Gini's Research Toolbox

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to You and Yours ~


 
A little Christmas cheer from my home to yours ~
~ Merry Christmas ~ 
~ Frohe Weihnachten ~ 


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The Christmas tree that stands so beautiful and tall, adorned with ornaments as old as I am . . . belonged to my beautiful mom (1933~2010).  I was blessed to inherit her family room tree (she always had two artificial trees standing in her home ) and ornaments. 


I also inherited her Thomas Kinkade Christmas Village collection . . . it's a beautiful village and each time I look at it . . . I smile and mom warms my heart and I know she is here with our family.

  ~ Happy Holidays and warm Christmas wishes to all . . . to our friends and family  . . . to remembering all of those who have gone before us, keeping our Ancestors close to our hearts ~ and to making many new memories in the New Year for generations to come . May all your wishes come true ~  
                                


                                                                     

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Loving Memory of Uncle Helmut ~



1940 ~ 1994

Today, the 20th day of December is the anniversary of the death of my maternal Uncle Helmut. Uncle Helmut was an identical twin to his brother, Adalbert Haf ~ 3 Oct. 1940 ~ 2 October 2004.

Uncle Helmut and uncle Adalbert died of the same disease exactly ten years apart. Their deaths have been very hard on our family . . . we miss you both. You can not mention one without the other.

~Rest in Peace~
Vergissmeinnicht (Forget-me-not)


Click here for a birthday tribute to my uncles.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Oma ~

 

Today, my (maternal grandmother) Oma, Liselotte Haf  née Kaiser-Saule (1913 ~ 2010) would have been 99 years old. Oma was born in Zurich, Switzerland. 
What a wonderful day that was . . . 
Happy Birthday, Oma, we love and miss you!





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog Caroling ~ Stille Nacht ~ Silent Night



                  Stille Nacht  (Silent Night) ~ Vienna Boys Choir ~




Silent Night (Stille Nacht)
In English

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth




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Stille Nacht (Silent Night)
In Deutsch (German)

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!



This has been and always will be my very favorite Christmas song! Stille Nacht (Silent Night) was also my mom's very favorite and she loved the Vienna Choir Boys...so it's perfect as to why I chose it for footnoteMaven' s Tradition of Blog Caroling...thank you  fM! 
And here's to you Mom and Oma . . . Schlaf Gut . . . Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh! . . . I love you  ~


Mom ~  Elfriede Haf - Serafin (1933~2010)
Liselotte 'Oma' Haf nee Kaiser (1913~2010)
This post has been recycled from my original post for footnoteMaven's Blog Caroling post in 2011.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent Calendar ~ Christmas Cookies



 
 ~ Mom's home, Christmas 2009 ~

Christmas Cookies were a very big part of our Christmas. In November, mom (1933~2010) would start baking her cookies and store them in tin containers until about a week before Christmas. Mom would have platters full of each type of cookie on the table for when friends and family stopped by.

My favorite cookie as I had posted about in the Advent Calendar Holiday Foods post, was mom's own Spritz Cookie recipe! They are so good. I am a hardcore tea drinker, when I would get to mom's, the electric tea kettle goes on, and mom and I would sit and chat while I enjoy several Spritz cookies. These cookies always bring back such loving memories of Mom and home.

Mom still used a cookie press that she had brought with her from Germany when we came to the states. I have tried to make these cookies. It's pretty comical ~ the modern cookie press I have is a nightmare to use and my cookies come out disastrous each time! Until I was to inherit the German cookie press, I left the Spritz cookie making to mom.

Mom's German Spritz Cookies

1 cup of butter (2 sticks) softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup toasted sliced blanched almonds finely ground

Optional: toppings (sprinkles, cherries, etc.). In the last few years, mom has dipped half of the cookie in chocolate, which is my favorite.

~ Preheat oven to 375° ~

Cream butter, add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Gradually blend in flour and almonds. Using either a cookie press or pastry bag, pipe different shapes (mom makes an S, or a round or straight 3" cookie, it's up to your imagination) onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until a pale golden color. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks. Decorate as you please.


Enjoy ~

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I have also started my own baking tradition: Banana Bread. It's not a cookie but I wanted to share it with you anyway. It is the best banana bread I have ever tasted. The recipe is from my childhood best friend, Sandy's mom (my second mom), Nita. This recipe is a huge hit around our house and I take a loaf to our friends that have a Christmas morning breakfast every year at their home. Nita's banana bread is wonderful and each time I make it, it brings a smile to my face with many wonderful memories. Thank you Nita, I love ya!

~ My home, 2011 ~

Nita's Banana Bread
(published with permission)

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 or 2 cups sugar (I use 1 cup and its just right)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all together, then add:
1 and 1/2 cup oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1  8oz can of crushed pineapple with the juice (I have used less and it's fine)
3 mashed bananas
Chocolate chips (optional - I always add chocolate chips, they are a nice addition.)

Bake in a greased and floured tube or bundt pan at 350° for about an hour. Keep checking with a toothpick to make sure you don't over cook it. Makes 2 loaves. This year, 2011, I decided to make muffins instead of loaves, I'm liking the muffins alot. I also used Nita's mixture of sugar and cinnamon and you can add pecans or walnuts, (Nita uses walnuts) finely chopped, mix the cinnamon, sugar and nuts together and sprinkle over the top of the batter before baking. Makes a wonderful topping. 

Enjoy~


~ Happy Holidays! ~

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 This post originally created for Christmas Cookies on the
             With the passing of my Mom (1933~2010) and Grandmother (1913~2010)  in 2010,
I have made changes to the original 2009 post .