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Christmas ……

10:39 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

My mother passed some weeks ago. And though it has been a long while since I actually lived at home and got up Christmas morning to presents and stockings there. And a while since I spent time on Christmas with her, having moved from Florida to Ohio. It still seems rather melancholy to not be able to talk to her on Christmas. To send her something. Usually some of my Pulla sweat bread.

I do miss this part even though I have not really celebrated Christmas myself in a while.

I have got to wondering what parents want for their children and what they should want.

I received the usual presents from my parents, aunts, uncles and “Santa”. Most of the toys I wanted, being easily manipulated by the advertising on TV. Some I found I really enjoyed…at least for a while. Others not so much.

My favorite present that I can remember was a big box of radio and electronics parts that I got from my grandfather. I AM more than a bit of a tech geek and have been since I can remember. I got this gift when I was 12 years old, if I remember correctly.  Kept me entertained for nearly 3 weeks.

But as I stated before, I wonder what parents want for their kids. The common expectations appear to be for them to be successful in some way. Usually monetarily.   Or in some instances, well educated.  Sometimes famous and important or strong and competitive. To have a big house and big car and what ever else their position would afford them.

I wonder how many though want their children to be intelligent, wise, compassionate, humble, thoughtful, creative, imaginative, generous and enlightened.  To become the best person they can be regardless of their otherwise stature.

Green Chri$tma$

10:14 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

I can’t even remember the first time I heard this. Stan Freberg was a comedian and satirist that got his start in the early 1950s for whom no subject was off limits. Known for his records that went after everything from soap operas to TV personalities. Lampooning people like Arthur Godfrey and Lawrence Welk and even Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb). He even went after McCarthyism with his “Little Blue Riding Hood”. He was one of the voices for Bob Clampet’s “A Time For Beany”.

Here then is one of my favorite Christmas Satires. Green Christmas. Released in 1958 it never goes out of style. And Hauskaa Joulua !

Food: It’s that time of year again. Christmas Pulla (Nisu)

3:59 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Christmas Pulla

Pulla I just made.

I have been making a traditional Finnish sweet bread known as Pulla for the last couple of years. It is made with cardamom seed, ground and lots of eggs and milk and butter. As well as time. Here is the recipe I follow. Well mostly follow. Swedish Finns call it Nissu.  Finnish women would usually to their baking on Saturday so there would be fresh Pulla for Sunday coffee.

Finnish Pulla
A unique bread with a sweet flavor that makes a wonderful holiday gift! It takes about 4 hours to make, so allow yourself plenty of time.
2 cups milk 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 eggs, beaten
9 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons white sugar Read the rest of this entry →