I’ve been reading through this book and am just loving learning all the traditions the Norwegians in my family’s past likely celebrated at Christmastime, both in the old country and new.
Thank you Norway for lefse! Alia joined our prep-team this year.
It was wonderful learning the origins of some of the customs my family still practices, and some that were totally new to me.
Did you know that in years past, “Christmas cleaning” was a tradition in Norway? They would scour the house from top to bottom so it was spotless for the Christmas celebration, which was especially wonderful in the days of wood burning stoves and pre-running water, when this was one of the few times in the year that the house was really completely clean.
I’ve always felt a desire for my house to be meticulously clean for Christmas, but thought it was kind of an OCD-perfectionist thing. I told Landon now I’m just going to embrace it, say it’s in my DNA passed down from my ancestors, and call it a tradition. Christmas cleaning, I like it :-)
The “Christmas bath” was another new one, that the families heated a big tub of water and fill it with cranberries and juniper, for an especially festive way to get everyone clean for the holiday. I told Kaden about it and he thought it sounded pretty fun, we may have to get some cranberries so he can have a Christmas bath this year.
This was my first year making krumkakes! The book says they’re the oldest of the sju slags, or “seven Christmas cookies” traditional in Norway, that krumkake irons made by blacksmiths have been found dating back to at least the 1700’s .
Julebukking sounds hilarious, I can hardly imagine all the pioneer farmers in Wilmington going from house to house dressed in ridiculous costumes, but I know from this source that they did, and I suppose it was a pretty fun time. So many more details, from the foods of their Christmas feast, the origins of the Nisse, and even the source of the word “Yule” or “Yuletide” (which comes from the old Viking word Jól, their winter celebration) were so interesting and fun to read.
This is a base that can be used to make traditional peanut butter cookies, peanut butter stars (with chocolate centers), & peanut butter “m&m” style cookies.
When I make this I usually first do a pan each of traditional peanut butter & peanut butter stars, and then while they’re in the oven mix in my m&m style candies (I use sunspire drops but I saw Trader Joe’s has some really cute red, green, & white ones in their own brand) into the remaining half of the batter. I get about 15-20 of each 3 types of peanut butter cookie with this recipe (more or less depending on cookie size.)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup peanut butter
Organic sugar to roll in
Sunspire sundrops & round chocolate candies
Mix dry & wet ingredients separately. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
Use a teaspoon to scoop out, roll into a ball, roll in sugar, and place on baking pan.
For traditional peanut butter cookies:
Criss-cross with fork before baking
For “peanut butter stars”:
Press chocolate into center after baked & slightly cooled but still warm. If you use whole foods chocolate disks they will get melty, so I put the cookies in the fridge for a bit and the chocolates harden back up.
For “m&m” style cookies:
Mix 1 cup Sunspire drops in for a full batch of cookies, or 1/2 cup for a 1/2 batch (which I did here), before baking.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with an exciting finale when Clarissa & Alex got engaged! Kaden & I started the morning early with breakfast and coloring turkeys before the parade, and then we spent the rest of the day over at my parents.
When I ask him to hold his sister’s hand.Learning how to break the wishbone.Dinner was fantastic.The proposal!
Alia is thankful for the big stuff.Checking out this new ring.She can’t wait to have Alex as an official part of the family <3Then Alia sat & waited patiently for her pie while K ran around with Uncle D shooting things with Nerf guns (I didn’t get any pictures of that.)Almost pie time ;)The rest of the evening we visited & played games, it was wonderful. Congrats to “Roo & Alex”, and as my kids are already saying, we can’t wait for your wedding :-)
I don’t think any other day is quite as fun to cook for as Thanksgiving. Kaden & Alia have been my helpers in the kitchen today, and we just took our 4th pie out of the oven!