Posts Tagged ‘St. Nicholas’

Halfway to Christmas

June 30, 2019

It’s official.  We passed the halfway mark to Christmas.

Here’s a cute, little animated Christmas show for you to enjoy.  I’m also including two microwave Christmas recipes.  We all need more time at Christmas, do we not?

Merry halfway-to-Christmas!

Tangy Mustard-glazed Ham

½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons apple or orange juice
4 to 5 lb. fully cooked boneless whole ham
Whole cloves

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except ham and cloves.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Score top of ham in 1-inch diamond pattern, cutting ¼ inch deep.  Insert 1 clove in center of each diamond.

Place ham scored-side up in 10-inch square casserole dish.  Cover cut surface with plastic wrap.  Insert microwave meat thermometer.  Microwave at 50% (Medium) for 30 minutes.

Brush ham with prepared glaze.  Microwave at 50% (Medium) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Decorate ham with quartered orange slices during last 5 minutes, if desired.  Let stand, tented with foil, for 10 minutes before carving.  (Internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit during standing time.)

 

Orange Pumpkin Pie

1 pkg. (15 oz.) refrigerated prepared pie crusts
2 teaspoons sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 tablespoon milk
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Red and green candied cherries

Heat conventional oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Let pie crusts stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.  Unfold 1 crust, ease into 9-inch pie plate and flute edges.

Combine sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl.  Brush edges of crust lightly with milk.  Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon sugar mixture.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool.

Use remaining crust to form pastry bow and ribbon.  Cut 4 strips, each 8 inches by ¾ inch.  Place 1 strip on baking sheet.  Cross at center with another strip.  Secure strips together, using a small amount of cold water.  Form bow over center of crossed strips, squeezing gently in center.  Brush bow and ribbon lightly with milk.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.  Decorate center with red and green cherries.  Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool.

Combine remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and the remaining ingredients in medium mixing bowl.  Beat at low speed of electric mixer until mixture is smooth.  Microwave at High for 4 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is very hot and starts to set, stirring once or twice.

Pour into prepared pie crust.  Place pie plate on saucer in microwave oven.  Microwave at 50% (Medium) for 15 to 21 minutes, or until center is set, rotating 3 or 4 times.  Using spatula, carefully loosen bow and ribbon from baking sheet.  Place on top of filling.  Cool.

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History of Christmas Traditions

February 25, 2017

My friends at Tree Classics shared this History of Christmas Traditions with me so I thought I would share it with you.  Thank you, Tree Classics!  I bet there is something here that you did not know.  Now I wonder what Michelangelo used to sculpt his snowman.

treeclassics-infographic-final-v2

For more Christmas tradition history visit Tree Classics’ blog.

Please share some of your Christmas traditions in the comments below.

Christmas blessings!

Christmas Customs in the Netherlands

July 25, 2015

St Nicholas Parade with St Nicholas and Black PeteThe Christmas season in the Netherlands begins in mid-November when St. Nicholas arrives with his companion Black Pete. They travel from Spain, where, according to the Dutch, St. Nicholas lives, to the Netherlands by steamship. Each year they choose a different city to visit. St. Nicholas and Pete disembark to a large parade put on by the city with floats, bands, and balloons. The parade is broadcast on television to the whole nation. At the end of the parade St. Nicholas addresses all the children at the parade and watching on television letting them know what he expects of them.

Each night between St. Nicholas’s arrival and the eve of his day, December 5, children leave their shoes by the fireplace, or a window, or a door hoping Pete and the saint stops by to leave some treats. He usually visits at least once before his day and sometimes more than once. The main gifts for the children, St. Nicholas brings on December 5.

More Dutch Christmas customs will be presented next month. Like many places throughout the world the Dutch have special recipes they bring out for St. Nicholas Day and Christmas Day. Below is a recipe for snowball cookies.

Sneeuwballen (snowballs)

½ cup water
¼ cup unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp dried currants or raisins
2 Tbsp diced candied fruits or peels
oil for deep frying

  1. Combine water, butter, salt, and sugar in a small, deep saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil gently until all the ingredients have melted.  Remove from the heat.  Add the flour all at once and mix rapidly with a wooden spoon to a smooth paste.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.  Add currants or raisins and candied fruits.
  3. Heat oil to 375 degrees F and, with a metal spoon that should be dipped in the hot oil, drop the dough by spoonfuls into the oil.  Fry 5-8 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.
  4. Drain on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar.

Yield: 8 large or 16 small snowballs

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