Christmas cafe style curtains



Christmas curtains
December  4th

Top of the curtain showing curtain pole eyelets
I wanted something to make a statement in our room and although we normally have long curtains here that we close in the Winter, I decided time and aesthetically  long crocheted curtains were not the way to go, hence cafe style curtains with bobbles!  It does mean we sacrifice a teeny weeny bit of warmth, we live in an old 17th century house and our windows are single pane, but I thought the warmth of the colour red and a roaring log fire at the opposite end of the room would have to be enough to keep us toasty.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little for a particular look ;)

I used DK yarn with two stands and a 8 mm hook
Red was just over 200 g and white was just under 100 g
For a 130 cm long curtain pole I had a starting chain of 200
Note:  on bobble rows carry the second colour behind and trap it in between the stitches until ready to make first bobble
Pattern:

ch 200 ~ approx length 185 cm
R1:  Ch 1 more and turn, sc into second chain from the hook and complete the whole row with sc
R2:  Ch 1 and turn at the end of every row sc whole row
R3 & R4:  Ch 1 and turn *sc for 5 stitches, then sl st for next 5 stitches* repeat to the end of the row
R5:  Ch 1 and turn sc in each sc and ch 5 over the sl st gaps repeat till the end of the row
R6 & R7:  Ch 1 and turn sc across
R8: Ch 1 and turn  [Pick up white yarn (again use two strands) and trap the white yarn between the red yarn stitches until you need it. See photo below.]  *Sc for 10 stitches.  Switch to white yarn and ch 3 in next stitch hdc six times in the same stitch BUT do not  on any hdc pull through the last loop.  thus you will end up with 6 loops on the hook.  Yarn over and pull through all loops. Switch back to red yarn.*  Repeat between ** until the end of the row.  Leave a long white tail for weaving in the end and cut off white yarn only.
R9 - R12:  sc in each stitch
R13:  Repeat R8
R14 - R17 sc in each stitch Cut yarn and fasten off.


You can choose to make longer curtains,
but this was the right fit for mine to
avoid blocking out any light in the dark months
Using double strand of yarn can the
curtain weight and allowed for the natural curve
to form and hold it's shape













♥  Adding some quick Christmas hygge to our home  ♥

Goro Christmas Cookies 1 2016

December 2nd

The latest addition to my Christmas kitchen: a goro maker









Since writing this blog I have relished the month of Christmas even more, the lead up to the big day is just as special and I love being in the kitchen with all those Christmas smells and Norwegian baking spices.

It is traditional in a Norwegian home to bake in the run up to Christmas 7 different cookies. Of course in these busy times we live in the tradition is slowly being lost but within our family the tradition is strong and I hope it will continue in my children's' homes as they grow and leave the nest.  After all this is how this blog came about, wanting to have all that is dear to me at Christmas on hand for my children written down and accessible when I am no longer here.

[For previous years cookie bakes see the end of the post]

Last year mamma brought over for me a Goro maker, a modern version of an old fashioned cookie mould that used to be made out of iron and placed in a fire oven to very quickly bake the cookies.  My one runs on electricity and the only thing I can liken it to is similar in looks to a waffle maker.  I know many of you will not have this and so my first bake of the Christmas season may exclude many of you, but I thought it worth blogging about it as it is such a traditional old fashioned Norwegian Christmas bake.


Goro recipe:
You will need:
♥  1 egg
♥  3/4 cup of sugar
♥  1 tsp vanilla extract
♥  1/2 cup whipping cream
♥  1 cup of butter
♥  2 3/4 cup plain flour
♥  1/2 tsp cardamon



Whip the cream until thick and set to one side.



Beat the egg and sugar until well 
combined and mix into the cream.




Combine all the dry ingredients.

Crumble the hard butter into the dry ingredients until it
resembles breadcrumbs 


Add to the egg mixture.

