A Decent December

Photos, above:
1. My figure drawing with model station in background (no photos of models allowed, sorry! Although one student brought a friend in to “observe” in order to overcome nudiephobia)
2. Friends and Support team of Figure Drawing
3. Violin repair shop in San Francisco that fixed my G string on the spot in a snap

Despite Finals Week and the need to wrap up three city college classes (Figure Drawing, German, and Script Writing), I am playing a bit of hookey and sneaking in some holiday madness.

It started with a conversation on FaceTime with Dresden friends Hanne and Jens, who sent me many pictures of Dresden’s famous Streislmarkts. It is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany that sets a very festive mood for the holidays.

We chatted about old German traditions surrounding the Advent calendar, how to make Stollen and then how Germans and Americans celebrate the holidays.

Similarly, my German class had discussions about traditions. Our German teacher told us how children in her town would go around knocking doors on Xmas Eve to ask if Mary could stay and no one answers the door. She also taught us 10 Christmas songs, of which I only recognized three–Oh Tannenbaum, Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful!! Apparently there are many other lovely  hymns by German composers that have not been  translated into English. And Silent Night is never to be sung before Xmas Eve.

I’m going to attempt making Stollen for my German class Christmas party next Friday, with a few modifications approved by my German advisor (Hanne). I plan to use Brandy instead of rum and dried cranberries mixed with raisins and dates. I was also advised that fresh yeast is important!

I’ll let you know how the recipe downloaded from the Food Network goes. For those who want to try it, see here:


I tweeted to Ruth Reichl a question about Stollen and she put me in touch with Luisa Weiss Classic German baking (for those of you interested in pursuing the real thing, look her up online). Keep your fingers crossed for me–I hope I don’t have a Catastrophe with bits of Stollen on the ceiling to clean up after this expedition!

Speaking of ceilings, here’s a shot under the dome of the original Emporium in San Francisco. I ran into Santa on a trip at Westfield Mall Downtown and put in my order for this year.

Before I head back to the salt mines, I want to wish Happy Birthdays this month to Melissa, Ruth and Sherry!!

Here’s a tribute to Leonard Cohen:https://youtu.be/dhsimHRscIE

And Happy Holidays to all!!

4 thoughts on “A Decent December”

  1. Vickie, Happy Baking. Please follow-up with results. In the meantime, I’ll stick to Christmas cookies and log cakes.


    1. It was fun making a batch of Christmas cookies this year as a warm-up to the big Kahuna Stollen. I’ll fill you in on the sticky details.
      I’m sure you’ll enjoy making yours too. Have you tried Buch Noel?


  2. Vicky, you are such a fascinating person. I like reading and seeing your your life in blog. Thanks for sharing. My retirement plans are on hold and I’m back to running the company. However, I will be back in Germany in the spring. Frohe Weinachten fur Sie und Ihre Familie.


    1. I’m going through a second college-hood experience and the same ambivalence over what to take and what “major” to declare. I can really relate to what younger students face in their 20’s and the threatening realities that lie ahead. Going to the City College of San Francisco, aka “The People’s University” has been an eye-opener and humbling experience. I met two Iraq vets and another military recruit through my classes. I learn alot from them. The teachers are very dedicated and devoted to true learning.
      Your business is lucky to have you back in the fray! I’m sure it will keep you out of trouble and very productive.
      Danke sehr für deine tollen Wörter.Ich wünsche dich auch eine Frohe Weihnachten und guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!


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