Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Memory Making and a Swedish Bread Recipe

 Christmas 2016 was finally upon us, and this year I was more than ready.
Now I can devote my full attention to every detail, and its certainly something I enjoy.
Our family is growing and adding daugter-in-laws, which means sometimes switching things
up a bit, and so our Christmas Eve is now celebrated on the Eve of the Eve.  
The house and the trees were decorated and lit and it never looked prettier.
Adding daughter in laws?  My son, Brandon, is engaged to his long time love, Mimi!
They live in Los Angeles but this photo was taken at our house a few years ago.
I couldn't be more excited!  (Trying to lure them back to the East Coast as well.)
So while Mimi and Brandon couldn't join us this year, we hope that will change.
 Colby was content to lie in front of the fire or in front of the tree when
he got too hot.  Visions of sugar plums danced in his head!  
I always loved that verse, although I never quite knew what a sugar plum
was, it sounded magical to me.
 Following our Christmas eve tradition, the table was set with English Crackers for all.  A new addition to my table were the large monogramed French napkins I bought from one of my favorite French dealers.  These linen napkins are as big as dish towels, and they feel wonderful!
 The crackers have crowns in shiny gold and festive red paper and this set had musical horns and a set of sheet music with each of us blowing a different note at our conductors command, played by my son Justin.  It brought many laughs and we as an orchestra got better with each tune.  Then we sang songs from the caroling books I made, and it made for a jolly time around the dinner table.
After dinner we ate pastries while this charming film was played in the
green room.  Have you seen it?  Made in 1982, it was one of my children's favorite
holiday movies, and I highly recommend it.  Its so wonderful!
I purchased it from our cable tv for less than ten dollars, and it made
for a sweet way to finish out the evening.
 The morning brought Christmas Eve day, and a bit of a mess to cleanup.
I love looking at a dinner table after a party....
it tells a story, and this one was all good.
 Then Christmas morning came and it was nice and mellow, with Colby and I the first by the tree.
My new book is a winner!! If you love French interiors, 
this  beautiful picture book by Veranda  has some beauties.
The day followed with presents and a trip to New Hampshire to my 
brother-in-law's home for a big family gathering on my husbands side,
and another engagement announced for his son, Matthew and gf Sarah! 
Nothing more romantic than a Christmas Eve proposal under the stars!!
 One special gift from Santa to me, was this Oyster bread maker. 
I always thought bread makers were pricey appliances, but this one had
great reviews and cost $60.  Well worth it, in my opinion. 
(no, I am not sponsored in this post.)
 I have always wanted to make Swedish coffee bread for my husband and his mother. 
 They have enjoyed it for their entire lives as it has been a recipe made by
 previous generations and finally I gave it a go!  Swedish coffee bread, 
or Cardamom bread as some call it is a bread that is often enjoyed
 with coffee and its just delicious!
 The dough is mixed up in the bread maker, and after it goes through
 two rising cycles you put the dough out onto a floured board and 
divide into sections so you can braid into a pair of loaves.
 My first loaves were a GIGANTIC success!! hahha! I did it!  
I made Swedish Coffee Bread, and my mother in law said it was perfect, 
so it doesn't get better than that. 
Here is our old family recipe, from cousin Bob Johnson.
If you have a bread maker and want to give it a whirl, you
will be delighted at the outcome.  Merry Christmas to you all,
my blog friends and readers!  
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