Friday, 23 January 2009

The Winding Up of the Christmas Season

The holiday season has come to a close. We have packed up almost all of the decorations and tried to leave them organized and easy to use for next year.

This was a hard year with a lot of challenges, but I want to express my joy and pride in my family for all they did to make this Holiday a wonderful memory. They cooked and decorated, learned new things and did their best to make the holidays a success. It wasn't always easy, but they did it.

I want to open this blog again in November 2009 with new ideas and recording more of our old favorites and recording some of the family stories.

I hope this blog is a helpful resource for family and friends for years to come.

See you in November!!

Grandpa Al Landen's Skating Parties

Grandpa Al Landen loved writing little poems, particularly about his youth.

The Old Time Skating Party

A group of young folks were gathered around
after work at the school ground.

Someone asked, What should we do on Saturday night?
The weather is going to be real nice and bright moonlight.

One of the girls said a skating party would be nice,
Bob said where do we find the ice?

Jane said we could go up to Emily Lake
blankets and lunch we could take.

One of the boys asked who is going to remove the snow?
Susan Jones answered, "My father would know."

He is in the school; I will get him out
Mr Jones came out and said what is the problem about?

When told he said I have a plow in front of my truck
The people cheered at their very good luck.

Word was sent out to almost every one,
young and old come out and have some fun.

It was now Saturday night.
A lot of people were already at the site.

The ice was nice and clean
Thanks to Mr Jones and his snow clearing machine

Boys had gathered wood and made big fires
the light from the moon and fires, made the ice and snow look like daimonds and saphires.

The boys and girls could hardly wait to being to skate.
Mr Cooper said I have a tape player in my car,

I parked the car a bit too far, I will bring it closer by,
and turn the volume up real high.

Now the skaters were gliding along,
to the music of the Skaters Song.

Older folks sat by the fire telling tales of long ago,
of extreme cold and much much snow.

Soon the skaters were hungry, and came to enjoy the food;
which when roasted on the fires tasted very good.

Then everyone sang a campfire song,
Wolves in the distance howled along.

It was getting late, the moon was setting in the west,
after hugs and goodbyes they drove home for much needed rest.

Alfred Landen

Grandpa Bill Cooper's Tally-Ho!!

Another story from Grandpa Cooper

Tally-Ho parties were popular. They cost about $2 for 2 hours, as I remember but then I didn't do the paying so I could be wrong. It was a horse drawn sleigh with some straw on it. It didn't go beyond a trot so you could jump off and back on - or hang on and wear out your mocassins dragging behind or stand on the runners and hold onto the sleigh.

The sleigh was large flat thing. Took 2 horses to pull it easily hold about 20 people was about 4 ft high.

Grandpa Bill Cooper's Memories of Christmas

We gave grandpa a little booklet designed for grandparents to fill in with your memories in answer to some basic questions. It is so valued by us now that he is gone. It is so much like listening to him talk.

"Grandpa, what was the first Christmas you remember like?"

We always had a real tree. Mother and Dad would decorate it after we were in bed. They saw to it that Santa remembered us with a full stocking we had hung on the fireplace, and a nice gift. Like other important memories something sparks it. The first important one of these was when I wanted (badly) an electric train. My 2 brothers were 5 & 7 years older than I was. They got up real early -set up the train and had it running. Then they came and got me up to see it. They told me to listen. I did and I could here it downstairs.

Another year when I was about 12 I wanted skis. By this age I knew that if you let Santaknow early enough that there was an urgent need, he was good for it. Of course you had to be reasonable. I got up and there were the skis. I put them on and thumped around downstairs until I was sent to bed. I got up again and thumped around the attic. Back to be I was sent. I got up and went outside to thump around. It was hours before daylight even then. No one bothered me.

"Where did you hang stockings and how did you decorate the tree?"

I covered these already however- as you might well guess I have a lot of Christmas stories. One year after my Grandfather died & I got his Big Ben alarm clock with large double bells. I wanted to get up Christmas AM very early - like 1:30 AM so I set the alarm for 1:30.
I couldn't get to sleep for I had put this noisy ticking Big Ben under my pillow so as not to awaken everyone within a mile, I kept looking at the time every few minutes. Hands and face glowed in the dark. at 1:25 I turned off alarm- put the clock on my dresser thinking that I would have no problem staying awake 5 minutes. Wrong!

Rice Pudding

We love rice pudding!

Rice pudding is a part of our everyday desert choices, but a bowl of rice pudding is a particular favorite during the Christmas season. The story goes that a bowl of rice pudding needs to be put out every Christmas Eve in the farms of Sweden as a special gift for the magical tomten that are helpers on the farm and also mischief makers that can cause a lot of trouble.

Christmas Rice Pudding

1/2 cup uncooked rice
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 cups milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
cinnamon to taste

Cook rice in milk, with salt, over a low heat preferable in a double boiler. Mix together in a bowl the eggs, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. When the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the milk, add a little of the hot mix to the eggs and stir to combine. Then combine all of it and cook until thick. Add cinnamon. It is good warm or cold.

Friday, 2 January 2009

The Cocoa Set

Bob's Father's Mother, Myrtle Marion, made a wonderful cocoa set.

It is beautifully made and lovely .

Grandpa Bill Cooper wrote about his Mothers China.

"My Mother and Father were very skilled with their hands- Mother did a lot of beautiful hand work including china painting. To watch her you would think it was easy. One day Dad was watching and was a little critical. Mother handed him the dish and invited him to try it. As good as he was with his hands he failed. Never again did he try that. From that day on he would always take guests into the dining room and show off Mother's China. They had a great deal of respect for each other. I can't remember any other time of criticism."

New Year's Dinner

Emily for years now has been making us a wonderful New Years Day Dinner. It started with her wishing to learn about how to truss a Turkey. Since then we have had a lot of excellent dinners With her taking on new challenges every year.
This year, besides a wonderful cranberry and lingon berry glazed turkey with a special cranberry accented stuffing, she invented a new desert Angel Tiramisu.