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12/25/19 - Back Home Summary - Thanksgiving and Christmas

We went to New York City for a wedding in October, then to Ethiopia in November, but we still had Thanksgiving and Christmas and a trip to Seattle. This is in case you are wondering what we've been up to.

We returned from Ethiopia on Sunday, so we had four full days to Thanksgiving. We were doing Thanksgiving for about a dozen people, so we had to work quickly. Luckily, the turkey we had ordered arrived on time on Tuesday, so the rest of the time was spent shopping, cooking and recovering from jet lag. We had roast turkey, stuffing, kale salad, fennel salad, turnips with vanilla, delicata squash with oysters, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts hash, parmesan potatoes and cranberry chutney. Dessert was pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pecan brittle (just pecan pie filling) and our own dried apples with butter, sugar, and spices. It was a big success.

We chose a tree over the weekend and went into Seattle do some shopping for our Christmas party and to see the lights and sights. As usual, we checked out the gingerbread cookie sculptures on display at the Sheraton and Pike Place Market.

Our trees arrived the day after, and our party was that weekend. We set to with the lights, electric and candle, and started cooking. We soon had both trees under control and a cassoulet in the oven. We lit the candles on the cookie tree, and everyone tried to remember the words to O Christmas Tree. To our credit, no one tried to look them up online while the candles were lit.

We were home. We were out on the street when Santa came by on his illuminated firetruck, and we were all set for the big day.


Seattle sunset - Look, no viaduct!

Gingerbread village

Gingerbread city

Pike Place market

Another view of the market

Near the market

Back home in the grove

Our tree as yet unadorned, no Hanukah candles either


Ready to illuminate

Party night

Godzilla, his nuclear fires lit, admires the party spread

The pièce de résistance

Something to wash it down

Candles lit

All lit up

Santa is coming

The Christmas firetruck

Keywords: port angeles, seattle, christmas, thanksgiving

12/21/18 - Dungeness Dike Christmas

We were back along the Dungeness Dike again to check out the swans and the flood waters of the Dungeness RIver.

A Christmas tree along the dike

High water on the Dungeness

A side branch

The trail in early winter

Visiting swans

Keywords: christmas, dungeness, winter

12/18/18 - Christmas Party

We've been recovering from the excesses of our annual Christmas party, and we've finally gotten around to posting a picture or two. This year it was choucroute, an Alsatian dish centered on sauerkraut. This year we used 14 lbs of sauerkraut, four bottles of champagne, six pigs feet, two ham hocks, two pheasants, two smoked duck breasts and at least a yard of sausages. That's par for the course. We can only lift so much from the oven to the counter.

Our science fiction mantel and our Christmas tree

Our welcoming shaman transforming

The Kaleberg communications center welcomes you and wishes you a Merry Christmas.

The choucroute garnie

The cookie tree, Christmas Godzilla and some goodies

Keywords: christmas

12/13/18 - Cookie Party

We held our annual Christmas Cookie Party and set our friends and loved ones to the arduous task of decorating gingerbread cookies for our cookie tree. Thanks to the help of a timely houseguest, the big tree was fully decorated, and we had put the final touches on our science fiction themed Christmas decorated fireplace mantel.

The big tree

The cookie tree with the candles lit

Iberico ham, winter salad, chocolate persimmons and saucisson en croute

Our science fiction mantel

The cookie party

Keywords: christmas

12/12/18 - Christmas Swans and Ornaments

The swans are back for the season in the farm fields along Towne Road. We saw a big flock of them from the Dungeness Dike. We also saw that someone had decorated one of the holly trees along the trail. Christmas is a-coming in.


More swans

Christmas ornaments

Keywords: christmas, dungeness

12/07/18 - Seattle Christmas Sidewalks

Every Christmas season we head into Seattle for an urban Christmas experience. We dropped by the JDRF Christmas Gingerbread Village which was back in the Sheraton lobby this year. The theme this year was How The Grinch Stole Christmas with scenes from the Dr. Suess book rendered in gingerbread and a variety of candies. Then we stepped outside to enjoy the downtown Christmas lights.

Towards sunset in Seattle

A scene from How The Grinch

Another scene

Christmas lights and Christmas goodies

A scene from Whoville

Meanwhile, back in Seattle

More city lights

Street crossing

The carousel

The Christmas tree and Macy's star

The tree and the star again

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/30/17 - Christmas Roundup

We've been busy this Christmas season, so we haven't posted much. There were the two trees, including the Monster, perhaps the largest, thickest, deepest tree we've ever had the pleasure to put an ornament on. It was nearly impossible to water, so we needed a special self regulating watering system. (Thank you Amazon.)

Then there were the two parties, the grownup's party and the cookie party. Thanks to our friends, our little (barely over six feet) cookie tree was adorned with gingerbread, sugar icing and lots of dragee. The candle lighting went smoothly with a new fire marshall and rapid response team. It was a cassoulet year, but in all the excitement, we didn't get a photo of the cassoulet. It moved too quickly.

Once again, a wonderful Christmas season and lots of 2018 to get ready for the next one.

The big tree - That's a 10' 6" ceiling.

The big tree decorated and illuminated

The cookie tree

Godzilla in seasonal apparel

The big tree at home

The cookie tree with its candles lit

The whole cookie tree

Linzer tortes

Snow for Christmas

Cookies - the post mortem

A last goodbye

Keywords: christmas

12/14/17 - Seen Around Port Angeles

Here are some things we've been seeing around Port Angeles.

