Friday, January 1, 2010

5:00 Fridays

Happy 2010!!!

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.

Drum roll.....

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!
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Anonymous said...

what a fun post! I drank this once at a wedding--my friend is very traditional to her Norwegian roots and while on paper the drink looks suspicious, I LOVED it.

Deb Rox said...

Becky knows that she makes me so happy with her Scandia-traditions. My Danish grandmother would have insisted that the Danes were vastly different from the Swedes and quite a bit different from the Norwegians, but, you know, more is similar than her pride would have allowed. Love this, Becky, and love you both! Happy New Year!

Skål! (Cheers!)

Deb Rox said...

Okay, I have to say this, too, cause I'm all weepy for my grandmother. Cardamom is the bomb. Sometimes when I miss her baking I sprinkle some in pancake batter. And a few years ago I bought glogg in IKEA that wasn't that bad. Even though it was Swedish.

Tiny flags waving for you!

NYCItyMama said...

Holy Mierda...I am moving to Norway...at least for Christmas.

1A said...

So true about the little differences, Deb. Almost nobody blinks when I say most of my ancestors are German, but I have to whisper that there are Swedes in the family. :)

Ilina said...

Oh, when I lived in Minneapolis people used to get so pissed when anyone lumped Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes together.

dadshouse said...

Happy New Year!!!

1A said...

LOL! To the untrained ear, they all sound like the Swedish Chef. Shhh! I did NOT just say that out loud.