Hey, Mr DJ, put a (Danish) record on, I wanna dance with my baby!

Did you guess right?  It’s Spil Dansk Day – “Play Danish Music” Day!  Umm, you don’t know what that is?  Then here’s a piece I wrote last year, updated for your listening pleasure.   Read on, sing loud and don’t forget to turn the (Danish) music up to 11! 😉

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yes, it’s the last Thursday in October which – selvfølgelig – means that it’s Spil Dansk or “Play Danish Music” Day!  :)  The day when Danish music is played, performed, promoted and celebrated.  Which means that radio stations play Danish music.  All.  Day.  Long.  Danish bands who sing in Danish. Danish bands who sing in English.  Music produced by Danes.  Music written by Danes for other artists.  Anything and everything with a Danish connection.  A whopping half million Danes – at home, work, in their cars, schools or old people’s homes – will tune in to radio station P4 between 11 and 11.30 am for a live singalong of old and new Danish classics.

But maybe you’d rather catch some live music out in the streets?  You’re in luck!  There are over one thousand events and concerts all over Denmark today.  If you want to find out what’s happening near you, the official Spil Dansk websitehas a nifty event finder, just click here.

Last yearon the blog I wrote about some of my Danish music faves anno 2011 – Magtens Korridorer, Whomadewho and When Saints Go Machine.

Here are a few of the bands you’re likely to hear if you listen in to the main national radio channel, P3

Magtens Korridorer    Veto    Turbo Weekend    Whomadewho    Søren Huss    The Blue Van    Medina Burhan G Fallulah    The Asteroids Galaxy Tour    Spleen United    I Got You on Tape    Choir of Young Believers (remember The Bridge/Bron/Broen?)    When Saints Go Machine    The William Blakes    Nabiha    Specktors    L.O.C.    Ida Corr Nephew    Rasmus Seebach    Aura Dione    Shaka Loveless    Alphabeat    Tina Dickow    Efterklang    Lukas Graham   Quadron   Pharfar   Djämes Braun   Christopher   Burhan G   Ulige Numre   MØ   Kashmir   Julias Moon   The Mountains   Ukendt Kunstner   The Raveonettes   The Floor is Made of Lava   Klumben   Lucy Love   KIDD

Meanwhile I’d like to leave you with a little masterpiece by my all time favourite Danish rock band…those little sweeties Magtens Korridorer (nominated – again, again, again – for the Danish Music Awards) !

Spil Dansk! And don’t forget to turn the stereo up to 11! ;)


Election time! Left. Right. Left, left, right!

There are Danish local and regional elections coming up on 19 November.  (KV13 – for the media savvy.)  And how do I know this?  Because our local newspaper’s debate pages are suddenly full of letters from caring, would-be politicians who are up in arms about local issues.  And overnight every lamppost in Denmark has been adorned with pensive/smiling/serious/concerned faces! 

Now, I’m Scottish and have always been a socialist at heart.  (Yes, yes, I’ve heard the old joke before.  “If you’re not a socialist at 20 you don’t have a heart.  And if you’re still a socialist at 5o then you don’t have a brain!” )  So, in theory, I should be voting for the Danish party “Venstre“.  “Venstre” in Danish meaning “left”.  Um, no!

Venstre are actually one of the centre-right parties.  But a teeny wee bit more to the left than Konservative (the Conservatives).  But still right-wing, in the grand scheme of things.  Confused?  You will be!  😉  So perhaps I should be voting for Radikale Venstre (Radical Left)?  Um no, they’re also slightly to the right!  But a lot more left than right, if you see what I mean?  If you’re an old-school socialist, then you’ll probably want Socialdemokraterne (the Social Democrats, Labour).  That’s the party who currently has Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the helm.  Yes, that Helle.  Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law and Denmark’s first female Prime Minister.

