Makings in Advent/Cinnamon star recipe

Makings in advent. 

Air dried clay ornaments,( in between arguing over who had more clay)the children had a great time making me guess what implements had made what impressions.  We used cookie cutters to cut them out and they took 2 days to dry thoroughly.   
    
  So many stars…  
 
Sweet Swiss wood cut decorations from our time in the Interlaken region this year.

 lily made her own cosy house transparency one morning.   
As we love our Swiss Christmas biscuit tradition so much, I will share 

I have a new favourite Zimpt Sterne Rezept / cinnamon star recipe this year

This one is gluten free also. 

 (sorry S for giving you the sticky old one…)

I can’t remember if it’s a copy from somewhere or if I adapted something else. It’s written on a scrap of torn paper with a swimming lesson note on the back….

Zimpt Sterne/Cinnamon Stars

250g almond meal for the biscuits

150g almond meal Extra for sticky dough or dusting while you roll out

1 cup rapadura sugar

2tsp ground cinnamon or more to taste

A small pinch of clove powder

2 egg whites beaten stiff

Mix 250g almond meal, sugar, spices and egg white to a pliable dough. Add more almond meal if it’s too sticky. You will know! It really shouldn’t be a painful messy experience! I knead the dough quite vigorously in the bowl. 

Dust with almond meal and roll out on/or between baking paper to about 5 mm thick.

 Refrigerate overnight or at least three hours.

Cut out your stars, rinse your cutters if they’re getting too sticky, dust everything with almond meal as you go if needed. 

Bake at 180’c for about 8 minutes. Pull them out of the oven when the bottoms are going slightly brown as I like them when they’re more chewy than dry and crisp! Oops many a black star has come outta my kitchen. 

Cool them on a rack and invite me around for a cuppa and a biscuit. 

I mean share them with your friends and family…. 

As an option you can mix beaten egg white with icing sugar and decorate them pre baking. More sticky messy fun! I bought a piping bag especially. Then you have snow capped biscuits. So appropriate for Advent in summer Australia, don’t you agree? 

Inspired by The Children Of Noisy Village(Astrid Lindgren) Cedar suggested we have a bean guessing game and make a prize cookie from all the scraps of dough. They got a jar of chickpeas and a notebook to record all the guesses from our home and neighbours. The children ran around giving biscuit samples and collecting guesses, displaying the prize cookie!
Well done J for guessing 1004, hard to believe this little jar held 1163 chickpeas! mm enjoy that cookie! I was sure there where only 381…..

  
Peace

X Roselinde 

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celebrating the first week of advent (2013)

And so.. There I found this writing from years gone by and though a little incomplete I will just hit POST right now and share with you.
And so… Advent begins and great transformation takes place within and without…

Jesse has encouraged me to share some of my stories of this time.

I will focus on the first week of Advent and share some of the rituals and traditions we have collected over the years and are making afresh.

i have gathered inspiration from so many places and enjoy creating my own ideas. i want to create a flow of events to celebrate this coming season, bringing more depth and richness to the anticipation of Christmas and the summer festivals. it’s all evolving, it’s abit mixed up but i trully love it and enjoy what we are creating as a family and community. The hope and positive reminders for my inner journey are wonderfully reflected in these adornments and activities.

last weekend {1st Advent} we began folding stars from kite paper to adorn our windows. some good tutorials here on my pinterest page. This along with unpacking the candle windmill and making advent biscuits began our Advent period.

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on the table sits our candle windmill. My German parents sent this over a few years ago and it’s appearance awakens the Christmas season in the household. The heat from the candles makes the windmill turn and the angels below circle the tree. we admire the carefully shaved wood curls spinning and the light glinting from the angels cheeks. Each Advent sunday we add objects connected with the four kingdoms. Reflecting the earths preparations for the Christ arrival, or the process of evolution, or the blossoming of the earth into mid summer  and so on. finding my own depth of meaning which i can trully celebrate inwardly has been my goal these last few Christmas/Solstice seasons, that each activity i unfold has authenticity for me in some way.

 

Treasures which may appear through Advent

1st Mineral kingdom; crystals, shells, bones, stones

2nd Plant Kingdom, leaves, flowers, lichen and moss

3rd Animal Kingdom; feathers, wool, felted animals, miniature animals

4th Humankind; little wooden dolls, something made by our hands, perhaps Mary Joseph and their donkey who are travelling through the house throughout advent will come by the table at this time, nearly at the stable.
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t the closing of each advent week, the treasures from the table will move to the nativity scene and build up the picture over there, while the table is devoted to the coming kingdom.

 

then we created an advent wreath to hold four candles which we will light one more each advent sunday. I recite this commonly found poem from an unknown author

or i have taken this song into my heart which a friend recently shared with me. it is delightful to have joyful seasonal songs to sing which dont fall under cheesy carol category!

