We're starting the new year, ahem, new decade, with a guest post from one of my favorite writers. I've had the joy of hanging with her at BlogHer and hope to see lots more of her as soon as she digs out from the Iowa snow.
I’m Becky, and I blog at Deep Muck Big Rake and hang out with Ilina on Twitter (I’m @BeckyDMBR). We talk lots about drinks and dinner and wine o’clock and recipes and beer-thirty and…well, you get the idea.
I’ve been a Norwegian-by-proxy for almost 20 years, which means we have a Very Norwegian Christmas in our house every year. If you haven’t been in Norway for Christmas, you should try it sometime. Or at least celebrate with a Norwegian.
Christmas lasts forever in Norway. It starts even before Christmas with “lillejulaften” (little Christmas Eve), which is the night before Christmas Eve. The time after Christmas and before New Year’s is called romjul, a time when you visit extended family and friends. Unless you work in retail or in the medical system, chances are good you get the whole time off.
You can find several ways to get into the holiday “spirit” in Norway: juleøl (Christmas beer), aquavit (“water of life” *cough, cough*) and gløgg (mulled wine). Gløgg is especially festive after an afternoon of sledding or snowman-building. It fills your house with the warm, spicy goodness of the season. You can make an alcohol-free version for the kids (although mine still prefer hot chocolate).
The absolute easiest way to make gløgg is to use a bottled mix and just add water or red wine. (Many Scandinavian stores sell the bottles online. You can also check German stores for glühwein mix. They’re similar.) Or you can make your own.
I tried both this year.
Here’s a recipe from the cookbook, The Norwegian Kitchen, written by The Association of Norwegian Chefs.
2/3 cup port wine
2/3 cup sherry
2/3 cup Madeira
1/3 cup red wine
4 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
Combine in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Serve warm in cups with raisins and blanched almonds. Place a teaspoon in each glass.
I prefer the mix. It’s sweeter. Whatever you prefer, play around with it and have fun.
Have a wonderful New Year! Godt nytt år!