#victorianchristmas #steampunk #homemadechristmas
In my short story Pieces, which you can read by clicking the tab above, Kelsey and Harper find out that a kiss from the other side of the mirror is a lot different than a kiss from this side. Below are a few details about mistletoe that you probably didn’t know, and a fun variation on the mistletoe kiss.
In Victorian times, whenever a couple kissed under the mistletoe, they removed a berry. No more berries=no more kissing. As a variation on that, I have made my own candy mistletoe.
To make this, you will need: Green Cardstock, Twine, Wrapped Hard Candies, Scissors, and a Hole Punch (if desired).
Cut six to eight four-inch-long green ovals out of the cardstock. Fold in half and cut the edges so that they resemble leaves. Partially unfold. Punch a hole in one end.
Cut a three-foot piece of twine and fold in half. Run both ends of the twine through one leaf and tie so that the leave is about seven inches from the fold. This will form the hanger loop. Tie the other leaves on one or the other ends of the string so that they hang at irregular intervals but are still overlapping.
Cut pieces of twine six to ten inches in length. Tie a hard candy to one end and tie the other end to the strings with the leaves. Hang at different lengths. Hang as many as you desire.
Cut a three by four inch rectangle out of the green cardstock.
On your computer, type the following message.
When under the mistletoe you meet,
Don’t forget to take a treat.
When only wrappers are left and the candy’s missing,
Sadly, there is no more kissing.
(My daughter says that when the blue candies are gone there will be no more kissing.)
Cut the poem out and glue or tape it to the green rectangle. Punch a hole in one end, and hang it from the “mistletoe” with twine.
Victorian/Steampunk Table Decoration
When Kelsey gets to the other side of the mirror, she finds chains, cogs, and gears to be quite useful. Victorians used handmade decorations such as paper chains in their homes during the holidays. I gave mine a steampunk feel by adding cogs and gears. I used yellow and purple cardstock for mine instead of the traditional red and green.
To make the paper chain, you need: Five Sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 Inch Purple Cardstock, Five Sheets of 8 1/2 Inch Yellow Cardstock, Glue.
Cut the sheets of cardstock horizontally into 1 inch by 8 1/2 inch strips. Run your scissors along one side of the strips (as if it were curling ribbon) to make them curl. Form them into rings and glue the ends together. You may have to hold the ends for five to ten seconds while the glue is setting. Interlock the rings, alternating the colors.
Cogs and Gears
To make the cogs and gears, you need: 5 1/4 inch by 5 1/4 inch squares of aluminum foil, scissors.
Fold each square in half and in half again. Cut the open sides into a curve; these are the sides opposite the point where the folds meet.
You can cut out the point. This will make a circular opening in the middle. Do not cut completely across at any place on the rest of the cone because this will cut the folds that are holding the cog or gear together.
You can leave the curved side smooth, or you can cut out triangles or rectangles to make the side resemble the grooves of a gear.
When you are finished cutting, open the piece carefully so you don’t tear it.
Hang the decorations from the paper chain with twine or other string.
If you have two mistletoes, you can use one as a centerpiece over the table and hang the chains down from it around the table.
These dishes aren’t Victorian era recipes, but they are fun, easy ways to make sure there are plenty of treats for your guests.
Leviathan’s Dip catherinehackman.com
Leviathans, dragons, and other steampunk beasts don’t come into Pieces until Part III. Below is a recipe named for one of the beasts of old.
Ingredients: 1 16oz. Can Refried Beans, 1 Envelope Taco Seasoning Mix, 3 Avocadoes, 1 tsp. Lemon Juice (Imitation works fine.), 8 oz. Sour Cream, 2 Tomatoes (Diced), 1 Small Can Sliced Black Olives, 8 oz. (or more) Cheddar Cheese
Mix refried beans and taco seasoning. Spread on bottom of 13 inch platter or pizza pan. Peel avocadoes and slice off of seed. Mash. Mix mashed avocadoes, lemon juice, and sour cream. Spread over bean mixture. Scatter tomatoes, black olives, and cheese liberally over top. Serve with favorite tortilla chips.
*I do not have a source for this recipe. If anyone knows the original person who came up with this dip, please let me know.
Cog and Gear Rolls (Ham Rolls)
There are a lot of variations of this recipe on the Internet. I combined a couple to come up with my own.
Ingredients: Thin Sliced Ham, Tortillas, 1/8 C. Mayonnaise, 8 oz. Cream Cheese, Green Olives (if desired)
Soften cream cheese by heating it in the microwave at 15 second intervals until it stirs fairly easily. Mix in the mayonnaise. Spread the cream cheese mixture on a tortilla. Put two slices of ham on top. Roll. Put toothpicks into the roll 1 inch apart. Slice between the toothpicks.
Chopped green olives can be scattered on the cream cheese mixture to give a salty taste. I used about 8 chopped olives per tortilla. Add ham, roll, and slice as directed above.
These can be made ahead and chilled, or made right before the party.
All games have rules. In Pieces Part II, Kelsey finds out that the other side of the mirror plays by a strange set of rules.
You can find a lot of Victorian games at the BBC website. The one I found most interesting follows:
1. Player One thinks of an object.
2. The other players have to figure out what the object is. They can only ask four questions ( I made up my own questions.):
1. Where do you use it?
2. With whom would you use it?
3. How often do you use it?
4. When do you use it?
Player One has to answer the questions truthfully. If someone guesses the object, that person becomes Player One and thinks of an object.
To read my short story Pieces click on the titles at the top of the page.
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Sources I consulted for this post were:
BBC Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/victorianchristmas/activity/parlour-games.shtml
BBC Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p71fz
A Victorian Christmas Website: http://www.thecompletevictorian.com/Christmas.html