Archive for the ‘Noel’ Category
Posted by infinitygoods on January 4, 2008
French families have an Epiphany tradition to celebrate the Magi each January 6. Even non-religious families celebrate because they have such fond childhood memories and the galette, a covered almond tart or pie, is so good that they just can’t leave it only to the Christians.
I think you should adopt it too because your children will love the game (adults enjoy it too) and all your taste buds will rejoice. The recipe is easy and fast too if you don’t have a French bakery near you.
You’ll have to “draw a king.” After a fancy holiday dinner, everyone eats the Galette Des Rois (Mages). Inside the covered pie is a “feve” or a small ceramic figure or even just a fava bean or button. The figures are traditionally of the Baby Jesus, but can be of any of the nativity pieces, of a champagne bottle, a lucky clover, a horseshoe or anything symbolizing good luck for the New Year.
The mother or hostess cuts and serves the pie pieces while the youngest child gets under the table or simply closes his eyes to tell the server to whom each piece should go to without being able to peek at the little hidden figure.
When someone finds the figure, they are crowned King or Queen and everyone toasts to them with Champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider, and none will prevent you from drinking soda or milk if you prefer. Each time the King drinks everyone says “The King drinks!”
Then that person discretely places the figure in the glass of someone of the opposite sex so that the King has a Queen or vice versa. Everyone waits for the Queen to find her figure in her glass and when she drinks, everyone says “The Queen drinks!” The King and Queen wear their crowns all evening.
When children are participating, the mother strategically makes sure that one of the children gets the treasured figure. Should a parent accidentally become King, that parent should make a child the Queen (or King or Prince), NOT his spouse.
The game is rigged, but the gullible children have no idea and believe that each year they are just the luckiest kids in the whole wide world and it makes them quite happy and excited. It also boosts their self-esteem in a safe manner. You could crown all the children or even everyone present too.
When the game is played only among adults, it is often agreed upon that the King or Queen will host the Feast of the Magi the following year or bring next year’s galette or pie to the party, and everyone looks forward to more good times among good friends or family.
Whether children or adults, the King and the Queen are supposed to have good luck all year long!
You will need 2 crowns. Your children can easily make them out of paper and decorate them by drawing jewels or using stickers or gluing plastic jewels or sequins. It’s an easy and fun craft. Otherwise you can find crowns from the most basic paper to fancy gold plastic or even velvet ones at a party or costume store.
For the figure you can use a bean or a button. Be sure to warn everyone so there is no tragic chocking! If you decide to play each year, you can even buy tiny figures on-line like the ones in the photo or even outside France at some French bakeries. E-Bay also auctions them as they have become collectibles.
Here’s the recipe:
Galette Des Rois
For 4-6 people
- 2 circles of store-bought puff pastry
- 1 1/2 cup of powdered almonds
- 1 1/2 stick of butter (melted)
- 3 eggs
- 1 heaping cup of granulated sugar
- Natural flavoring to taste such as orange flower water, rose water, pure vanilla extract, rum, Amaretto or Grand Marnier
Mix the sugar, butter, 2 eggs, almonds and your chosen flavoring. Evenly spread the mixture on one of the puff pastry circles. Insert your “feve” or a button or bean, and cover with the second circle. Make a pleasant design on the top with the tip of a knife and paint with 1 egg yolk. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden at 325-350 degrees F. depending on your oven.
It is best served warm. You can also serve at room temperature.
Bon Appetit and Bonne Fete Des Rois!!
Posted in Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, Caring, Children, Children's games, children's stories, Christianity, Christmas, consumers, Cookbook, Cookbooks, Cooking, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, entertainment, Epiphany, fairy tale, Faith, Family, Food, food flavoring, food products, France, Friendship, galette des rois, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, New Year, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, Party, Recipe, religion, royal family, royals, royalty, spirituality, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged: Balthazarm, Children, Dessert, epiphanie, Epiphany, Family, family tradition, fava bean, Feast of the Magi, feve, France, frangipane, French, galette des rois, Gaspar, kids, king, magi, Melchior, prince, princess, queen, rois mage, three kings | Leave a Comment »
Posted by infinitygoods on December 26, 2007
Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! With the New Year resolutions looming in the near future, I am sharing with you 13 ways to remain organized in 2008 and for years to come. Click on the links for more details.
