So a few posts back, I told you about my friend in Sweden and how we make art for each other. ..he writes, sings, plays guitar . . .and I paint, poem, and mix media. . .but not to worry: I haven’t forgotten my promise to show you the unabashedly creepy new work I whipped up for him. . .after he sees it!
But this week he sent me the happiest Xmas parcel already, all boxed up in the man way with duct tape to smash the wrapping paper on. . .
And I am not sure what I liked best about it: the pink and white Lovika mittens, knitted by his mom’s friend. . .
the fragrant and leafy Gavle tea, which has a nice orange spicy taste to it. ..yum!
or this sweet and spiced bottled glogg, which is a traditional Christmas drink in Scandinavia as well as just a whole bunch of heaven in a glass:
According to Meathead, the Barbeque Whisperer:
“Samuel Johnson, author of the first English dictionary, wrote “Claret is the drink for boys, port for men, but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.” By that definition, Scandinavian glögg will make us saintly.
Glögg, pronounced more or less like glooog, is a sweet, high-octane, mulled wine, which is to say it is made with a potpourri of spices and all three of the above: Claret (red wine), port, and brandy. Because it is served warm it is especially popular around Christmas. It is the perfect cold-weather drink, warming the body and soul from the inside out.
How does it work? The warm liquid raises the temperature of the mouth and stomach slightly, and because alcohol is a vasodilator, it forces blood to the skin, making us feel warm and blushing on the outside.”
The mittens are warm and soft and the beverages are fragrant and tasty, but I do believe my favorite part of this package was the sweet little drawing he included, a pencil drawing on graph paper. ..one he’d fashioned as a little boy. The drawing depicted a little animal rock band. . .so sweet. There was also a postcard, with a nice little description of everything with a pic of his town square, home to this crazy Christmas goat:
So anyway, here’s a pic of the pastel I made for him a couple of years ago:
which used to have too many flowers in it to suit his taste so I lopped them out; Johnny has the original, but I also made prints of this, which you can get at my Etsy shop. (at this point I must also explain that he is adamantly allergic to the color pink, something he once let go. . .after I’d shown him one of the flower paintings I did. . .”It’s brilliant,” he said, ” but I just wish you’d give that color a rest.” I think he said it was too disturbing or loud maybe, which I just think is endearingly quirky and silly. It makes me laugh remembering that story.
Meanwhile, here is a link for a recipe for glogg from Meathead Goldwyn, Hedonist Evangelist: