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Christmas Around the World
A Danish Christmas

Aebleskiver (Apple Slices)

A Danish dessert, like doughnut holes, but sweeter & much better traditionally served with glogg during the Advent. Cooked in a cast iron pan that resembles an egg poacher. Serve hot with syrup, jam or powdered sugar.

2 egg whites
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp white sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tblsp butter, melted
2 c buttermilk
1 c vegetable oil for frying

Note: You will need an aebleskiver pan to cook these properly. Beat the whites stiff.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, melted butter and buttermilk at one time and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites last.
Put about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the bottom of each aebleskiver pan cup and heat until hot. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each cup. As soon as they get bubbly around the edge, turn them quickly (Danish cooks use a long knitting needle, but a fork will work). Continue cooking, turning the ball to keep it from burning.
Makes 30 Aebleskivers.


4/5 qt. burgundy wine
4/5 qt. port wine
Peel of 1/2 orange
2 sticks cinnamon (each 3 inches long)
1 Tbsp whole cloves
1 Tbsp cardamon seeds, shelled
1/4 cup sugar

1/2 c whole, blanched almonds
1/2 c dark, seedles raisins
1 c akvavit (Danish liquor)

Combine wines, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and sugar in a large saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes. Do not boil! Pour mixture back into wine bottles and cover tightly. Let stand 3-6 weeks until ready to use.
Serving day, add: almonds, raisins and akvavit.
Strain brew from bottles into large saucepan. Heat to steaming. Do not boil! Float orange slices studded with cloves. Ladle into mugs. Be sure to include almonds and raisins into each mug. Serve with a cinnamon stick.
Serves 16 - 1/2 cup servings.

A unique Danish tradition: the Christmas heart

Danish Hearts Image

In early December decoration of the home begins. This interior exercise in paper chains, tinsel, hearts and candles is particularly important to the Danish Christmas. Tulip and hyacinth bulbs hide under their cones of white paper on the window-sill, cardboard cut-out pixies and fairies peak from behind picture frames and mirrors, mobiles swing and tinkle over the warmth of a candle. The imagination runs free. And it isn't only the living rooms that are given a Christmas face-lift; the kitchen is, if anything, even more important. It will probably have a rich, red paper garland all the way round with pictures of gnomes and goblins cooking, baking and roasting.

With the home decked out in its Christmas finery, the family get around to thinking of their cut-and-paste day, an afternoon in December when they gather a few friends around the dining room table - to cut out special Christmas decorations for the tree. Everyone brings scissors, glue and colored paper, and embarks on the challenge of making the traditional decorations for the Christmas tree: cones, baskets, angels, birds, hearts. The woven paper hearts are a Danish specialty. It is nowhere to be seen in classic Christmas tree pictures in other countries. The traditional Danish heart is red and white, the colors of the Danish flag. Once you have grasped the basic principles, you can develop the idea to a fine art.

These drawings reveal the secret of a most important manufacturing process in Danish homes before Christmas: how to make paper hearts for your Christmas tree! Of course you could simply cut out two circles of glazed paper, fold them in half and glue them together more or less in the shape of a heart. The result is nice, and even the youngest members of the family can cope with the materials. But the art of the genuine Christmas heart is to weave the two pieces together.

Follow these instructions, and keep an eye on the drawings:

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