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Thursday, December 17, 2009


I am all for traditions, especially at Christmastime. I think traditions are a great way to keep the excitement and anticipation going and I am all for coming up with new ones. Back when I was married the first time my then mother-in-law would always serve Christmas Mush on Christmas Eve. Sometimes known as Norwegian Rice, this stuff is so good and warming and delicious that even after my wife and I parted and I remarried, I carried on the tradition and make it every year. Want the recipe? Here ya go. You will need:

1 gallon whole milk

3 cups uncooked rice

Some half & half or heavy cream

Lots of time

Just bring the milk to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Next, parboil the rice in water, drain and add to the milk. Keep at a simmer and stir every few minutes to prevent sticking. Do this for several hours, adding more liquid (milk or cream) when necessary until the concoction is like rice pudding, but a little smoother. Serve warm with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Oh yeah.

NB. this may not be the true  method, but it's the one I use, and it works.

So that's one tradition. Another one that I started doing a few years ago is a little off-the-wall, but bear with me.

One of my favorite albums is the classic Low  by David Bowie. Listening to this album and the way it sounds produces in me a bleak, wintry feeling. So therefore, listening to this album first thing on a cold, dull, overcast, bleak, wintry Christmas a.m. seemed to fit. And so, every Christmas morning, or as close to it as possible, I try to listen to at least side 1. (I can hear all these teenagers going, what does he mean, side 1?)
Listening to "What In The World", "Breaking Glass", "Sound & Vision", "Be My Wife" etc. with a steaming mug of Christmasy-flavoured coffee is one Yuletide tradition I cannot do without.

I told you it was off the wall.

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