Posts Tagged ‘christmas baking’

Christmas Eve on the Mountain

So that was Christmas… And it sure passed quickly! Especially this year since this Christmas we had to squeeze in both a Finnish Christmas and a British Christmas over here in Costa Rica.

As you might remember from an earlier post, we picked up our tree ages ago and it has brought much light and beauty into our house for all of December. I was almost a bit worried that it might not keep till Christmas in the heat and in the improvised foot (i.e. bucket with rocks in and fairy lights wrapped around – gorgeous!). We also picked up a gorgeous poinsettia from the farmers market to decorate our porch with. I found two gorgeous ceramic angels at a ceramic shop on the Calle Vieja from Santa Ana to Escazu that sells beautiful handmade things. These are now lighting up a corner in our house as well, making the atmosphere even more Christmassy.

I started to prepare the Christmas present baskets early December already. Little by little the two wicker baskets started to fill up with small presents from over here, but when my sister arrived halfway through December the baskets got a massive boost with tons of presents from back home. My mum’s arrival a few days later again brought many many more presents to be added to the baskets, so many that by Christmas eve they were overflowing of goodies. Most of them for little E. Of course.

Having imported my mum for Christmas meant that this year I would get some delicious Finnish Christmas food! Mum made us lovely “potatislada” and “morotslada” as well as some good old rice porridge (obviously with the almond hidden in it) while I had found a smoked ham (imported from Mexico) in the supermarket and sourced some local hot smoked trout from the German lady we buy all our bread and sausages from at the Santa Ana market. We had baked ginger bread cookies with my sister and I had made a Christmas cake with a tropical twist (added bananas) so our sweet tooth was taken care of. (Well, obviously there was no shortage of sweets anyways with lots brought over from Finland as well as me seeing to it that we had some from the local supermarket as well…)

The lunch was a bit of a shock to J I think. We have rice pudding with sugar and cinnamon on, with ham sandwiches on the side. Heh. A bit of a random mix, but very delicious and typical for Finnish Christmas. In the end J got the almond and according to our family traditions he then gets to pick the first present from under the Christmas tree. I thought it was so nice that he got the almond and got to experience our family tradition in this way. I didnt realise it would send him off on a power trip as “The Almond King” claiming the right to rule over all presents…

Finally at about 6pm, with Christmas music in the background, the tree lights on, candles spread out in every corner of our little house we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner while little E was sleeping. And after dinner there were the presents of course.. My two wicker baskets full of presents had been sitting under the tree just waiting for us for DAYS it felt like, and now it was finally time to dig in. What we realised very quickly was that little E was definitely the Princess of Presents. About 95% of all presents were for her. Im a bit divided about this. Part of me was super excited about it and loved all the lovely things she got. Part of me was a bit shocked by the realisation that my “share” of presents from my parents and sisters and family would from now on actually go to E. Hmm. Well, I guess Ill get over it by next Christmas.

We shuffled off to bed at about 10pm. Such a late night again for someone who is used to crashing into bed at 7pm. But such a wonderful night… Merry Christmas everyone!

Gingerbread Cookie Workshop in the Sun

Gingerbread CookiesThis is somewhat absurd but here I am in our kitchen in shorts and a t-shirt, baking gingerbread cookies while looking out over the sunny, green central valley of San Jose. The Christmas tree is up, Christmas songs playing in the background, the sweet smell of Christmas in the air from the cookies that are already in the oven, and an even sweeter taste of Christmas on my lips from all the dough I have already eaten… But it still just doesnt feel exactly right. Its amazing what a difference it makes that its sunny and warm outside at Christmas time.

Today E and I have had a lovely morning once again. We got up around 7am, had breakfast, had another little snooze, had some tummy time and some general playtime, had a walk up our mountain and now we are on to the gingerbread baking mentioned above. Little E seems to be liking her bouncy chair more and more nowadays. She can actually sit in it for many minutes now without getting bored and screaming. Such a relief for me to at least be able to put her down a few minutes, and once those minutes have passed in the bouncy chair there is always the bed with the exciting mobile hanging above it that will give me a few more minutes of freedom.  I don’t know what I would do without mr. Elephant and ms. Giraffe (the bouncy chair toys) and mr. Octopus (the main character in the playing mobile).

In time for Christmas I have been glancing at lovely little toys for Emmie anywhere I see some, unfortunately she seems to still be quite limited with regards to what she will actually bother to play with. She doesnt pick things up yet, she just observes them if they are deemed worthy of observation (i.e. are they colourful enough, is there anything more interesting around). So unfortunately I think this Christmas she will still just have to settle for an extra helping of breastmilk and the excitement of looking at all the lovely colours Christmas brings with it.

I would love to show her a white Christmas, but I guess it is much easier this year to just be here in the warmth instead of in a colder country. At least here I dont have to worry about lots of clothes and if she is warm enough etc. And after all, she will appreciate the snow much more once she is a bit bigger and we can actually play in it. I cant wait to take her sledge riding! (Not sure who will be more excited then, mum or baby!) But for now I think a tropical Christmas is not too bad. After all, I can still have gingerbread cookies, a tree, fairy lights, presents, Christmas songs etc etc etc…

But best of all, a tropical Christmas means the new years day surf will not be freezing!

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Oh, one more thing.. This is the fantastic recipe I used for the gingerbread cookies! Thank you mum for sending it over!! Its super easy and absolutely delicious…

Boil the following ingredients in a saucepan:

1,5 dl Sugar
1 dl Syrap
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground ginger
1/2 tsk Ground cloves
Add 125g butter chopped into smaller bits and keep stirring.
When the mix has cooled you whisk in one egg
Leave to sit while you mix 1 tsp of baking soda with 5dl of flour.
Mix it all together and leave to sit in the refrigerator over night.
Use a tiny bit of flour when baking the cookies so they dont stick to the table (surface).