I’m FLYing through the Flylady’s ‘Holiday Control Journal’ (a Christmas planner) and yesterday I picked up a couple of pigs for our traditional Danish Christmas dinner. The piggies are pale pink, very cute and I’m just about to wrap them up in penguin Christmas paper! 🙂
No – they’re not real pigs – they’re made of marcipan and are the stars of our Christmas dinner on 24 December (remember that the Danes celebrate Christmas, like the majority of Europeans, the evening of 24 December).
The typical Danish Christmas meal consists of main course (we do duck in our family) and dessert. The dessert is called ris à l’amande. Despite the French name it is very Danish…heavy, cold rice pudding, ‘lightened’ (tee hee!) with whipped cream and specked with chopped, blanched almonds. Served with a jug of hot cherry sauce – mmm!
According to tradition (which dates back a century or two) a whole blanched almond is ‘hidden’ in the pudding. The pudding is served to the whole table and whoever finds the whole almond is ‘the Winner’. The mandelgave or ‘almond present’ is usually a small, marcipan pig (don’t ask me why) but can also be a small bottle of snaps, a book, a game, you name it. And if you have small kids, it’s wise to sneak a whole almond into each child’s bowl if you want to ensure ‘peace on earth’ on Christmas Eve.
In DH’s family, they go a step further and try to hide the fact that they have found the whole almond until the very end of the meal. By hiding it in their mouth, in a pocket, under the tablecloth etc. Just to keep everyone guessing 😉
I’ve bought 2 ‘almond presents’ this year because there will be (at least) 10 of us for Christmas dinner. I like to keep the tradition going, so each winner will be getting a marcipan pig as well as an envelope with some ‘scratch’ cards, just to keep the excitment going a teeny bit longer.
OK, I need to wrap these piggies…Happy Wednesday! 🙂