Now, with so many different parties in Denmark, it can be rather confusing working out exactly where to put your ‘X’.  But I’ll try and give you a run down of the major players and a general idea of where they stand on the left-right divide.  Though, as is often said about politicians in Denmark: Man har et standpunkt til man tager et nyt.  One has a view/stance/belief until one takes a new one  😉

Okay, take a deep breath…

  • A – Socialdemokraterne (Social Democrats, Labour)
  • B – Radikale Venstre (centrist, Radical Left – which, despite the name, are to the right of Socialdemokraterne)
  • C – Konservative (Conservatives, Republicans)
  • F – Socialistisk Folkeparti (Socialist People’s Party, green party, more left-wing than Socialdemokraterne)
  • I – Liberal Alliance (Classical Liberal Party, centre-right)
  • O – Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party, right-wing, populist, nationalist)
  • V – Venstre (conservative-liberal, centre-right, despite their name)
  • Ø – Enhedslisten (left-wing, communist)


The elections take place on Tuesday 19 November and – selvfølgelig – I can’t predict which parties are going to come out on top.  But I can tell you that many people will be having “valgflæsk” (“election pork”) for dinner that night!  Yep, flæsk (fried belly pork) has become a real election night tradtion.   Why so?  Because “valgflæsk” is slang for all the lofty promises that policitians make during elections…  Want to cook up some flæsk for Election Night?  I walk you through how to do it right here

Have a marvelous Monday – whatever you have on your plate, whatever you stand for!

 Diane 🙂



I heart Danish comfort food! (Part Nine – Biksemad)


If you read my post on Monday, you’ll know that it rained, rained and rained in Copenhagen.  Thunderbolts and lightning – very very frightening me, gallileo! 😉  Which got me thinking about comfort food and – gadzooks – that I’d never written a post about biksemad!

What’s that, you cry?  Well, you might have seen packets of it, nestling in the freezer section of the supermarket.

Ready to rock'n'roll!

Diced potato, onion and beef (oksekød) or pork (svinekød).  Now, let’s be honest.  It looks pretty unappetising and anaemic in its raw state.

It's c-c-c-cold in here!

Anyway, fry it up, till it’s hot and crispy around the edges. 

Frying tonight!

Sprinkle on a bit of green stuff (like spinat “spinach”) if you want to make it look healthy.  And top it off with (at least) one fried egg per person…

Biksemad - Danish hash

Serve it up with lots of tomato ketchup, plenty of syltede rødbeder (sliced, pickled beetroot) and – if you are so inclined – Worcester sauce.  Which, funnily enough, in Denmark is known as Engelsk sauce (“English sauce”).

Engelsk Sauce - Worcester Sauce

Time to get stuck in to your biksemad (Danish hash).  Velbekomme!


Have a thorougly thrilling Thursday – whatever you have on your plate!

Diane 🙂


You know you're in Denmark when… (No such thing as bad weather…)


You know you’re in Denmark when…

The Danes just love the saying, “Der findes intet der hedder dårligt vejr, kun dårligt påklædning!”  (“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!” – Alfred Wainright)  And we have more than our fair share of the wet stuff around these parts…  So a couple of weeks back, at the sprightly age of 46, I found myself investing in my first ever set of adult waterproofs.  This morning the heavens opened (again, again, again) so I took them out for an intensive test drive!

Don't forget your waterproofs!

And where was I headed to in the pouring rain?  Why, the beach selvfølgelig!  To go skinny dipping in the cold Danish sea!  Though, truth be told, the sea water felt warmer than the rain this morning: water temp 11c/51f and air temp 12c/53f.  Now, you’ll remember from my Winterbathing Guidethat you also need to be suitably attired for skinny dipping.  Here’s my sweetie friend H with her three essential items: bathrobe, brolly and wellies.  Yep, there’s no such thing as bad weather…

Don't forget your wellies!

Have a marvelous Monday!  Whatever the weather!

Diane 🙂

Here comes week 42!


Today is Friday, week 41.  Yes, those crazy Danes do love their week numbers.  (Remember my post Week Six? Week Sex!)  To be honest, I’ve always found the Danish way confusing and prefer using actual dates.  “Shall we meet up in the week beginning 21 October?”  Instead of “Shall we meet up in week 43?”  But – gasp – I even caught myself asking DDH (Dear-Danish-Husband) if he could “book time off in week 7 ” (the Danish schools’ winter holiday week)! 

But I digress!  Yes, today is Friday in week 41, which means that if you are out and about today you are guaranteed to see hoardes of Danish schoolkids (and many nursery kids) doing all kinds of sport.  It’s “Motionsdag” (National ‘Exercise Day’).  My son’s class (7th grade) are dancing and playing høvdingebold (dodgeball).  My daughter’s class (5th grade) are doing a sponsored run/scooter race down at the beach…

On your marks!

