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Xmas Lights

Today is the first day of Advent, and as such we can officially begin preparing for Christmas. Lights can be strung up and stored angels dusted off and displayed without hesitation...the good old Christian calendar says its Ok! We're even supposed to light the first of four Advent Sunday candles and place them carefully in windows to light the way for Baby Jesus, or, rather, to begin more intensive preparation for the impending Darkest Day of the Year at the Winter Solstice.

Wherever our beliefs lie, 'tis officially the season to honor light in deepest darkness and be thankful for all the wonderful people in our lives who will help us survive through the coming months of cold. Find your friends and family and gather them to you, light candles and yule logs and fairy lights, mix a big warm pot of glugg, bake some gingerbread cookies and get yourself a pair of fuzzy mittens... wintertime has come.


Lynda said...

Light is a good thing. Isn't it nice that there can be a designated time to remember we can all be "lights" in this world? Another beautiful photo!

blog Portland said...

Glugg? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me...I'll be in Iceland over New Year's next month, so I'm definitely excited to see the lights and winter-time activities! I hear the whole city goes up in fireworks :)

Collin said...

Oh, and I'm Collin, not "anonymous" :)

Maria Alva said...

Glugg, my Portland friend, is hot mulled wine.

Basic recipe:

Box or two of basic table red wine (or jug of Gallo)
A couple of juicy oranges, the more flavorful the better
A handful or two of raisins
Three or four cinnamon sticks
2-3 Tbs whole cloves (best if in tea strainer or like)
Almond slices, handful
Sugar, any type, to taste
Vodka (some say the more the better!)

So, pour the wine into a big huge pot. Add sliced oranges, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, almonds, sugar BUT NOT the vodka. Let the wine mess heat and simmer gently for as long as you can...the longer the better (when I'm having a party I either begin the night before or in the morning and let it simmer all day). Taste the glugg occasionally to find the right taste for you and your should be spicy/tart/sweet, in that order.

Just before you serve the glugg, with all the chunky stuff included in each glass, add the vodka, as all the alcoholic content in the wine should have by now been heated off. Of course, you can serve this drink non-alcoholic, but then you won't get the pleasure of watching your guests warm up to each other and get more and more punchy as the minutes go by.

I recommend holding a glugg party every winter, preferrably as a great way to kindle the Xmas flame!

blog Portland said...

I was expecting it to be something a tad more revolting with a name like that. Glugg actually sounds pretty tasty!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my...I grew up on Glugg! With a Norwegian grandmother and a Swedish grandfather, we had it every Xmas. Of course, the kids just had a small taste. I am getting ready to make my first batch for Xmas gifts for friends who have just discovered it. I am hoping it is as good as theirs.

Anonymous said...

Maria Alva,
your recipe sounds simple, where did you get it/

Rick Lightburn said...

My Swedish heritage was pretty forgotten, but one thing we had is the smell of glugg: it doesn't seem like Christmas without it. (My great-grandmother also made korve and limpa: the korve from scratch.)
I use akvavit instead of vodka, which is plenty spicy, and actually has a taste (and may also get to blog_porland sense of a tad more revolting.)
Iceland's "Black Death" isn't really vodka, but would do.