31 December 2007
30 December 2007
Work of Art
- Parents are strange!
25 December 2007
24 December 2007
A Very Unconventional Christmas
Then I decorated the living room and our Christmas tree and my father and I arranged the Christmas plate.
We had planned apple pancakes for dinner, but in the end we didn't get around to making them. Somehow time flew by...
We opened presents over a big pot of tea in the late afternoon.
One very special gift I got for Christmas is this Frog King shaped watering can. I am not quite sure if there is a hidden agenda here. Am I supposed to kiss it? Will it turn into a prince? Is this the emergency plan in case the "Grow a Boyfriend" experiment fails? As I learned from a very reliabe source you should make sure before you kiss any frog that the resulting prince is the prince you want - which I cannot say for this frog. So, no kissing!
The evening ended with my father reading The Color of Water out loud to me. :-)
23 December 2007
Tape Measure Scotch Tape
Little "me" went into town to wish people a Merry Christmas and to buy a very secret present for grandfather. Later the two went for a walk through the snow covered woods and grandfather tells little "me" the Christmas Story. I remember that my father used to take my sister and I on long walks on Christmas evening. These walks tended to last until both my sister and I were so tired that we refused to go on. We should have had an elf like Pok back then. He suggested quite grumpily at one point to get back home and eat the nice food. ;-)
22 December 2007
Homey and cozy - Penelope munching cardboard and testing all her favorite resting places.
Me reading Tiggers Little Book of Bounce which is todays calendar gift.
Little "me" managed to watch Nisse Pok for a short while sailing and singing in the ship he and grandfather carved.
21 December 2007
I also learned a lot of new words:
splitte klyverbommen = to split the jib boom = den Klüverbaum spalten
søulk = old salt = Seebär
klukke = gurgle = glucksen
The "F-bear" on the left was a little gift from the Christmas get together at my fathers work place and my Christmas calendar contained the book: Eventyret om verdens stærkeste ord which strongly reminds me of the fairy tale of the fisherman and his wife that my father used to tell us kids.
20 December 2007
Grow a Boyfriend
- He's polite.
- He always shuts up!
- Never argues - Always agrees.
- Always there when you need him.
- He NEVER snores.
- FREE movie and dinnder date.
- Never looks at your credit card bills.
- Doesn't hang out with his friends until 3 am.
- He doesn't chew with his mouth open - in fact he doesn't chew at all...
And the number one reason to grow your own boyfriend is...
- He doesn't look at you like you're nuts when you buy another pair of shoes.
Hmm - I am not convinced. Even if he grows six times his size when put in water, I still prefer my boyfriend being taller than 36 cm. Also, he is kind of blue and made of plastic...
Thank you Christmas Elf, but I think I will continue to wait for Mr. Someone Nice. :-)
By the way, has anyone ever met Santa Claus? Grandfather and Nisse Pok claim that he is not real and made of plastic. If that is true, I really would like to know who brought the presents when I was little.
19 December 2007
Of Mice and Elves
Today I opened the largest package I could find. I am leaving for Germany tonight and don't want to drag too much along, so I packed the remaining small packages and opened the last large one. It contained another glass jar, smaller than the other two. I think, I will put my many coins into this one. :-)
18 December 2007
Two things I like at once: Lego and Rammstein. :-)
Saved By an Elf
Elves Don't Bite
17 December 2007
The Leaning Tower of Bulette
Today grandfather and little "me" went into the woods to get a Christmas tree. Sophus tagged along, although he really despised the snow. He tried to stay out of the snow as much as possible until he saw Mikkel the fox. All of a sudden he seemed to have forgotten the snow and raced after Mikkel. But he couldn't catch the fox. Sophus finally limped quietly home...
Remember to smile at least once a Day
16 December 2007
Today grandfather and little "me" wanted to bake Christmas cookies. Grandfather does'nt have a recipe, but his cookies turn out ok anyway. This year the cookie dough contained: flour, butter, sugar, molasses, soda pop, potato starch, sauce thickener, pepper, and yeast. They went for a walk to give the dough time to rise, but when they came home the dough was gone - and Sophus and Pok had a terrible stomach ache... ;-)
I got these napkins today, which would have gone nicely with cookies.
15 December 2007
How you Don't Catch an Elf
We set the breakfast table
and just as we were done the birthday-lady woke up. :-)
Today is Brigittes birthday.
