Monday, 21 December 2009

Glögi by the tree

Only 3 more sleeps til Christmas and I feel hopelessly disorganised. I have bought too much food and now struggling to find time to use it and then blog it. I am behind with Christmas cards, blog comments and cleaning. Meanwhile Sylvia manages to find the most inappropriate thing in the house to play with so I must watch her like a hawk. Oh well, at least I have bought all my presents and got a Christmas tree up.

We put up the tree on Saturday. I headed out in the morning to the Christmas Cave to buy lights because last year the day we put the Christmas tree up our lights died. The Christmas Cave is an overwhelming array of Christmas merchandise but fun to look at.

I went to Smith Street to my favourite bakery Pastry Art Design (280-282 Smith Street) and happened to spot Steph at Friends of the Earth. It was nice to meet a fellow blogger. I then went to Brunswick Street which was sunny and welcoming.

E and I have been missing all the Christmas decorations and food since returning from the UK. Australia is too buy celebrating summer to really get it. But some shops do festive Christmas displays. I was pleased to finish my Christmas gift shopping in trusty old Brunswick Street.

On the way home, I picked up a smallish Christmas tree. Our place is so cluttered that it was hard to imagine we could fit a Christmas tree in as well but we managed to cram it in the corner and then surround it with clutter so Sylvia wouldn't play with it.

It is always a pleasure to dig out familiar old Christmas decorations that are full of special memories.

I'd decided we would have mince tarts and glögi. I was inspired to make glögi by Tofu for Two. Although I have made mulled wine many times, I was interested in Anni's Finnish equivalent with no citrus and loads of interesting spices. Star Anise always looks so pretty. Anni suggested using fruit juice and I had some grape juice so it went in the pot.

I couldn't resist adding a slurp of this sampler bottle of fortified raspberry wine that was in liquor cupboard.

I had intended to serve it to celebrate finishing the Christmas tree decorating but by the time we had finished we needed to feed and bath Sylvia so it was after our dinner that we rewarmed the glögi and finally settled down to enjoy it with a mince tart. It was lovely but I am not sure I got the quantities of juice/liquid right. I ended up with 250ml of glögi but Anni had twice as much so maybe next time I will add more.

Lastly, as part of my disorganisation, I have been remiss in mentioning some of the wonderful initiatives around the blogosphere to help others. I hope you might have seen about these on other blogs but it is not too late to participate in these:
  • Menu for Hope - an international blogging fundraising event in which bloggers offer prizes to be raffled to raise money for the UN World Food Program. You can buy tickets online up til 25 December - check the list of prizes at Chez Pim or the Asia Pacific prizes at Tomato.
  • StreetSmart - an opportunity to donate money to help the homeless at participating restaurants in Melbourne and around Australia by 24 December (check out the link for a list).
  • The Bloggeraid Cookbook - another opportunity for your money to go to the UN World Food Program. This time you can do it by purchasing a cookbook of blogger recipes.
  • Ricki's Aniti-Candida Feast E-Book - if you or your loved ones have a diet restricted by candida, you can purchase this E-cookbook of creative and delicious recipes for just $5.00 (Canadian).
  • Susan's Eat Christmas Cookies event has closed but you can find many great festive cookies on the round up.

makes 250ml - enough for 2-3 but might serve more with more liquid

This is what I used:
5 slices of fresh ginger (about 2 thumb sized knobs)
1 tsp cloves
1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 star anise
a pinch of allspice
3 cups red grape juice (next time I would add another three cups of juice or water)
30ml raspberry port

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer for ½ hour. Strain using a sieve and serve warm. Next time I might garnish with mint leaves.

On the Stereo:

Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails: Various Artists


  1. You seem to be pretty organized compared to me--I haven't even done my shopping yet, a first for me! But now that my holiday has officially begun, I can finally get started ;)

    It seems strange to see all those decorations without snow but I'm sure I'd prefer it that way. The glogi sounds really interesting--a great beverage for the holidays. And thanks for the shout-out re: the ebook, and letting us know about all those other initiatives. :)

    Hope you and E and Sylvia all have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Love your Christmas tree, especially the teddy bear decorations. I've never heard of the Christmas cave, but it looks like a fun shop.

  3. You are far more organized than I, Johanna - and I don't even have a little one!

    Your glögi recipe sounds wonderful; I'd love to sip it in that cozy room with the tree tucked in the corner.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Sounds like you are well and truly ready for Christmas this year Johanna! :D You know I've never ventured into the Christmas Cave!

  5. This looks like a nice alternative to mulled wine - which we love! Your tree looks lovely, but I can never quite get my head round Christmas in the summer. We don't have a tree but our Christmas wreath is out, and shown up nicely by all the snow :)

  6. Beautiful tree! I love mulled wines. I make a Norwegian every year called Gløgg, which sounds similar - except it is served with raisins and almonds.

    Happy Holidays!

  7. Thanks Ricki - shopping is something that is fun when you have time but not when time is tight - especially when you have to venture out into the cold

    Thanks Cakelaw - the christmas cave is one of the new breed of christmas shops that have sprung up over the past few years - amazing the array of decorations you can buy there

    Thanks Susan - cosy is a kind way to describe our house :-)

    Thanks Lorraine - am sure you would have fun in the christmas cave finding some blogging props!

    Thanks Lysy - a wreath on the front door in the snow sounds beautiful - but I can feel at home with christmas in summer or winter

    Thanks Jenn - your glogg sounds great - I love all these european names for mulled wine

  8. The glogi sounds delicious! I love spiced things. Your home looks so cozy! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Happy new year. =)


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