Christmas is over and I feel stuffed. As every year there has been too much food. Good food, and some good wines too. Delicious things we have only once a year.
In Germany, and also in Norway, Christmas Eve is the heart of Christmas. In our family we have made it a habit to have traditional Norwegian Christmas food, prepared by my partner. He has been in Norway not long before Christmas and brought back dried and salted sheep ribs, specially prepared pork meat and different sausages made of sheep and pork. After having been soaked in water for at least 24 hours the sheep meat and sausages will be steamed, while the pork is roasted in the oven. I love the smell of the steaming ribs permeating the house, this very heavy and basically simple food gives me a feeling of tradition and belonging.
When my sons with their girlfriends and my parents have arrived the meat will be served with mushy peas, mashed up turnip and carrots, sauerkraut, Norwegian style, potatoes and gravy. Before, during and after the meal some Aquavit is served, and we are all a little bit merry by the time we start exchanging the gifts. That can take some hours, as only one gift at a time may be unwrapped, and during this process we will have coffee and some ice cream. There are big “bunte Teller”, plates with nuts, dried figs and dates, mandarins, chocolates and marzipan on every table, and we nibble away all evening.
On Christmas day the rest of the family joins us and yet again we have a big meal. This year we tried to do it a little bit simpler and everyone brought some cake, cookies and muffins, and to balance out all the sweet stuff, we had a lot of different cheeses, baguette and pickles. The years before we had a big buffet with cold cuts, cheeses, salads and a lot of salmon, also brought from Norway, as we are too many to fit around the table. On Boxing day we had ham of wild pig and deer, some smoked breast of goose and of course loads of leftovers. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we had more of that nice red wine, some ice cream and sweets.
Now everybody has left, and for a few days life will be almost back to normal before once more we will prepare a big meal for New Year’s Eve. Until then I will take a lot of long walks with the dog to work up an appetite and get rid of some calories.