Tuesday, 6 December 2016

December 6th - Saint Nicholas' Day

St. Nicholas has his feast day on December 6. In some countries where St. Nicholas is prominent, this feast day, not Christmas, is the primary gift giving day. Parties may be held on the eve, December 5th, and shoes or stockings left for St. Nicholas to fill during the night.

We also tried to make traditional German St. Nicholas Bread.
500g white bread flour
7g  dry yeast
150ml milk
75 g butter
60g sugar
0.5 teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 egg
1 egg yolks
Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a hole in the centre and sprinkle in the yeast. Warm the milk, pour it in, and dissolve the yeast. Sprinkle a little flour over the yeast-milk mixture and let stand, covered, until small fissures are clearly visible on the surface.
Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the sugar, salt, lemon rind, and whole egg, and stir to combine.
Add this mixture to the yeast-milk solution and beat to form a light, smooth dough. It must be neither too soft nor too firm and must be easy to shape. Let rise for 15–20 minutes.
The figures are each shaped from a smoothly rounded ball of dough which is first rolled out into a slightly elongated shape. Next the head is shaped. The arms, legs, and hat are attached with egg yolk beaten with a little water. The remaining decorations, such as the beard, nose, eyes, and so forth are shaped or cut out separately and likewise attached with egg yolk.
Preheat the oven to 180oc
Lay the figures on a baking sheet lined with silicone paper and let rise completely (at least 20–25 minutes). Bake on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for 20–35 minutes, depending on size.

 We read

Monday, 5 December 2016

December 5th - Make Christmas Cards

Today our elf was hanging out in a poinsettia:

P and I made Christmas cards by ripping tissue paper and glueing it onto paper and then cutting Christmas trees from it. We then stuck these onto cards half covered with a blue wash.
G made 2 designs of her own:

We read

Sunday, 4 December 2016

December 4th - Make Pepperkaker

Today we made the Scandinavian Gingerbread.  We always make this but this time I used a new recipe. 

 150g golden syrup
250g soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
175g butter, softened
150ml double cream
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
750g plain flour, plus more for dusting

1 Meltthe syrup, brown sugar, spices and butter. Add the cream and beat. Sift together the bicarbonate of soda and flour, then mix it into the butter mixture. Flour a work surface and knead the dough well, then wrap in clingfilm and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
2 The next day, or when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Roll out the dough really thinly on a floured work surface and cut out with whichever cookie cutters you fancy. Place on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Bake for about eight minutes, then leave to cool on the baking parchment on a wire rack.
 P also made some Christmas decorations (a walking snowman and penguin and an angel for the tree) using kits from Baker Ross.
We read:

 Our Elf is clearly missing home:


Saturday, 3 December 2016

December 3rd - Have a party

Today we went to the Mill Road Christmas Fair where I and P were taking part in the parade with Rainbows. E and myself enjoyed ourselves looking at all the entertainment and foods to buy!  We enjoyed the CHOAS science experiments and the circus workshop.

Later, in the evening we had a Christmas party for some friends as per Advent Calender!  There was a lack of photos as I was too busy hostessing!  
We read this book:
Look where our elf got to:

Friday, 2 December 2016

December 2nd - Drink hot chocolate

Today the girls had "Drink Hot Chocolate" as part of their activity advent!

 This is the book we read:
 Our elf had a sparkly bath!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December 1st - unwrap the Advent box

Today the girls had to unwrap the box and set out the Christmas decorations.
 We also opened and read this book:

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Winter Lights 2016

Today we went to the rather fab annual Winter Lights at Angleysey Abbey. It is sold out (we got our tickets in the summer!). We loved the silver birches and the mill beautifully light up! The girls enjoyed a pulled pork bun/hot dog whilst watching the shadow dance of Peter and the Wolf. However, we did the miss the entertainers from last year!