On the second day of my friend’s visit we started the day with fresh breakfast rolls, which the Companion bought from the local bakery. He also bought three types of sweet bread – spandauer, kanelsnegl and brunsviger (a danish, a cinnamon bun and a “dough base with sticky brown sugar topping”). We quartered everything so we could sample everything.
After breakfast we went to Kerteminde to visit Fjord & Bælt, which is “a combined research and experience center”, according to their website. Tara loves seals, so we figured it was a nice outing for her. Fjord & Bælt has seals, porpoises and various other fish creatures, some of which you are allowed to touch. They had very small sharks, including hatchlings in a tiny fish tank of their own, shrimp, fish, crabs, and even rats, for some reason.
Unfortunately there was no show the day on our visit, not even a scheduled feeding, which was a bit of a letdown. We did watch the seals and porpoises swim around for a while, hoping something would happen. The porpoises are hard to catch on camera, because they only briefly and only suddenly come up for air. It’s difficult to figure out where they will appear next. The seals were cute, but also difficult to photograph.
Once we grew tired of waiting for somone to do something, we went on a short walk around town, which was over pretty quickly, as Kerteminde is not the largest Danish town.
Then we drove to Middelfart, which is the place where the Companion proposed. I’d told Tara about the place with the two bridges and she thought it would be cool to see the spot. It was a bit grey, but not rainy, but we still had a look at the view before lunch, figuring that we didn’t know what the weather would be like if we waited until afterwards.
Tara treated us to lunch at a place we’d picked out. She figured we were better equipped to locate a good spot, so we chose Café Edsberg, which is a small café in Middelfart. We had never been there before, but from their website I could tell that they served smørrebrød, and of course how lacking would a visit to Denmark not be for our Australian companion if she did not try the Danish smørrebrød? Traditionally smørrebrød are various toppings served on ryebread, and ryebread is hard to come by in the rest of the world. From what I can gather online, a lot of places think that “ryebread” is ordinary white bread with a darker colour, which is not true in regards to the Danish terminology. Ryebread is dense and full of seeds and fibres.
We ordered a plate of four different smørrebrød and their hot meal of the day, which was duck with oranges and a horseradish creme. Everything was quite good and not very expensive, and the smørrebrød were overflowing like a professional. The duck dish was not that good, though, as they could’ve done more with the orange instead of just serving it on the side, and there was nothing else to the dish than what you see above. I would’ve been disappointed if I hadn’t ordered anything else.
After lunch we went home where Tara followed Monty and Oliver around with a camera and then took a nap, while the Companion and I took care of dinner. Since Tara is abroad for Christmas, we had early on decided to serve a traditional Danish Christmas dinner, so we did pork belly with white potatoes and brown potatoes (caramellised boiled potatoes), rødkål (red cabbage), brown sauce, a quick salad we threw together in order to give the illusion of a healthy meal and crisps (kartoffelchips) of a paprika variety because Tara had mentioned it being her favourite and she can’t get it in Australia.
For dessert we of course had risalamande. I’d cooked the base for it (risengrød) the night before so that it could cool completely. It’s quite simple, really, it’s just pudding rice cooked in milk along with vanilla seeds. To make risalamande you add well whipped cream to the mix, and that’s it. Since Tara is lactose intollerant (but she takes pills for that, so we didn’t kill her) I wanted to serve a small portion of the dessert in glasses and the rest in a bowl for those who were still hungry, and then we had a second dessert course afterwards. It turned out that the portion looked very small in the glass, but was quite big when eaten. We ate it anyway.
Risalamande is traditionally served with cherry sauce, so that was on the table as well. You can use either a cold or a warm cherry sauce, but the Companion and I both prefer the latter. Following traditions, we also added a peeled almond to one of the glasses, and of course we let the guest choose first. The Companion wound up winning, though, and naturally the prize was a marzipan pig, as it typically is in my family. The pig followed Tara home, however.
After the first dessert course we had æbleskiver (a kind of sweet dumpling), which I thought would be a food item right up Tara’s ally. We were extremely full by then, so apart from the Companion we only had a taste to be polite. He was the one who insisted on heating all 20 æbleskiver! We still have a bag in the freezer, though, for if we feel peckish one evening.
Then we exchanged presents. We gave Tara a Rosina Wachtmeister cup, because she likes tea and I like Rosina Wachtmeister. Tara had brought me a really cool candle holder, which makes a very pretty pattern when there’s a light inside. It is very nifty, so I’m very pleased with that.
And then it was almost time to go to bed. I gave Tara a proper goodbye, because I had a Thing at work the next morning so had to leave early and I didn’t want to miss saying goodbye (she was up and awake when I left anyway, so I said goodbye a second time). It was very awesome having her visit, and we hope to return the visit some day! I thought it was interesting that we spoke English almost constantly while she was here, so at one point the Companion and I actually started speaking English to each other, even when Tara wasn’t in the room. Language becomes a habit very quickly.
The Companion and Tara ate breakfast together after I’d gone, and Tara got to experience Monty eating müesli, although he rejected her portion because he thought her soy milk tasted off. The Companion then drove her to the train station and sent her off, with the Danish marzipan pig and the leftover paprika crisps in her bag for later.