little christmas

I'm either awfully late or early with these festive posts depending on how you look at it, but folks, next Christmas is only 11 month away! It's never too late or too early to be inspired, so here we go.

Here in Scandinavia we have a custom of celebrating Christmas beforehand, having parties that are rarely celebrated with the family but more often with a larger group of co-workers or friends. The pre-Christmas party, "pikkujoulut" which translates "little Christmas" is often viewed as a great opportunity for people to make fools of themselves, often featuring abundant alcohol intake and social contacts they feel deeply sorry the day after. The custom started from the celebration of the Advents, and was established after the First WW. The party was sometimes referred to as the "porridge fest", as it's a tradition to eat rice porridge cooked with milk in Christmas time. I've never been a heavy drinker, so the idea of typical Little Christmas doesn't inspire me at all. So we had our own Little Christmas served with some selected drinks, good food, gold as an overall theme, music and many good friends. We prepared a lot of dishes the day before, and photographed them in the abundant light and -10 degrees Celsius/14 F temperature of outdoor patio.

Golden Little Christmas
Spiced & roasted chickpeas
Miniature pies with golden Christmas salad (rosolli)
Caviart shots

Miniature Christmas tarts with cloudberry jam
Round marmalades (by Fazer)
Fresh gingerbread cookies

(Trifle with mullet wine jello, gingerbread crumbs and pomegranate seeds)

We asked our guest bring golden candles with them for the table decoration. To drink we had different kind of mullet wines (glogg) and some suitably coloured soft drinks.

Spiced & roasted chickpeas
The scent of roasting chickpeas is mouth-watering. We made a lot of them.

400 g dried chickpeas
Spices: olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, good quality salt, cumin, rosemary, cinnamon etc. Use warm, strong spices and try different tastes and combination to find out what you like the best.

Soak the chickpeas overnight, rinse with fresh water and boil them for about an hour. Pour off excess water, let cool a little and pour on a baking tray. Add olive oil and spices, roast in the oven in 150-200 degrees Celsius 300-390 F until crisp and golden. If you wish to prepare the chickpeas well in advance, let them marinate with the oil and spices some days and roast them just before serving.

Miniature pies with golden Christmas salad (rosolli)
Basic pie crust recipe (via Veg'arome), adjust the amounts of ingredients according to occasion

150 g wheat flour
100 g vegan butter
1 tsp baking flour
50 g Plain Tofutti better than cream cheese
50 g Blue style vegan sheese.

Crumble flour and room-temperature vegan butter into an even mixture. Add baking flour and plain cream cheese. Ground the sheese to the dough and mix the dough even. Distribute the dough in small muffin tins and bake in 200 degrees Celsius 390 F from 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Golden Christmas salad

Granny Smith apples

Adjust the amounts of ingredients according to occasion. Peel the root vegetables and cube them. Boil the vegetables until they're almost cooked, pour off excess water and let cool. Peel and cube the apples, drizzle on some lime or lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Mix all the ingredients together, add a dash of black pepper and salt if desired. Serve as a starter, with main course or as a pie filling.

The caviart shots are very stylish starters, and easy to make too. You just need plenty of shot glasses, some good rye bread*, soy yogurt and Caviart*.

Caviart shots

Rye bread crumbs (Fro those in Finland: Fazer Real-rye bread is good for this)
Soy yogurt
Lime juice and grated zest
Herbs for decoration, flat leaf parsley, coriander etc.

Season soy yogurt with lime juice, taste to get the balance of the flavours right.
Add some bread crumbs to the bottom of a shot glass. Moisten up with lime juice or soy milk, add some seasoned yogurt, and on top of it some caviart. Decorate with herbs. Repeat the whole procedure as many times as the number of the guests you've invited. Store in the fridge before serving.

*If rye bread is unavailable, use some whole-wheat bread instead.
**Caviart is a caviar-like product most often made of seaweed. In Finland it's produced for example by AK Seafood. Similar products exist in other countries too: check the major supermarkets and specialty shops.

Miniature Christmas tarts with cloudberry jam

The Christmas tarts were made of deep frozen vegan puff pastry. We cut the sheets of dough into bite-size pieces, cut ad folded the edged as shown below and filled them after baking.

Trifle with mullet wine jello, gingerbread crumbs and granate apple seeds

The trifle was done in a same way as the one I prepared for Italian inspired dinner. We just made a jello from mullet wine and agar agar to the bottom of the glasses, crumbled on some gingerbread cookies moistened up with more mullet wine. We whipped up the foams spiced with a dash of ginger, assembled the trifles and decorated them with some pomegranate seeds. Miniature versions would work for a larger group of people.

Images from the fest:

Few shots from the day after.

2 kommenttia:

  1. I love your pictures,so pretty!
    And that menu is very nice:-)

  2. Thank you! It was cold but definitely worth it!