Glögi Nights

 

Patience is not a virtue that I possess in great quantities.  Especially not when it comes to Christmas.  At the first sniff of December I’m writing cards, listening to Slade and draping fairy lights over every plant in the house.  Saturday, being December 1st, was no exception.  After finishing my gift shopping (impressed?) and having a festive lunch with a friend, I headed home to have my own private pikku joulu party. 

Meaning ‘little Christmas’ in Finnish, pikku joulu is a term used for any pre-Christmas Christmas party.  A standard pikku joulu party usually involves copious amounts of alcohol, silly games and dancing till the wee hours.  Though I’m by absolutely no means averse to the standard pikku joulu, Saturday night was a far more mellow affair.  For starters the guest list consisted of me and me alone.  Candles were lit, presents were wrapped, joulutorttu were baked and glögi was consumed.  It was great!

Glögi (or glög, in Swedish) is a kind of mulled wine.  Moreoften that not it is spiked with koskenkorva (a clear Finnish spirit) but I’m a wimp when it comes to hard liquor and prefer to leave it out.  This is how I make it:

Glögi

2 bottles of red wine

Peelings of one orange

6 whole cardamons, bruised

5 cloves

1 inch piece of ginger, halved

1 stick of cinnamon

1 cup of sugar

Raisins and sliced almonds to serve

  • Add wine to a large pan with the spices and leave to infuse overnight.
  • Add the sugar to the pan and heat gently until almost boiling.
  • Ladle into glasses or mugs and sprinkle in raisins and almonds.

PS The 2007 Food Blog Awards are taking place at Well Fed Network.  Nominations accepted until the 5th December.  I got my votes in just in time!  🙂

Joulutorttu – Finnish Christmas Tarts

 I can sing two songs in Finnish: the theme tune to Bob the Builder (AKA Puuha Pete) and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Both were learnt during a stint as a pre-school teacher in a Turku kindergarten called, believe it or not, Wendy House.  During my time there we sang lots and lots of songs, especially in winter when temperatures were too low to take the kids out to play, but I can only remember the lyrics to these two.  Why?  They were my favourites, of course.  Bob the Builder was a great stress reliever and everyone loves Twinkle Twinkle, don’t they?

Likewise, everyone loves these Finnish Christmas tarts.  They are super easy to make, very pretty and delightfully Christmassy, especially when served straight from the oven accompanied by a steaming glass of glögi.  🙂

This post is for Susan from the fabulous Food Blogga’s festive cookie collection.

Joulutorttu (Finnish Christmas Tarts)

Ready Made All-Butter Puff Pastry

Jam (Plum is traditional, I’m partial to cherry)

Icing Sugar, to dust

  • Roll the pastry out to 0.5cm thick and cut into squares, 10cm x 10cm (ish)
  • From each corner of the pastry square cut in towards the middle stopping about a centimetre before the centre (see this picture for visual instructions).
  • Fold every other corner of the cut pastry in towards the middle and press down lightly (see this picture for visual instructions).
  • Blob some jam into the middle of the stars.
  • Bake in a 200oC pre-heated oven for 10-15 mins or until golden and puffed.
  • Dust with icing sugar.