My DDH (Dear Danish Husband) often accuses (is that the right word?!) me of being more Danish than the Danes. You see, I ♥ traditions. And in Denmark there are just so many of the dang things – hooray – that I sometimes tend to go a bit overboard. Take today, for example – 10 November:
DDH walks into kitchen: Oh, duck for dinner tonight? Great!
Me: Well, selvfølgelig, we’re having duck, honey. It’s the 10th of November!
DDH: Um, eh, oh yes, just didn’t realise the date…
Me: Yep, Mortensaften (“Morten’s Evening”), the day when all good Danes should be eating duck!
DDH: Um, great! But we never actually celebrated Mortensaften in my family when I was a kid…
Well, we do now! So duck for dinner it is. A kind of mini run through for 24 December, when the Danes eat duck for their Christmas dinner…
So why are the Danes eating duck tonight, 10 November? Well, it all goes back to the year 371 when Saint Morten (ok, make that Saint Martin), a French munk, was forced into being a bishop. The story goes that Morten (um, Martin) didn’t want the job, so tried to make a quick exit and hid himself in the nearest barn – which turned out to be full of geese. The geese said “quack, quack, quack!” and Saint Morten (um, Martin) was discovered! Boo! Hiss! And so – to get back at those pesky geese that gave the game away – the Danes eat goose (um, make that duck) on the evening of 10 November. (St Martin’s Day is 11 November.)
Velbekomme! Or perhaps I should say bon appétit? ‘Cos tonight we’re having French confit de canard (out of a tin). Yum!
Have a marvelous Monday!