ehBeth
 
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 06:56 pm
It's almost Second Advent.

Season's Greetings all!

http://www.dutchflowerlink.nl/images/imagegallery_fotos_boeken/1037wokrshop84advent.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 42,528 • Replies: 613

 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 06:58 pm
It was interesting looking for the right forum for this. While there's a religious basis for Advent, I'm not religious in a traditional sense.

But Advent is part of my cultural heritage, and I celebrate the season with candles and special tablecloths and spicy cookies - so Travel and Culture it is.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:01 pm
now - there must be an Advent Calendar

I've decided on this one to start things off.



Now, we've got to get up to speed.


http://www.harpold.com/advent/images/adbottlgif.gif
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:02 pm
on December 1st
http://www.harpold.com/advent/images/mlpeck.gif
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:04 pm
http://www.harpold.com/advent/images/02head.gif

You see it all the time in stores "Scottish" Short Bread, and it's most popular at the Holidays. What do the Scots know that makes their shortbread so special (and more expensive)? It's just a cookie, after all, a slightly sweet buttery cookie. How can something so plain be so fancy?

The answer is the flour. Authentic Scottish shortbread is made with at lead a quarter rice flour, some recipes call for all the flour to be rice, and that would be the most "authentic." Rice flour has no gluten, which aside from the benefit of appealing to the gluten free crowd, means the the dough bakes flakier and lighter. Gluten, when mixed with wet ingredients is what makes dough stiffen, and be less flaky. In hearty cookies like chocolate chip, this is a good thing, but in shortbread, where the flavor is subtle and mild, the rice flour lets the buttery taste shine through more vividly.

The following recipe will work made with any ratio of rice flour and all purpose flour, the below is just a suggestion.

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose or pastry flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat butter until soft. Add sugar and extract. Beat until smooth. Stir salt into flour and mix well, then add flour and salt mixture to first mixture.

Press dough evenly into a round cake pan. Score into wedges (or petticoat tails) with a fork. Do not cut straight through the dough - score only 3/4 way through. Decorate lightly with patterns and frills if desired.

Bake in 375-degree oven 25 minutes. Cut along markings while still hot. Cool in pan, then turn out and sprinkle with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar if serving right away, or store in an airtight tin.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:05 pm
it's December 3rd where I am - so I can't open that window for you

(but you really MUST try it ! )
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danon5
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:22 pm
Thanks ehBeth,
We will give it a go !!
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:27 pm
Season's greetings, flyboy :wink:

and a big hug to Mrs. Danon, please.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:47 pm
and for she who must climb upon a stool to give a big hug to those she loves:

text a hundred years later. The Latin was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

O Come O Come Emmanuel :Lyrics


O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

A sweet tear of expectation, my Toronto friend
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:52 pm
http://torontoconsort.org/images/praetorius.jpg

Letty - next weekend I'll be attending this concert with a very good friend. I'll sing a chorus for you.

Quote:
With recorders, violins, cornetti, sackbuts, theorbos, keyboards and voices, the Toronto Consort recreates the joyful celebration of Christmas Vespers as it might have been heard under the direction of Michael Praetorius in 17th-century Germany. Last year the rafters and balconies of Trinity-St. Paul's resounded with these glorious sounds to sold-out houses, so don't miss out on this year's new program.


I can hardly wait to find out what the sing-alongs will be. The church will be lit with candles, and soloists from the choir will come up into the balcony to sing with us.
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Stradee
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:53 pm
ehBeth, a must try ~ thanks

http://www.calendars.com/images/020/2099/200400013044_lpv.jpg
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 07:55 pm
Will hear you, Beth. In my heart; in my mind; and in my soul.

Goodnight,
From Letty/BettyGettyMe.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 08:00 pm
ohhhhh, that's a pretty one, Stradee !

Letty, listen very carefully. I don't sing as loudly as I laugh.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 10:39 pm
I LOVE Advent calendars! This is the first time I've seen an online version, ehBeth. It's great! Thank you so much!

I found a brand new one this year at the museum shop. It's a reproduction of real palazzos on the Grand Canal in Venice. Each day you open one of the Gothic windows to reveal some sight in Venice. Aaaahhhh......it is just gorgeous. Today I opened a balcony window on the Ca d'Oro to find a stunning sample of Murano glass.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2004 01:07 am
You may be interested to know that the Catholic Advent has very old roots and was first mentioned in preparation for the earliest feast of the Nativity in 380 CE.

The Advent wreath has good pagan roots... evergreen being a traditional symbol of life and candles... well, I don't know if pagans had candles, but they probably used some form of fire to show that there was going to be an end to this winter and low light.

http://www.stfrancismelbourne.org/images/floral/2004/Advent-Wreath-2004.jpg

Unlike the Protestant tradition of white or red candles, Catholics traditionally use three purple candles and 1 rose pink candle. The pink is lit on the third Advent Sunday (Or Saturday if you happen to be a Saturday evening mass attender.) and signifies joy. The others, represent a coming closer to the godhead. I think whoever came up with those colors is inspired. There's just a lot to think about when you're looking a two purple candles burning and the other two, one pink and the other, another purple, are still to be lit. When the pink one is lit, as it will be next weekend, the faithful have successfully worked through half of their Advent preparations. For many believers this is a mini-Lent which makes Christmas Eve services with its colorful tapestries, vestments and candles all the more spectacular.

I grew up enjoying advent calendars. My favorite ones would be taped to the window so that the beautiful pictures would be brightened by the sun shining through. I've kept some of the advent calendars over the years. My favorite is one that had tiny pictures of woodland animals and birds "hiding" behind each of the doors. (I wonder if I still have that?) I've never much liked the chocolate ones... I don't know why, I love chocolate. I guess the chocolate ones *I* had, never had very good chocolate.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2004 09:14 am
piffka - I was especially hoping you'd come by here and tell us about some of the Advent traditions and precursors.

There are some marvellous online Advent calendars, Eva. The first one I posted, on the rainforest thread, was the one my dad emailed me. It seems right to still be getting Advent calendars from him. He probably gave me my first one.

piffka - you're right, the choco ones usually aren't very good. I particularly like the ones that have that sort of wax paper behind the doors - so they look like stained glass when they're held up against the light.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2004 09:39 am
and here's a Scottish online Advent calendar for Piffka.
I love the little games they hide behind the windows.
Better than chocolate anyday. (unless it's Samaki chocolate)

for Piffka
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2004 09:40 am
(and don't forget to try out the festive fun)
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2004 09:47 am
Ah, ehBeth. That calendar reminded me of a lovely Scottish carol that we sang in the choir of the Presbyterian Church:



What strangers are these that wander through the town?
Hush, 'tis Joseph and weary Mary.
And what does he seek so hopeless and in vain?
He is seeking shelter for Mary.
For she is the blest and chosen of the Lord,
Who will bear to us a goodly King.
And who is this king of whom ye proudly sing?
Know ye not the Christ, Jesus the Saviour?

What wee bairn is this that in a manger lies?
Hush, 'tis Jesus Christ, Son of Mary.
Say what fair maid is this whose joy is mixed with awe?
O 'tis Mary, Holy Mother of Jesus.
O these are the shepherds and these the magi kings
Who have brought him their gifts of gold and myrrh.
But why kneel in homage here before a babe?
They adore their King, Jesus the Saviour.

Who are these that march from death unto life?
These are they who love Jesus the Christ Child.
And how do they triumph o'er the gates of hell?
Through the grace of him, Jesus the Saviour.
He is born to redeem mankind from sin and strife,
To bring peace, joy, love and brotherhood.
O where shall I find him? Where shall I seek?
He is here and now, Jesus your Saviour.

Words traditional, described as an 'Old Scottish Carol' in Richard Purvis' 1945 arrangement.
Music (tune 'The mill, mill-o') Scottish traditional, arrangement by Jim Rasmussen and Paul McDowell © 2002.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2004 09:59 am
Thanks Beth. I'm glad you agree on those chocolate ones.... such a disappointment. Most of the time we never even finished 'em. I wonder if dried fruits would be better? (We could make big money inventing these!!!) I'll bet Hamburger did give you your first. Among others, we gave our kids an Advent Calendar made out of cloth with a little bear who was pinned from one day to the next. The daily waiting for kids meant planning and knowing that these dark nights will end soon (assuming one is in the N. Hemisphere). It's a good thing for people; a sort of teaching tool.

I remember Advent Calendars with tissue paper, not waxed paper and boy, that stuff is fragile. I'm going to see if I can find some of my old calendars when I start taking out the Christmas stuff. If I do, I'll scan 'em.

This one (edit: which I tried and failed to post below) looks pretty enough, I like the star, but I think it is seriously flawed by having the numbers show. That was part of the fun that I remember, trying to find the numbers which were sort of hidden in the design. Also, I like the windows to be different shapes and be related to the image (like a window opening, or an entire tree being a flap).

http://us.st4.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/I/bronners_1818_5567248

Hmm. darn thing doesn't show. Well, you can get to it if you want hereand you'd see what I mean.

On another note, I dated a young man whose job was traveling to Germany and importing the fine Advent calendars and other paper goods. Made the best living of anybody I knew at the time. He just went back and forth to Germany and then sold these absolutely beautiful things in the local shops. If you hadn't bought your Advent calendar before Thanksgiving, it was probably too late to get a good one.

edit: Wow... Thanks for the Scottish Advent. That is so sweet of you, Beth.

(Nothing like a Celtic Christian, Letty... they were swayed so early.)
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