Yule-calendars and chocolate figures

The countdown for christmas is very big in Norway. The ‘yule-calendar’ which counts down the 24 days of December until Christmas Eve is the most prized possession of many a child (also among the older ‘children’). I made one each for Son and Husband a few years ago and have spent some time finding presents for them every year after. This year though I have been lazy. Husband took over much of the calendar business for Son’s calendar, and Husband himself has spent most of the advent-time on a rig some nautical miles west from here, which meant he wouldn’t be home to open his calendar.

The last day of November I counted quite a few comments from mothers (strangely it seems it’s the mothers who are in charge of the calendar-business) who were done, almost done, or panicking completely, over the 24 small gifts. I was among those who, instead of thinking about the calendar, jumped on a plane to London and pretended to have forgotten completely what date it was (I had helped out quite a lot with Son’s calendar though, I didn’t leave it all for Husband). While I was (last-minute) packing I was on the phone with Husband (he and Son had gone away for a few days so that I could finish working on a wee project of mine). He asked me to have a look in his wardrobe. In his wardrobe I found a white, wooden plank with the numbers from 1-24 painted on them and 24 small, metal hooks.

I was very surprised, to say the least, that he would give me this, but, mean as I am, thought maybe he meant this for Son, but to give it to me so that I had something bigger to give Son as a calendar for next year. Husband and Son returned home a few days before me. I came home very late a few days later and upon entering our bedroom that night, I found the calendar hanging on the wall. The wooden plank now had 24 gifts hanging from the hooks. Needless to say, I was moved to tears! And honestly it’s not at all because of the gifts, it’s solely the fact that he has spent so much time planning this calendar, keeping it secret, and surprising me with it without giving me any hints at all about it beforehand.

As the days have passed now it has become obvious that he has really spent a lot of time on the gifts and remembered everything I have looked at and wished for for the past months. Coming home from Liverpool he brought home a bottle of Magners Pear (Magners is my only weak spot when it comes to alcohol – or when it comes to any drink except tea) which is impossible to get hold of in Norway. And I also found this eco-cup (eco my ass, but it is cute and it’s a travel-mug perfect for tea, as it’s porcelain rather than metal or plastic). The gifts are very well planned! And, he has wrapped them in mathching gift-wrap-paper that was designed by the my brother and the company he used to work for; so the calendar was as aesthetically pleasing as well.

I had planned to write a post about chocolate figures that Son and I made here the other day, in a mould made to create 24 chocolate-figures to be used in a yule-calendar. The tradition with yule-calendars and the gifts that go in them, which used to be chocolate figures, was supposed to be the main subject of this post. But I just had to brag a bit. What else can I do with a husband like that? After being through a bit of a rough patch for a while, Husband and I are finally back where we should be, and more in love than ever. We are both going that extra mile in all situations to make the other smile, laugh, or be happy, and life is just wonderful! Pink clouds with silver linings! Obviously, my husband has for the past weeks done a much better job than me!

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Flowers in the garden

My husband rarely buys me flowers. Now, I’m not about to complain about my husband not being romantic enough. Au contraire, I’d rather like to point out the love he puts into the work he does in and around the house. You see, he doesn’t often buy me flowers, but he has been spending a few hours working in the garden during the past year. And instead of a bouquet of red roses, that I would have to cut, vase and throw out after a week’s time, I am now greeted by these beauties every time I enter the house.


There are plenty of them. About one metre tall (3ft) and they really do stand out from the surroundings. The leaves on the nearby trees are changing their colours and the days are getting cold. There are few really strong and bright colours left. But these flowers decided to bloom surprisingly late this year and stand strong through wind and rain.

I hope they stick around a little longer. Every day they are reminders of everything Husband does for me, our son, our home, and for himself. The small things in life are what builds our foundations, and lucky for me, those small things are being represented by beautiful flowers in the garden. I prefer these beauties to flowers in a vase any day!

My Favourite Chocolate Cake

This image is from Klikk.no

This image is from Klikk.no

We have celebrated father’s day today. We started the day by letting Husband sleep in, Son and I woke him up at ten. He received his breakfast in bed. As he got up Son and I baked the best chocolate cake ever. Then we travelled across the fjord to my parents where we spent the rest of the day.

