It was now time for our first online Christmas column. I was by this time enthralled with the Internet, in love with the freedom that an online column afforded me.

I decided to do something special for Christmas.

I may have gone a little nuts.

The concept of providing a few extras for the Holiday Issue was not a new one - back in our first Christmas newsletter (1986) I'd gone so far as to write a little story for Wee Ones.

For this issue, in addition to the regular column, I decided to delve into the history of Christmas Carols, as well.

The actual column pretty much wrote itself - I simply sat back and began to think about what Christmas meant to me, and bade the happy ghosts of the Christmases of my youth to come forth. It was a happy experience, and a fun column to write.

By the time I'd finished I was so overwhelmed, so immersed in the spirit of Yuletides Past, that I couldn't resist printing our recipe for Aebleskivers, the Christmas morning treat that had been a tradition in our family for as long as I could remember.

Thus did this column inadvertently auger in a new tradition - that of the Book Again Recipe of the Month.

I wax rather rhapsodically about "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol below, urging one and all to go and buy the video, or laser disc. Well, as we know, laser is a thing of the past, with video following fast in its footsteps. However, I am happy to report that "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" is indeed available on DVD, having been released in that format last November (2002)!

The Real Magic of Christmas


It's funny - I've been thinking back on Christmases past, getting ready for this column, and I remember so many things . . . it seems inevitable and appropriate that thoughts of the Holiday Season invariably take one back to one's own childhood - brothers John and Mike and I were all born in the mid to late fifties (please don't do the math!) so our particularly strong Christmas memories revolve around the early to mid sixties, an especially extraordinary time to be young.

I remember a record Mom (that's Sheryl to you folks) bought in the early sixties - it was a version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," and it was beautifully acted out, terrifying and joyful in turn as it spun its magical tale. We'd sit in front of the hi fi for hours, listening to the record over and over again until Mom got tired of resetting the needle and threw us all outside. It was very much akin to the experience of radio, which not many people under retirement age are likely to recall. For us, this record came to define the story, more than any of the many screen and television adaptations.

I remember December 1961. I was in kindergarten, and it was the last day of school for the year. More importantly, it was my first experience ever of the special joy of a "last day of school." It had been raining hard, and as it came time for us to be let out to walk home (those were different times), it began to hail. Now, I had never seen hail before, let alone anything like this - it may be just a romanticized vision of the past, but I will swear I have never seen a hailstorm to match it. Soon the playground outside was bedecked in the stuff, and so I can truly say I came as close as anyone to having a White Christmas in Southern California!

Back then, the closest department stores to the South Bay were Downtown. The site where Del Amo Mall now stands was a vacant lot - in fact, most of that stretch of Hawthorne was either vacant or farmland. Thus, every December we'd make the trek Downtown, since that's where the stores were, where the toys were, and most importantly where Santa was. It made it somehow that much more magical to visit Santa when you had to drive a goodly distance to reach him.

The department stores were truly magic in those days. First of all, elevators and escalators were not nearly as prevalent as they are today - back then, those contraptions were as much a part of the Holiday Magic as anything else. Additionally, the stores had massive window displays then. Each would try to outdo the other in creating miniature worlds in their front windows, and families would come especially just to tour the storefronts, to pass from window to window marvelling at the animated, colorful scenes.

Imagine, then, the excitement we felt anticipating each yearly trek to that magical fairyland that was Downtown L.A. in the early sixties! The wonder of the storefronts, the awe of coming face to face with so many toys we'd seen only in brief commercials on a black and white television set, the thrill of coming face to face with Santa himself! (In later years, of course, with the proliferation of malls, he was forced to send "helpers" to many of the locations, but back then we knew we were talking to the real McCoy.) Certainly not least among the joys of the trip was riding up and down magical stairs that moved all by themselves, or stepping inside a mysterious box on one floor, and mysteriously ending up on a completely different floor! (It brings to mind one particular occasion, though not Christmas, when Mom took me, Mike and John Downtown to shop. We'd just entered an elevator when young Michael took it upon himself to run back out into the store on a whim. Mom dashed out to grab him . . . and the dreaded elevator doors began to close! John and I began to scream in terror with one voice - and I don't want to think about what further traumas we might have suffered had not a passerby dashed over to grab the doors. Heady stuff - Downtown had its terrors as well as its delights!)

So many memories - I've just begun, and yet I must end the printed version here. The preceding ramblings may not seem specifically folkloric, per se, but to me they are as magical as any tale of ghosts or goblins. Please, please, please, check out our website. I'll finish the tale there, as well as including the usual set of cool Christmas Links, recipes, etc. Again, we're at

Oh - still here? Why, you must be on the web site! Ho ho ho and jolly good! Let's continue, shall we?

I remember so many things from that era . . . I remember Christmas 1962 - we'd just gotten through the Cuban Missle Crisis, of which I was blissfully unaware except for the inordinate amount of extra "Drop Drills" the nuns had subjected us to of late. (For those who don't know, a drop drill consists of the teacher looking suddenly past the class out the window, and saying "drop." At that command, all students were to immediately take cover under their desks, covering their faces. This, they told us, would protect us in the event of a nuclear attack. Trouble was, we never knew if it was a drill or the real thing.)

That season was notable for the premiere of "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol." Now, I know a live action "Magoo" is about to hit the big screen, and I know that the original UPA cartoon series, as well as the short lived "Famous Adventures" prime time series, don't necessarily conjure up the most treasured of recollections, but this particular show was different.

It was, in essence a musical, with songs written by Robert Merrill and the legendary Jules Styne. The music was, and is, extraordinary. The show itself (a simple hour long cartoon special) was billed as a play within a play - it opens with Magoo attempting to get to the theatre where he is to star (as Scrooge) in "A Christmas Carol," and ends with the cast bowing to the audience, after which Magoo quite literally "brings down the house." Though no longer broadcast commercially, it was on Disney Channel a few years back, and was until recently available on Video and Laser Disc. The video may still be available, and the Laser can probably be purchased cheaply, if you can find it.

I digress. That Magoo changed my life. It was my first introduction to the world of stage, and I was absolutely fascinated. To compound things, the hot toy of the year was something called "Show Boat," which in essence was this plastic Mississippi steamship that turned into a stage, with slots to insert background, midground and foreground scene elements into. A child's introduction to 3-D and special effects! It was the bomb - I needed one!

Truly, '62 was the "stage" Christmas.

I remember Christmas 1963. President Kennedy, the only president I'd really been conscious of, had just been assassinated, and going to a Catholic school you can imagine the mournful zeitgeist permeating the schoolyard as we approached what should have been the happiest of times. I was, without quite realizing what was going on, selected to play "Tiny Tim" in a version of "A Christmas Carol" that the school was putting on. My wishes had come true - I was going into the Theatre.

We based my costume on the cover of that wonderful record album I mentioned earlier. I guess I did a fair job, as my parents overheard a couple ruminating after the performance about how remarkable it was that the school should have found a real cripple . . .

In my enthusiasm for the project I volunteered to bring that precious record to school for the edification and enlightenment of all and sundry.

I did.

The nuns lost the record.

It was a tragic blow, and the loss has never quite left me. We loved that record, and it was gone.

We had a choir of girls singing various carols throughout the performance, and one of the final tunes was "Let There Be Peace On Earth" - a particularly poignant choice in the wake of the Kennedy tragedy. It was a soul-stirring moment, each and every performance. We were a generation in mourning, sensing a loss of innocence and a suspicion that things were about to radically and irrevocably change.

A month later, every one of those girls had lost all memory of anything not directly relating to a certain four mop-tops from England . . .

I remember . . .

I remember my parents struggling through the all-too-common quandary of how to keep us kids quiet until it was time for present opening. According to Mom, I was the principle culprit, and knowing my obsession with reading they began a tradition of "Christmas Eve books." Each Christmas Eve, upon retiring, each of us found a beautifully wrapped book on our pillows. The idea was that it would distract us sufficiently to keep the peace until they were ready for us.

Now, of course, they had problems getting me to go see the presents - I'd be too wrapped up in my book!

A series of books for "younger readers" was being issued then, all edited by Alfred Hitchcock (with the express help of the late lamented Robert Arthur). I would more often than not find one of these upon my pillow on Christmas Eve. I remember one of my favorites - it was December 24, 1964, and the book was "Alfred Hitchcock's Haunted Houseful." Extraordinarily delightful book - even if I did have trouble sleeping.

(Interestingly enough, I remember nothing else about that Christmas - my grandfather (my Dad's Dad) had just died, and it was less than pleasant to contemplate future holidays without this very special part of the family.)