And what comes after week 41?  Why, week 42 – selvfølgelig!  Otherwise known as the Danish schools’ autumn holiday week.  I’ll be taking a nice little break with the kids, so I leave you with a couple of ideas of what to do with the hundreds and thousands of kastanjer (chestnuts or conkers) that you’ll find on your autumn walks in the Danish woods right now.  If you have little ‘uns, you’ll know that they come home every day from nursery, pockets literally bulging with the darn things 😉 

Don’t want to make something crafty with the chestnuts?  Their scent is apparently good at warding off spiders – just pop the chestnuts in a bowl and leave them in the corners of any room…

And, talking of spiders, here are the crafts!


You’ll need:

  • chestnuts
  • cocktail sticks or matches
  • a small implement for making holes (like a screwdriver)
  • wool 

Ready, steady...

Make about 8 holes round the outside of the chestnut. Push in the cocktail sticks or matches – it should look like a wheel.  Take a long piece of wool and weave it in and out of the ‘spokes’ of the wheel.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!  Did I mention this project was great for kids?

Round and round the radical road...

Keep winding around and around.  Remember to leave a long piece of wool when you are finished, so that you can hang it up.  You can use different yarns for different effects.  Orange and black?  Hmmm, Halloween anyone?

All ready for Halloween!




You’ll need:

  • chestnuts

  • pipecleaners

  • a small implement for making holes (like a screwdriver)

  • something to make eyes (for example, stick-on googly eyes, small round white stickers, glitter glue) 

All set and ready to go...

Make four holes on each side of the chestnut.  We used 2 pipecleaners for each spider.  Cut each pipecleaner into 4 equal lengths, so you’ll end up with 8 in all.  Stick them into the holes you’ve made and voilà, your spider has legs!  Stick on some eyes.  Use what you’ve got to hand. We just used a couple of dabs of glitter glue.

Snuggly spiders!


Time to run!  (And jump, and skip, and play football…)

Have a fantastic Friday and an exciting efterårsferie!

Diane 🙂

Great Dane-ish Pastries! (Part Seven – toppings)


Have you had your fill of wonderful, wonderful Great Dane-ish Pastriesyet?  Room for more?

Last time I showed you the different types of plain bread rolls that the Danes eat for breakfast – the tebolle, rundstykke and håndværker.  But what to top them with?

Weekend breakfast time!

Aside from the obvious butter, strawberry or raspberry jam, Nutella and honey, there are some truly Danish toppings.  The kids’ (and adults with a sweet tooth) favourite being pålægshokolade (‘topping chocolate’).   Yes, paper thin slices of milk or plain chocolate.  Usually in small, bar shapes – which are ideal for putting on rectangular slices of ryebread.  But now some clever marketing person has come up with the idea of selling them (at an inflated price, selvfølgelig) in round shapes with happy faces.  Fitting the morning rolls exactly…

Happy chocolate faces!

Adults normally top their bread with appelsin marmelade (‘orange marmelade’).  And a slice of pale yellow, mild Danbo cheese.  Both.  At the same time.

Yep, first you put on a slice of cheese.  Then top with a dollop of marmelade.

Though I always put my marmelade on first, before topping with cheese, as I find it less messy to hold.  I give you exhibit a) and b) below…

Cheese and marmelade. Hmmm, which to put first?


Diane 🙂

You know you're in Denmark when… (Ketchup. Mustard. Mix.)


I ate a cold – but nevertheless welcome and wholly satisfying – leftover sausage (pølse) as my midmorning snack today.  (Yes, extremely satisfying after a skinny dip in the c-cold North Sea, where today’s water temperature was 12c/53f…)  And I ate it with ketchup (ketchup) and mustard (sennep).  Fairly straightforward stuff.  But I ate it Danish style…

Step one: a dollop of ketchup and mustard.

Which means mixing the ketchup and mustard together.  Yes, yes, I know there’s nothing new under the sun about mixing those.  But the Danes do it all the time.  All the time!  Whether at home, standing at the hotdog wagon, or at IKEA’s bistro.  And they use huge quantities of the stuff.  Yum!  They also mix remoulade sauce with ketchup – but personally I think that’s a bit weird, so let’s focus on the classic combo of “sennep og ketchup“…

Now, you can artistically swirl it together.  So that you still have identifiable areas of ketchup of mustard.  And a taste explosion in your mouth.

