Monday, December 21, 2009

Just in the St. Nick of Time!

Finally. Got the lefse made, shopping and crafting done, and gifts wrapped.  I'm never this late - usually done by Thanksgiving, but the 'usual' routine has been a bit UNusual this year with hubby out of work. However, being out of sync has its way of putting things into perspective.  We've been more conscious of the donations we make and how they might affect others, and have put more thought into what is truly important in our lives.  It's easy to say 'family comes first' or 'the giving is more important than the receiving', but to really live those sayings opens not only your eyes, but your heart as well.  My 'Plan Ahead' nature has been forced to wing it a few times!  Here's to being able to roll with the punches and still be ready for St. Nick :)

The girls and I made the Christmas lefse Saturday.  We make it every year for my Dad's side of the family.  My cousin and I asked my Grandma to teach us how to make lefse a few years before she passed away.  That day is a great memory.  Boy, did we laugh a lot that day!  Grandma had the potatoes all ready when we arrived, and when we asked her how you prepare the potatoes, she didn't really have a recipe.  "You just mix in the flour until it feels glue-y" she said.  We got her to write a recipe down, and while she wrote, we rolled the lefse out thin.  (Or rather, we tried to roll it thin.)  The trick is to roll out the dough as thin as you can with as little flour as possible. (Remember, you are literally rolling out mashed potatoes!) We had dough stuck on the pin, on the counter, you name it.  Flour everywhere, and Grandma reminding us not to use any more flour.  Our attempts were hilarious, but we've provided the Christmas lefse every year since.  She would be proud!  And to think she helped her mother make it each Christmas Eve, on a wood stove.  (It's hard enough on a griddle with a control to set the temperature!)

We usually have a plate of lefse rolled up with butter and sugar on Christmas Eve.  We also usually have ham for dinner, so some of us like ham rolled up in plain or buttered lefse.  The girls and I like the 'mistakes' we make when making the lefse the best - hot off the griddle!  We have a picture of Grandma in a little frame that the girls pretend is watching us make the lefse.  They call her "Triple G" - Great-Grandma-Grace.  Grandma liked lutefisk with her lefse as a Christmas treat, but we have never carried on THAT tradition. 

I also make homemade turtles every year.  I get really good milk chocolate and caramel from a candy supply store, and use my cute little turtle molds to make the turtles.  Ted is allergic to nuts, so I always make some turtles without nuts.  See the one in the pink wrapper on the left?  There are several pink turtles in with the rest to note which ones don't have nuts.  They are the girl turtles.

We also made some krumkake, and some mint-wich cookies.  Enough!  My hips are screaming already.  No more goodie-baking this year.

Sunday, the English Major and I went downtown on the new Northstar Commuter Train.  Great way to go downtown and not have to fight the one-ways and parking - we just hope the train is popular enough to add some more departures/arrivals.  There are only 3 trips down and 3 trips back on the weekend days for now.

Downtown Minneapolis is where Mary Tyler Moore lived - remember that oldie?  Here's the landmark statue in front of Macy's.  We visited Macy's to see the 8th Floor Auditorium Display of "A Day in the Life of an Elf".  Very elaborate displays for children - little rooms showing the elves bunkhouse, the kitchen with their breakfast being prepared, the North Pole animals in the forest decorating the tree, the overloaded mail room, etc.  There were, of course, tons of children there with us.  Wide eyes and excitement bouncing off the walls, let me tell ya!  At the end of the display tour, which takes about 15-20 minutes, there is a line to see Santa.  (Make that a horrendously LONG line.)  So, many of those wide-eyed children had their Christmas best on too.  I would have loved to have taken pictures of all these kids faces, but their moms and dads were doing a good job of that already.

So, on top of the Christmas baking and shopping and wrapping, we squeezed in a little seasonal enjoyment.  Christmas music, shining kids' faces and beautifully decorated storefront windows.  Sounds like some snow will be falling on Christmas Eve here - and could be quite an accumulation.  And so it goes.  Christmas is definitely here.

Whatever the traditions, I hope everyone has a wonderful, Merry Christmas.


  1. Thank you so much for stopping by to wish me a Merry Christmas! You are a dear! Your title made me chuckle, it is so clever! That Macy's sounds like it has some awesome display's to see and the Christmas Lefse has some wonderful memories it seems!
    Merry Christmas to you and all of your Happy Bluebirds there with you and that are far away.

  2. Forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your photo of this statue! I watched 'Mary' - all the shows - and this was a happy memory!
    Fox : )


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