Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Danish Feast fit for a Konge (King)

     The traditional Danish Christmas dinner is coming together. It's fortunate that I have some time to devote to putting it together during these rainy days of December. The head count has dropped from 26 to 16 which is much more manageable but still those that can't attend due to weather or health will be missed.
   Aside from the normal Christmas decorating each year that we do, the theme, of course, is Danish. That means Danish flags have to be ironed, Christmas tree decorated in red & white, (the colors of the Danish flag), a trip to Ikea to buy enough Danish ornaments to decorate the tree. Menus have been made, food purchased, gas barbecue borrowed, chairs rented, tables set, more food purchased, beer & wine etc. etc. Sheri and I have never been ones to take the easy route either. When we host it will definitely be reflective of our personalities. A dress code won't be required but there will be the occasional appearance of Erik the Viking and maybe a St. Pauli girl or two.
   Each guest will be given a traditional Danish name such as Claus or Dagmar, Helge or Hildegarde with only the first letter of their name to match the first letter of the Danish name. I will be Vidar for the evening and Sheri will be Sanne. Together, we have put Svinemørbrad (pork tenderloin), Stegt And (roast duck) and Frikadeller (Danish meatballs) on the menu as the main courses. There will be red cabbage (Røtkål), boiled carmelized potatoes (Brunede Kartofler) and for dessert I have been practicing my grandmothers' recipe for Danish Kringle (pronounced kranel with one of those guttural 'k' s in front).
    Also, as a treat, I will be making a Belgian waffle (Leige Flodevafler) with tiny bits of Perle sugar in the batter then topped with Nutella, powdered sugar or whipped cream.
   Sheri has asked me to paint a mural above the fireplace and I decided that it should be a Viking longship. Today, I finally got a chance to start it and am happy to say it's nearly half way done. On top of all the planning, running around and shopping we spotted a black refrigerator at a yard sale that needed a home.  Since all of our appliances are black except for the fridge it appeared to be a good deal and larger than the one we owned. That just added that much more work to the party by having to empty the old one and bring in the new one, reload it and then try to remember where everything is after loading it.
    Already I have run into people I know in the grocery stores who have asked me about what we are doing for Christmas and I tell them we are hosting dinner for the family and their first question is, "Are you serving pizza?" My answer is "no, not this year but we have in the past." I don't remember that the Vikings were big into pizza. But then again, maybe that's why they set sail and ended up discovering America in the first place... looking for a really good pizza place. Heck, Columbus was searching for spices and a new route to India, Ponce de Leon was searching for the fountain of youth, Hudson was looking for the Northwest passage. Leif could've been looking for a good New York pizza.  History can be cruel. I believe Buffalo Bill used to shoot bunnies before he decided history wouldn't look kindly on that so he re-started his great career as a buffalo hunter that earned him a better spot in the history. Bunny Bill? Doesn't sound good, does it?

  Of course, if I wanted to push a Danish/pizza theme I suppose I could make the first Lutefisk pizza with Havarta cheese on a Danish pastry crust. It sure makes me wonder though, how did the Danes go from pillage and plunder to cheese and pastries?

    I'm excited to host Christmas but also I am eager to get back in the kitchen and making pizzas again as December is slipping by and my new fridge hasn't seen a pizza dough ball yet.
Skøl and Glaedlig Jul!

No comments:

Post a Comment