Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmases in Estonia

What is Christmas like in Estonia? This blog is your answer! First of all Christmas is a three day holiday (24-26) and in the Estonian language is always in plural (jõulud).  The main day of celebration is the 24th and they have an awesome Estonian feast.  Here is an update of our Estonian Christmases this year!

 We tried to do a little holiday cooking this year, inspired by my sister Jill's top 9 Christmas treats blog post

Our first attempt was caramels.  We had to use some dark syrup that the store had, it said it was used for breads.  At first there was a funny black bread after taste, but after being in the fridge for a day it went away.  The problem is that they never got hard.  I'm not sure if I didn't cook them long enough but they stayed runny even after being in the fridge for a few days.  They tasted great though!

 The next batch was a great success, peanut butter Hershey kiss cookies.  We didn't have Hershey's kisses but we did have Fazer chocolate which worked just as good.

We didn't have the time or ingredients for all 9 of the treats but our last treat from the list was coconut bon bons, they were great!

 We decided to open up our presents early on the 21st because our car is small and it is a bit awkward opening up all our presents in someone else's place.  It was really great to see the excitement of a child opening up presents.  Child number one got a large box of Legos. 

 Child number two got her US citizenship and passport! We hope she likes it, if not she'll have to wait until she is 18 and pay over 2,300 to take it back.

 It wouldn't be Christmas without a Reese's Christmas tree

 For the real Christmas festivities we went down south to Tõrva.  A big feast is the most important part.  This dish is raw salted Herring with sour cream and onion on top. 

 While most think that the national beverage would be beer or vodka, what Estonians actually drink the most is morss.  A tangy-sweet syrup based beverage, think watered down berry flavored tang. This stuff is mandatory at every large gathering.

 The most famous dish of course is blood sausage.  It is quite tasty.

 Sourkraut is another must.

Potato salad is another classic at all major gatherings and events.

 This is sült which is best described as meat jello. I've been in Estonia for at least 7 Christmases but I have never had the courage to try it.  Next year I'm really going to do it. I'm told it is pretty good.

The feast was mostly done by Merle, suur tänu sulle!

 It has been a very warm December, no snow in Estonia.  We are very glad, when it gets too cold the doors on our Polo freeze shut.  We are also not excited about the ice that builds on the sidewalks in the winter time.

 This is a classic Estonian Christmas decoration that is in most people's window.  The last Estonian tradition is what's on TV.  Every year for Christmas they show Home Alone and Die Hard.  Everyone is sick of them but they end up watching them anyway.  This year I saw advertisements for home alone 4 and 5! Who knew they even made a fifth home alone. 

We hope all your Christmases were merry!

1 comment:

  1. meat jello. who would have thought? and die hard! funny!