Hi guys! It’s Christmas Eve! Christmas Eve is the main day of celebration here in Sweden, so I am feeling very full and very spoiled at the moment. I want to wish you all, celebrating or not, a very happy Christmas and a great end of the year! It’s been an intense blogging-month, and I don’t really have much to say tonight. So, I’m just gonna show you guys some photos of food:
Christmas breakfast. So tasty! I almost never have risgrynsgröt outside of Christmas so it’s a real treat to get some.
The table, all set and ready for eating. Also part of my dad, blurrily adjusting something on the table.
The entre: sill, potato and salmon. Four types of sill this year, which I wanna say is one more than usual. I got too busy eating after this that I didn’t take any more photos, but we also had Christmas ham, meatballs, veggie bake, långkål, snaps and of course, later, a selection of sweets and a delicious Gin & Tonic.
Man… this picture is making me want more sill. Maybe tomorrow. 😉 Good night, everyone!
Last night I did my last bit of Christmas baking, and made some delicious ginger cookies. They’ve been my “thing” to bring to X-mas at my parents’ place for the last number of years.
Don’t they look tasty? Not very neat, but tasty. You can check out the recipe over here if you want!
Today I’m finishing the last cleaning and wrapping, and then tonight it’s off to my parents’ place to decorate the tree! I can’t believe how fast this month has gone by. Just one more entry and then this calendar is over!
I have had a busy day, and have a few things left on my to-do list before bed, so tonight I will just share another Christmas song with you. Mer Jul by Adolphson & Falk is one of the two must-be-played-on-Xmas songs I mentioned the other day. It’s about wanting more Christmas! More! I kind of agree, tbh. It’s pretty humorous, but less snarky than Juligen. Enjoy!
This year I decided to add something new to my usual Christmas baking repertoire: candy cane/mint macarons. I baked macarons for the first time a few weeks back and have been wanting to do it again, so I thought a Christmassy flavor would make sense.
It went so-so… I mean, the mint filling with crushed candy canes in it was pretty dang delicious. But I had some trouble with the actual macarons and several of them ended up both too big and too baked. They still taste okay, but not quite as nice (or as pretty) as I’d’ve liked.
In the pic you can see one of the few ones that turned out small and properly baked. Even those cracked but oh well. Still a half-successful experiment, might do it again next year!
Can you believe it’s already the 20th? It’s been such a quick month! Weird…
Last night I finally remembered to hang some baubles in my tiny Christmas tree, or rather Christmas branch.
They had to cut down a tree at my folks’ house in the countryside, so mom brought little bits of it back home to be little tiny Christmas trees, and I got one. It turned out pretty cute, I think! I few years ago, the same year I bought these baubles, I had a tiny juniper as a Christmas tree. I think I’ll do that again next year.
At my house (well, my parents’ house) there are two Christmas songs that were, and really still are, an absolute given on Christmas. One of these are Juligen by Just D. The title is a play off of the traditional Christmas song Nu Är Det Jul Igen (Nu it’s Christmas again), and is a very snarky, humorous song that samples both the abovementioned traditional song and audio bits from various Christmas-related media. You can hear it below.
I considered translating the lyrics for you, but it’s sorta late and I’ve had 2 glasses of whiskey so… I like these lyrics enough that I wouldn’t want to do a half-hearted job with it. So sorry guys! Another time maybe. Enjoy the music anyway, and trust me… it’s hilarious!
It’s almost Christmas! How did it go this fast? In the last days before the holiday itself, everyone seems to be running around in a hurry to get everything ready. With that in mind, I have an appropriate word for you today:
Julstök is a bit difficult to translate. If you search on google, it’ll tell you the English translation is “Christmas preperations”, but I don’t feel like that catches the nuance of it. As we have seen before jul means Christmas. Stök, however, is the trickier bit. As an adjective, stökig means messy, disorganized. As a verb, att stöka means to clean, to tidy up but in terms of connotation, it’s not as plain as that. It more conjures up the meaning of to bustle around tidying things up, if you ask me.
So julstök refers to the hustle and bustle that happens before Christmas: cleaning, tidying, decorating, baking and cooking primarily. It’s got a connotation of both hurry/urgent activity and also in a weird way, homeliness and freshly baked gingerbread cookies. Bit of duality there.
Anyway, I hope you all aren’t stressing out too much before the holidays. I’m trying to take things slow, myself.
Advent Calendar Day 17 – Pepparkakor! Bake your own!
As you may or may not know, pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies), are a Swedish Christmas classic. I was a bit late this year, and only baked last week. But at least I have enough now to last until Christmas, and have some left for the mini-Christmas I have planned with friends on Boxing Day.
There’s just something about home-baked pepparkakor. The store bought ones are never as good. If you’re interested in trying to make some yourself, I posted the recipe the mom and I use on Hubpages! It makes quite a lot of cookies from one batch, in fact mom usually makes one batch and then splits the dough with me.
Today I had my last day at the office for a few weeks. I had some vacation days to use. I’ll have to keep an eye on my work email during that time, but I won’t really be working. I also won’t be studying. It’ll be the first time in years I go through the holiday season without a looming deadline, and it really feels like I’m now on jullov, which is my word for you today:
So, jullov means Christmas hols or Christmas leave, really. Jul means Christmas and lov means a break from school. I’m not sure of the etymology of this word, but if I had to guess I’d say it was related to the expression att ha/få lov (to have/get permission or leave). It’s really only used with regard to school breaks, in compounds like höstlov (fall break), sommarlov (summer break), påsklov (Easter break) and sportlov (sport break, a one-week break in eary spring). When used by an adult it’s either ironically or, like in my case above, with child-like glee.
I look forward to spending the next few weeks reading, and writing. Hope you all have a lovely, relaxing holiday season too.
Advent Calendar Day 15 – Gläns Över Sjö och Strand (Christmas Song)
I’m a bit tired this evening, and have an early morning tomorrow, so I thought I’d just share a Christmas song I like. It’s one of my favorites. Originally a poem by Viktor Rydberg, Gläns Över Sjö och Strand is a fairly traditional but beautiful account of the birth of Jesus and the star of Bethlehem. The title means, roughly “Gleam over lake and beach“. If I wasn’t so dang tired, I’d attempt to translate the lyrics but they’re a bit too pretty for a botched job. Like many Christmas songs, they’ve been recorded by multiple artists. You can find many of them on YouTube. I quite like the rendition below: