Time for a little Friday fun! From the very
hip ‘I-only-release-my-music-on-youtube’ Danish rapper Marvelous Mosell. A
little ditty about a guy who feels a cold coming on and phones in sick – and
basically spends the whole week eating junk and watching (junky) tv: TV Shop,
Melrose Place, Married (with Children), Prince of Belair, Hallmark, Beverly
Hills, etc, etc, etc. I love how he rhymes “Pokemon and Batman” with “Baywatch,
Jake and the Fatman”! Or how about “Jeg sov oveni kanelgifler – jeg var
klæbrig som tapetklister” which is ‘I slept on top of cinnamon buns, I was
a sticky as wallpaper paste’…
Yes, he sings in Danish but – hooray, hooray – there are subtitles, so you
can listen and learn!
Woops! I made a menu plan but never got round to posting it last week. But – hey ho – onwards and upwards! Last time I mentioned that we were trying a ‘Family favourites’ dinner box delivery for our family of four (the ingredients/recipes for five complete meals.) Here’s what we got in our first delivery…
The meat/dairy box
The veggies/dry ingredients box
How did it go? Well, we loved two dishes, two were good and one got mixed reactions. The portions were very generous so we ended up ‘saving’ some of the ingredients to use on other days. So no waste! All in all, a success… This week we’ve ordered the ‘Quick n’ easy’ box, which contains three meals which are straightforward and take maximum 30 minutes to prepare. Let’s see how that goes.
So here’s what’s for dinner this week at Casa Copenhagen:
From the magic box:
* Beefburgers topped with watercress served with oven roasted parsnip/carrot/potato wedges, salad of lettuce, tomato and shallot
* Flash-fried flank steak with couscous and a shallot/red pepper/tomato/grapefruit salad
* Duck confit with fried cubed potatoes, cucumber and warm spidskål (Danish ‘pointy’ cabbage)
Leek, carrot, parsnip, onion, a handful of rice, some shrivelled cherry tomatoes, a couple of stock cubes, water, salt and pepper going in the crockpot for minestrone. Just need to add a tin of tomatoes and switch on. Will add pasta and bacon later 🙂
* Pizza and veggie sticks – on a day when we are ‘chilling’ with some old episodes of Dr Who
* Flæskesteg (Danish roast pork with crackling), boiled potatoes, gravy and beetroot
Today we have the tebirkes. Which, translated literally, means a ‘tea-poppy seed’. Outside of Copenhagen, it’s sometimes called a Københavnerbirkes, a ‘Copenhagen-poppy seed’.
As you can see, it’s a fairly high, light puffy bread roll and, as the Danes say, it “sidder mellem to stole” – ‘sits between two chairs’. On the one hand, it isn’t a full-on-in-your-face sweet Danish pastry. But on the other, it’s not a plain old savoury roll. Great for when you want something a little sweet but are pretending to be healthy… Though I like to go the whole hog, slice it open and lather it with butter!
Mmmm…lots of lovely Kærgården with my bread!
The tebirkes tastes very similar to the frøsnapper, savoury-looking but with a sticky sweet bottom. And, yes – by jingo dash – the tebirkes is made from the very same dough and ingredients. The frøsnapper is just shaped differently…
Frøsnapper – cousin of the tebirkes
Don’t like sweet things? Want a healthier option? Then you can always go for the no frills, non-sweet variant, the grovbirkes – grov meaning ‘rough’ or ‘coarse’.
But back to my favourite variety, the tebirkes…
TEBIRKES – The final verdict!
Sweetness: 3 out of 5
Messiness: 4 out of 5,
Current price: approx. Dkr 13 ($2.30 or £1.47)
Join me next time for more wonderful, wonderful Great Dane-ish pastries!
While not an avid follower of fashion, I do try and take pride in my appearance. (For example, I would never dream of leaving the house without mascara and lipgloss. Hey, I don’t even walk around my own house without mascara or lipgloss – don’t want to scare myself in the mirror!)
But these autumn mornings, when I’m biking down to the sea for my skinny dip (vinterbadning, as it’s called in Danish – read about my passion for that right here), I find myself in a quandary. ‘Cos it’s chilly on my way down to the sea, but warming up on the way back. A little too soon to be wearing gloves. But – waaaaaaaaah – my wrists get dang cold. Yes, yes, I may be a winterbather and swim in the sea when it’s frozen at the edges. But at all other times I’m a frossen pind (“frozen stick”).
Winterbathing – this is the life!
What to do? I dug out a (very old) pair of woollen legwarmers. And popped them on my wrists. To wear as an extra layer under my woollen cardigan and coat. Værsgo’! Problem solved!
No more cold wrists!
Okay, so it’s not fashion, darling. But it works.
Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful – woolly – weekend!
Today we have en kanelsnegl (a ‘cinnamon snail’) and it comes a very close second to my all-time
fave (which you met in Part
One – en spandauer).
It’s a good choice for eating on the hoof because a) it doesn’t contain seeds
that fall off, b) it doesn’t contain jam or creamy stuff that can fall out of it
and c) it’s more of a bread than a flaky pastry, so it doesn’t leave crumbs all
over your clothes. Though – like it’s animal namesake – it will leave behind a sticky trail, so
you’ll still need your wits about you. Here’s one I bought at the station –
which I ate in about three bites
En kanelsnegl (‘cinnamon snail’) from the underground station
But if you are really hungry.
