December 13th, 2010



Whew! I have a moment to sit down and catch my breath in this whirlwind month and by gum, I'm going to post while doing it!

It's go go go right now, with work still being crazy, though I'd hoped it would've slown down by now. I just made up that word: slown. It's a good one, dont'cha think? (not really, I kid.)

We rushed madly around yesterday in the late afternoon, after Anders got home from his hockey bockey game. Karin and I had run to the store earlier to buy her a winter jacket and then I dropped her off in Södra Sandby to help her soccer team's fundraising efforts (by stuffing mailboxes), followed by soccer practice. Martin and I waited impatiently as the beautiful sunny day began to wane...and poor Anders was pounced upon when he arrived and forced back into the car to race off to Dalby to the tree farm before the sun set (at 4!!).

It's FREEZING again. Below freezing, actually, by several degrees. We've had weeks of below zero temps until suddenly on Saturday, it warmed up to 3 plus (celsius) and all the snow started melting like crazy and turning to slush and ice. It rained a bit too, and our tree chopping plans were foiled, but on Sunday, it dawned bright and clear and COLD again. By 3 p.m., we were at the tree farm, stepping down the ice-covered tractor ruts heading for the bigger trees at the back. It was blowing and I had no scarf and Martin had no mittens, and the trees were spindly and pathetic, but we finally found one that we thought would work and Anders got down on the frozen ground and sawed through the trunk while I held it still.

The guys up at the barn didn't think it would fit through their plastic-wrapper apparatus, but I made them try and of course, giant tree though it was, it fit. Anders and Martin went back out into the field for a little tree (for the play rec room) and got back just as the sun disappeared for good.

I wanted to get them into their stands but no doing...Anders had to make Christmas candy for work and I had to pick up Karin and hit the grocery store. And today, we had Martin's parent-teacher conference at 4 and then raced home to get Karin and off again to Holmby Church for Flyinge School's annual Lucia concert/pageant. Karin and about 40 other kids were dressed as Santas. There were several gingerbread men, a few bakers, starboys, a choir of angel girls, Lucia maidens and a gaggle of various animals: Christmas pigs (julskinka, haha!), and Christmas goats. The 6th graders were execrable, but the rest of the singing was cute and, mercifully, short.

When we got home, I had to run to the grocery store AGAIN. WTH? It's insane how often we have to go to the grocery store! I blame the milk, and I don't even drink the stuff! While I was gone, Anders put the trees up, and the one in the living room IS HUGE. Also lopsided, with a giant gaping hole in one side. It's now turned to the wall, and the top has been trimmed, but the lights and decorations will have to wait until tomorrow.

This afternoon, before all this running around, Karin came home from school with her friend Moa, and they made a confection from a recipe in the youth magazine that Karin subscribes to (KP, for you Swedes reading). She had 4 of them waiting on the table as a surprise for us. They were DELICIOUS!

Snabb kola (Quick Toffee/Caramel)

100 grams (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 dl (1 cup) sugar
4 Tb cocoa powder
4 Tb flour
1 dl (1/2 cup) syrup (light)

Melt the butter on low heat in a pot. Pour in the sugar, cocoa and flour, mixing all the while. Pour in the syrup and continue to stir for 3-5 minutes. Place baking paper on a cookie sheet and pour the toffee onto the paper. Let it cool and cut into pieces. Alternatively, you can pour the toffee into aluminum foil pastry forms.

Karin added a sifting of powdered sugar on top. NOM NOM NOM!