A Christmas Tree on the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek

A fireboat in the harbor

Some strange clouds that look like trilobites

A little lizard, not a salamander, on the Olympic Discovery Trail

Seen on the internet - We love artificial intelligence.

Keywords: christmas, morse creek, port angeles, salamander

12/09/17 - Cookie City Seattle

Every Christmas we look forward to the Christmas gingerbread village displays in Seattle. Usually, they are at the Sheraton downtown, but this year they were across the street. As usual, the display was for the benefit of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and some serious design and baking talent was involved.

This year the theme was Seattle and Seattle history, so we recognized a lot of the landmarks. There were the Ballard Locks, the ferris wheel down at the waterfront and a Jetsons' vision that included the Space Needle and Rosie, the Jetsons' robot maid. There was also a bigfoot riding a girder. We'll have to check some of those construction cranes that have taken residence in town.

The waterfront

Seattle at night

Bertha makes an appearance.

Some details

The Ballard Locks

Jetsons' Seattle with Rosie up near the Space Bus

Under the sea

More of Seattle

Seattle's future skyline, except edible

Pioneer Square

Bigfoot on the move

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/14/16 - Christmas at the Kalebergs

We've got both trees up and decorated. The little tree, the one with the candles is decorated with gingerbread cookies lovingly decorated by our friends who are by far more talented than we are. We provide the cookies and the colored ices, but our friends provide the love and imagination. Every year we hold our cookie party, and our table is surrounded by careful artisans decorating cookies, pausing only for a sip or two of champagne. When the sky darkens, we light the candles and celebrate the start of winter and the coming end of the year.

The cookie tree illuminated

The big tree

Some cookies

More cookies

Even more cookies

Did we mention cookies?

It's a beautiful tree.

Keywords: christmas

12/09/16 - Christmas Fire Truck - Operation Candy Cane

Guess who's coming to town? It's the Port Angeles Operation Candy Cane Christmas Fire Truck. It definitely brightened up our evening.

Coming ...

Still coming ...

He's almost here!

Until next year ...

Keywords: christmas, port angeles

12/07/16 - Christmas Conservatory

Every Christmas we try to check out the seasonal display at the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Sometimes they are closed for remodeling or the like, but this time they were open, and the train was running. We admired the orchids and carnivorous plants as we always do, but particularly enjoyed the charming Christmas village. Then, we warmed up with the cactus.

Still in Seattle

Christmas railroad

Santa's chair

Poinsettias and nutcrackers

Christmas village

Christmas tree stand

More of the village

We almost missed the Christmas raccoons.

Cactus, perfect for the winter season

Keywords: christmas

12/03/16 - Christmas in Seattle - Part 2

Here is some more Harry Potter in gingerbread and some more Seattle street scenes around Christmas. We are definitely getting into the spirit of things.

Dumbledore & Fawkes

A gingerbread street scene

Magic in action

We love the little details.

Another closeup

Seattle streets

Another street scene

More Christmas magic

The big tree

Macy's star

Another Seattle street

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/02/16 - Christmas in Seattle - Part 1

We are just back from a few days exploring Seattle. We love the city around Christmas. It really makes us appreciate short nights and electric lighting. We watched the sunset, then we set forth for the Sheraton lobby where we admired this year's gingerbread competition. This year each confection was based on one of the original Harry Potter books, so we had a fine time exploring Hogwart's and reuniting with the old gang.

The sunset starts

The sunset continues

The city after dark

Hogwart's in gingerbread

Another Christmas scene

Rowling really did capture the magic of Christmas.

It looks good enough to eat.

More magic

Is that the goblet of fire?

An old friend down in front

Another confection

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/21/15 - Cookie Party

We held our annual tree decorating party, and all of our friends helped us decorate our cookie tree. Then we lit the candles. With fire marshalls standing by and extinguishers at the ready we stood in quiet awe admiring the glow of the candle flame. There is nothing quite like it. (Amusingly, one of our friends with a new iPhone took a few Live Photos, and they captured the subtle motion of the candle light very well.)

The tree lit

Another view

An evocative - we hope - close up

It's not the same with electric lights.

Either our friends, admiring the tree, or a shadowy group of conspirators.

Keywords: christmas

12/16/15 - Our Christmas Advent Calendar

Our Christmas Advent calendar game is online again. Just click the link and use the arrow keys to explore our Christmas village. The lights come on, and the trees light up as you explore. You can explore on a cell phone or tablet using the touch screen. It is sort of minimal, but sometimes you only have time to enjoy Christmas on the go.

Keywords: christmas, software

12/14/15 - More Signs of Christmas

Do you recognize that thing to the right? That's our Christmas cassoulet, franks and beans a la Francaise. It's a dish of white beans full of duck confit, garlic sausage, pig's feet, pig skin, bacon, pork shoulder, andouille and so on, all rounded out with a bucket of chicken stock.

The other two pictures are of our Christmas party and our two Christmas trees, one large, one small. With the two trees and the roping the place turns into quite a grove, and it's all illuminated by Godzilla's atomic fire. So, there are definitely signs of Christmas chez Kaleberg.

Cassoulet - That's not perspective; that's gravitational warping.

The big tree

The little tree - That's Godzilla glowing with atomic fire on the right.

Keywords: christmas

12/11/15 - Signs of Christmas

We Kalebergs are dangerously over-excited. Christmas has come in with a vengeance. We were out for the Port Angeles Christmas fire truck, and our house has been invaded by trees.

The fire truck comes

That's Santa up there.

In passing

Our big tree

After a bit of work

Keywords: christmas, port angeles

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