A few years ago, when I was living in the housing co-op and looking for a quick cookie recipe, I came across a blog post for something called “Norwegian Christmas butter squares.” I’d never found anything like it before: it created rich, buttery and chewy cookies, like a vastly superior version of the holiday sugar cookies I’d eaten growing up. About a year ago I went looking for the recipe again, and failed to find it. The blog had been taken down, and it sent me into momentary panic.
Luckily, I remembered enough to find it on the Wayback Machine, and quickly copied it into a file that I’ve saved ever since. I probably make these cookies about once a month, and they last about five days around my voracious husband – they’re fantastic with a cup of bitter coffee or tea. I’m skeptical that there is something distinctively Norwegian about these cookies, but they do seem like the perfect thing to eat on a cold day.
Norwegian Christmas Butter Squares
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg 1 cup sugar 2 cups flour 1 tsp vanilla ½ tsp salt Turbinado/ Raw Sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chill a 9×13″ baking pan in the freezer. Do not grease the pan.
Using a mixer, blend the butter, egg, sugar, and salt together until it is creamy. Add the flour and vanilla and mix using your hands until the mixture holds together in large clumps. If it seems overly soft, add a little extra flour.
Using your hands, press the dough out onto the chilled and ungreased baking sheet until it is even and ¼ inch thick. Dust the top of the cookies evenly with raw sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees until the edges turn a golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let cool for about five minutes before cutting the cooked dough into squares. Remove the squares from the warm pan using a spatula.
when did this get >1,000 notes?! it’s not even a good photo
I have seen fandom brunches popping up all over the place and I would love to get one started in the phoenix/Tucson area. So reblog and comment with your general area, fandoms you are in if you are interested in participating.
I am fumbles, I live in Tucson 85742 are code
Fandoms – Star Wars (Prequels, OT, TFA), X-Men, Avengers (MCU, 616, Ults, MA), The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Harry Potter, Phoenix Wright, Daredevil, Yuri On ice, Psych, Star Trek 2009.
I am Lferion, also known as Jennifer Gail (Star Wars TPM), and Wander Riordan (SCA). Tucson, 85705.
Fandoms include: Tolkien (books and films, particularly Dwarves, but the whole legendarium really; Smith of Wootton Major, etc), Star Trek (TOS, 70’s animated, films), Star Wars (Prequels, mostly TPM, OT, TFA), Doctor Who (old and new, New Adventures), Highlander (tv series), Sanctuary, History/Mythology (Homer, Arthurian, Age of Sail, Norse, Roman Britain, etc), lots & lots & lots of books, mostly F&SF (see Yuletide fandoms written in).
Author notes: Thanks go to Zana & Morgynleri for encouragement & sanity-checking. Takes as canon Stephen Hunter’s idea that Bombur is a master architect/engineer. This piece is a companion to Day 6 – Thorin Adlânu ‘Âzah
Summary: Bombur loves his work
Bombur looked up, and up at the ancient stone ramparts that had stood against the sea for longer years than he could quite imagine. The stone was still sound, good Dwarf-work, a few blocks wanting replacement or attention. He’d need to see the upper sections to be sure, but the bones of the structure were a pleasure to hear sing strong and true after so many ages. There was a deal of surface work to do — the entire sea-face needed pointing and sealing — and no doubt the interior was a thorough mess.
Author notes: Thanks go to Zana & Morgynleri for encouragement & sanity-checking. Title means ‘Trust and Secrets’. Part of Iron & Light, found here.
Summary: Dwalin is trusted. That matters to him.
Dwalin guarded Thorin’s rest, as best he was able. There was little enough he could do otherwise. For nearly as long as he had known him — more than half Dwalin’s life now, since the battle at the gates of Khazad-dum that had changed and shaped all of their lives — Thorin had slept badly: easily startled awake, subject to dark dreams, never relaxed under anything but stone, though few would know any of that, “Thorin II Oakenshield, king in exile” being all most people saw. The shield of oak and honor, not the Dwarf beneath, who was honorable, but not actually oaken.
Dwalin had his own nightmares, but Thorin never pried, willing to listen, to wake a comrade in distress with voice or hand (or the occasional boot — Dwalin had totally deserved it too, and they still laughed about it, a quarter-century later), but comfortable with silence. Respectful of privacy. Dwalin had told him things he’d told few others: things seen and done in battle, the fragility of Men’s lives, the stories behind some of the ink he bore. He wished he could tell Thorin his greatest secret (secrets, for there were times he could not tell which was the greater: the wrongness of his body, or the other thing), but he didn’t dare, could not face the possibility of losing what he had.
He knew there were things Thorin did not speak of to him, though he understood something of a few of them, without necessarily knowing why. It was enough that Thorin trusted him, relied on him, took his fealty seriously, given and received. Listened to him. Could occasionally be gotten share a jest. It wasn’t like Thorin would let just anybody ward his sleep. His life in Dwalin’s hands. That trust (that love) mattered more than anything.
Author notes: Thanks go to Zana & Morgynleri for encouragement & sanity-checking.
Summary: Thror hears both the Gold and the Arkenstone
The gold called to him, whispered in his ears, colored his dreams with a thick, warm haze, paved his nightmares with bones and coins and molten metal. His hands ached with the weight of rings: name-ring, oath-ring, crown-ring, father-ring, smith-ring, ring that was the first of seven, ached whether he wore them or not, as his head ached (had ached, would ache) with the weight of the raven-crown, on his head or off it. Only the Arkenstone was un-weighty, light in his hand, warm in his palm, the cool radiance dimming the miasma of gold, letting Thrór see clearly again.
WHAT IF THE SHIELD BILBO CARRIES HOME WITH HIM USED TO BE THORIN’S WHEN HE WAS IN THE KING’S GUARD. WHAT IF DWALIN DUG IT OUT OF THE RUBBLE OF EREBOR AND WAS LIKE, “HERE LADDIE. TAKE IT.” BUT HE DOESN’T TELL BILBO IT WAS THORIN’S.
Ok but Bilbo not knowing its a sign of honor to carry home a shield, showing that he fought valiantly.
the company giving bilbo what appear to be random gifts, a certain golden chalice, the shield, a clasp for his cloak. and bilbo doesn’t know it but these were all things that once belonged to thorin.
Author notes: Thanks go to Zana & Morgynleri for encouragement & sanity-checking. Title means ‘Line of Temper’ (literally ‘line of that which has been heated and cooled’).
Summary: Gloin has a temper
Gloin had a temper as fiery as his beard was magnificent. Everyone knew that. Most of the time his wrath was swift to kindle and almost as swift to go out, a flash of shouting and unconsidered words, and then abashed apologies if he’d gone over a line, a nod or forehead touch if that was more fitting, or no acknowledgement at all if none seemed warranted. Rarely was his ire slow to burn out, but when that happened, he would bear the grudge long and long, not poking or fanning the flames except when confronted with or reminded of the source, but not quenching them either. Those coals slumbered with heat in their core: the loss of Erebor, the insults Men and Elves paid his race and their kings and their families, accountants who falsified their accounts, cheaters at dice.
When Gimli sent word of the restoration of the King to the throne of Gondor, and oh, incidentally, he’d pledged his troth to the heir to the Woodland Realm, Gloin was by turns incandescent with rage, shouting and stomping and only not throwing or breaking things because of his own healing injuries from the battles in the North, burning cold and long with rekindled insult — goblin mutant indeed! — and a fleeting, sneaking crogglement tinged with happiness for Gimli. Eventually he settled a bit, love for and trust in his son cooling the rage by degrees, warming the icy contempt from killing to merely bitter, giving him space to think and not just feel.
What finally settled the matter was realizing that Thranduil would be even more upset than Gloin was, with likely fewer reasonable outlets for his feelings. Gimli was a noble certainly, of the line of Durin direct, but Legolas was a prince. Done well for himself on that score, his boy had. Very well indeed. Even if his prince was an Elf.
Chiune Sugihara. This man saved 6000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing from the train as he pulled away. He saved 6000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.
Why can’t we have a movie about him?
He was often called “Sempo”, an alternative reading of the characters of his first name, as that was easier for Westerners to pronounce.
His wife, Yukiko, was also a part of this; she is often credited with suggesting the plan. The Sugihara family was held in a Soviet POW camp for 18 months until the end of the war; within a year of returning home, Sugihara was asked to resign – officially due to downsizing, but most likely because the government disagreed with his actions.
He didn’t simply grant visas – he granted visas against direct orders, after attempting three times to receive permission from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and being turned down each time. He did not “misread” orders; he was in direct violation of them, with the encouragement and support of his wife.
He was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations in 1985, a year before he died in Kamakura; he and his descendants have also been granted permanent Israeli citizenship. He was also posthumously awarded the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania (1993); Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996); and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2007). Though not canonized, some Eastern Orthodox Christians recognize him as a saint.
Sugihara was born in Gifu on the first day of 1900, January 1. He achieved top marks in his schooling; his father wanted him to become a physician, but Sugihara wished to pursue learning English. He deliberately failed the exam by writing only his name and then entered Waseda, where he majored in English. He joined the Foreign Ministry after graduation and worked in the Manchurian Foreign Office in Harbin (where he learned Russian and German; he also converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church during this time). He resigned his post in protest over how the Japanese government treated the local Chinese citizens. He eventually married Yukiko Kikuchi, who would suggest and encourage his acts in Lithuania; they had four sons together. Chiune Sugihara passed away July 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Until her own passing in 2008, Yukiko continued as an ambassador of his legacy.
It is estimated that the Sugiharas saved between 6,000-10,000 Lithuanian and Polish Jewish people.
It’s a tragedy that the Sugiharas aren’t household names. They are among the greatest heroes of WWII. Is it because they were from an Axis Power? Is it because they aren’t European? I don’t know. But I’ve decided to always reblog them when they come across my dash. If I had the money, I would finance a movie about them.
He told an interviewer:
You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. Among the refugees were the elderly and women. They were so desperate that they went so far as to kiss my shoes, Yes, I actually witnessed such scenes with my own eyes. Also, I felt at that time, that the Japanese government did not have any uniform opinion in Tokyo. Some Japanese military leaders were just scared because of the pressure from the Nazis; while other officials in the Home Ministry were simply ambivalent.
People in Tokyo were not united. I felt it silly to deal with them. So, I made up my mind not to wait for their reply. I knew that somebody would surely complain about me in the future. But, I myself thought this would be the right thing to do. There is nothing wrong in saving many people’s lives….The spirit of humanity, philanthropy…neighborly friendship…with this spirit, I ventured to do what I did, confronting this most difficult situation—and because of this reason, I went ahead with redoubled courage.
He died in nearly complete obscurity in Japan. His neighbors were shocked when people from all over, including Israeli diplomatic personnel, showed up at quiet little Mr. Sugihara’s funeral.
I will forever reblog this, I wish more people would know about them!