Ketchup and mustard - swirled...

Or you can keep mixing until you end up with a pale, orangey red goo.  For a tangy and warming ketchup. 

Ketchup and mustard. Mixed. Thoroughly.

Today I wanted warmth.  So I went for orange goo.



Diane 🙂


Menu plan – Friday 4 October 2013

It’s been a windy – but incredibly dry – week here in Copenhagen.  But watch out for those giant waves if you are down at the beach winterbathing!  I try and keep my hair dry but was caught unawares yesterday and emerged like the proverbial drowned rat! 😉

But, hey, no time to hang around!  DD11 is coming back this afternoon – she’s been away in Southern Denmark/Germany for the past week – and we’re getting for Her Return! 😀

Here’s this week’s menu at Casa Copenhagen:

*  Trip to Sweden with my bffs = Swedish meatballs, salad, gratin dauphinois followed by a selection of cheeses, then chocolate cake

*  Sushi with DS13 – we are the only two in the house who like it and we are alone tonight – yay!

*  Pizza, spinach salad and chocolate cake – to celebrate DD11 coming home 🙂

Lingongryta (Swedish stew of turkey, cream, soy sauce, stockcube, cranberry jam) with rice and carrots

Baked Asian pork chops with wholemeal noodles and veggie sticks

From last week…warm chicken, bacon and potato salad

Pariserbøf (Danish hamburger served on a piece of grilled bread, topped with horseradish, pickles, cubed beetroot and a raw egg yolk)

*  Spinach tortellini with fresh tomato, grated carrot, leftover Swedish meatballs and croutons

Bon appétit!

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane 🙂

Great Dane-ish Pastries! (Part Six – Bread Rolls)

Okay, where did we get to with our wienerbrød? So far we’ve seen the spandauer, frøsnapper, kanelsnegl, tebirkesand thewienerstang. Yummy, yum, yum!

For breakfast today we have a selection of plain bread rolls. Okay, not exactly
wienerbrød. But quintessentially Danish nevertheless! Oh, and before
we go any further, you should know that Danish bread rolls should be cut in half
before serving to guests. Want to know more about that? Go read Roll up, roll up!

Breakfast time!

So let’s start with the kids’ favourite. The tebolle (‘tea roll’).
A fairly small, round roll that has a slight sheen on the outside, a soft
crust and is soft and fluffy on the inside. There is also another
version containing raisins which – selvfølgelig – is called a

Tebolle – ‘tea roll’

Then we have my own particular favourite. The rundstykke (literally
’round piece’). A slightly bigger, round roll which has a medium hard crust and
is traditionally topped with hundreds of white poppy seeds. (Though, as you can
see below, our local baker uses a mix of white and blue poppy seeds.)

Rundstykke – ’round piece’

Lastly we have my husband’s favourite morning roll. The håndværker
(literally ‘tradesman’). The shape is more square than round, it has a pretty
hard crust and is topped with blue poppy seeds. Takes a bit of chewing.

Håndværker – ‘a tradesman’

And what exactly do the Danes spread or put on top of those morning rolls,
now that they’ve been cut in half and are lying ready on the plate? Join me
next time to find out! ;)



Great Dane-ish Pastries! (Part Five – Wienerstang)

Today we have one of the ‘log’ type pastries – a “wienerstang“. One looooooong bar of
yumminess, great for sharing! And it’s cheaper than buying individual pastries
– good for crowds! [said the Canny Scot]

You’ll need a large platter to hold this

There are selvfølgelig various varieties… With sugar and chopped
toasted almonds on the top. Or, this one, my own favourite, with lots and lots
of lovely chocolate and white “glasur” (icing)!

Perfect for cutting into slices and eating at
breakfast, or with a nice cuppa in the afternoon. Trouble is, though, that one
slice is never enough! ;)

WIENERSTANG – The final verdict!

Sweetness: 4 out of 5

Messiness: 3 out of 5,

Current price: approx. Dkr 46 ($8.30 or £5.20)

Join me next time for more wonderful, wonderful Dane-ish pastries!

Diane :)