These days my life is mostly filled with little things. All the big and important stuff is there of course, finding an apartment, looking for a new job, pondering what to do with me now that I am no longer travelling, but the things that make me smile are the other things, the little things.
Last Sunday (the 6th) was my birthday – my first under my Mother’s roof since I turned 19. Ever since I can remember the breakfast table would always be loaded with presents for our birthdays – as a child it seemed positively magic, this pile of parcels sparkling in the candlelight (when your birtday is in November, don’t count on too much daylight for breakfast 😉 ) with the flags and paper streamers. Even the years we did not have so much she was very good at making it seem like a lot, wrapping not just the “real” presents but also the coat and new boots we’d need for winter anyway and the underwear and socks. I even remember getting socks individually wrapped – it was great fun 🙂
This year was no exception, though the pile was not enhanced by single-issue socks:
We’ve had a big pumpking sitting around for some time. I think they planned to pickle it or carve it for Halloween, but everybody kept being to busy to do anything about it. As I hate seeing potential food wasted, one afternoon Christoffer (who is a glutton for pickled pumpkin), his friend Julius and I undertook the emptying of the pumpkin. Here they are, bravely scooping out the weblike, smelly and slimy innards of the pumpkin in preparation for cutting out its flesh. Points for Julius who jammed his small hand in there and started scooping away while the rest of us were still wrinkling our noses and going *idrk*.
Also points for Christoffer who stuck with it even after the first hours, despite the temptation to let pumpkin be pumpkin and go play Playstation with Julius instead of stirring the vinegary smelling pickling pot and waiting for the last batch of pumpkin pieces to turn clear and tender-boiled.
They did not waste the remainder of the pumpkin either.
And even stood still for a long exposure so the flash would not drown out the gleam in its eyes.
… And apart from the batch we pickled I now also have pumpkin in the freezer 🙂 On Saturday parts became spiced pumpkin rolls (mmmm, a little Christmassy taste ahead of time, and only getting better loaded with butter) and I ponder what to do with it for Thanksgiving. Because after having Thanksgiving last year in Ithaca I was so taken with it that I decided to import it to Denmark – or to my family at least – and now I’m trying to figure out what to cook. I suppose that’s part of the fun of starting a tradition, but there are an awful lot of dishes to choose from. In case anyone in America (or anyone else with an opinion) reads this, please tell me, what is your favorite dish for this holiday?
On November 10th it’s Mortens Aften (the evening of Morten) in Denmark, a remainder from when we were all Christian. It’s the evening before the saint day of Morten, who was so pious he did not want to be chosen as bishop, so when they came to give him the office, he ran and hid in the goose and duck pen. But the birds quacked and gave him away, and so it’s traditional to eat duck that evening, presumably to get back at them… Or their decendants at least 😉
After two very tasty ducks – of course cooked by Lasse on his favorite thing in the world, his Weber globe grill – we had the most Danish of all Danish desserts, rødgrød med fløde. Apart from looking quite decorative in all its simplicity, also quite the tonguetwister for anyone not Danish-speaking. Can you say it?
This weekend Christoffer helped me out in the kithcen, baking cakes for a past-the-date birthday celebration. It always makes me so happy to have someone to cook for 🙂
Here are some of the people helping me consume it.
My Mother is just as Christmas-crazy as I am (or perhaps it’s the other way around), but Lasse is not too fond of all our window clings, little elfs and other cozy-bringers. I suspect she’s finding other means, so she can start early without annoying him – she just put out this decoration which to me screams “almost-but-not-quite” December 😉