Still together, then knead it into a ball of dough

On a floured surface roll out thinly to about 2-3 mm

I used a cut out grease proof paper template of the side of the mould,
so that I know what size to roll out to without wasteage

Place the rolled out dough on the goro make and bake for
approximately 1 minute, it will crisp up quickly

Before you know it you will have a whole stack of goros.
It is best to divide them whilst they are still warm, else
you run the risk of breaking them when they cool and harden

Beautiful pattern makes a great adornment to a
coffee table cookie section



Previous years Christmas cookie bake recipes:

 2015 Cookie recipes  ~  scroll to the bottom of this post for all 2015 recipes

2014:

1 Pepperkaker
2 Serina kaker
3 Sugar cookies
4 Krumkaker
5 Saffron cookies
6 Honey coated chocolate cookies
7 Poor man cookies

2013:

1 Pepperkaker
2 Hasselnott meringues
3 Vanilje kranser
4 Krumkaker
5 Lussekatter
6 Brune kaker
7 Sandkaker

   Eat & Enjoy  


Do please let me know if you make any of these cookies or indeed if you think you have a recipe I may like, this is just my favourite time of year for baking...

Brune Pinner Christmas Cookies 2 2016

December 5th

Brunne pinner, crochet and coffee, perfection








Perhaps one of the most popular Christmas cookie in Norway is that of Brune pinner, direct translation is the rather unfortunate ~ brown sticks, not so attractive sounding are they!  But do not be fooled.  These quick and easy to bake cookies are moorish, they will all be coming back for more.


So onto the second of 7 Christmas cookie bakes without further ado I give you ~


Brune Pinner

Ingredients all ready
You will need:

♥  200g softened butter
♥  200g sugar
♥  1 egg yolk
♥  1 tablespoon golden syrup
♥  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
♥  1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (optional)
♥  1 teaspoon baking soda
♥  300g plain flour

Topping:
♥  egg for brushing
♥  pearl (nib) sugar ~ not easy to find but Ikea, Scandinavian kitchen and Ocado in the UK do sell it, as will specialist cake shops
♥  chopped almonds with skin left on


Notice each piece has been topped and tailed on a slant
1  Beat the butter and sugar to a fluffy creamy consistency.
2  Mix in the remainder of the ingredients .
3  Knead the dough till it all comes together.
4  Divide into 6 equal portions.
5  Roll out each portion into a long sausage on a baking tray covered with grease proof paper.
6  Press sausage flat so it it roughly finger size in width and a few mm in height only.
7  Brush over the egg on each sausage finger and then drizzle over the pearl sugar and chopped almonds.
8  Bake in pre heated oven at 175 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until just touched by a golden colour.
9  Cool ever so slightly and then whilst still warn cut each finger on a slant to divide up into individual pieces.
10  Cool on a wire rack and keep in an air tight container.  Will keep for 7 - 10 days.

Brune pinner already to eat
and gift this Christmas
These cookies make an ideal gift for teachers at Christmas, hostess thank yous and of course for the unexpected Christmas visitor.  Tie a ribbon around them, pop them in a spare jam jar with a Christmas adornment and you have a quick home made gift.


Eat & enjoy





    Eat & Enjoy  


Advent Cake

December 1st


The lead up to Christmas in a Norwegian home begins on Advent Sunday which was four days ago. What do we do?  We start the real cosyness of Christmas with light, warmth and beautiful smells seeping out from the Christmas kitchen that has already been decorated in cheery red, starting us all on the slow gradual build up to the family festive time.  All sound too perfect? maybe it does, but it really is my favourite time of the year and I think my children feel so too.



So with the first of four candles lit it's time to bring in some Christmas taste into the home and what better way than Signe Johansen's delicately Christmas flavoured almond torte, it really is a cake that surpassed my expectations the first time I tried it and it quickly became a firm family favourite; now set to be our Advent cake every year.  We will make it each year at the beginning of December and bonus, it keeps for well over a week and is still just as moist.  Quick to make, so give it a go, it's gluten free too!

