As more little doors hang open on our Advent calendar, I begin the futile mission to slow time and savor every moment of the fleeting Christmas season. As this year is my first Christmas away from the family, I’ve been trying to maintain a happy holiday mood, and recreate some holiday traditions over here.
I know that eggnog can be a divisive topic. There are those that hate it. But those who love it, like me, cannot imagine a Christmas without it’s silky, boozy presence (truth be told the alcohol is irrelevant to me as I love the virgin and adult versions equally). Every year I look forward to the convenient cartons that appear in the supermarkets. The texture is smooth, thin and refreshing. Then there’s the heavenly and thick half -beverage half-dessert concoction that arrives on my Aunt Nancy’s table each holiday. I love both varieties. Owing to my living on a different continent, eggnog has not appeared in any markets near me, and I have no hope of savoring my Aunt’s creation. My hand was thus forced to make it myself. I used this recipe. This eggnog…oh..my…
It was so supremely delicious I had to write a haiku for it:
arm sore with whisking
velvety spicy frothy
greedy gulps of nog
Whilst looking for cream to make that delectable eggnog, I spotted this product.
Feeling a little under the weather, and wanting to get out for a few hours I decided to look up a store that sells American stuff. Stocking stars and stripes home decor, margarita mix, candles and even Barefoot Contessa mixes it was fun just to mill around. It’s not that I’m desperately missing any particular product from home (unless we are talking about carne asada, carnitas or fish tacos), but I was hoping they might carry something fun for the holiday season.
Now, don’t get me wrong I love our tree. However, there is one shortcoming. Germany seems to sell mostly Nordmann pines, which are fragrant when up close, but fail to permeate the room with piney aroma. Lo and behold, this store stocked Yankee Candles including one called “Mountain Pine”. It is now successfully creating the illusion of a fragrant tree.
I also found candy canes. I’m not a big candy cane lover, or peppermint lover for that matter. However, I haven’t seen a single candy cane in all of Munich, and I’m hoping to make a treat with some peppermint in it so I figured picking up a couple couldn’t hurt.
Lastly, I had to spring for some vanilla extract. Here in Germany, you will find vials upon vials of Vanille Aroma. This is NOT vanilla extract. It is oil that smells faintly like vanilla, and I’ve been making do with the aroma. But no more.
In other news, work stuff seems to be changing around on me with new offers, new permits and new health insurance to be examined. PC has had a couple away trips this week leaving me home alone. I am decidedly uncomfortable with driving/sliding around in icy conditions. And of course, I miss friends and family. This put me in a bit of a funk the other night. So, I bought a bunch of fresh, colorful winter citrus, made a salad and felt much better. Something about the smell, taste and appearance of this salad instantly improves your mood.
With six more sleeps until Christmas, I’m keeping my spirits bright finishing up with presents, whipping up a few more treats and figuring out a Christmas menu. Sounds like a good week to me.