The Winter Solstice

22 12 2008

Yep, last night we had the longest night of the year.

I had planned to write a very nerdy post on solstices and astronomy, and ancient practises, but pfff, can’t be bothered.
Let’s talk about fun-stuff!
Most important first fun thing: From now on the days will get longer again, and the nights shorter. I am tired of having to put the lights on at three o’clock. Or even noon.
Second fun thing: I got a box of presents from a mystery friend somewhere in one of these hot countries with lots of sand. πŸ˜€

christmas-present-1

There are three pretty sachets full of smelly stuff you can put into your commode and drawers.
Two very pretty candles, a beautiful photo frame. A lovely vanity mirror with embroidered cover,
A very beautiful silver box with a swivel lid, containing a gorgeous perfume from Mecca!!!
Hmmmm yummy! And a card with beautiful wishes, making me very happy!
Thank you very much, mystery friend πŸ˜€

Next fun thing: I have put up a (totally pagan) Christmas tree for the first time since.

christmastree-1

My tree.
I have an extensive collection of glass ornaments and birds, and I always look for a scrawny tree to set them off πŸ™‚

christmastree-2

My birds! I have them all in pairs, I don’t want any of them to be without mate πŸ™‚ I give them more beautiful tails and decorations. I also like to paint and decorate my baubles

christmastree-3

This white bird is a very old one from my mother.

christmastree-4

Although for the last few years a colour-coΓΆrdinated tree has become more fashionable, in my early childhood trees were only to be decorated with silver. Any colour was considered very bad taste.
I never mind bad taste myself :mrgreen:

christmastree-5

Enough tree-admiring.
Fourth fun thing: I have been working very hard for the last few days to get my tree in, decorate (and clean, and tidy) my house, buying good stuff to eat, and cooking. I have been inviting a few friends for a small but delectable dinner. πŸ˜€
We started with one of my fool-proof soups, but I forgot to make a photo. I had laid the table with silver and black.

christmas-dinner-klein

After the soup we had some hors d’ouvres. To drink I made saudi champagne (bedu’s recipe, and very much liked by my guests)

christmas-dinner-1

I made two different pasta’s, a new kind of very small and fine lettuce, with my favorite vinaigrette. (I always make my own vinaigrette’s)

christmas-dinner-2

For desert: strawberries dipped in molten chocolate, yummie!

christmas-dinner-3

And from now on the days are getting longer again! I’m happy in the prospect!

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17 responses

23 12 2008
inal

Oh Christmas treen Oh Christmas tree…almost went carolling Aafke! Beautiful tree; enjoy it as well as your gifts, Mabrouk!

Must say love your golden chargers- lovely table dear- I know your companions enjoyed the setting and the food!

23 12 2008
SL

I think your tree is nice… Hello from a person from another hot country with lots of sand…beach sand that is…

23 12 2008
American Bedu

Where do I begin — YOU ROCK GIRL! I love your tree and am so happy and proud of you for having a tree this year! (big big hug) And you reminded me, my grandparents (from former Yugoslavia) had a silver tree every year that I can remember! So did you make all your birds and glass ornaments? They are so exquisite.

I want to be one of your dinner guests! The dishes looked scrumptious and your table setting so inviting and just draws the eyes to the beautiful layouts of the food.

And a secret admirer from the land of magic carpets, djinns and deserts….hmmmm….. your gifts sounded (and looked) so lovely!

Lotsa hugs,
Bedu

23 12 2008
Achelois

Wow Aafke, I love your silverware! It is so classy and beautiful. And I love that tree. Our tree is very small (photos of it soon). I saw this post pre-breakfast and now I am so hungry. I would have loved to taste your cooking. The candlestand looks lovely on your table.

And your presents are beautiful, you beautiful woman πŸ˜‰

23 12 2008
outcastrebelchic

Your tree looks really cool;only silver would be boring.
I’m not much of a cook – okay so i don’t cook at all- but your food looks very good i don’t think i could get that good if i tried.

23 12 2008
Aafke

inal, keep singing! πŸ™‚ (oh, no, haraam) (oh, well, with a christmas tree in the house…)

SL, welcome to my blog πŸ™‚ Beach sand sounds good, overhere it’s mostly mud at this time of the year! πŸ˜‰

Bedu, no I do not make them, I decorate them, I also collect very old ones at flea-markets: They are finer, and more beautiful than the modern ones!

I would have loved to have you as my guest! Who knows? sometime in the future?

