Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Danske mad (Danish food)

I (Carla) tried my hand at cooking a traditional Danish dinner over the weekend. I made a Danish Christmas dinner, which seemed appropriate considering the outside temperatures (low 40s... brrr). The meal consisted of flæskesteg (pork roast with cracklings), brune kartofler (caramelized potatoes), brun sovs (brown sauce, or gravy), and rødkål (pickled red cabbage). It was a hearty meal and we look forward to eating it again in December.

No Danish Christmas is complete without æbleskiver. These pancake-like doughnuts are best eaten fresh, filled with jam (or, in our case, some of the Speculoos spread Bobby received as a birthday present) and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Funnily enough, the recipe I used came from my Grandma Townsend, via Aunt Carolyn. Grandma Townsend used to make these every Christmas morning. I didn't know æbleskivers were Danish until we moved here. I wonder how she came to making them...

To make æbleskivers, you need a special æbleskiver pan, which is on the top left burner (this photo also shows me caramelizing the potatoes). I found my cast-iron pan at a Lion's Club used goods store. The pan worked perfectly, though the first batch of æbleskivers tasted like fish... kind of gross. But the following batches lost all the fishy taste and were just lovely!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Birthday Fotos

My birthday was a great success not least of which because I successfully turned another year older without actually looking older. Carla made sure to give me an extra special 35th; and what's more, Carla's mom Sharon came all the way from LA to help us celebrate!

Sharon brought about 40 pounds of gifts, including an assortment of hot sauces, several packages of macaroni and cheese, Japanese curry cubes, teas, a hat, and some warm sweaters. She also brought two right boots for Carla.

In return we gave her a lovely and authentic troll, the last picture of whom is above. He is guarding Carla's first apple pie --- which turned out to be a big hit with non-trolls.

That is an accordion tie! And chapstick. And Europe's favorite biscuits: speculoos. Thank you Sharon and Carla!

From Carla's dad I got this awesome pull printed with the mascot of his local high school: the Grapepickers. Thanks Dale!

For one dinner we all went to the restaurant Klubben, which serves traditional Danish food including all you can eat fried pork, and wonderful all you can eat roast beef. Accompanying these dishes were gravy, potatoes, pickled pears, beets, and cucumbers, and some little berries. Between the three of us, we could hardly finish the first two platters, let alone ask for more. Next time I will fast before I go. And bring some backup arteries.

We had some lovely hygge at dinner time with a festive centerpiece crafted by Sharon from all local ingredients found on our hike earlier in the day. Carla made duck with citrus sauce, which was delicious, but not so friendly on the oven. A week later we are still finding grease in strange places.

Carla also made an awesome chocolate cake with frosting! This was such a wonderful way to turn 35 that I think I will turn 34 tomorrow.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tillykke til Bobby!

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Today is Bobby's 35th birthday! My Mom has flown into help us celebrate Bobby's special day. We are going to Malmö, Sweden for a fun day day of touring. Tonight we dine at Restaurant Klubben, a great restaurant in the Vesterbro neighborhood of Copenhagen that serves traditional Danish food. Frikadeller, here we come!