- Desk Calendar: I hide a large desk calendar inside my guest closet;
- Notebooks: Never again lose notes jotted on a scrap of paper. I have a tiny one in my purse for notes on the go; a small one near every phone and especially near the answering machine, just the right size for a name and phone number; regular school notebooks for projects, ideas, my blog, journals, etc.;
- Binders: I keep regular school binders by category such as my household binder;
- Flash Drives: I’m so excited flash drives were invented and have so drastically dropped down in price. I back up just about everything by category on flash drives. These days, you can even buy them in packs of 10! I have one for my photos, one for my blog, one for my recipes, one for my documents, etc.
- Easy Zipper Bags: These are not relegated to just the refrigerator. I use them in just about every room. They are particularly good to help children store and easily find their toys;
- Bread Bag Close Tabs: I use these in the freezer!
- Kitchen Colander: Really, I’m not crazy, and a colander does keep me organized — in the bathtub!!
- Plastic Grocery Bags: Paper or plastic? Plastic for me because they get reused in a whole slew of ways before finding themselves in the landfill;
- Trading Card Storage: Our son has lots of game and trading cards, and like his friends and their parents, we were having a hard time finding a good way to organize them at any price until I thought of using this free box.
- Keeping Our Bookcases From Breaking: My husband, our son and I are all avid readers so our bookcases are always bulging despite using the library. I recently found this solution and so far it seems to be working as it should. If any of you do this too, let all of us know how it’s working for you. 🙂
- Letter Writing Containers: I like to write short notes and thank yous to make someone’s day. I found it’s a lot more likely to get done if I’m organized. I have a zippered binder in my car where I seem to spend too much time waiting. The binder is within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat and I keep it stocked with small blank notes, thank you cards, some stamps, pens and colored pencils, Post Its, paper clips, a small ruler, pencil sharpener, pretty stickers and address labels for both myself and the people I write to most often, an address book, and a calendar marked with birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. I keep a pretty container stocked with the same items near my easy chair and by my bedside.
- Lazy Susans: I have no idea why they call Susan lazy when she’s so smart, but she keeps the hard-to-reach back corners of my deep kitchen cabinets stocked with my mugs on one shelf and my glasses on another;
- Diaper Bag/Grown Boy or Girl Bag: Our son has outgrown diaper bags, but I used to keep one large bag in each car with extra supplies so that I would never run out of anything. I carried a small, light one everywhere we went on foot, but the big, heavy one remained in the car with everything a baby could possibly need because if you don’t have it, that’s when you’ll need it. Today, I still keep a bag with non-spoiling munchies, water, spare socks, a blanket, drawing supplies, one or two toys, wipes, Kleenexes, picnic supplies and plastic grocery bags. Because we live far away from civilization, I’m ready for wasted time in waiting rooms or traffic jams, we can have an impromptu picnic at the park, and having had to run for our lives on several occasions because of California fires, I’d rather be ready like the Scouts.
Feel free to leave me comments, and if you are participating in Thursday Thirteen too, let me know you came by so that my readers and I can come visit your blog as well. 😉
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
Posted in Arts and Crafts, Baby, Bath Time, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, Christmas, consumers, crafts, education, entertainment, Family, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, New Year, Noel, Organizing, Photography, Plastic Grocery Bags, publishing, reading, Recipe, Recycle, Resolution, Reuse, technology, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, Toys, Website | Tagged: 2008, binders, bookcases, books, Calendar, California fires, Christmas, Christmas cards, colander, desk calendar, diaper bag, easy zipper bags, entertainment, flash drives, grocery bags, How To, howto, lazy susan, Letter Writing, New Year, Noel, notebooks, Organization, Organizing, paperback swap, Plastic Grocery Bags, Recycle, Resolution, resolutions, Reuse, storage, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, trading card storage, trading cards, writing | 8 Comments »
Posted by infinitygoods on December 25, 2007
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas 2007!