Or just feeling extravagant. Then you need to try en direktørsnegl (a
‘director’s snail’). Also goes by the name høj snegl (‘tall snail’).
Which contains all of the above, plus whatever the baker thinks is fit for a
boss. In this case some slivered almonds, chocolate and white icing…
En direktørsnegl (‘director’s snail’)
Yup, the direktørsnegl is not for the faint-hearted – this is a real
whopper. It’s not only larger in circumference than your regular garden
snail…it’s also very tall. The kind that requires a knife to cut it into
A tall order…
Whew, I need a glass of water…
SNEGLE – The final verdict!
Sweetness: 4 out of 5
Messiness: 3 out of 5,
Current price: approx. Dkr 13 ($2.30 or £1.47) – KANELSNEGL
Dkr 15 ($2.65 or
£1.69) – DIREKTØRSNEGL
Join me next time for more wonderful, wonderful Great Dane-ish pastries!
Autumn is definitely here in Copenhagen! Chilly morning and night, warm during the day and our apple trees are creaking with a bumper crock…
And in menu planning news, I’m trying something new this week! We’ve ordered a ‘måltidskasse‘ (‘meal box’) from a Danish organic supplier. Which means that, once a week, they will deliver a box of meat/fish/veggies which will supply our family (of four) with the ingredients for five meals. Which also means that I won’t have to think too much about menu planning – ‘cos most of it will be done for me. Also, the meal box we have ordered is child friendly in the sense that the kids can probably prepare dinner all by themselves. Ha! Double win!
What will we be making from the ingredients in the box?
* Hamburger patties with potatoes and cucumber salad
* Gnocchi with chorizo, vegetables and salad
* Beef stew with summer veggies and rice
* Grilled pork sausages with new potatoes and creamy cabbage
* Quiche Lorraine (bacon and leek) with salad
The other days this week will be:
* Wholemeal ‘pizza’ made with cottage cheese and red onion. Topped with marinated courgette strips, raw pancetta ham, fresh tomatoes and basil…
* Leftover night or ‘clean out the fridge and see what needs using’ which normally ends in a quiche or frittata
You decide to leave the car at home and bike down to the S-tog
station (Danish underground train station), as vacant car parking spaces are few
and very far between. Then
spend five minutes wandering around the station, wondering where on earth to
park your bike, as – fiddlesticks! – there’s no more room at the inn!
On Thursday morning my son had yet another
(is-this-toothy-traintracks-saga-ever-going-to-end?) appointment with the school
orthodontist, and this particular one would take a whole hour in the Dreaded
Dentist’s Chair. Which meant he would miss at least one, if not two, classes.
My son started school six years ago and, in the past, he would simply inform the
Maths/Danish/Woodwork teacher and head off to the (this being Denmark, land of
high taxes, very swanky) school dentist. But on Thursday morning, he said,
“Mum, I need a note from you, and it has to be handwritten!” A handwritten
note? In 2013? Has the boy gone mad?
Handwritten note – anno 2013
Now, you see, correspondence with our local Danish school is always done electronically.
Timetables, changes of schedule, notice of Parents Meetings, information about
school parties, homework assignments, reading logbooks, etc, etc, etc. It’s all
on the school intra. If it’s not on intra, it doesn’t exist… Your child is
sick and can’t come to school today? Don’t phone. E-mail the teacher. You’re
taking the family on a trip, outside of the official school holidays? Apply
online. Have a question for the school nurse? Send her a mail. Permission
slips for a trip? Oops, wait, those don’t even exist here! No, those crazy but
terribly sensible Danes have – thankfully – not yet caved in to
hysterical Health & Safety rules. When my daughter was around 8, she went
on an overnight camping trip with her class – no access to water or flushing
toilets. In the higher grades, the entire class cycles into town/to the nature
centre/to camp. A couple of years ago our school even cancelled classes because of snow and instead took the kids out
But back to that handwritten note. My son is now in 7th grade and – as his
class teacher informed us at the first Parents’ Meeting – something strange
happens to these newly-hatched teenagers when they move away from the
‘our-every-move-is-being-watched!’ confines of middle school and over to the
laidback form of high school. Apparently our sweet little darlings turn
into Jekyll and Hyde when they walk through the school door. (I was going
to write “though the school gates”, but, hey, we don’t have those either here,
as the school isn’t fenced in…)
Our kids will apparently do whatever they can in order to get out of class.
Especially gym. Yep, the teachers have heard all the excuses. They’ve also
been presented with texts on smartphones apparently sent from Mor
(“Mum”). Hmm, why does Mum have several different telephone numbers? They’ve
also received ‘please excuse my child from class’ notes, typed on computers,
So from 7th grade their rule is that, if you can’t attend gymclass, you have
to have a handwritten letter. On real paper. Signed. With a real pen.
From Mor (“Mum”).
Though, this being Denmark – where real men also make packed lunches, cycle
their offspring to school, do the grocery shopping and turn up en masse at
Parents’ meetings – a handwritten note from Far (“Dad”) is – selvfølgelig – also acceptable.