Swedish Christmas BoxDecember 19th, 2010 at 21:45
It’s getting pretty Christmassy around here. Raeli and I had a mammoth shortbread baking session yesterday, producing not only shortbread daleks but also cats, bunnies, high heeled shoes and other ephemera. Sadly the sheep, cows and rockets didn’t work out as I had hoped as it turns out those fancy cookie cutters I bought are crappy, and you can’t get the dough out of them without breaking it.
I have a jar of dried fruit marinating in rather a lot of brandy, ready to be turned into a cake this week. Should I worry that most recipes say to soak the fruit in rum or brandy overnight? My jar has been going since November!
My other baking plans for the season are icecream centric – I want to make a frozen pudding bombe and some moulded icecream “mince tarts.” Ironically with all my icecreamy plans, the weather this week has been cooler than we’re used to in December. Good baking weather, not so good for melting icecream. Still, not complaining over here!
An exciting box arrived from Sweden this week, courtesy of Kaia the Swedish Writing Fairy, and we decided to make a bit of a thing of opening it on the evening after Raeli’s last day of term. We could have waited until Christmas, of course, but where’s the fun in that?
There were many awesome things inside the box, including chocolate (Europeans put the most exciting things in chocolate! This time it was raspberry & blackberry, though I still haven’t gotten over last year’s blueberry Lindt), some Champions League goodies, hand-knitted baby socks and picture books with handwritten English translations by you-know-who!
Honestly, opening this box I felt like Katy Carr at school about to unearth a precious tin of Debby’s jumbles. The box *itself* has now been played with so hard it is lying in bits on the living room floor.
By far the crowning glory were the two knitted Jemima-from-Play-School dolls – one classic, with pigtails and yellow overalls, for little Jemcakes, and one with bobbed hair and maroon overalls for big sister Raeli. There were also extra changes of clothes – sunshine overalls in the same orange yarn as Jem’s beloved jacket which she has only recently grown out of, and a white jumper. The dolls were cooed over, towed from one end of the room to the other, and dressed and redressed in various outfits and combinations.
Both girls LOVED having matching dolls, and I swear they have played together more in the last couple of days than in the months leading up to it. Despite the more-than-four years between them, there is something about having matching toys that has just brought them together. Jemima Classic got to keep her name, but Raeli-Jemima has been named Josie. The two dolls are cousins, apparently, and Raeli refers to them as the JJs. There is an elaborate backstory which I have only kept half an ear on, but I have no doubt that these two are going to be well played with over the next few years. Luckily they’re sturdy as well as cute.
JJ Junior apparently is very fond of my new library chair, which was intended to be my mother’s day and birthday present six months ago, but due to various delays at the warehouse, shipping, etc., has turned up as an early Christmas present too. It is extremely comfortable.