, we rolled our own beeswax candles this year for the wreath and the windmill. the wax was gifted to us from a bee keeper. they where dirty and a little tattered but brushed up well and smelt divine with honey

IMG_0025 IMG_0027 the wreath frame was from some garden vine, wisteria i think. i twisted four wire spikes onto the frame. really twist the wire tightly against the wreath so your candles don’t wobble. wrap your wreath with greenery and stick your candles on firmly. i would use thicker wire next time it’s proving to be wobbly. i hear if you coat your wick in wax before rolling you will get a better burn…IMG_0028
IMG_0030 IMG_0032cedar liked snipping up the scrap pieces of wax sheet.IMG_0034 we harvested the evergreen fronds from the old section of the Bellingen market site. i have been eyeing of this particular tree for months in anticipation…IMG_0036 IMG_0037 IMG_0043 Lily was telling me “in the olden days a young child would wear the wreath like this mama”
IMG_0046 our advent table has an indigo silk as the backdrop. each night we put gold stars upon it. Lily hung up her two felt angels to watch over the scene. Cedar rolled the central little candle. we will light it on Christmas day; with the four larger advent candles being lit over the coming weeks.
IMG_0054the beauty of hydrangea and wattle blossoms. I can smell this Wattle tree from 50 paces away in the warm wind and it sends my heart into longing for my childhood places in Western Australia…
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he stable is made from bark and the manger is from a didgeridoo off cut filled with moss. awaiting the growing scene over December and the arrival of baby Jesus.
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 I have stuck the advent calenders onto the cupboard below. Lily has a beautifully illustrated scene from her German Oma a few years ago to reuse. Lily made Cedar a calendar this year with little illustrations or messages behind each door.
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IMG_0067 i don’t recall ever having a front door wreath before, but Lily made this one and well, i have to admit it looks totally festive on that red door with our door bell hanging so centrally just by luck! IMG_0068 the stones i painted last Sunday on mineral kingdom advent. we ventured out to The Promised Land and sat by the Never Never river inbetween downpours and painted and picnicked. Cedar initiated a little fire action so we burnt sticks until the rain returned and we ran for the car. my stones slightly smudged. water color paints where the gift of the day made from mineral colours. {once upon a time..}

Advent adventuring inside

and then later again

making swiss biscuits on advent Sundays over the last few years has become

a simple joyful tradition for us

connecting me with my family heritage in Europe

we bake them, taste them, parcel them up pretty, then walk up the street to our nieghbours and share them

or take them to friends

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this year i have lacked any christmassy stamina until four days ago {new flower essences have supported me to shift my mind and lift my energy YAY!}

{oh gosh thank goodness what a relief because i was feeling i could not pretend and i had nothing authentic i wanted to share or celebrate

i was planning on jumping ship and avoiding the whole thing ie. go camping alone

it is revealing how low i have been feeling this last month and now i am perking up a little again and i am grateful

 and it would be a non event in our household through advent and isn’t that sad for the children {lily wants the full glitz and glimmer and festival felling}

and i honestly had only one gift and no inspiration to make any more  {lily has made a basket full and keeps asking where i am hiding mine…}

and i was wondering if that’s ok, to not give gifts and how would that feel and would i be ashamed or embarassed or would i write letters

or…  should i rush out and just buy stuff?

well, what would christmas be without the gifts, the advent rituals, the biscuits, the candles, the nativity, without Mary Joseph and a donkey walking across our house through december, without the singing and poems, the wreath, the secrecy and elving, the crafting together, the fun and wonder?

it’s great things to contemplate isn’t it? what do we give from our hearts? what do we hold in our minds and beings? what is the energy which enlivens the experience beyond the gift giving bit? do i just take it all too seriously and need to lighten up eat lots of bikkies and be silly? probably a little…

before the advent of jesus there are the festivals of the solstice and the return of the light and many other ancient traditions around the world at this time of year

in the last years i came to thinking of the birthday of jesus {who is jesus mama? a kind and good man who was a healer on earth a long time ago}

and found i could sit with the picture of the birthday of the light within me and within us all. the looking towards the goodness and love and kindness and generosity in all of us that we celebrate at christmas. and when i put that lens into my glasses, it makes sense again in a way it hasn’t since childhood.

the handmade gifting element began when i was 20 and i decided i would aim to hand make as many of my gifts as possible

they can be very humble offerings, but you know if you get one, i have thought of you as i stitched or wove or painted or preserved, i have held you in my focus and embedded my good wishes for you in this gift, i have enjoyed the making of the gift and reflecting on our relationship

there is no cold winter to bring us in to the hearth together here in the southern globe but we still gather with our families and friends inside and out at this time of year around candles and games and beaching and reading and costuming and eating and cooking together

i’m so grateful to my family of origin and my extended families for the brightness you all bring into my life and the forethought and generosity which you share with me and mine

for me once again in december i am seeking a depth of meaning in the festival/life

it doesn’t mean i am judging how you or anyone else does it

im on my personal quest to enrich the experience for me and my children

so i can cope with all the hoopla out there in the world

basler brunsli

so we have made our first batch of advent Basler Brunsli

and it was really fun even though it was on a monday…

delicious chewy almond meal, cinnamon and chocolate biscuits

this year’s recipe i am trialling can be found here

i think it was a little sticky as i used big eggs

so we waited a few hours before cutting the hearts

messy

yummy, but too sweet for me with the sugar sprinkled on top

will remember to cut down the amount inside

{my family always complains i don’t put in enough sweet}

cute huh?

lily’s teachers gifted her with the cookie cutter for a farewell gift

perfect.

wow end of class two already!

i know we spend a lot of time away from school anyway

but really that has come way too soon!

anyway enough rambling

blessings to you and yours

xx

what are you doing in preparation for christmas {if anything}?

what does it mean to you?

what stands out from your childhood christmases?

what is special to you at this time of year?