CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 10:51 am
My daughter got a nice Advent Calender from Grandma
in Germany and of course there is chocolate in it. The past
years I crafted one for her with little pouches to stash
goodies into.

We also have an Advend wreath with 4 red fat candles
on them and tonight we'll light the second candle.

When I was a little girl, my mother would use the Advent Sundays to sing christmas songs with us and make stars
out of straw or from dried prunes we made little munchkins.

Sweet memories I hope to continue with my daughter.....
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 10:57 am
It is Second Advent today, and tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day. Have you all got your shoes and boots ready to put out?
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:03 am
We never did anything with shoes or boots, please explain that, Beth. (Well, you don't need to explain why we didn't... but why do you!

Calamity Jane -- a dried prune munchkin?

I checked to see if that church in Victoria (it was their image I posted previously) would have lit their second Advent candle, but no... or at least, not yet.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:04 am
http://www.pbc1.net/advent_1201/pics800/adv202_russell.jpg

ha! I was just off looking for a second candle lighting.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:04 am
Yes, we have -despite the rain!

St. Nikolaus came on Friday to my daughters German class
and she was mighty impressed, yet somewhat puzzled
as she got an orange, different kind of nuts and only one
candy item Wink
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:09 am
The Holiday Today

In anticipation of St. Nicholas's nightly visits, children in several European countries put their shoes in front of the fire place. They sing traditional songs and provide a carrot or hay for the horse. At night Black Pete puts gifts and candy in the shoes.

In the Netherlands, families celebrate St Nicholas's birthday the night before his feast day (December 6th). At one point during the evening, a loud knock will herald the arrival of Sinterklaas and at the same time candy may be thrown from upstairs; when the door is opened, a bag of gifts will be on the doorstep.

For families with older children and adults, different twists are added to the gift giving and may include gag gifts or the drawing of gift ideas or names, and most times are accompanied by poems with a "personal touch" that poke fun at the recipient in a gentle way (or not, depending on the families Wink ). Wrapping the presents up in odd packages and planting a trail of clues is also part of the general fun, and can sometimes be pretty tricky to get to, depending on the squeamishness of the recipients.



history etc. of St. Nicholas
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:10 am
Yes Piffka, we made munchkins with toothpicks and
dried Prunes. I'll google to see if I can find a picture
of it.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:11 am
Oh, here I found something, explaining how they're made Smile

http://www.tv-koechin.de/tipps-zwetschgenmanderl.htm
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:13 am
When I was small, St. Nicholas Day had a lot more joy to me than Christmas. St. Nicholas Day and Advent - that was the good time - cookies and songs and laughing. We celebrate on Christmas Eve, and that always seemed too stressful for me, as a small, watching, person. The big meal being prepared, the house being cleaned, people coming over - I didn't much care for all of that activity. I just wanted cookies and clementines and singing.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:16 am
ohhhh, I remember those munchkins, CJane. Thanks for that memory.



I guess it also explains where all the dried fruit came from, that was inside the Christmas goose!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:18 am
Here's a pretty good site about the traditions of Sinterklaas - St. Nicholas.

sinterklaas
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:21 am
Right ehBeth, we eat a lot of dried fruit around Christmas time. We also have something we call "Roemer Topf"
it's an clay pot where fruits of the season are put into
and covered with rum. You'll start sometime in June and
on Christmas you have all the fruit soaked full with rum
and eat it as dessert. It's quite potent though Smile

Oh, I need to go to our christmas parade. For 3 days
we worked on our School christmas float (I'm aching everywhere) and today it's raining dogs and cats. I hope
it will stop soon.....
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:40 am
Roemer Topf is DANGEROUS !!!

have a great parade, C Jane.

<I need to find my Doris Day as Calamity Jane avatar again>
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:43 am
MY Italian housemate bought me an advent calendar. I was a little put off, thinking it was catholic and that maybe I'd catch on fire if I touched it. But, she explained that it wasn't really so much of a religious thing. So, I've been enjoying the daily chocolates.
0 Replies
 
sublime1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 12:47 pm
Quote:
In the Netherlands, families celebrate St Nicholas's birthday the night before his feast day (December 6th). At one point during the evening, a loud knock will herald the arrival of Sinterklaas and at the same time candy may be thrown from upstairs; when the door is opened, a bag of gifts will be on the doorstep


Thanks ehbeth for the link, this is exactley what my grandfather did for us. Interesting that it is a tradition stemming from the Netherlands. It has become a challenge for me to not get caught doing this for my niece (10 yrs old) and nephew. My sister always seems to live on the second floor.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:10 pm
sublime1 - it's a wonderful tradition, and it's nice to hear about someone keeping it alive with family.

littlek - where'd you get the idea that Advent calendars were connected to catholicism? I love to hear stories about how cultural 'things' get interpreted over the years.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:23 pm
Roemer Topf sounds awsome!

I dunno where I got the idea, Beth, I just did. That's what you get when you're reared as a catholic for your first 5 years and then suddenly stop.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:32 pm
ehBeth and all. Has anyone done A Finland Christmas? I haven't checked out all the links. I just happened to be searching the web for Father Christmas and came up with a Finnish delight.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:40 pm
I've been trying to find a recipe for Roemer Topf, but all I get is that it's the pot, not the rum-berries thing.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 01:43 pm
http://www.hopshopuk.com/recipes/rumtopf.html

Quote:
RUMTOPF (RUMPOT) RECIPE

It is usual to begin with the first fruit of the season, strawberries. Wash and dry these thoroughly, remove all the green stems, put them into a dish, cover them with an equal weight of sugar and then allow them to stand for an hour. Place the fruit and sugar mixture into the Rumtopf, and cover it to a depth of half an inch with rum or your other chosen spirit or liqueur. Make sure that the spirit is at least 40% ABV, as it is the alcohol that preserves the fruit. White refined granulated sugar is most commonly used, but castor sugar will dissolve more easily.

It is important that the fruit remains submerged at all times, and this can be done by placing a plate or saucer on top of the fruits in the Rumtopf. Cover the top of the pot with cling film to prevent evaporation, and store in a cool place. When the next fruit is available, carry out the same procedure, except that from now on it is only necessary to use half as much sugar by weight as fruit. Use ripe, dry but firm fruit and never any that is overripe. Build the fruit up in layers, and do not stir as this will break up the fruit. Each time fruit is added it may be necessary to add more rum.

Continue to add fruits throughout the summer until your Rumtopf is full. Suitable fruits to use include apricots, cherries, grapes, peaches, plums, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and loganberries.
Pineapple, with the rind and centre core removed, is best cubed and is usually the last fruit added.

It will be ready after 4-6 weeks, but at it's best after 2-3 months, which should be around Christmas.


I find it best to avoid watery fruits such as Melon, as they dilute the alcohol. Rhubarb can make the fruits bitter, as can blackberries, which can also discolour the rest of the fruits and spoil their appearance. The liquid from the Rumtopf can be treated as a liqueur. The Rumtopf fruit is delicious either poured over ice-cream or with a rich dark chocolate cake!
0 Replies
 
 

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