There is a LUNAR ECLIPSE TONIGHT!!! Apparently, it is very rare to have an eclipse at the same time as the winter solstice... so if you are in America look up! If you are in Sweden wake up super early because we will only be able to see the beginning of it right before sunrise... boo, well thats not that early really... 8:30! But, it is an exciting night astronomically speaking... who knows what could happen?!?!?
I am getting very excited about Christmas here and all that it has to offer and recently found this article which helped explain to me what I am about to encounter in the gastronomical side of things: Dissecting the Delights of the Swedish Christmas Smorgasbord. But of course I will keep you up to date with pictures and personal antidotes about my experience. At school on Wednesday we are going to have traditional Christmas porridge and some singing I think. Should be interesting haha!
I was talking today to Vegard, Sigrid and Bjorn about Christmas traditions that we all have. They asked what my family does, being such a mix of American and Swedish. I said "Well, for a few years we lost power on Christmas Eve so it was hard to cook and see, so that started the tradition of having pancakes by candle light. Then, we open maybe one present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning and have chocolate and fruit all day and then a sort of lunch smorgasbord." For some reason they were all very confused looking and finally go "doesn't it take a long time to make pancakes by candle light?" and I was like "what?! The normal amount of time, we have a gas stove" and everyone bursts out laughing. They had thought that we cooked the pancakes OVER candles! They pictured us every year slowly cooking pancakes over candles and waiting for HOURS to be able to eat half cooked pancakes! We all started to laugh so hard that tears were coming to our eyes! Now, I keep picturing a sort of Oliver Twist "please sir can I have some more" moment with half cooked candle pancakes! That would be horrible and certainly wouldn't leave much time for sitting around... what a mess!
Annnnway, today... I worked in the cold shop CLEANING like crazy. Well, actually, for the first 1.5 hours we finished the bottoms on stuff we have given to the school to sell in the shop for money... it was weird to see stuff that I had made getting signed "Riksglasskolan OF '10" and going to be sold. Also many of my flower cutting pieces are going to be sold like the big bird plate and some practice pieces I have made. It makes me happy that they can help raise money for the school but feels weird.. but then some of MY stuff will sell. Stuff that I have made or decorated will sell for real money! After break we cleaned the cold shop. We scrubbed the water bins and cutting wheels and organized the materials rooms. It was intense and will continue to tomorrow I think.
After lunch I got to go to the factory and work for a while. I practiced cutting glass straight when it is hot. This is tricky for a variety of reasons, it is HOT, it is hard to cut something round straight and it is not right under your nose, you have to do it off to the side. I practiced over and over for about 2 hours and finally my thumb couldn't be hot any more and my middle finger was exhausted from trying to cut the glass with the scissors. I can't find a video of it... but is sucks and is super hard and very useful so I have to learn it.
Here are the pieces I made on Friday with Sigrid:
These are the same size as the other bowls... perfect for you pet or peanuts. I was trying to make the sides go out more and I like the shape of the one on the right. Sadly, while walking them down from the factory I slipped, clonked them together and they both chipped.
The whole factory smelled of bacon today also. This was because Stig-Allan cooked bacon there for literally 3.5 hours. He was cooking a meal for 34 people from the factory of bacon, sausage, sill and potatoes I think. It looked good and the bacon was great! I think I may have been the only student he let try any of the food! But here is he cooking in his apron:
There are big cooking ovens and dishwashers in the corner of the factory because they host a hitsill night. That is where they cook and a do a blowing demonstration for tourists. Stig-Allan didn't cook the bacon on our furnace or anything!
The snow is really starting to pile up here...
There is a road on the left you can kind of see... between the mountains of snow.
The school building is starting to get covered as well!
That is a normal one story building behind that snow... the snow is like 10 feet tall I think!
Such a different view from when I came!