Sunday, December 9, 2012


So in the wintertime there is always a week where the school kids can go to Kerzenziehen, which they all love.  Kerzenziehen means candle-making (literally candle pulling).  They usually go once with their class, and then they all beg me to go do it again a couple times.  So this time I actually walked up to the school with Jethro to watch him in action.  It was pretty awesome.  You start with a string, and then you start dipping in whichever colors you like.

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They can then decorate them in several ways, like chopping pieces off the bottom and sticking them on like buttons (which shows off the colors nicely) or cutting little fringes all over, kind of making it look like tree branches, or cutting the whole things in half and then putting the string down the middle and twisting it.  Here’s Jethro’s finished candle.


Here are some others that I saw in the room:


And here’s a picture of some from the world wide web:

While Jethro was working on his candle the rest of the kids played.  (This was a while ago, we have had snow for the last two weeks or more.)


Do you love Hazel’s yellow shoes?  She does.

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And even though there was a pretty novel playground to be explored, Orrin couldn’t be bothered to play on it because there were two scooters parked nearby, and he had to go admire them.


And here are all the kids with the candles they made.


I kind of hate those candles though, because they’re weird widths, so it’s hard to find a way to get them to stand up so we can actually burn them, so they end up in a heap on my counter.  Except that tonight we went for a walk in the dark and the girls each took one of their candles and they stayed lit SURPRISINGLY well as we walked up the hill behind the farm.  It was quite a mild winter night, so we it was fun, and at one point I looked back at the cute little girls holding hands and lighting each other’s candles, and then I looked at all three boys who were kicking a great big snowball into bits.  :)  (And that reminds me of a funny thing—when I was trying to roust everyone up to go on the walk, I said, “Come on… everyone who comes gets a…” and Hazel asked, “A what?” and I said, “…no spankings.  And if you don’t come, you get spankings.”  And Hazel paused a second and said, “…How much?”  ha ha ha.  Obviously we need to beat our children more, and inspire a little fear!)


So also a while ago we had Thanksgiving.  I ordered a turkey from Migros (a big grocery store), and it cost 66 francs for  a 5 kilo turkey.  I had to order it because they don’t actually just sell turkeys here.  They don’t really buy big things here—no such thing as bulk.  Besides, you can’t fit a turkey in your fridge.  Or oven, sometimes. 

Anyway, to be honest, I am pretty pleased with how everything turned out.  I made turkey (brined), potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole (actually that turned out nasty, plus I forgot the bread crumb topping at home), pistachio fruit salad, red jello salad with raspberries and pomegranate, a cheesecake mousse pie, rolls, and I had made fudge and roasted cinnamon almonds and english toffee to snack on as well.  The hardest part was planning out when to do each thing.  Brett had an entrepreneurial class that he had to be at three nights that week and on Saturday morning, so he had no opportunity to help me.  The kids did help me a lot though on Saturday morning by peeling potatoes and rolling out cookie dough truffles (which never had time to be dipped, so they didn’t make it to the Thanksgiving table).  It was down to the line, but besides the truffles being dipped, everything got finished, but I almost didn’t have time to shower—but hey, good food before looking/smelling nice, right?

We had it at the church and so I had to transport everything there and set up and make sure I didn’t forget things, etc.  Get this- I even made the tables perty:


I hope I’m not coming off like I’m bragging—I don’t know, is it bragging to say that you’re pleased with how your efforts came together?  Anyway, the other years we’ve lived here I didn’t do ANYTHING at ALL to keep the Thanksgiving tradition alive, so I wanted to do it right for the first time. 

The kid table with Talmage, Carden, Caelen, and Ethne.


The middle kid table – Saphira, Josh, Hazel and Jethro.  And my friends Karin and Dru.


My honey, Kathrin, Beat, and Melinda.

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Yes, there was a picture of me, but I retain the right to not post any pictures of myself until my baby is born and my face is not fat. 


The only thing I wish had been different is that it would have been nicer if everyone could have stayed longer and played games and chatted late into the evening, but alas people had to get going.  Oh yeah, and then, Brett totally got really sick RIGHT after dinner, and he came home and laid on the couch and looked really ill, so I cleaned up and put all the kids to bed and finished up dishes.  The next morning he was fine again.  Suspicious??  I think so… (just kidding.  But it’s lucky for Brett he has an impeccable moral character or else I would totally not have believed him.) 

Orrin enjoyed his pie! 


And finally, this was on Samichlaus Tag- Dec. 6.  We had missed the Wald Weinacht (so sad!  it’s my favorite thing ever) but when I went to the grocery store, Samichlaus and Schmutzli were there, so yes, I drove home to get my camera and then I drove back to get a picture.  Talmage was too ornery to be in the picture.


I thought they were just giving out oranges, but actually they gave out little bags with peanuts and chocolate and lebkuchen.  Awesome.


Another thing that Samichlaus usually leaves in the kids’ boots (they are supposed to put their boots outside the door on the night of Dec. 5) are Grittibänz, or little bread men.  They start appearing in stores around the end of November and I thought they were so cute I had to buy one to take a picture.  Even the package is cute with Samichlaus and the two Schmutzlis and the donkey.  (Ethne learned a little song in Kindergarten about Samichlaus and I love how one part goes ‘ee aaa, ee aaa,’ which is the only part I understand because it’s in Swiss German but a donkey even sounds the same in Swiss German.)


Then in MukiDeutsch, Talmage and Orrin and I made our own!


Then when I was at the store with my camera, I took a picture of this one holding his switch.  So cute.  Some of them hold chocolate sticks, but they cost a lot more.  :)


We made some more yesterday and they were really yummy warm with Nutella.  :)

The end.


Dru Davis said...

I don't think you were bragging, but you should. Everything was over the top delicious and lovely. Thank you so much for a Thanksgiving we will never forget.

Andrea said...

Hmmm...I left a comment already and had a glitch. I bet your Thanksgiving was lovely! It is a huge deal to pull that off (did it for my first time on my own this year).

Can you share a recipe for the Grittibänz? My kids would love it!

Kris said...

those candles were the coolest things ever! And YES you totally have the right to brag!! :) I loved your centerpieces!!! Those bread men looked yummy!

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