Friday Fun - It's Marvelous! Mosell!

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!

MARVELOUS MOSELL – “JEG VAR BLEVET SYG OG KU’LI’ DET”



Hope you have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend. And let’s be fit for fight Monday morning…no calling in sick!

Diane :)

Menu plan - Wednesday 18 September 2013

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)

And the other days are:

*  My crockpot minestrone (to use up all the extra veggies...)

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
*  Leftover day or chicken fillets with pasta

Bon appétit!

Diane :)

Great Dane-ish Pastries! (Part Four - Tebirkes)

Who’s ready for another wonderful, wonderful Dane-ish pasty?
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’.
Tebirkes
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!
Diane :)

You know you're in Denmark when... (Cycle attire)

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!
Diane :)

Great Dane-ish Pastries! (Part Three - Snegle)

Last time we looked at the frøsnapper – a ‘seed snapper’ - guaranteed to leave you with black and white bits between your teeth.

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 smaller pieces!


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!

Diane :)

Menu plan - 6 September 2013

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

Bon appétit!

Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane :) 

You know you're in Denmark when... (Parking)

You know you’re in Denmark when…

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!

Bike parking...room for one more?
 

Diane :)

Dear Gym Teacher...Love Mum

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 sledging…cool!

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 ‘way-hay-we-can-do-whatever-we-want-and-even-leave-the-school-at-lunchtime-to-go-and-buy-Coke-and-sticky-buns-’cos-heck-we’re-fed-up-with-all-that-healthy-ryebread-nonsense’ more 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, unsigned.

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. ;)

Have a marvellous Monday – school or no school!

Diane :)