Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas stories from New Jersey

Reflections and lessons learned this year. 

1. It is actually snowing on our Christmas Eve!  Snowing, unexpected, and wonderful.  We are getting a white Christmas after all. Lets see if it lasts until tomorrow morning.

2.  I know you should buy local, but sometimes you need to buy further-local to get the really good stuff:  Christmas ham from Dakins Farm in Vermont, and many kinds of Vermont cheeses...  And yes, red currants from Chile, which is a sin, but they tasted better than expected. Homemade green tomato chutney balanced it all out on the cheese plate.
Vermont cheeses, green tomato chutney, red currants and blackberries, and framboise... yummy

3.  Our little gingerbread train put together by AREA and AC.  The kit didn't come with a smoke stack on the locomotive, so that had to be added, and then moved to the right spot (I will say no more... you would think that based on the number of train pictures in this house that the position of a smokestack wouldn't be a strange fact :)  Note the siding track, and the rock sugar trees that fell over in the Sandy hurricane.  Chocolate and licorice fills up the tender.
Gingerbread train

4.  Never get a blue spruce as a christmas tree.  They look great - dense and full, but the needles are horror stories.  I had to put on a raincoat with the hood up to be able to get under the tree to get the tree stand attached.  This is a really mean tree - we wore thick gloves when we put on the lights.  I prefer the softer Norway spruces... So, our tree this year is a true sharpie... and decorated similarly.
A very sharp christmas tree

5.  If you make Jansson's temptation with cream instead of milk  it tastes about 50 times better.

6.  After you make Swedish meatballs, save the drippings and fat from the pan and add it to the brunkål (brown cabbage), and that will also taste 50 times better.

7.  For gravlax, simplest is the best - salt, sugar, dill, and black pepper.... and a giant hunk of sockeye salmon from the wildest of Alaska. If you want the recipe, just holler here on the blog.

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