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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Old recipes on a Scandinavian Sunday

 My favorite memories in Denmark often involve afternoon coffee and tea.  During my first few weeks back in Denmark, we drove out to the country to enjoy some time in the rare Danish sunshine and warm weather.  I was accompanying my Danish family on a trip to grandma's house, one of the many family gatherings they generously welcomed me to join ever since I showed up on their doorstep as an exchange student many years ago.  On this particular day, we were visiting my host mom's mother-in-law.  As you can see, it was a charming affair with homemade almond cake.
The cake, we learned, was from a very old recipe book.
 
  
 So old, in fact, that a dated grocery list discovered inside its covers brought comedy to our day.  Old prices unearthed from these pages were just a fraction of what Danish consumers pay today.
  
We nibbled on slice after slice of the almond cake, talking English and Danish throughout the afternoon-- the kind of lazy Sunday where coffee turns into a beer or two.  Just when we thought all the cake was all gone, more slices appeared from the kitchen. 
We had coffee next to a small pond, attached to the family porch.  Far from the city, this neighborhood was peaceful and filled only with the sounds of sheep grazing nearby.  
Inside the house, an old blacksmith's workstation, representing the trade of the family in earlier times.  This area was later converted into the family living room.
  
The seemingly endless supply of almond cake lasted all afternoon.  Recipes like this need to be shared...
 While the adults focused on transcribing food tradition, grandchildren enjoyed the carefree fun of fishing in grandma's pond.  Every twenty minutes or so, she counted out loud for the adults, ceremoniously exclaiming the number of every captured fish so those in the audience could provide impressed reactions. In my opinion, this is definitely the most entertaining way for a foreigner to practice learning Danish numbers.

And finally, we caught a glimpse of grandma's homemade jam collection, all created from the fruit trees in her garden.
The perfect Scandinavian Sunday!
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