Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Who has the almond?...

Since my mom was born in Norway, the traditions that she grew up with also became ours.

Her baking and cooking, especially during Christmas, have always been some of our favorite traditions...


The top 3 on our list every Christmas season were... potatiskorv, heart shaped waffles, (in her old Norwegian cast iron waffle maker), and riisengrut... (and #4 would be about 25 varieties of her homemade Norwegian cookies)...

Potatiskorv was a sausage my mom made with pork, veal, potatoes and onions, all hand ground in her meat grinder, and stuffed into sausage casings and cooked. Oh how I would love some right now!!

Riisengrut was what we always had on New Years Eve. It is white rice cooked in milk, like a thick and creamy rice pudding. We each had a big bowl with a big lump of butter melting on top and cinammon and sugar. It's delicious!

In one of the bowls, my mom put an almond and buried it in the rice. Then she switched the bowls all around, with her eyes closed, so she had no idea which bowl held the almond. Traditionally, the almond was to bring special things in the coming year to the person whose bowl it was in...

As we began to eat, each one of us held our breath till the winner declared they had the almond in their bowl. The winner got a big gift wrapped box of something special. To this day, I can't remember what the gift was... it was all about trying to be sure we had the almond in our bowl!

We carried that tradition on with our 3 kids all through the years. Our gift was a coffee can filled with pennies that had been saved through the year. Our youngest son won that almond so many times, that we finally all said... just give the can of pennies to Tommy, before we even ate... (all 3 of them will be laughing and nodding in agreement if they read this!)



A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.

(Prov.17:8 NKJ)


21 comments:

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

What a jewel your mother was and what precious things she handed down to her daughter! Each time I am so inspired and I remember that even if I think they aren't seeing it...they do!
Thanks so much for always sharing your heritage...your mother is so blessed and you are now blessings us all with your richness of wisdom!

Farm Girl said...

Oh that is wonderful and I would like some of the
Riisengrut right now. I love that you saved pennies in a can and that was the prize. I love traditions like this. I think it is so neat that you have such sweet things to look back on like that. Thank you for sharing it with us,

Julia said...

Sonja, this is my first comment on your blog. Your home is so dreamy. I love the entrance especially. it is so inviting. What nice traditions to hand down to your children. I love the almond in the bowl tradition. Priceless. Thanks for the house tour. JB

Andrea said...

Sonja: Sounds so unbelievable wonderful!

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,
andrea

Jackie said...

Oh wow! Sonja! What a wonderful tradition....your memories are so rich....bless you, friend for sharing them with us!!!

Luv, Hugs and Sweet Christmas Blessings!
Jackie

GWENDOLYN KAY said...

Hello Sonja,
That is a fun tradition. I think that sausage sounds scrumptious! I have a prayer request... today my mother in law was put on hospice. I knew this day would come...she is 89, but it still saddens my heart, also her only remaining sibling. her older sister was put in the hospital and they say her kidneys are failing. She is 91 but you would think she was only in her 70s . I fear we will loose them both soon, and I am fine with that as God's will. Sorry to be going on so.... anyway my prayer request is that God be beside them and comfort them and their loves ones during this time.
Thank you .
Gwen

Rita said...

Wow, sounds like you guys had real fun during the holidays. It is good to have traditions in your family that you carry on.

deodate said...

I love traditions, they are such a gift to the children. What beautiful memories you must have, it's no wonder that you feel so free to open your home to us. What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas.
Andie

Sandy said...

Sounds so delicious. Maybe you will share
the recipe soon?? I love reading about
you and your family, then and now.
Blessings,
Sandy

Just Be Real said...

This is delightful. My mum who is from Yugoslavia also has a traditional meal she makes on New Years called Sarma.

Thank you dear for sharing. Blessings.

myletterstoemily said...

your mom would be so happy that you have
carried on so many of her traditions. her special
dishes sound delicious!

especially after a three hour rehearsal! i could
eat a bear!

LisaShaw said...

I so love this Sonja!!! Precious memories you have and have passed on to your family.

I would have loved to have tasted that sausage!!!

Love you friend. Thanks for ALWAYS being such a treasured gift in my life. I know it's the presence of our LORD within you. I'm thankful...

Sassy Granny ... said...

It's the TLC of mothers like yours that established a precious groove in your memory, AND legacy.

My mother made Rice Pudding (now I know it has a name), and it was a favorite. Wish she'd known about the almond!

We did something similar with birthday cake. She put one toothpick inside, and whoever got it then got to make a wish (supposedly one that would come true, so powerful was "toothpick magic").

Blessings,
Kathleen

Debbie said...

Oh what wonderful memories...I'd love to try some of that sausage...Yumm....I love hearing stories like this, I am glad you shared it. Have a wonderful day. HUGS

Debbie said...

My mom and both of my grandmothers made Riisengrut. My sister makes it every Christmas now for my family in Florida when they get together on Christmas Eve. I think I may need to start making it too.

I always feel like I could be another sister in your family. Our Norwegian traditions are so similar. I love it!

Love you,
Debbie

Debbie said...

This is a wonderful post that really does make me feel warm inside. I love family traditions. I'd like to copy that one, but I guess that would be silly since it's not my heritage. Shucks...

I really love the idea of the penny can. Now THAT is a great one that I could copy. I just need a little custom to go with it. Hmmm... thinking... thinking...

Lou said...

What a lovely tradition, Sonja! Love this post.

Thanks for your kind comment while I was away from blogging. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

Love, Lou

Shirley said...

What wonderful memories you have of your childhood!

myletterstoemily said...

thanks for your prayers, sonja! i will let you know
when he returns.

myletterstoemily said...

you are so dear. as soon as there is good news i
will shout it from the rooftop.

there is hopeful news: he has turned off his cell,
but is reading some of his emails. he's mostly
just deleting. so we know he is alive just not where
he is or what in the world is going on . . .

Diana said...

Absolutely wonderful!!