Tag Archives: Christmas

Got an early christmas gift today

Got an offer on a new job today. It’ll start next year and means that I’ll be working in Östergötland the better part of next year 🙂

I’ll post more on this at a later date.

Merry Christmas

Magnus Reuterdahl

Eight legged space pacer in imaginary space – a Christmas Carol

Let’s sit in front of the fire and I’ll tell you all a Christmas story…

…this Christmas a Christmas gift found its way to it meant receiver, me, after collecting dust for 35 years. Let’s start this story from the beginning. I was born in 1974 and my grandmother on my father’s side passed away in 1975, so I never really got an opportunity to get to know her. Sometime during 1975 she bought me a Christmas gift that for one reason or another never got to me. My father kept it and after a while he forgot all about it until a few years ago. This Christmas we decided it was time to open the long delayed present.

I thought that it might be some kiddie stuff for a one-year old or so, so I wasn’t all that excited… but to my surprise it was something really cool. And with a second thought it was as good that my father did forget about it; it was a Nomura toys battery operated eight legged Space Pacer, in mint condition. The box has a few minor rips but is all in all in good condition. Here are a few pictures:

To the right in this last picture is a sketch portraying my grandfather, on my father’s side, by local artist Paddock, sometime in the 50’s or 60’s.

Merry Christmas all

Magnus Reuterdahl

Magnus does Glögg (mulled wine) based on an old recipe – Vallerstadglögg

Detta inlägg finns tillgängligt på Svenska på min vinblogg Aqua Vitae.

It is once again time to begin with the Christmas chores, step one is to boil mulled wine. Last year I tried this recipe and it was so good that I’ll make this year too. The recipe comes from the book Östgötamat (2008) (Food from Östergötland county) and called Vallerstadsglögg. It is undated is probably from the late 1800s.

Glögg or Mulled wine, Chaud wine, glühwein etc. is a beverage, based on the wine (usually red) and or hard liquor, to which spices are added and served hot. The word Glögg came into the Swedish language during the 19th century and comes from the Swedish word glödga (= to heat over red heat) and during that century this drink got to be connected to the Christmas traditions in Sweden. The tradition to spice and heat wine is much older and known to have been done already in ancient Greece and Rome. This mulled wine is in other words a relic from Christmases past.

Take two bottles of porter and a bottle of beer (Pils) and boil with 2 pieces of cinnamon, 2 figs, 2 pommerans shell, 12 cloves, 12 whole cardamom seeds, 2 hg scalded almonds, 2 hg raisins, 3 hg sugar for about 15 minutes. I use ½-liter bottles and based on last year’s experiments I’ve chosen to increase the dose of cloves and cardamom (whole cardamom seeds) slightly to 20 each.

Allow the mulled wine to cool off and add a bottle of clear (unspiced) snaps, aquavit (75cl). I have chosen to use Brännvin special.

If you wish, you can heat a few hundred grams of sugar and pour this into the mixture. I would and will do so! At last pour a bottle of home-brewed wine of madeira- or sherrytype. I have no homemade -so I’ll use a bottle of Leacock’s Saint John Madeira.

Let the mulled wine stand well covered for a 24 hours, then remove the spices, raisins and almonds. The raisins and almonds are stored and served into the drink when it’s heated.

This mulled wine does not taste as our modern “traditional mulled wine” but more mature, darker, a bit malty with hints of dark brown sugar (though this is not included) and above all very Christmassy. It is almost as sweet as the modern mulled wine, but lacks the juice/lemonade- structure that is present in most modern mulled wines. This makes it a welcome break from all the Christmas candy and the juiciness of the modern mulled wines.

The recipe was originally recorded by Ruth Wallensteen-Jaeger (1903-1995) and published in Östgötamat by Inga Wallenquist.

If you are not inclined to make one quite as advanced you can try a simpler ditto: Julglögg (Christmas mulled wine) from Regna, that dates to the mid-1800s.

Calculate ½ teaspoon whole cardamom seeds to 2 dl clear (unspiced) aquavit or snaps. Tie the spices in a linen patch and heat up the booze with spice patch in. Remove the spices and add 1 ½ tablespoons syrup. Serve warm. Since this doesn’t require as much preparation, I thought to do this on Christmas Eve.

Happy Christmas!

Magnus Reuterdahl

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays

It’s that time of year again; the holidays are a knocking. Got one more day of work on my hands and then I’m off till January the 11th. I’ll be spending Christmas in Karlskoga, the New Year in Stockholm and Twelfth night in Jonkoping. Evan though I’ll be travelling a lot I’ll try to squeeze in a few books that been collecting dust over the last couple of months and of course some well deserved rest.

Let’s hope Santa brings you all something you want or need,  Merry Christmas!

Magnus Reuterdahl

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