2013 Pensive 210213


From Australia With Love, Day 2


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Real Deal


We have a little used email account at work (a kind of shared address). It receives a lot of spam. As in constantly. And it looks like the following. I wouldn’t have thought that spam actually looked like that, but it does. It really is that stupid.

Dear Esteemed Customer,

Your package/diplomatic pouch is ready to be delivered.You have to call stating your LAST NAME and First Name for us to verify your details and also send your telephone number with which we can reach you incase we will need further details to confirm your booking for delivery.

This package is being sent to you from the European Financial Authorities as a highly classified package,so you should attend to this case promptly.You have to Confirm if you wish to come to Italy for pickup of your cash or if you want us to deliver to you in your location.

Looking forward to a prompt response from you.


Oscar Aris. (Agenzia Sup. Delivery)

From Australia With Love, Day 1


I had a friend from Australia visit not so long ago (she left the day before I became sick, which was lucky for her!). We picked her up from Nyborg train station the Tuesday of around noon and went straight to Odense to eat at a local restaurant – “Den Grimme Ælling” (“The Ugly Duckling”). It serves old-fashioned Danish food, so we figured it was a good place to start.

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The place is cheap, and the food is alright. Nothing amazing, as such, but fine, and good value for the money. A lunch visit costs around 100 kr. without beverages, so it’s affordable. Her visit was in late November, so of course the lunch buffet consisted mostly of Danish Christmas lunch items, such as æbleflæsk (fried apples with bacon), medister (Christmas sausage), fish filets and herring in different sorts. I was surprised at how many of the items she actually liked. The tartelette was very bad, though, so it was a good thing she didn’t get around to trying one. It was the ham variety, anyway – usually the chicken and asparagus is better. They’d burnt the sauce, though, that was the problem, so it had a really bad taste. They should’ve omitted it from the buffet rather than serve something that was obviously ruined.

It was a very busy place, which also surprised me – we arrived on a regular Tuesday afternoon but we were slightly worried when we walked in that we couldn’t get a table. We were lucky, though. The place was packed with pensioners, but it is a good bargain place if you want to eat old-fashioned Danish food, which a lot of Danish pensioners probably want to.

After lunch we went on a walk around Odense city centre and eventually went back to our place for a cup of tea / coffee and an opportunity to stare at the cats. My friend – Tara – surprised us with an Australian cookbook as a gift for having her visit.

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There are some very interesting recipes in there, unfortunately I haven’t managed to read it closely yet. I hope to have an Australian inspired dinner party eventually. I love theme dinners. I want to do a British one (again), too. I want to have a go with yorkshire puddings. I probably won’t be cooking possum pie, though! It seems too cute to eat anyway.

For dinner the Companion did a chicken wok dish to show Tara a more modern Danish meal. The Companion and I always eat with chopsticks when we have wok dishes, so it was definitely not old-fashioned Danish food! It was fun to show Tara both the old and the new.

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We also had dinner for the following day all planned out, and since we were going to do a traditional Danish Christmas dinner, I cooked risengrød (rice pudding) for the dessert the night before. I used real vanilla beans for extra flavour.

We spent most of the day and evening talking, which was a lot of fun. I hadn’t seen her in two years, so it was comforting to know that we could still find something to say. She went to bed a bit early, though, which was understandable since Denmark was her first stop on her trip, so she was a bit jetlagged after 24 hours of travelling, even though she did arrive in Copenhagen the afternoon before.

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