When I read about jolabokaflod, I was immediately enamored. My inner bookworm wiggled with glee and I sent off an email to my girlfriends suggesting that we have one as our annual girls' holiday party. I offered to host! In case you haven't heard of it, it's the Icelandic tradition of giving, receiving, and then reading books on Christmas Eve.
Just before Christmas, the gals came over and we exchanged books and chocolate, ate, drank, and caught up on happenings that we miss when we are all ensconced in our separate daily lives. I've been friends with these girls for over three decades. I love that we all still manage to be part of each other's lives after all this time!
We kicked off the feast with pickled herring, olives, cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber salad, and delicious bread from Chef Ron at Ad Astra Bread Company.
For the main dish, I served Kjötsúpa (Icelandic Meat Soup). That recipe will be coming soon, but it was a hearty warming stew made with ground lamb and chunks of beef. Yum.
Then, for dessert, I offered a cookie platter, including Birch Smoked-Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Gingerbread Trees (recipe coming soon), and Iceland Flag Painted Hearts (recipe here).
And we tasted some Icelandic chocolates, too.
Just a few shots of our gifts. I found two books for Soraya that were centered around Vietnam; Stephanie gifted me a beautiful volume called The Story of Food! You'll be hearing more about that from me soon.
And here's the girl crew...