We’ve made it to the glittery, sugary, cinnamon fragrant 25th of December!
Whether or not you actually celebrate Christmas for its religious significance, as an excuse to have a holiday or not at all, I wish you a holly jolly Christmas! 🙂
Personally I’m not religious and always got annoyed by the Christmas holidays and all the lights in the past, but adult life has apparently made me appreciate the value of quality family time and Christmas baking. Since I moved out on my own, I’ve always tried to make something small and crafty as Christmas gifts for my friends and family when I could, so I’ve decided to start documenting my Christmas projects with Christmas blog posts.
I moved back to Slovenia in 2019 after 2 years abroad, so this year I finally had time to put a bit more effort into my Christmas gifts again. I firmly decided to stop buying random crap, which ends up as waste sooner than it’s opened, so I settled on making food as presents and you can see what I made in 2019 below. Everyone loves homemade food and there’s the sustainability aspect too, so it’s a win-win.
Honestly, if I write the word Christmas a couple more times, I might start barfing little Rudolph noses, but here we are.
Christmas baking fever
My grandmother died in August and she always made like 20 different types of cookies for Christmas, as she’d spend the whole December baking. In recent years I’d always come and help her with some of it, under the pretext of learning how to make cookies. I also got her to write down all the recipes, so this year I resolved to pick up the mantle and continue with the Christmas cookie tradition. Obviously I’m not an old retiree with plenty of free time, so I decided to limit my baking to 5 different types of cookies, call it boutique manufacturing, if you will. I managed to fill 5 whole cookie boxes, so I’m pretty proud of myself. 🙂
Rumov lonec/ Rumtopf / Rum pot (Rum pickled fruit)
Another thing I inherited from my grandma was a ceramic rum pot for “rumov lonec” (Rumtopf). It’s used to pickle fruit in rum and sugar over the whole year and eat it for Christmas. Apparently the tradition originates in Germany or Denmark, but it was pretty popular in Slovenia in the 80s. I remember my family eating is when I was a kid and then it sort of disappeared for the past 20 years, so I decided to give it a try this year.
You’re supposed to start in the spring with seasonal fruit and then add new layers of fruit into the pot as it becomes available. The fruit layers are generously covered in sugar and drowned in rum, which becomes more mellow with time. The result is a sugary sweet, thick liquid with fat, rum saturated pieces of fruit, which goes great with ice cream and is super easy to make (you just need to put in enough sugar and alcohol that the fruit doesn’t boil, so watch out for any bubbles). I started mine in October and had the rum pot out on the terrace to keep it cool. It was actually quite good by December, probably because I used too much sugar, but it was still a bit strong.
Since this is the Christmas post, I’ve added some photos of our 2019 decorations: there’s a photo of one of our festive lunches and the advent wreath in there, as well as our tiny Christmas tree in a pot, which I hope will keep growing until next year. I brought back a pair of reindeer antlers from Sweden and put baubles on them too, because why not? and I also dried two old potentially mouldy oranges in the oven and hung them up on the windows for fragrance. It really doesn’t take much to get a festive atmosphere going in the home, especially if it always smells like cookies.
Christmas decorations of 2019
I hope you had a nice Christmas, I know I did. 🙂