The book itself was long gone, of course, as I entered adulthood, with its cares and woes.

I remember.

I remember a lot.

I remember Mom's side of the family - the Andersons. They had a ritual of singing "O Tannenbaum" together every year - in the original German! In classic folkloric fashion, none of them could speak a word in the language - they'd all learned the song phonetically!

So I remember Christmas 1965. The movie "Goldfinger" had been out for a year, "Thunderball" had just come out, and the world was essentially Bond-crazy! ("Bond" - as in, James Bond.) (Shaken, not stirred.) The hot new toy that season was the "James Bond Official Attache Case." I don't know if I've ever lusted after anything inanimate so hard. It was an obsession.

Unfortunately, I'd been warned that certain Santas thought the toy a bit too "gimmicky" and hence not worth the money. My fears were realized when Christmas Day arrived and - no Attache Case.

Ah well, disappointment is an inevitable side to the seasonal avarice, so I put on a brave face and put the thing out of my mind.

Christmas Night was the time for Mom's family to arrive in droves, more cousins than one could count, Aunts and Uncles galore, and of course Nona and Grandpa.

Who just happened to have a whole mess of packages for our generation shaped suspiciously like Attache Cases.

Yes! They were! It was! The next morning saw more carnage on our block, with more miniature James Bonds than you have ever seen. Ah, it was delightful.

One or two of the uncles had brought a movie projector and some old Fleischer cartoons for us, so all in all it was quite a successful and magical evening.

I remember.

I remember way too much for this site! I remember growing up, turning from the recipient of magic into the occasional purveyor of magic. (Even managed to surprise Mom a couple of times.)

I remember my grandmother (Dad's Mom). I remember taking brother Mike to her apartment, surprising her and Aunt Pat (1986), and regaling them with harmonized Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve.

I remember subsequently returning to the party at my house, bidding farewell to Mike and the rest, and crawling into bed - and finding something stuffed beneath my pillow.

I reached for the object, unwrapped it, and there before my unbelieving eyes was "Alfred Hitchcock's Haunted Houseful" - the book I'd loved so much, the book I'd lost so long ago.

And inscribed on an inside page was this:
"Christmas Eve 1986 - This book brings back memories . . . I know it does for you, as well. Merry Christmas, Joe! Your brother, Michael."

If I live to be 200 I may not be able to return the amount of joy he gave me at that moment.

So a bit of childhood magic hit me unawares, hit me at the age of 30!

And that, my friends, is the whole point of the bloody season . . .

Outside of early childhood memories, when I think back on Christmases past I am at a loss to recall what things were given to me. I remember most vividly, however, the people, the family and friends, the sharing . . . it's evidently not so much about what we give and receive - all that is just an excuse to see each other. Friends and family are gold, we don't realize it most of the time, but at this time of year we would do well to be thankful for each and every blessed one of them!

And so I end this over-long time excursion . . .

Oh, wait!

Did I mention one of my Dad's big Christmas morning traditions?


Or, as we called them, "Apple Skippers."

A wonderful Danish treat, served every Christmas Day for generations . . .

It's appropriate that it's Danish, as so much of our Christmas lore comes from that region.

That's it - I've decided - I'm not done with you yet!

I do now hereby end this column, but shall be providing you with a few Christmas presents . . . including, our family's secret Aebleskiver recipe, as well as some extremely cool Christmas links . .

That's all, thanks for -

Sorry? What was that?

Oh, you want to know about that recording of "A Christmas Carol," the one I lost back in 1963?

Well, I searched for years, and being a collector of such things, accumulated a great number of records in the process. Never could find that one, though.

About a month ago, I was surfing on the web, and stumbled onto the Ebay Auctionweb site, and -

You guessed it - someone had that very record up for auction.

I got it, I'm waiting to play it till mid-December, and on Christmas Day Mom is coming down to visit (with brother Dan) and I think I'll make them listen to the whole thing!

Nothing is ever truly lost.

There is definite magic to the season.

And for those of you who wonder how great this record is, don't despair. It is, in essence, a recording of a radio show from the late 1930's, featuring Lionel Barrymore as Ebenezer Scrooge. He was always considered the definitive Scrooge, and was a shoo-in to play that role when they got around to filming it. Unfortunately, he lost the use of his legs (you'll notice he is wheelchair-bound in that other immortal Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life", which features our great-Uncle Bobby Anderson as the young Jimmy Stewart) and so could not give us what surely would have been the quintessential rendering of the character.

At any rate, this recording is broadcast every year on public radio (I believe it's KUSC locally but I could be wrong) shortly before Christmas. Check your listings, or Email me personally and I'll hook you up if I can.

And have the best, the merriest, the most remarkable and magical of Christmases!


What? Me again?

Yep, it's true - in the spirit of the season I couldn't resist throwing in a little something for the stocking, and so, thanks to the kind indulgence of Webmaster Uncle Mike, I give you:

Christmas Songs

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - a modest history by Joe Nolte

Christmas carols are a timeless lot. As someone put it once, we know them before we are aware of it - they are so much a part and parcel of the season that our tiny ears have undoubtedly absorbed most of the classics of the season long before we've begun to figure out what all the holiday fuss is about. Music has that special magic, it gets into one's soul, it finds a place for itself among one's most deeply rooted memories. Have you ever heard an older song, one you hadn't heard in years, and suddenly found yourself transported back in time, to some specific long forgotten place in your past? Music's like that.

Christmas songs, in particular, have extra magic. We don't necessarily associate them with a certain time, because each year we trot them all out again, and more than the decorations, the services, the eggnog - it's the music that instantly conjures up all the Christmases of old, surreptitiously adding new memories from the current holiday to its bountiful brew. We wrap our memories in these songs, and every December, in digging out the old records and songbooks, we unwrap these gifts of our own past, to bring the new season into the great magical fold.

Christmas carols, then, are truly timeless. And they have always been around.

Or have they?

Can you imagine a Christmas without Frosty or Rudolph? You can if you're pushing sixty.

Or how about The Little Drummer Boy? Anyone forty or older experienced at least a few years deprived of that "instant classic."

And George Washington never heard "Jingle Bells."

In short, all these wonderful songs had to be written at some point. We tend to see them all as having been ever with us, as timeless as the season itself, but there were Christmases celebrated long before most of them were ever written - and some are perhaps more recent than we might suspect.

We're all probably somewhat acquainted with the "centuries old" quality of many of the traditional carols, originating in some European township far removed in space and time. I was far more interested in the roots of the more recent songs - the ones that first emerged, not slowly from town to town, but with lightning speed - on the radio, in the movies, and on television.

I decided to do a little research . . .

What follows, then, is a very brief look at the origins of some of our best loved Christmas Carols . . .

Now, many of the most revered carols are as ancient as imagined. The British were singing carols of the season long before Christianity hit. "Deck the Halls" was already a holiday classic by 400 AD, and may be centuries older.

Sometime in the 1300's, a Dominican Friar had a dream in which angels appeared, singing a song to him half in latin and half in german. On awaking, he wrote the song down, and gave the world "In Dulci Jubilo" - better known as "Good Christian Men Rejoice."

Around 1500 an anonymous French bard gave us "The First Noel," while in England things were pretty quiet until the 1590's, when both "Here We Come A-Caroling" and "Coventry Carol" emerged, followed in 1600 by the all time classic "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen."

The French attempted to fight back in the 1600's with "Patapan," but the British brought out the heavy guns as the century closed as classical composer George Frideric Handel teamed up with Isaac Watts to create "Joy To The World," followed in 1741 by one of the most interesting (if true) Christmas Carol hoaxes ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public . . .

That year in England, John Francis Wade published a song he claimed to have just "discovered." With Latin lyrics, it was purported to be one of the first Christmas Carols, possibly written by Saint BonaVentura (namesake of the City, the Highway and the Boulevard for our San Fernando Valley readers) himself!

As the centuries have passed, it is now widely believed in certain scholarly circles that the song was actually written by Wade himself. Certainly, ascribing one's own work to some quasi-legendary predecessor to add weight to the work was not uncommon in those days - but who knows?

The song in question was "Adeste Fideles" - exactly 100 years later it was finally put into English as "O Come All Ye Faithful."

At any rate, carols were becoming more and more popular as the 1700's turned into the 1800's, with "Angels We Have Heard On High" from France, and of course the famous tale of Germany's "Silent Night." (I assume you all know the tale, if not let us know and we'll throw it in somewhere.)

It is not much of a surprise that the 1800's were particularly fruitful times for Carol writing. It was the Victorian age, the era of Dickens, etc. etc.

What is surprising is where most of the classics came from.

That's right - from the land that gave us "Santa Claus" as we know him today, from the land that gave us electric Christmas lights - America.

For "Jingle Bells" was written by American John Pierpont in the early 1800's, followed by "We Three Kings" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem," both written by Pennsylvanians in 1857 and 1868 respectively. Finally, "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" appeared somewhere in the states in the latter part of the century. The yanks had co-opted Christmas, even as Dickens was immortalizing the Christmas "spirit" (God Bless Him for that!) the former colonists were creating the music for Christmases to come.

But who could have anticipated what the 20th century would bring . . .

It began, appropriately enough, with "Toyland" - a signature hit from the Victor Herbert operetta "Babes In Toyland." The play premiered in 1903, and I can remember, while babbling as a child about the upcoming (this was 1961) Disney film of the same name, my great grandmother Stella Kohler recalling how she took her daughter (our Grandma, she who Mike and I serenaded in '86) to see the original play.

"Toyland" was quickly released as a single, performed by Corrine Morgan and the Haydn Quartet in June of 1904, and immediately hit #1 on the charts. (Of course, 1904 being what it was I'm not sure how crowded the charts could have been.)

The twenties saw another instant Holiday classic emerge, albeit in instrumental form. The song was "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," and had nothing to do with the aforementioned Herbert play. It was an early composition by a fledgling songwriter named George Jessel. Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra debuted this song August 26, 1922, taking it to #3 on the charts. Paul Whiteman would take it to #1 a year later.

The thirties seemed to compact all its holiday cheer into a single season: in December of 1934 Guy Lombardo gave us the original "Winter Wonderland," immediately followed by George Hall with a little tune called "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."

The forties will probably always be remembered in Christmas circles for the song that started the ball rolling in that decade. Bing Crosby, in 1942, released "White Christmas," a song written for a little black and white film called "Holiday Inn" (and not for the technicolor extravaganza named for the song that emerged a few years later).

In 1944 Judy Garland appeared in a film called "Meet Me In St. Louis," which among other things gave us the immortal "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," a hit for Judy in December of that year.

In 1945 Vaughn Monroe introduced "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," and in 1946 Nat King Cole gave us "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire)."

Then along came Gene Autry.

Inspired by Hollywood's Santa Claus Lane Parade, western singer Gene wrote "Here Comes Santa Claus," little dreaming that he was about to give the world two more holiday classics that would eclipse nearly everything else he would ever sing. At any rate, "Here Comes Santa Claus" soared into the Top Ten at the very end of 1947.

As you can see, we've been averaging one classic a year since 1944, and the trend was to continue into 1948 with an unlikely candidate - Spike Jones that year gave us the #1 hit "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."

We haven't forgotten old Gene, though.

The story of Rudolph had been around since the late '30's, but only in prose form. In 1949, someone finally got the idea to set the tale to music, and Gene Autry gave the world the original "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" on December 3, 1949.

In the late forties and early fifties a musician named Alfred S. Burt used to write a carol every year, giving it only to friends as his family's Christmas Card. The beauty of the songs became legendary, and over the years they have grown in popularity. The classic (if not as known as it should be) "Some Children See Him" is one of these, and dates from this period.

Not content to let well enough alone, Gene Autry returned in 1950 with another original instant classic: "Frosty The Snowman." In 1952 12 year old Jimmy Boyd introduced the novelty "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

Then, in 1953, one of the greatest classics of them all appeared - a Christmas classic written for . . . Bob Hope?

Yep, Bob was doing a film called "The Lemon Drop Kid" and needed a Christmas song. As the story goes, the songwriting team hired for said enterprise (Ray Evans and Jay Livingston) were reluctant to take on the task. Their complaint was that Bing Crosby had the season all sewn up, and no one wanted to hear a "new" Christmas song.

The song that resulted, "Silver Bells," is of course the song they are most remembered for, although, ironically, the hit recording of the song was made by none other than Bing Crosby, singing a duet with Carol Richards in December of 1953.

The "Pop" fifties were about to swing into the Rock & Roll era, but there was still time for one last "traditional" holiday classic. On December 18, 1955, just as Elvis was signing with RCA, Perry Como introduced "Home For The Holidays" to the world.

By 1957 Rock & Roll was here to stay, and so Bobby Helms produced "Jingle Bell Rock" in December of that year.

Wait, did I insinuate the "classics" were dead? Not quite.

The very next year saw the debut of a song that has become as popular as any, and seems to have been around far longer than it has.

The week of December 22, 1958, a record by the Harry Simeone Chorale hit the charts for the first time: "The Little Drummer Boy."

Of course, that same month gave us The Chipmunks' "Chipmunk Song," leaving us all to wonder if Alvin ever got that hula hoop for Christmas.

An appropriate segue into the sixties, and the final frontier of Christmas Classics: television cartoon specials.

I touched on "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" in the regular column. It was the first of the '60's classics, and featured some extraordinary songs. Buy it, rent it, steal it, whatever - it's a must have. (Incidentally, it was cited by Alistair Cooke as one of the only two film versions of the story he'd ever liked, the other being the George C. Scott 1985 made-for-tv version)

"Magoo" debuted in 1962.

"Holly Jolly Christmas" may seem somewhat timeless, with Burl Ives' voice and all, but it made its debut in the special "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," which premiered in December 1964. The following year gave us "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and the final great opus of the times emerged the following year - December 1966 saw the premiere of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas."

There have been many songs, many shows, since those days, but nothing has quite captured the magic of the music of those times.

Or perhaps I'm showing my age, and perhaps some upstart folklore columnist will emerge to extoll the virtues of the '70's and '80's. And more power to them!

We love most what we loved then, as children. We remember . . . and nothing can ever be quite as good. On the other hand, I'll challenge anyone to an aesthetic debate on the relative merits of - oh, never mind. It's Christmas, after all. To each their own best memories. I hope you've all enjoyed our little trip down memory lane. Did we miss your favorite song? Let us know.

And, yet again, Merry Christmas, wherever you'll be, whatever you'll do!

I'll be eating aebleskivers . . .


As I mentioned in my rambling ruminations earlier, one of our main Christmas morning traditions was a breakfast of Aebleskivers. This dish had been a part of the Nolte family for generations, and to this day we cannot quite imagine Christmas without it! Typically we'd wake up, dash off to Church, then home to open presents - and then Dad would disappear into the kitchen, and the culinary magic would begin . . . We kids always thought they were called "Apple Skippers" since our Dad's nickname was Skip (after the mid-30's sunday funnies character and a film or two), and thought the entree unique to our family.

Well, aebleskivers, as you may know, are a profoundly integral entity in Danish cooking - it is impossible to pass through Solvang, for instance, and miss mention of them. I believe it is traditional to serve them with jam or other strange substances stuffed inside, but we have our own tradition.

To cook aebleskivers you need an aebleskiver pan. This is basically an ordinary frying pan with several small to medium sized holes in it, into which the batter is poured. You can find them at any halfway decent culinary utensil shop.

What follows is the traditional Nolte Family Recipe for aeblesivers . . . (although I wonder how "traditional" a recipe this could be, since I don't think bisquick is usually found in too many ancient tomes - take my word though, this stuff is delicious!)

  • 3 cups Bisquick
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1 quart buttermilk

Beat eggwhites & set aside.
Mix all remaining ingredients.
Fold in eggwhites.
Brush preheated aebleskiver pan lightly with oil.
Pour batter into holes, when just browning gently turn to brown evenly on all sides.
Test one or two (to be sure the middle is no longer liquid) then remove all to a bowl, and start a new batch.
Repeat (I suggest cooking in shifts) till all and sundry are stuffed!

We would always have applesauce and ham on the side. The aebleskivers themselves we would prepare only by buttering the inside, and sprinkling with powdered sugar.

Well, we've shared (far too many) memories, as well as a traditional family recipe. I leave you now with the usual cool links:


The Mystical World Wide Web is a great folklore site - this is their Christmas page and contains more stuff than I'd ever be able to include, even if I'd chosen to do a more "traditional" column this year. Highly recommended - should satisfy anyone's desire to get at the origins of many holiday traditions. I plan to steal heavily from them next year.

While we as a book store cannot entirely recommend the World Wide Web as a substitute for books, I had to include this. It's the complete "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, with late 19th century illustrations to boot!

"Not Just For Kids" Christmas page - A very good general Christmas site - lots of good links, everything from songs to recipes to Luke 2.

That's it for now, see you in 1998 . . .


Joe Nolte and the whole Book Again crew