We spent the day mostly shopping (as I spend most of my weekends in Hamburg). The one shoe store we all wanted to shop at was unfortunately closed.
Brigitte invited us to dinner at an italian restaurant. Boring as we are, we all ordered the same thing: grilled gilthead.
We didn't let it scare us with its impressive teeth and finished every bit. It was delicious!
After dinner we went for a walk through Hamburg and saw (among other things) the Old Elbe Tunnel which is under recontruction at the moment and closed for cars. When open for cars they use these elevators. But since there were no cars, we could fool around in both tunnels, and were totally ignored by occasional pedestrians.
Outside of the Old Elbe Tunnel we met this young man (I think his name is Enrico) and his friends. They were having a stag night for Enrico.
One of the challenges for him was to sell (or give away) all the sweets and little bottles of alcohol he had in his trash can (oh yes, it is not a trash can but a cleaning bucket - I was corrected several times by Denny who also asked me to send him these pictures.) I don't think there was much left in the bucket when we finaly moved on... ;-)
14 December 2007
Play Time and Toe Socks
I think that I too will have a lot of fun with these socks. I will practice to wiggle each toe separately. :-)
13 December 2007
On Elves, Pranks, and Children
Telling children wild stories and letting them explore the world on their own can be a lot of fun - especially if they are not your own. I went to see Christian Marius and his parents today and got the opportunity to show him that "grown up" food also tastes good. After dinner Christian, I and the table and floor around us were covered in potato. But we hat fun and were happy and full. Later, as Peter and I were bathing Christian, his grandmother remarked (quite aghast) that she would never have allowed Christian to make such a mess. I am very much aware that I introduced "eating food off other peoples plates" to Christian. And I must admit that I did so intentionally. I hope that Peter and Camilla will forgive me and that I may visit again.
Mr. and Mrs. Clothespin
12 December 2007
Pfeffernüsse (German Spice Nuts)
500 g honey
500 g flour
2 egg yokes
10 g potash (potaske, Pottasche)
10 g salt of hartshorn (hjortetaksalt, Hirschhornsalz)
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp allspice (allehånde, Piment)
1 tsp nutmeg (muskat)
1 tsp clover
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
rum or water
Mix flour and honey and let the dough sit in a dry and cool place for as long as you can wait. (It will taste best if you wait for a few months.)
Add all other ingredients (and maybe a little water) and let the dough sit in the fridge over night.
Form dough into small balls and bake at about 175°C for 6 - 10 min. Let cookies cool and cover them with frosting made of powdered sugar and rum (water if you prefer that).
Tea and Stories
It is the kind og tea I like to drink while reading or listening to a story. It was the perfect day for todays gift, as it fit very well with Nisse Pok telling the barn animals the prank he played on some sisters who put lard instead of butter on his rice pudding. Let me tell you, you absolutely do not want to upset an elf in that way! ;-)
I also learned new words:
fjasede høns = fjantede tøser = foolish/silly girls (høns = chickens)
tjære = tar
11 December 2007
Strangely Behaving Human
Out in the country grandfather and little "me" went to visit grandfathers friends. The tradition is to start out at one place, drink a glass of brandy (grandfather) and eat brunekager (little "me"), sing Christmas songs, pick up the friend and move on to the next friend where you repeat the above steps until everybody is picked up and the group ends up at grandfathers place. There the festivities continue until late at night. Obviously, they know how to party. ;-)
(Brunekager are typical danish Christmas cookies. I am not really crazy with them because they taste too much of caramel for me. Most Danes consider me being weired because I don't like caramel or licorice...)
10 December 2007
Green Prickly Thingamajig
Does anyone have an idea?
Out in the country the snow has gotten to little "me". He is plotting. He wants to capture Nisse Pok and see what he looks like and ask for the presents he is supposedly supposed to get. Obviously he doesn't know that you never ever should even attempt to capture or spy on any elf like creature. The tailor's wife in Cologne has learned her lesson. Lets hope that little "me" is not getting into trouble.
09 December 2007
Things I find in my Closet...
