Christmas is coming in my Kitchen

On top of our wood buring oven is a pile of chocolate advent calendars and each morning the children open another window in the calendar and savor their piece of chocolate. Our two-year old had shaken his calendar at the store with so much vigor that most of his chocolates have dropped out of their allocated spots and are sitting at the bottom of the calendar causing it to bulge. He just wouldn’t give it up and insisted on holding it all the way to the register. I didn’t feel like arguing over such a minor detail. In the end, it probably does not really matter to him if the chocolates are not all in their places as long as he gets one everyday. It is countdown to Christmas, and everyday the children ask if we will be putting up a new decoration or Christmas light or perhaps do a little Christmas baking.

making christmas ornamentsThis year we decide to make ornaments out of salt dough for the teachers. First of all, almost all kids love playing with dough and so this was the perfect way to let them become involved. Our two-year old sat at the table perfectly entertained for probably an hour shaping his own piece of dough. Other than a bit of effort, these ornaments are easy on the pocketbook and you can let your imagination run.

Salt dough

3 dl/1 and 1/3 c flour
1 dl/ 1/2 c salt
1.5 dl/ 3/4 c water

Mix all the ingredients and allow to rest for a bit wrapped under cling film. Gently sprinkle the counter top with flour and using a rolling pin an cookie cutters make different shapes. We used clean letter stamps for the words and a dinner knife to cut around them. Remember to make a hole through which a piece of string or twine may be later pulled through for hanging.

Bake at 100 C/210 F for a couple of hours. A couple of days later we painted ours white with acrylic paint that had been thinned with a bit of water. Spray paint might be even easier for an even and thin coat of paint.

The idea for these came from a Finnish women’s magazine Kotivinkki, but the original Finnish recipe that I used can be found here. The internet is full of salt dough recipes, some that have a bit of oil and some that do not. I noticed that best results are had when the oven is not too hot.

christmas ornaments made with salt dough

christmas ornaments made with salt dough 2During the past few months we have had a facebook group in the Kouvola area that organizes that local food producers are able to sell their products directly to the consumer, similar to a farmer’s market. It takes place about twice a month. So far we have tried out an ostrich egg, which really peaked the interest of the children. The past time I bought different kinds of flour from a local mill with the intention to do a bit of holiday baking.

raussilan myllyn jauhotpiparitalkoot making gingerbreadHere is the recipe for my classic gingerbread cookies. Next time I will share a recipe for rye gingerbread cookies that have a bit of almond flour in them. Definitely delicious!

I would like to share a bit of the sounds of my kitchen. Yesterday was the 150th birthday of the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. The other week we visited a Jean Sibelius recital put on by young music students. The children and youth were all dressed in the time period and represented children of Jean Sibelius and their various cousins. Their teacher played the part of Aino Sibelius, wife of Jean and told little historical stories along with photos and between each bit one of the children would perform a short piece by Sibelius.


terveisiä ainolasta

And what was even better was that the children have started recognizing the music of Sibelius when it is played on the radio. They might come up and say, “I think this is Sibelius.” The following piece is one of their favorites.

This post is a part of Celia’s In My Kitchen series that she hosts every month. Be sure to drop by her blog for a reference list of bloggers all around the world and their kitchens.



    1. Yes, this time of year is special. Even our two-year old stripped down to his diaper, when I was telling the children that I do not want any paint on their clothes and came to paint. (Those little ones often understand more than we can imagine! 🙂 ) So they all participated at some stage in the process.

  1. I admire your patience doing such lovely things with your children. The salt dough ornaments look so nice and reflect the care and homemade effort that Christmas should. Best to you and your family Laila.

    1. I have one very persistent young lady that keeps reminding me of our planned projects 😉 and sometimes the best way to satisfy that persistence is to just do the project instead of only planning on them. And in the end, it is better that they are not left for the last night! 🙂 Happy advent to you!

  2. What beautiful ornaments the children made and I think it’s a wonderful gift for their teachers. I have never heard of salt dough, really love the look of the ornaments. The music also is very beautiful.

    1. I could imagine that you might like the salt dough as it’s quite easy to handle. And online there are all sorts of ideas. 🙂 I also really like this piece by Sibelius which is called “Kuusi” or “The fir tree.”

  3. I love salt dough ornaments and have always wanted to try making them. I quite fancy making a string of stars or something similar.
    I love that your children are involved with your kitchen happenings!
    Sarah x

      1. Thank you Karen…It was special as it always is. The children bring the magic. I just got a Christmas post up…just in time for New Year’s 🙂 Hoping your Christmas was peaceful and relaxing in your new home. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. 🙂 These could be also thought of winter ornaments especially if made in the shape of snowflakes for example and then they could be used throughout the dark months. I usually put up my paper star with a light in it just to bring a soft light to the mornings and evenings as it is nearly pitch black by 4 pm and time of daylight is so short.

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