Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in New Jersey

Julgran och tomte (Christmas tree and Santa) - we were ready for Christmas. The tree is local, has lived its life only 2 miles away and was cut down by PP, carried by LS, PP, and AREA to the truck, and LA had the honor to carry the saw. This year we decorated it with PP's heirloom ornaments and Swedish old-fashioned straw ornaments, all in red, white, and grey (except for the straw). We also had little fly agaric mushrooms (flugsvampar) and apples in the tree, but not real ones. The star is a typical, traditional Swedish star, not symbolizing a Jewish star (which would be kind of weird on a Christmas tree). The little Santa sitting on top of the fruits of the strychnine plants from South Africa is also Swedish - sheep wool, red felt, and a little wooden nose is all he is.

The meeting of the giant mittens in the kitchen! Thanks KV for the sheep mitten. Perfect as you can see.

Swedish meatballs - a bit misshapen but really good. The secret is allspice (kryddpeppar).

During the day the sun was shining over our snow, probably the first white Christmas in 5 years in New Jersey, yeah! The geraniums were happy too. In the evening, the 4 candles on the advent candle holder (adventsljusstake) were lit - the beautiful holder was made by PP from Brazilian soapstone (a leftover piece from our sink) and brass. Around it, an assortment of more candles to light up our dinner.

We got a 15 lbs (7 kilo) Turkey from Griggstown Farm for Christmas Day dinner, but before cooking it needed brining. You throw it in a giant ziplock bag, fill in brine (apple juice, oranges, salt, sugar, spices, and secret ingredients), tie it up and then, here is the trick - get some duct tape to make sure you tape the bag into a ball so the turkey is completely covered in the brine. Then in the fridge for 12 hours (you better have a big fridge). Then throw out the brine (and bag), make a stuffing, and cook stuffed bird in the oven for dinner then next day. It was AMAZING. The gravy was made from the stock from the turkey and apple cider, and so incredibly good I could just have eaten the gravy and nothing more. But we had more - sweet potato gratin with chipotle peppers, stuffing with wild rice, sausage, bread, pecan nuts and herbs, and Brussels sprouts cooked with old-fashioned bacon. It was incredibly good, and we had leftovers for days.

1 comment:

Mr. Lebo said...

It all looks, and most certainly was, tasty. I'm not really a turkey person, but I was instantly smitten with the Swedish "meatblobs". I wouldn't mind hunkering down with a plate or three of those tonight.