I don't know what made me look into my closet, but there, in the back most corner was one (already finished) board hiding, trying to look innocent. It is not in hiding any longer. It is not going to last, but right now all my books and DVDs fit neatly onto the shelves without being double stacked. I will savor the moment as long as it lasts. :-)
Danske Pebernødder (Danish Spice Nuts)
250 g molasses
375 g brown sugar
100 g butter
1 tsp salt of hartshorn (hjortetaksalt, Hirschhornsalz)
1 tsp potash (potaske, Pottasche)
1 dl milk
2 tbsp finely ground cloves
2 tbsp cinnamon
4 tsp allspice (allehånde, Piment)
5 tsp ginger
2 tbsp cardamom
1 tsp pepper
1 kg flour
Melt molasses, sugar and butter and let cool down. Stir in eggs. (Note: You really, really want to make sure that you have let it cool down enough. Fried egg on top of the sugar/molasses mixture is not what you want!) Add everything else and knead the dough together. Put into fridge over night. Roll dough into fingertip big (small) balls and bake about 10 min at 200°C (gives six baking sheets of spice nuts).
How Did Grandfathers Reading Glasses Get Into The Snowbank?
My rattling calendar gift turned out to be a set of star shaped cookie cutters. Bummer! I made the wrong kind of cookie dough yesterday - no need for cookie cutters. :-(
08 December 2007
Today I unpacked another large glass jar. :-) I guess, I will put cookies in that one, since I prepared a lot of cookie dough. The last jar I filled with self made breakfast cereal.
07 December 2007
It snowed on grandfathers farm and Nisse Pok set up a bird feeder for the wild birds. :-)
06 December 2007
Grandfather told about how his mom used to put a heated stone in his bed so that it wouldn't be so cold. When grandfather was small he had a blanket filled with straw and mice. We also learned that he buried his toothbrush and therefor lost all his teeth. I worked for little "me" to get him to brush his teeth, but that would certainly not have worked for me. When I was that age I wished that I had false teeth so that I could be free of dentists having to pull out teeth to make room for more teeth and orthodontists and braces. I guess, you need to be careful with what you tell children. ;-)
05 December 2007
Sleeping Habits of Scandinavian Elves
Today I unpacked a large glass jar. I like jars, tins, cans and boxes. I have many many many filled with all kinds of things. Most of them are filled with tea. (I also like tea.) So, what should I put in this jar? My coins? Cookies? Other food stuff? Small LEGO pieces? Let me know if you have any suggestions.
04 December 2007
"It will be more fun if you take the small packages last."
Out in the country we learned a new word. We were supposed see "bedriften" together with grandfather. We were a little scared and kept a tight grip on grandfathers leg but couldn't spot any "bedrift". At last we asked what a "bedrift" looked like. Grandfather explained, and we learned a little more about danish farm vocabulary. ;-)
03 December 2007
Dangerous Animal Cup and Saucer
And elf Pok did some magic and fixed grandfathers old car which hadn't been running for the last 20 years. So now they can drive the car into town to buy licorice (and stuff).
Maybe Pok did some magic for me, too. They had still some of my favorite buns with chocolate pieces at Emmery's when I got there today in the late afternoon. Magic or no, I will now brew some tea and enjoy my chocolate buns. :-)
02 December 2007
More on Scandinavian Elves
I learn a lot of new words. Grandfather uses words I have never heard before. Luckily the little boy doesn't know them either, so they get explained pretty well. ;-)
My calendar gift was a Christmas tree light string. I decided to put it up in my hallway where I still have no light. Well, now I do. :-)
01 December 2007
Charm of Really Good Conscience
The last time the apartment has been this clean was in August. This is definitely worth a Charm of Really Good Conscience.
First Package Opened
I now know why:
It is an advent book: "Mig og bedstefar - og så Nisse Pok" (Me and grandfather - and elf Pok) with 24 chapters - one for each day.
In today's chapter the me of the book (an 8 year old boy) arrived at his grandfathers farm. His grandfather looks a lot like Santa. ;-) After saying hello to the dog Sophus and the horse Lottie (who loves chewing gum) they receive a letter from elf Pok, saying that he will visit this year. I got the impression that visiting elves is a normal thing at grandfathers farm...
A note about Scandinavian elves ("nisser" in danish):
They are not your classic fairy like "dancing around half naked" elves. I am still a little hazy on the subject, so please fill in the blanks. As far as I found out, they are small people. I am not quite sure if they can do magic, but I wouldn't be surprised. They tend to wear red caps, and if you treat them well they will look after your animals and farm. They can be quite nasty if you upset them, and they like rice pudding with butter on top. The butter is apparently very important since there are tales about elves (nisser) getting very angry because the butter on the rice pudding was missing.
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