Start a new tradition and make an advent cake. For easy to follow instructions and ingredients follow the link to Signe's Spiced almond Torte...


Enjoy the lead up to the big day...



Spiced almond torte with clementine

Where have you been? It's all about hygge isn't it?

November 4th
My sister in laws mug
photo credit Sixes and Sevens

What a year the Scandinavians are having or should I say the Danes.  If you have not heard the word hygge in the last year, you must have buried your head under all those fluffed up cushions on your sofa whilst sitting in only a candle lit room or ambled past it as you took your daily walk.  What on earth am I talking about?

Well to be precise this year alone there have so far been 14 books published on the subject and not all by Danish authors may I say.  Being of Scandinavian descent myself and more accurately Norwegian, I was glad to see in the list, the Norwegian author, Signe Johansen.  I happen to love her cook books and was glad to see she was flying the Norwegian hygge flag.

We seem to have a fascination with Nordic living and the Nordic way of life from their interiors, as holiday destinations, their colour schemes, and even their film noir type TV series but our most recent fetish with Scandi life seems to be this strange word hygge.  I have grown up with it from a small child not realising that it was a different way of life in so much it had a label, to a teenager reveling in some aspects of it and not so much others, to a mother and home maker that is the essence of who I am, what I do and how I live.

Today I jump on the band wagon and share with you five ways in which hygge is incorporated in my soul and what it means to me. This is not a definitive way of incorporating hygge into  ones life but it is my way and is the very essence of how we live.  Ask my children and my husband what the word means to them and they will come up with their own variations of hygge.

Early morning before the house hold is
awake is often my time in the day for me
Time out

For me time out in a day is vital for my sanity and well being.  Some days it may only be literally 5 minutes, a time where I really try to be in the moment, not thinking or worrying about anything else except just being.  It's not easy clearing your mind but gosh how refreshing it is after. An inner peace.













Drinking a cup of tea and reading a good book or...


... a cup of coffee on the bench outside

and always a bit of time out for some yarn therapy

Fresh air 

The joy of having a sailing boat means I am often at lovely
 coastal locations where I take myself off for a stroll
No matter what the weather I make a point of being outside every day from a short walk within the village to a more full blown exercise session. There is nothing like the fresh air to awaken the senses and make one feel alive. Looking at the world around me and noticing the changes of mother nature can bring me an unbelievable sense of well being.  This has been heightened if I am honest by writing this blog too.  I stop and notice and appreciate the world around me more, who would have thought this blog would have done that for me, I certainly did not.




Mother nature


Yellow such a colour of hope

Autumnal days outside



Warmth  


Warmth inside ...
I have always been obsessed with light, small table lamps, side lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps, hanging lamps and of course candles.  Anything to bring light and warmth into the home is good for me.  It seems to wrap itself around and I never tire of lighting candles and just cosying up on the sofa watching the flickering light. Of course this is the same for the flickering light and heat that radiates from a fire also, be it indoors or outside on a summers evening or as we often do well into the winter months with blankets, coats and hats and sit outside with a mug of something hot and sit and chat.   This obsession goes back to my childhood when my Bestemor (grandmother) used to light literally hundreds, or so it felt, candles in the evening and we would sit and play games after the news on telly and enjoy each others company.  This wrapped me up in warmth from a young age and the feeling carries on within to this day many years after she died.  Give me a blanket to snuggle under, a candle lit room and a roaring fire and I am in my comfort zone.


Warmth outside too





Gatherings 

There is a time to be alone and a time to gather. Both equally as important.  Bringing together family and friends of all ages and generations.  As I become older gatherings have taken on a new meaning for me, not necessary the fuss and pomp of needing excitement, but just of enjoying the company and being together.  No pressure but a sense of belonging.  Often our gatherings take place outside ...





