liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
I did not manage to make a second post yesterday; I'm starting to be in Christmas mode, huddled up with people I care about and I haven't quite worked out how to fit the daily posting into that. With a bit of luck I will manage to catch up after today.

Saturday night I got home in time to be present for most of [personal profile] jack's Christmas party, having had a really flukey journey after leaving the Stoke chanukah party at 5:30 and walking in before 9. It was a lovely party, fairly low key and with lots of people present I really enjoy talking to, including [personal profile] pseudomonas, yay. Then yesterday we didn't really get up until lunchtime, at which point we went to the Carlton to socialize with a small group of friends.

And in the evening I went with [personal profile] cjwatson to a show at the Corn Exchange called Not until we are lost. It's a sort of circus style thing, where they had the audience just milling about in the main space at the CE, and the performers doing essentially trapeze artist tricks on various bits of metal frame scattered through the space. It sounded from the description a bit artsy and pretentious, but it was a really enjoyable show, just for the sheer skill and strength of the artists, swinging from bits of frame and lifting eachother and throwing eachother around and just being gloriously competent and at home in their bodies. There was quite a lot of acting, with the facial expressions of the artists conveying a whole lot of emotion. I'm extremely glad we saw it!

The thing that is wonderful about my life at the moment is being able to spend the longest night cuddled up listening the wind whistling outside. And the sun is coming back, we're about to light seventh candle of chanukah (when friends arrive to join us for the celebration), and it's the new moon of Tevet, so there is going to be more sunlight, and more moonlight, and just generally more brightness and joy.

Anyway, [personal profile] syderia asked me to talk about your favorite pastries. Sorry for being a day late with that! When I first saw the prompt I was going to talk about the Swedish version of Danish pastries, which in Scandinavia are called Viennese pastries. It's something I enjoyed a lot when I was living in Sweden, the range of really good pastries available in bakeries on every corner. But I'm realizing that after 5 years I've forgotten most of the names of things I used to get excited about.

I approve of the way that Swedish style pastries are often flavoured with cardamon, which is a spice I appreciate in both savoury and sweet food. Cinamon is popular too, including the famous kanelbulle, cinamon bun based on knotted yeast dough, which are not my favourite pastry but do have my favourite special day. Yes, there actually is a national cinamon bun day in Sweden, it's kind of awesome.

So I'm going to talk about semlor, in a completely non-seasonal way, for semlor are the special dish of Shrove Tuesday, called fettisdag in Sweden, the exact equivalant of Mardi Gras or "fat" Tuesday. They are amazing yeast based buns with cream and almond paste, incredibly rich. Even though I obviously don't keep the lenten fast, I always looked forward to them every year and really miss them since I've moved away from Sweden. And yes, pancake day is great, but in Sweden every Thursday is pancake day, so their means of using up cream and rich ingredients is just that bit more special.

In general I like pastries which are ridiculously too sweet, and full of cream (or custard or similar confections). So semlor are just about my ideal! Anyway, talking of pastries I am also looking forward to eating yet more chanukah doughnuts tonight, I've got a mix of the Berliner kind which are more like Israeli sufganiyot, and the traditionally English jam filled and covered in sugar kind. And friends to share them with and life is good.

I wish you all light and joy, whatever you're celebrating at the turn of the year!

[December Days masterpost]
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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