You could find out who send me the presents; there was a hint in one of the comments in an earlier post by the generous giver!
Hmmm, all this blogging is not without it’s worldy rewards! πŸ˜‰

Achelois, the big tree cost as much as a smaller tree… and me being Dutch…. anyway: I have so much decorations, I nééd a large tree πŸ™‚
(this size is very normal in the netherlands)

outcastrebelchick, come on! Cooking is easy! And fun! I love the whole thing, inviting friends, making a beautiful table arrangement, working out the menu, and anticipating their pleasure eating! πŸ˜€
Less fun is the washing up afterwards……. πŸ˜‰

23 12 2008
Specs

Its beautiful! The tree, the birds on it…and the presents: those left me speechless! Well chosen and very pretty!

Your tree looks lovely and so does your table. Your dinnerware is ace.

Erm, so in case I ever drop by, do you keep it in the front room? In the cupboard with the keys in the kitchen cabinet? :p

P.S. I’m dying of curiosity: WHAT in the world is a Saudi Champagne! (ROTFL) I’m loving that name!

P.S. Vinegarette recipe. pretty please? *bats eyelashes*

23 12 2008
Aafke

Saudi champagne:
applejuice, sparkly water, and a dash of lemonjuice.
Add a few sprigs of mint, slices of apple and lime or lemon.
It’s very pretty if you have tall clear glasses, if you put a sprig of mint inside the glass. If you make it a bit earlier before serving, the mint gets a chance to bring someminty flavour.

Vinaigrette:
about one third of virgin olive oil, (I only use stoneground very high quality oil) and one third balsamico vinegar, and one thisrd of limejuice. add one very finely chopped garlic bit, and sometimes I add finelychopped rosemary.

23 12 2008
Aafke

PS no information will be given where I hide my cutlery!

23 12 2008
susieofarabia

After reading your post and seeing your lovely photos, I feel like I was a lucky guest in your home. I love the fact that you choose a tree that others might reject because of the size or shape – you are right – it DOES show off the ornaments better! I really miss having a tree this year. I used to love my ornaments, but now I got to enjoy seeing yours – so thanks! Mine are all packed up in the states, and I gave some to my daughter, so she just emailed me that she is enjoying them. The ornaments become so special and have such sentimental feelings associated with them. I too had some lovely bird ornaments – my favorites was a blown glass red cardinal.
How I wish I could have been at your dinner. I’m sure you are a fantastic cook because you put such loving care into everything you do.
Have a wonderful holiday, dear friend, and I wish you much happiness in the new year.

23 12 2008
Aafke

Dear susie, you understand me! I feel really sorry for the rejected trees! That’s another reason I always choose an ”ugly” one…
You are a guest in my house, I was thinking of all of you when bothered my guests by telling them to wait eating until I had photographed it!

We think alike πŸ™‚ I like birds more than anything else πŸ™‚

I like nothing better than pleasing the ones I love, and apart from having you here in person, giving you some pleasure with a post is the next best thing to do!

23 12 2008
sabiwabi

No, no, no! I WANT the long nerdy post about solstices and ancient practices!!! ***sniffle****

Oh, well….nice pics. I love the picture of the gifts. All those things are just my style.

23 12 2008
MJK

As one of the guests I can tell you that Aafke is a wonderful cook. You have missed quite a meal.

I had not realised it was the shortest day on sunday. I am glad the days will be longer from now on. Allthough January is still to come. That is a somewhat depressing month. The days are still very short and there are no Christmas lights anymore.

23 12 2008
Aafke

sabiwabi, I might still do one… πŸ™‚

MJK, glad you enjoyed, I enjoy your dinners too πŸ™‚
Don’t worry I agree with January and February being extremely dull and grey and depressing months, actually I think all these light feasts are a bit too early, and I used to have anti-depressin parties with lots of lights during these months, and I’m re-instating them: we will keep partying until April!

24 12 2008
remlane79

Beautiful. You took “a Charlie Brown Christmas tree” and turned it into a swan. (Not just a mixed metaphor, but a jumbled one.) Thank you for sharing your decorations with us.

24 12 2008
Tony

Lights on at 3 oclock, goodness, even in the middle of winter here it don’t get dark till about 5 oclock.
The food looks beautiful & I’m sure it was.
The tree, the table, You have a very decorative flair

24 12 2008
Aafke

Remlane79, welcome! πŸ™‚

Tony, yeah, sorry, I know your stance but I am all for the pagan trappings!
The sun isn’t down at three, but if (or rather usually) the weather is bad, it is really dark!

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