Sunday, October 17, 2010

Going Traditional Danish

    The third year in a row, we end up hosting Christmas for the family. That's a good thing. Two years ago we did a non-traditional Chinese theme Christmas as we had returned from a trip to China the previous year. Yes, we served Chinese food ordered out as I am only a so-so Chinese cook. (Or as the Chinese would say: mamahoohoo). My rice is good but the other areas lack the real Chinese signature. The following year we had been watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Occasionally the owner of one of these dives shares a recipe with the TV audience. Luckily we had DVR and could back it up and play it again until we got all the ingredients written down. The recipe was for Oklahoma's 2 time winning chili from the state chili cook-off. The amounts were not given so we had to estimate. It was one of the best chili's I had ever eaten. Since I was already proud of my pizza making skills we decided to go non-traditional once again and serve pizza and chili. I don't think anybody really minded that Chinese food and chili & pizza are atypical for a Christmas dinner because this year we are again the hosts of the family Christmas dinner.
    Sheri and I had recently paid a visit to my Danish Aunt Karen in Walnut Creek. We got to talking about the past and how so many of her beloved Danish traditions are disappearing. So, on the way home we started talking and decided it would be a fun idea to do a traditional Danish Christmas dinner for the family. Since she is a native born Dane and my aunt we have extended an invitation to her and one of my cousins to join us.
    I think though, that the closest that I have come to cooking Danish was boiling some potatoes and a one time shot at making Kringle, a dessert favorite of the Danes.

    So it is back to internet and Mom's attic for some recipes favored by the Danes. I have done pork roast before but only in the standard American way. The challenge, I think, will be to bring something different to the table. Duck. I decided that duck was different enough and authentic enough to make the dinner memorable and genuine. I've never cooked a duck before but I saw a lot of them hanging in the windows in Chinatown. That should make me a mamahoohoo expert. That and YouTube and anything is possible. Some red beets and cabbage is always on the menu at a Danish meal so they will be present as well. Of course we'll have to do the traditional open face sandwiches on pumpernickel and rye as appetizers. I suppose Tuborg beer and some homemade Glog will have to be the drinks of choice.

History note:

Tuborg Gold Label Premium Lager was developed by the legendary Danish brewer Hans Bekkevold in 1895. The Danish brewing tradition dates back as far as the infamous Viking era, when beer was considered a staple on Viking ships.

   For entertainment I think traditionally the Danes have typically stormed and plundered many of their neighbors so I'm tossing that idea around as well. I hope the neighborhood association doesn't read this.
   Roast pork and duck, boiled potatoes, red beets and cabbage, kringle and Tuborg, the only thing missing is a Viking game on TV. To the victor go the spoils. Yum!

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