Posted in Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Noel, religion, spirituality, Tradition | Tagged: Buon Natale, Christ, Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Merry Christma, nativity, Noel | 2 Comments »
Posted by infinitygoods on December 24, 2007
Do you see what I see? It’s snowing on my blog!
Just in time for Christmas, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress has given us the option of adding extra snow to our blogs with just a couple of clicks. Have no fear if you are not a WordPress user, he directs you to an easy as pumpkin pie code from Schillmania too.
And if you are still looking for some Christmas ideas and resources, be sure to click below. These suggestions might be of particular interest this Christmas Eve: Magic Reindeer Food, Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve and Ideas to Reuse Christmas Cards.
Posted by infinitygoods on December 20, 2007
The Archbishop of Canterbury says there was no virgin birth, no magi (only a legend), and no star, among other blabberings. This is coming from a religious leader of the Christian faith, but since atheism keeps creeping into our churches, even an Archbishop no longer believes in the biblical nativity. I found all the details on Tad Cronn’s blog, so head over there to read his editorial on the Archbishop’s heresy titled The Archbishop of Can’t Be: Atheism in the Church.
Posted in Advent, atheist, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Britain, British, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, culture, education, england, fairy tale, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Journalism, life, News, Noel, nonbelievers, religion, spirituality | Tagged: archbishop of canterbury, atheist, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, education, Family, life, Media, nativity, News, politics, religion, rowan williams, science, virgin birth | 2 Comments »
Posted by infinitygoods on December 19, 2007
Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen! You might also be interested in yesterday’s post for Works For Me Wednesday which is also a list of thirteen Christmas ideas. Happy Thursday Thirteen!! And wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
- ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore
- Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
- The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman
- Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
- Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury
- Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
- Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Rudolph: The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May
- Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus by Francis Pharcellus Church
If you are interested in Christmas Ideas or Household Tips, just click below.
Reusing Christmas Cards
Magic Reindeer Food
Advent Calendar Chain — Easy Children’s Craft
Every Cookie Recipe Imaginable
Favorite Christmas Movies
Using an Advent Wreath as a Devotional Tool
Write a Santa Letter to Your Children
Holiday Shopping List
Holiday Decorating Tips and Ideas
Ten Minute Recipe
Bookcases at the Breaking Point?
Organizing Household Binder
Trading Card Storage
Large desk calendar inside guest closet
Child’s haircut without tears
Homemade bread stuffing
Plastic colander bath toy drainer/holder
Reuse plastic grocery bags in the car
How to increase Web site traffic?
16 Blog/Web site tips
Every Cookie Recipe Imaginable
Black Friday Holiday Shopping
Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, book, books, carnival, Children, children's stories, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, crafts, culture, fairy tale, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Noel, novel, publishing, reading, Recycle, Reuse, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, writing | Tagged: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, book, books, Christmas, Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck, Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury, Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien, reading, Rudolph, Rudolph: The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May, Santa, Santa Claus, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, There Is a Santa Claus by Francis Pharcellus Church, Virginia, Yes, Yes Virginia | 9 Comments »
Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007
This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.
Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.
Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!
Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!
16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.
18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.
23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.
And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!
25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.
Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Childhood Memories, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, kill god, life, Memories, Music, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, religion, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Tradition | Tagged: Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Buche de Noel, Christmas, entertainment, Epiphany, France, Friendship, fun, Getting to Know Your Friends, Holidays, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Noel, Paris, Paris window displays, thirteen deserts, treize desserts, yule log | Leave a Comment »