Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas goats and gingerbread houses

Two wonderful Swedish traditions for Christmas day!

This is the first gingerbread house that I have ever made and it was a lot of fun.

I used this recipe but I didn't really measure anything accurately (remember the concept of lagom from this post?).  Also, we are dairy and egg free eaters so I just left the egg out and kept my fingers crossed for a good result (which I got!).

OK, the icing is a little sloppy but it tasted great.  Freddy wasn't interested in it all, not even after I told him it was a garage to put a car in.

Another tradition is to put a Julbok (Christmas goat), made of straw, next to the Christmas tree.  Apparently it is traditional to try to get rid of the Julbok by putting it in a neighbour's garden then they have to do the same and so on, but for us being in Paris at the moment I don't think our French neighbours would understand what had just happened if they found our goat in the garden.

In Sweden large versions of this ornament are frequently erected in towns and cities around Christmas time and they are almost always illegally set on fire before Christmas. The Gävle goat was the first of these goats, and remains the most famous.  I believe that this year the Gävle goat was set fire the day after it was erected and it barely even got to see December as was noted on it's own blog here.

Finally a quick look at the handmade traditional Swedish Christmas ornaments that Farmor made.

Merry Christmas to you wherever you are!

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