Christmas 2014

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Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone reading my blog! We had a very nice series of Christmas days here in Germany. Christmas eve was spent at Oma’s house having dinner with Thomas’ mother, sister and grandmother and then afterwards we all opened our presents from the “Christkind” that were under her tree. Christmas morning was spent at home opening our own presents together in front of our Christmas tree, the ones that came from Thomas, Santa and me (opening gifts on both days is in keeping with both of our cultural traditions). Anna was thrilled of course to have two days of presents and really enjoyed all of her gifts, especially the princess dress and cape which she proceeded to wear for the rest of the day!  Please excuse me I am 8 months pregnant with twins right now, I haven’t been sleeping well and at the moment have been retaining water in my face, hands and feet like the Titanic. I’m due to have twin boys anytime in mid to late January and since this has been a very difficult pregnancy I’ve just been counting the days until then. I hope every one has a good slide into the new year, as they say here in Germany, and I’ll keep you posted on any baby news as soon as I’m able to!

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— A crocheted, rainbow cardigan that I made for Anna for Christmas (we finally got her to take the princess dress off!).

Almost There…

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It’s almost Christmas and we finally got our tree up today. Thomas, Anna and I took a drive into the countryside to a cut your own tree farm in the misty rain and bone chilling cold today to find our holiday tree. We trudged through the muddy fields filled with small to large sized pine trees looking for just the right tree with our umbrellas in hand and our mud laden feet. After a bit of searching and some serious discussion about which one to pick we finally settled on a medium sized, 1.5 meter tall tree and Thomas set to work sawing it down. I stood by and watched but Anna was very excited to be able to help with the final saw strokes that felled the tree and sent it crashing to the ground (a bit exaggerated, I know, but that’s about how she saw it). Afterwards we all warmed up by an outside bonfire where people were gathering to enjoy a cup of hot glühwein or kid’s punch. On another note I made these biscuits twice this week and am in love with their simplicity and how amazing they taste, especially when warm right out of the oven. We had them for breakfast this morning to fuel us up for our tree hunt and they come together so quickly, in just under half an hour including baking time, that I might just want to make them every morning! I hope you get the chance to try them and perhaps they will be just the thing to warm you up on this first day of winter!

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Best Buttermilk Biscuits

Adapted from Dot’s Diner via Imagine Childhood and Bon Appetit
Makes about 6 biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbs unsalted Butter (85 grams)
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk or (1/2 cup Milk plus the juice from half a lemon about 1 Tbs of juice) plus extra Buttermilk or Milk for brushing the tops of the biscuits
  • 1 Tbs ground Flax Seed *Optional

Preheat the oven to 425°F or 220°C. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. In a smaller bowl add the lemon juice to the milk, if using as a substitute for buttermilk, and set aside. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and work into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, two knives or with the tips of your fingers until a coarse meal forms with pieces of butter no larger than the size of small peas remaining. Stir in the buttermilk gently until a crumbly dough forms use your hands or the back of a spoon to gently work and press the dough together until all the crumbs are incorporated. Do not overwork or knead the dough! It should still be a bit crumbly in the bowl but not dry. Work the dough only until it just starts to come together and all the dry bits have been gently worked in. With a third of a cup measuring cup, scoop out the dough and place on a well greased or baking paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with buttermilk or I just used some extra milk and bake for about 12-15 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and the biscuits should look cooked in the middle. Serve warm just as they are or with butter and jam. Enjoy!

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