25 days till Christmas. Can you believe it? I say that every year, don’t I? I have a feeling it creeps up just a tad bit earlier each year. Not that I am unprepared but somehow I manage to block out all signs of Christmas, of which they first begin to appear at the markets as early as September.
Then all of a sudden I hear it’s the first advent weekend and my mind is still blocking. I’ve been so immersed in a few projects that I was not ready to accept baubles, tinsel and co. just yet. If it was not for Soeren, who influences so much in my life, I would have probably continued to barricade all thoughts of the upcoming season.
Instead I gave in and let the wave of excitement that is felt by a nine year old engulf me. Last weekend we spent getting ourselves in the mood for Christmas. We brought down a few Christmas decorations from the attic and began to decorate the house. We put up Soeren’s favorite piece up on the bookshelf, a hand carved wooden Räuchermann from the Ore Mountain region. The Räuchermann is a traditional “incense smoker” and made of two pieces, where a cone incense is lit and then placed on the lower body part of the wood figure. The second part is hollowed out and placed on top of the lower body part covering the cone incense allowing the perfumed smoke to escape the mouth hole of the Räuchermann. They come in many sizes, forms and types and are typical during Christmas time in the region of Germany where Tom and his family come from.
On the window sill we put up my favorite piece, a wooded hand carved candle arch displaying a scene from a quaint miner’s village at Christmas time. I get lost in the scene with the tiny wooden figurines singing carols under the immaculately carved trees, while a bright yellow star on the church in the background and five candles, albeit with electric bulbs, light up the window. Each evening when we come home, the first thing I do is flick on the lights on the candle arch, while Soeren fires up a cone incense in the Räuchermann.
Finally we also made an advents wreath, adorning it with dried tangerine slices, small pine cones, cinnamon sticks and Zimtsterne. Four candles (these ones are for real) count down the weeks to Christmas.
Tomorrow, December 1st, begins the countdown to Christmas Eve and in Germany to help us do that we have an Advents calendar. Several years back I made one for Soeren consisting of red and green felt bags that I decorated with snowmen, reindeers, elves and the number 1 to 24. Tonight, when he is fast asleep I will be busy filling them up with chocolates, matchbox cars and cookies. Maybe with a glass of homemade Advocaat egg liqueur.
It’s been very Christmassy in the kitchen too and we’ve been baking , cooking and making Christmas goodies with mincemeat, stollen, cakes and cookies to name a few, all of which I will be sharing with you all in the next few weeks as I chime in the Christmas season on WFLH.
As a starter I am serving you with dessert first! A divine, creamy custard infused with delicious spices and spiked with a rich homemade Advocaat liqueur. Advocaat is one of those wonderful things in life that has to be experienced. The rich and creamy liqueur is made with eggs, sugar and brandy and has a smooth custard-like flavor very similar to eggnog. We love our Advocaat liqueur on ice cream, fresh fruit or simply in glasses with grated dark chocolate and cinnamon. It’s easy to make at home and tastes delicious. I used it in the custard for a fantastic Christmas dessert.
Smooth, creamy, rich and absolutely divine, these custards are a fantastic way to round off Christmas dinner. With the use of only 2 gelatin sheets the custards’ are not extremely firm. Instead the consistency lies somewhere between a thick pudding and light mousse. I also keep the sugar low making it not overly sweet and allowing the spices and the liqueur enough room to unfold their flavors.
Sally of My Custard Pie is my gorgeous hostess of the Monthly Mingle this month. With a blog name like that it was no surprise that she chose Custards as her theme. I hope she likes my Spiced Advocaat Custard. The Monthly Mingle now takes a break till next year. Thanks to everyone who took part in the many events this year and a huge thank you to all my hostesses and their grand themes.
Last week we opened registrations to our third From Plate to Page and are thrilled to see many of the spots fill up immediately. We still have a few spots free, so come on over and check out our incredible programme, take in the beauty of our venue and register here. Put it on your wishlist for Christmas or give it as a gift. If you or someone you know, has always wanted to hone their skills in food writing and photography, From Plate to Page is the only intensive workshop that provides you with both. Read what past participants have said about our workshop!
You might like these Christmas dessert ideas from WFLH:
|Chai Latte Cream||Chocolate & Coconut French Yule Log||Cranberry and Mango Layered Mousse|
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