Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas A to Z Letter G

Welcome Back to Christmas A to Z
G …is for Gingerbread, Garland and Glogg
In England, gingerbread may refer to a cake, or a type of cookie/biscuit made with ginger. In the biscuit form, it commonly takes the form of a gingerbread man. Gingerbread men were first attributed to Queen Elizabeth I, who allegedly served the figurines to foreign dignitaries. Today, however, they are generally served around Christmas. A gingerbread house is a model house made of gingerbread. The usual material is crisp ginger biscuit made of gingerbread.
When we lived in Indianapolis, we always went to the historical village called “Conner Prairie”. They had an elaborate gingerbread house display every year. It was so much fun to see the creativity behind each house.
Christmas garland history tells us that the early settlers to America brought the custom of Christmas garlands to the country. The garlands are used to decorate the Christmas trees. They are also for other adornment purposes like decorating the room or the house during the Christmas season.
Tinsel garland
Making Christmas garlands added to the family income after the harvesting season is over before Christmas. Selling the garlands fetched a tidy sum, which was spent in buying clothes or other household articles.
Vintage Garland
We find from the Christmas garland history, pine, spruce and cedar trees were used in the making of the Christmas garlands. There were other things used that include corn husks, orange and scarlet pods of bittersweet, mosses, and dried fruits.
Gløgg (pronounced ‘glurgg’) is a mulled wine that Norwegians drink at Christmas time. It is made with cloves and cinnamon, and served warm with a helping of almonds and raisins.
Traditionally gløgg was made from of red wine. Not letting anything go to waste, in true Norwegian style, they just added spices and honey to make it drinkable again.
As a teenager, we lived next door to a kind family who always had a Christmas party for friends. She would always serve you a glass of Glogg when you entered her home. Of course I was never able to taste this drink, as she added brandy to the mix, but the smell was wonderful. I guess that is why the memory is still with me today. I found a recipe for A Simple Glogg to share with you.
Aquavit (or brandy or vodka)
Burgundy or pinot noir wine
Port wine
White sugar
Cinnamon sticks
Cardamom seeds
One orange
One piece of ginger
Blanched almonds

Step 1: Soak 1/2 cup of raisins in one cup of aquavit (a Norwegian spirit made with potatoes); Brandy or vodka can be used instead. Soak for 30 minutes before Step 2.
Step 2: Put a large pot on the stove, over high heat. Add one cup of water and 1/2 cup sugar to the pot, and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Step 3: Lower the heat to medium and add your spices - two sticks of cinnamon (each broken in half); four whole cloves; six whole cardamom seeds, crushed by hand; a thinly shaved orange peel; and one small piece of ginger, peeled and cut in half. Stir again with wooden spoon. Do not allow the mix to come to a boil from this point on.
Step 4: Add the aquavit-raisin mixture, two cups of burgundy or pinot noir wine and two cups of port wine.
Step 5: Sweeten and spice to taste.
Step 6: Strain, garnish with raisins and slices of blanched almond — and serve hot off the stove.
Note: The drink can be made a day ahead and kept covered, on the stove, at room temperature. Just reheat before serving.
I hope you will join me again tomorrow for more of the Christmas Celebration
Carolyn and the Bears

No comments: