Sunday, October 24, 2010

Advent Peparations

I am preparing for Advent.  
The Advent season is longed for all year by our family,
who prefers this contemplative, peaceful tradition to the more popular Christmas celebrations. 
If you are new to Advent traditions, you can find out about Advent here. 
  What Is Advent
One of the festivities we relish the most during Advent is the weekly lighting of a new candle,
celebrated by partaking in the season’s best flavors and aromas 
around the table with tea each Sunday evening.
Now, I am trying new recipes in anticipation. 
This year will be quite interesting, as we are anticipating
the birth of our wee one 
in the midst of Advent. 
So I am preparing now. 
Making menus for tea, ordering teas, packaging scone mixes, 
purchasing candles, selecting a book to read aloud, so that it can all come together with little fuss.

The first Sunday of Advent this year is November 28, little more than a month away.  
When it comes early, like this year, I have, in the past, found myself unprepared. 
So this year I am making way now, avoiding the crowds of Thanksgiving shoppers later. 
On afternoons when I am feeling plucky, I can work out some of the preparations. 
Today, I am baking gingerbread scones, a new recipe. 
Doesn’t pear butter and whipped cream sound like wonderful accompaniments? 
Moist, easy to prepare, and yummy, this is a keeper.
4 c. flour,
6 tbsp. brown sugar,
4 tsp. baking powder,
2 tsp. ginger,
 1 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp salt,
1 tsp cinnamon.
 Mix together. Cut in 1/2 c. cold butter.
Then mix in a separate bowl, 2/3 c. molasses,
1/2 c. milk,
2 eggs, separated. 
Keeping egg whites separate, Add the mixture to the floured mix, stir lightly, pat out into a circle, 1/2 to 1 inch deep, cut into wedges.  Froth egg whites and brush on tops of scones, sprinkle with sugar.  bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Best if served while warm.

Makes 8 large scones.

Our favorite resources for Advent are:
The Advent Book 
This is a book of beautiful doors to open each day of Advent.  
Our children greatly look forward to rotating who is opening what door.  
We begin with door #1 every night, and work our way up to the door of the day, 
so that by Christmas Eve, they know the sweet scripture story by heart,
even the smallest of them.

Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s  Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels by Arnold Ytreeide -/  
These storybooks have added great delight to our traditions, 
building within us the anticipation of the last chapter, read Christmas day,
where the main character finds Jesus.  Each book builds on the last.
Young to old, we have really enjoyed these stories.

And our own family traditions: 
Decorating the house with evergreen garlands, flowers,
the advent wreath, and cozy winter comforts.
Tea each Sunday as we light the new candle. 
Reading an Advent story each night aloud. 
Opening a new door in the Advent book each evening.
Lighting the Advent wreath each evening as we read. 
Spending quiet family moments contemplating the prophecies,
the town, the people, and the Savior who came so humbly to testify of the Truth.

If you have wondered about Advent, this is the time to start looking into it, 
so that you too may be ready to begin your own celebration this year.

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