Food  


Food is at the heart of hygge for me too. I am not talking about the every day cooking which if you are like me can be a huge chore and I often become stuck in a rut in my dishes but proper thought about or I fancy this food is what I mean here.  The food that you enjoy preparing with others, almost a gathering if you will of friends and family to create something together, especially at weekends. We all prepare and cook together at weekends,  the familiarity and togetherness and then sharing in what we have eaten brings pleasure and warmth all on its own. But it can be the little things too, like eating the first of something in the correct season and savouring that moment.  Knowing that the month of December when we bake our traditional 7 different cookies to share with family and friends in the run up to Christmas is made with love and expectation, I just cannot describe to you what it means to me.  Oh and baking cakes and sharing in comfort food, who wouldn't
want to be a part of that?

Drying fruit from the garden to eat in the
winter months brings utmost pleasure to me

The children's favourite comfort food, Toad in the Hole

Any occasion and we will make waffles, it never
fails to make us all smile, just the smell of them cooking...
Food for sharing


The Scandinavians have nothing different or new to share with the world, all the above are experienced by most to a greater or lesser extent but where I think they have the edge these Nordic folk is that they recognise the need to envelop all these aspects as good for our soul, our well being, our mental state and our health.  And so by giving it a name that can mean so many different things to different people, it encourages a nation to look after itself and each other, to take time to slow down and see the beauty around, coining a British phrase, hope I am using it correctly, take time to smell the roses.





Hygge is a very personal experience and what hygge means to one person will very 
often mean something else to someone else, which is why it is such a difficult word to 
translate, it means so many different things.  

Joining in with Amy sharing my five thoughts on hygge
do pop over and see what others are sharing today.


   What does hygge mean to you?  

And if you think this all sounds a bit smug and too perfect whose life is perfect anyway,  we only share that which we are comfortable with then read the following send up of hygge in the Daily Mash.  If swearing offends, then please do not click on the link, you have been warned...  Hygge is...

5 crochet photos

28th October


Last year the wonderful Ashley from Lazy Daisy Jones ran a photo a day challenge and I loved every minute of it.  So when I heard she was running another one this year I was beyond excited and determined to really think about each photo and how I was going to try and be a little more creative this time round.  Want to see the list for each day in October, here it is...





Day 1:  Yarn Selfie
It was incredibly difficult to pin the
yarn to my hair, my family
finally think I have flipped!


 Day 2:  Cosy

What could be cosier than being surround by crochet
blankets, working on my latest project, wearing
my home felted slippers and sitting in front of a lit fire?


Day 3:  Texture

This was a no brainer, I'm Norwegian so it had
to be the waffle stitch for texture didn't it?


Day 4:  Granny Square

Here I am aged 2 and a half with my granny
who taught me originally to crochet


Day 5:  WIP

This was hard for me as I have so many works
in progress, but my current ones that
I am working on and not sitting in the corner
waiting their turn are all Christmas related.

Unfortunately this month has not turned out as I had planned and I have been side lined a bit by current events, so it was not to be that I could complete this photo challenge nor have I even had time to look to see what others have posted, I made it to day 8 before I had to bow out.  I am however, already looking forward to next year if Ashley runs it again.

UPDATE:

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post Drama on the high seas, I am sorry that I have not as yet replied to everyone on that post and the one before, as said life has been somewhat hectic, but I do intend to if I can.  I though it more important to come and visit your blogs instead but I always read every comment and I really do try to reply, just been slack of late and I apologise. QUESTION?  Do you know when I reply to your comments, are you informed via email, do you come back to check?  I still have not worked out about comments and replies, can you advise?

So back to the update and Ella...  she is no longer on a meningitis watch but is still completely wiped out and it may take some weeks before she is fully recovered.  The last two weeks have been mostly spent sleeping and recuperating but each day she is a little better, thank you all so much for your get well wishes to her xxxx

Joining in with Amy sharing my 5 photos with you, 
hoping you will stop by and see what others are sharing too.

 Hoping for continued autumnal warmth