Friday, January 22, 2010

Where did she go??

Well, I know it's been awhile! It seems to me that somewhere along the way, I promised to blog more often. Why did I promise me that? I knew the minute i made that promise I wasn't going to keep it.

But the holidays were quite a whirlwind - besides being The Usual Busy trying to find gifts and making travel plans, I also finished a last minute quilt for my mom, and decided somewhere in there that I wanted to get in touch with my "roots" by studying Swedish Christmas traditions. That was kind of a joke. Oh yeah, and I filled about 15 orders on my Etsy page! Lots of Sock Monkeys. =)

The Swedish thing was a joke because I didn't really think of it until a week before Christmas. That's really not enough time to create straw ornaments or find a good gingerbread recipe and about three weeks too late to observe Advent (which is kind of a big deal there I guess). It was frustrating trying to find an authentic Swedish recipe for anything, and if I did, it was in Swedish! I think you lose something in the translation, and of course they use things there that we don't really have here. Lucky for me, a friend on Facebook 'fessed up to being Swedish herself. She kind of took me under her wing a bit, emailed me some of her family recipes and told me alot of ingredients that you usually wouldn't find in the states can be purchased at IKEA. Ikea!! Why didn't I think of that?? I love that place. We take special trips to Sacramento sometimes, just to go to Ikea! Brilliant.

With the holidays upon me, I was not driving to Ikea. But my friend was sweet enough to stop by my house on the morning of Christmas Eve, just to give me a box of Pearl Sugar and one of Swedish Vanilla. Mmmmm. My mouth is watering all over the keyboard just thinking of it.

All that to say: in an effort to squeeze tradition into a ridiculously busy holiday, I have a distinct memory of sitting with my son on the floor of our kitchen on Christmas morning, eating Risgrynsgrot (Rice Pudding) which I had made quite at the last minute, even as Joel was packing our car for a 3 hour drive to my mom's house. We certainly didn't have time to sit around the table and make it A Thing, but I'm proud of myself for making it happen at all.

Here is the recipe if anyone is interested:

3/4c long grain rice
1 1/2c water
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2c milk
1 piece whole cinnamon
Bring rice, water and salt to a boil. Stir, cover, and boil for about 10 minutes over low heat. Add milk and cinnamon and simmer for 30-40 minutes more, until it is nice and thick and the ricec is soft.
I definitely add a little sugar to it. Other toppings options include butter, ground cinnamon, or a little extra milk.
It's a Christmas Eve tradition all over Sweden. They like to put one whole almond in the pot, and whoever finds the almond in their bowl will have good luck next year... or get married... or win a special prize (whichever you prefer). =>

Well, I'm off for now. I have SO many ideas for the Etsy shop, it really isn't funny. New designs are on the horizon! For some reason (probably the fact that I can't say no), I've also signed myself up for this knit-a-long. It's a sweater with a weird name. I like to call it the Crazy Difficult Cable sweater that Charity will weep over.

One last note, if you haven't already, please visit this Etsy shop: 100% of the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders for Haitian Relief. I donated my Sleek Black ipod Cozy for the cause. <3

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