Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Few Questions from my 7 year-old

Owen - Mom? How come in this picture your hair is all... um... crazy?
Mom - Well, Owen, it was the late 80's and that's about the only excuse I can come up with.
Owen - So... they didn't have brushes?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

buche de nöel

and here is the finished masterpiece. i might not have the heart to let anyone eat it...

it's christmas!

my fever has abated today and although i'm still sneezing and coughing and hacking, i was inspired to make a julelog christmas cake! buche de nöel, they're also called. i have to say that i'm so proud i feel i've very nearly outdone myself!  we're going out for pinecones to finish decorating it now, but check it out in the meantime:

and some opening of prezzies pictures from last evening...

and with silly far...

and one shot of the tree. i couldn't find our real christmas lights and we probably didn't have enough for this huge tree anyway, so i ran two strings of purple star lights up the trunk of the tree. we'll put real candles on it this evening. but see how tall it is!

after we ate a creamy pumpkin soup with chorizo and ate some sandwiches, we read twas the night before christmas and then sabin was allowed to open some of her prezzies.

merry christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

how to pick a christmas tree

first you choose the right tree
then you threaten it with a saw
then you show it who's boss
then you stuff it into the wonderful old-fashioned tree-wrapping device...
then you have the kids turn the wheel so the twine comes around it.
this is sabin and her christmas tree.
that's cousin nicolai.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

mexican shrimp cocktail

is this what it was supposed to look like? we added yellow and orange peppers and mango. it was heavenly and went over very well served with the delicious stuffed bread at maria & marianna's big annual julefrokost yesterday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

strangest child

we may have the strangest child in the world.

she is currently watching professional snooker on eurosport. and commenting on it quite heavily. she's quite enthralled by the "cool thingie" the one guy keeps using to help extend his reach. and this isn't just a passing fancy, she's been watching for a good 15 minutes.

she loves cauliflower. with brown gravy. and has eaten an entire head of cauliflower herself in one sitting. on more than one occasion.

she got up this morning and made us all eggs for breakfast.

plus, she just announced that she kicks owen's butt in having her birthday first.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

risengrød - food for real nisse


1 C short-grained rice (do not use basmati or other long-grained rice, it won't work)
1 liter of whole milk (to start with)

combine the two in a pan and heat up slowly to a gentle boil, stirring constantly (that's the hard part)

keep adding milk, possibly even up to another liter as the rice absorbs it.  this takes a good hour, but you have to keep testing the rice, you'll know when it's close enough to done to "put to bed"--by which i mean wrap it up in a big quilt in the midst of the pillows on your bed--for about 20 minutes or so. it will finish cooking this way.  serve with a big dollop of butter and plenty of sugar and cinnamon.

i personally would use 1.5 C rice, but husband says a cup. if you're going to sit there for an hour stirring, you might as well have plenty. and you can always form the leftovers into pancakes, roll them in a bit of flour to hold them together and fry them up in some butter and eat them with a bit of sugar & cinnamon sprinkled on.

risengrød isn't very photogenic, so no photo with this post.

Monday, December 8, 2008

weekend painting production and a dinner dish

this weekend, we were all crafty all the time. we started on friday painting canvases for decorating the writing house. i bought a whole bunch in different sizes and we all painted at least one. sabin, thinking it was a competition, painted seven and was done first.  the premise was that i limited the color palette, but everyone could paint what they wanted. the light was too bad to get good pix of the ones done by K & M and far today. i will just say that far's was surprisingly and uncharacteristically realistic and calm and did not involve any bludgeoning of small children by aquatic animals. K's was abstract and M's was a failure the first time around and she has repainted a base and isn't really done.

but, after all that, here's how they turned out:

my two
all seven of sabin's
sabin went with robots and cameras
and more cameras
and another robot
and another camera
and this was part of tonight's dinner.
it's that root vegetable time of year.
dice carrots, beets, parsnip, turnip, onion and garlic
tossed in olive oil & soused in a bit of white wine.
roasted garlic pepper and in the oven 45 minutes.

as for the other creativity, that was mostly sewing.

a christmasy french press cozy
M wanted to bead around this matrioshka
but that's all the farther she got.
once it's beaded, it'll go in with these.
and check out the wild colors K put together in her pillow!

it's so much fun to have all kinds of supplies around the house so we can go to town on the craftiness when the inspiration strikes.  you gotta check this out...we might have to find us some of this wallpaper that's for coloring in! :-) and i'm getting inspired to make some irreverent embroidery like this or this.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

one little nisse

this little nisse headed off to school this morning, dressed like this. i wonder if she'll let me wash it once in awhile or if she'll wear it the entire month of december?

Monday, December 1, 2008

headed your way

a week or so ago, i ordered fun sets of moo cards. i put together this group of the Summer of Fun so that each of the child participants in SOF would have a set of cards of their own. today, i punched holes in a set for sabin and then put them together on a metal ring. it will make a great stocking stuffer. and i'm sending the box of them that's in the picture your way so that you can do the same. i haven't punched holes or included a ring because they fit so nicely in their little box, so they're perfect for sending and won't get bent. there are 2 full sets in the box and one partial set...the full sets are for the boys and the partial, you can do with what you like, the people at MOO make frames and everything for displaying them. they're super fun.

and inside the box is a coupon for you to get 15% off your first order of moo cards should you find them as addictive as i do. :-)  i hope they arrive in time to be stocking stuffers!