We've been busy little elves-- rolling beeswax candles, making Christmas cards, opening windows on our Advent calendar, and hanging up decorations. Mary and Joseph have made their appearance along with our nightly reading materials that take us through Advent: The Light in the Lantern and Mary's Little Donkey. I can't imagine advent without these books, they really lend so much heart to our home, and the children still light up with every telling.
Another long-standing tradition for us, our felt Advent stockings. Each one holds a different holiday carol. We sing our nightly song before we light the Advent candles and read our story. Singing with my grandmother is one of my favorite memories from childhood, and it touches my heart to see what joyous little singers I have. There is no sound more precious than the sound of little voices rising up in song! And we are discovering that at five, Kitty Bill has quite a good memory for song lyrics!
And as always, the girl elves have been busy knitting away. There are projects going in every corner of the house and lots of whispering going on.
Not all the projects have been started yet, nor the baking, but there is time yet, still plenty of time... or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
It's cold outside, blustery and snowy with lots of ice! We're trying our best to stay warm and toasty, and when the winter winds blow, our thoughts turn towards food. The kids have made an unusual request for Christmas dinner-- soup!
I made the mistake of playing around with our pumpkin soup recipe the other day. Around here folks serve it with cream. We've always made it with coconut milk. This time I decided to forgo the milkiness altogether and add in my soup protein standby, ground nuts, and top it with a heavy hand of nutmeg. Now, my kids are generally very enthusiastic eaters. And they love pumpkin anything... but this soup? They went crazy for it.
We finished off the leftovers for lunch today, and there was a general echo of sadness until one of them piped up with the idea of soup for Christmas Eve dinner. When I acquiesced, they actually cheered.
Best Pumpkin Soup Ever
one medium winter squash (pumpkin, kuri, butternut, etc.) cubed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves fresh garlic
2-3 cups vegetable broth (depends on size of your squash)
1/2 cup ground almonds
sea salt, to taste
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Toss in the squash, add enough broth so that it reaches the top of the squash, but doesn't cover it completely. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender (or alternately cook in a pressure cooker for 7-10 minutes). Puree this, stir in the ground almonds and add sea salt to taste. Serve with a heavy sprinkling of nutmeg.
It's dairy-free, animal-free, gluten-free goodness... unless of course you serve it with fresh, homemade bread. But I know you clever folks have got the homemade, gluten-free bread down pat already.