I dag har vi feiret farsdagen. Vi begynte med å vekke Mannen, etter at han hadde fått sovet helt til klokka ti, med frokost på senga. Mens han gjorde seg klar bakte vi verdens beste sjokoladekake før vi dro over fjorden til familien min hvor vi tilbrakte resten av dagen.


Son had a blast, playing with my brother, his girlfriend, my parents and my grandmother, my father’s mother. I think everybody’s happy about the day. But, back to the cake. I was considering keeping this one a secret, try to make it a “family secret”, but I found it online, it’s already out there. And; it’s too good not to share!

Sønn har hatt en fantastisk dag, han har lekt med min bror, hans kjæreste, mine foreldre og min farmor. Jeg tror alle er fornøyd med dagen. Men tilbake til kaka. Jeg lurte på om jeg burde prøve å holde denne oppskrifta en familiehemmelighet, men jeg fant den online så den er jo fremdeles publisert og lett å finne. Den er også for god til å holde for seg selv.

You need:

2 tablespoons coffee (cognac or rum will also do)

120 grams chocolate

100 grams butter

3 eggwhites

3 eggyolks

1 tablespoon sugar

A pinch of salt

50 grams ground almonds

50 grams flours

Icing:

100 grams chocolate

5 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoon of coffe (or rum or cognac)

Almond flakes for decorations

 

Du trenger:

2 ss kaffe (rom eller konjakk)

120 g sjokolade

100 g smør

100 g sukker

3 stk eggeplomme

3 stk eggehviter

1 ss sukker

1 klype salt

50 g malte mandler (du kan male dem med en stavmikser ellerkjøkkenmaskin)

50 g mel

Glasur:

100 g sjokolade

5 ss smør

2 ss kaffe (rom eller konjakk)

mandelflak (mandelskiver) til pynt

First whisk butter and sugar to a white creamy consistency, butter needs to be at room temperature. Melt the chocolate with the coffee (or alcohol if you prefer). Grind the almonds and stir the yolks. Add it all together.

Visp romtemperert smør og sukker sammen til en kremete konsistens. Smelt sjokoladen sammen med kaffien. Mal mandlene. Rør eggeplommene godt sammen. Bland det sammen.

Whip the egg whites, sugar and salt until it’s fluffy and white.

Visp eggehviter, sukker og salt sammen til hvit krem.

 

Cook for 22 mins at 175 degrees.

Stek på 175 grader I 22 minutt.

 

Simply melt the chocolate, butter and coffee, let both it and the cake cool and spread on the cake. Decorate the side of the cake with the almond flakes. Enjoy!

 

Smelt sjokolade, smør og kaffe, la glasuren og kaka avkjøle og smør det på. Pynt langs kanten med mandelflak. Nyt!

 

Bad day gone good

This morning didn’t start out too good. It’s one of those mornings where everything goes wrong, and it didn’t stop after I left the house. I was in my office, and just had to go out for two minutes. When I came back the door turned out to have locked itself as I closed it. It’s an old lock, apparently not of the best quality and lose enough to manage to lock itself just because of the movement of the door being closed. My keys were inside my office, and I knew that if I left the building I wouldn’t be able to get back in. Luckily I met the cleaners just before they were about to leave and they were able to get me back in.

I tried to end the bad karma of the morning by walking home again. A good walk always brightens my mood. I met this guy and his friend on the way. He saw me coming some metres away and ran up to the fence to greet me. As I walked by I walked up to the fence to pet him, and as soon as I was about to touch him, he bent his head down and started eating, pretending I wasn’t there. Odd behaviour I must say, even for a horse!

Back home Husband surprised me with home made cauliflower soup with fresh baguettes, yum! It was his first time to make it from scratch, but it was sooo good. He had also cleaned most of the house. What a great husband I have!

One downside to walking home though; I haven’t done much of it lately, so I am now suffering. The pain!! (only sore muscles, and the feeling is still good)