bread. "Oh, that's great" he said, "I have only tasted home made bread about 5 times in all my life!"
The photo shows that I couldn't wait for lunch. As soon as the small breads were finished I treated myself with a hot bread with butter and brown cheese. And a pot of coffee. Yummy!
...behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there untill I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
In my prayers today I keep all the refugees who celebrate Christmas in countries far from home. I am especially thinking of the people of Somalia.
The photo show The Holy Family, bought at Easter in a small village in Italy. From my steady growing collection of nativity scenes.
Fish has always been an important part of the menue in The Blue Café. We all love fish, but there has been periods in our kids life when they couldn't admit it.
Our son was about 7 when he came home from school one day asking, "Mom, what's for dinner?". "Cod and lefse" I replied. "Oh, I just hate cod, can I have something else?" Of course he couldn't, and he asked me to fill cod and potatos in a lefse for him. I did, he ate it and said: "That tasted sour! Can I have one more? I made one more. "That was even more sour! Can I have one more?" He ate the third one, looked at me and said"This was the sourest taste!". We love this story in our family, and for those who don't know - three lefse filled with cod and potatoes are ALOT! You have to love fish to eat that :-)
Yesterday we were all, the "down under" boys included, invited to my parents for Christmas dinner. on the menue was halibut/kveite, a delicious fish, very white when prepared. A feast! The first photo shows the serving plate, the second photo is especially for the families of our two wonderful guests, Jye and Simon. It is such a pleasure to have these young men here during the season (unfortunately Simon is hidden behind our daughter)(double click on photos to get a better view)
Life is slowing down for a few days after weeks of busy preparations.
It's time to wrap open my mind and put out my thoughts around days to come.
Making New Year's list, alot of other types of list, has been a favorite doing ever since I learned to write. Most lists are made on scraps of paper, in my diary, on the computer.
New Year's Lists are different. They are written with pen and ink (I inherited the ink bottle about 30 years ago from an old lady who lived in the same house as my mother. It hasn't been opened in a year and tonight my fingertips are blue after the lid opening fight) in beautiful notebooks made out of handmade paper.
......which books do I want to read, what kind of writing do I want to focus on, where do I want to travel, which letters to write.......oh, this is the best gift of all, a new year to come with 365 days to open and to live, following God's path, enlightened by God's light.
There are still a few things to cross out on our long "to do list" before Christmas Eve. Last night it was time to decorate the ginger bread house.
Grown up hands were needed for the hot sugar glue, younger hands managed the icing.
But whos hands were needed for the tidying up?????
PS - our two Australian guests were lucky and made it out of the chaos at Heathrow. They were flewn to Amsterdam Thursday during the night, got a hotel bed there and came with KLM from Amsterdam to Trondheim late last night. Came to our house about an hour past midnight to a table filled with freskly baked pizza rolls. We are so happy they made it in good time for Christmas.
It was the longest night of the year. A night filled with dark folktales and stories.
Instead of cursing the darkness we celebrate the light, and the highlight of this celebration will be to celebrate the birth of the Living Light, Jesus Christ.
The 13th of December we had another traditional celebration of light, Santa Lucia Day.
The night before we baked "lussekatter", sweet rolls made yellow spiced with saffron, formed in traditional patterns. On the morning of St.Lucia's Day the youngest girl in the family is up early, waking the others will warm "lussekatter" and hot chocolate, singing the traditional Lucia song. Dressed in a white robe with a red ribbon, a light wreath in her hair.
Marta told me that she had grown out being Lucia, but after going to bed the night before she called down to me:"Mom, you can iron the white nightdress, I will be Lucia tomorrow". Another year has passed and we are following the traditions.
My son had his last exam this semester the other day. He phones me on his way downtown to buy Christmas presents. "Mom, I need some suggestions for what to buy for grandpa". I couldn't think of anything right away. Grandpa lives far away and like so many others his age, he already has "anything". "What about giving money to an organisation" Øystein continued, "don't you think he will like that?". Of course he will, and "my" organisation, Norwegian Church Aid have some very good gift ideas this year. Buy a goat or a group of hens......and give them to people who need them in countries like Eritrea os Laos.
Christmas is a time for family. A time for friends. A time for gifts. A time for open hearts.
I got a letter from Keren Deaf School in Eritrea yesterday, and on the photo you see the letter on display in our open hearth together with another Eritrean Christmas card and my collection of Eritrean coffee pots.
I have good friends in Eritrea and count them in my circle of family all year long.
Eritrea is a country with problems. War and draught over many years is making the situation almost impossible for the people.
Norwegian Church Aid is working in Eritrea and in more than 60 other countries around the world. During Lent NCA has a campaign where they ask people to "invite" an extra person for dinner every day during the 40 Lenten days. An extra chair is set around the table, and money for one extra dinner is put aside and sent to NCA before Easter. This year I will do the same at Christmas, and Yodit, an 18 year old girl, will be "our guest". I will put aside extra money for food, and she will get a gift worth the same as what we are giving our own kids. And the money will be sent NCA for their work in Eritrea. (And also some of the money will be given directly to Yodit).
I am challenging readers of this blog to do the same. If you find it difficult to send to a Norwegian organisation you can do as yarnharlot suggests, and donate your money to doctors without borders. (scroll down to yarnharlot's "The Return of the Light" post)
All texts and photos by Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland
I am living in a red house surrounded by a blue garden near Trondheim, Norway. I love everydays and post about my steps through life. Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods is open to everybody. Welcome over!