Friday, December 30, 2011

Leaving 2011

Like getting up from a festive dinner party table, which started with a clean cloth, shiny glasses and promising tasty dishes and now is covered with crumbs, winestains and empty dessertbowls, I am ging to leave the year 2011 behind.  But both my wine and water glasses are half full.

It is time to set the table again and start with a clean cloth. Instead of one dinnerparty I will look upon 2012 as a buffet where I get to choose any dish I like

I shall let 2012 arrive with open arms and a big welcome and I invite you to join me at this buffet and choose your favorite dishes and make it a year how you want it to be.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you all

From the bottom of my heart:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baking and good company

The weather has changed dramatically over the last two days. Heavy storms and non stop torrential rain. Fortunately we were warned by the weather forecast and told our two boys to come home a day earlier than planned. Just as well because they would have been stuck on the mainland since no ships are allowed out of the harbour today and most likely also not tomorrow.

But my boys made it and I am happy to have them home.

Today my youngest and I made the traditional Greek Christmas biscuits "Kourabiedes". The official shape would be like a half moon but we made hearts and stars and round ones with a dent so the icing sugar can sit nicely in tthe dent. They turned out exactly how they should be. Crumbly and sweeeet and oh so Christmassy.

Happy days!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas bazaar

Last sunday was our annual Christmas bazaar. As every year we organized the childrens' playroom and as every year it was a great success. The kids (about 330 of them!) had a good time playing the various games we had prepared.

Here we are, just before the children stormed in.

Always popoular with girls and boys: face painting. This year there were a lot of butterflies, princesses, flowers for the girls and of course spiderman, ghosts and pirates for the boys.

And of course the Green Fox was present as well. The sale of our 100% handmade shopping bags went well and made us some much needed cash.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Contrasts and cookies

This morning, when I looked out of my hobby room the sky was blue and the sun was shining.

The very same moment though, the room from the opposite window in my hobby room gave a totally different picture. It was raining heavily and there were dark clouds.

This afternoon the same again: this is the view from the garden looking to the left:

And looking to the right:

Both sides are beautiful, don't you agree. ?

I just finished making the ultimate, traditional dutch winter cookies, speculaas. At least for me it is a typical winter cookie. Since a few years you can buy them ready made here as well. Only it is called speculoos. I never really found out why that is.
The home made ones are the best, the whole house smells of the spices used for this cookie.

This is the special form I use for getting the shape. It is quite old, since I have brought it from Holland about 26 years ago, but it still works.

Here they are ready to go into the oven and

Now I just have to wait for them to cool down and mmmm, I wish you could smell and taste them as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to come back

After such a long absence. It is not easy. So much happens in 6 months time. I guess I'll just skip the update alltogether and just continue as if nothing has happened. (Just a note to myself for next summer....don't ever plan again to continue the blog in the summer, because that is not going to happen.) I more or less lead two lives. One in the summertime with a lot of work and not much time for anything else and one in the wintertime with a lot of free time to spare.
And the wintertime is the time to share anything of my life. I feel already a lot better now that I have settled that.
It's coming on Christmas and I have seen a lot of blog-friends with their trees up. Our tree is up as well and there is nothing trendy or modern about our masterpiece in the living-room!
It is full of ornaments that we have collected over the years. Many are home made, some
are totally awful -objectively seen- but still beautiful because my children chose them. I love our tree and I am sure my two boys will love it too when they come home for Christmas. Another 9 days and they'll be here. I can't wait.

It still is strange to me to prepare for Christmas while the weather reminds me of a Dutch summer. Well maybe not summer but early autumn then.

Having said that....20 years ago, when I was 7 months pregnant with my eldest son, we were snowed in for 1 week with no electricity and no water and this started on the 7th of December! It was fun for a bit but after a couple of days it was getting a little difficult. I spent my hours in daylight knitting little sweaters for the baby. The evenings with candle light and a blazing fire. It sounds more romantic than it was. Luckily one remembers the nice parts, and not the smelly bits!

Aaah, it's good to be back!