Burning Love

7 Dec

This has been a tough year with too many goodbyes, both in my Scottish family and my Danish one. When someone passes away there is inevitably a hole, but I find that memories gradually begin to filter in, and after some time has gone by you can look back and remember the person with happiness.

Papa's horsesWooden horses inherited from my Papa

When I moved to Denmark, aside from the practical things I would need to bring with me, I made sure that certain other items came with me. As a whole, it might be something of an odd collection, but each object is a catalyst for a whole spectrum of memories attached to a particular person.

Auntie Jessies horseThis wooden horse belonged to my great auntie, and every time I look at it I can see her house, and I remember the trips we made to visit her as children: singing at the top of our voices the whole journey, making up our own words because we weren’t terribly sure of the original ones; or her giving us smokey bacon crisps, which we didn’t like but had to take anyway because my mum said it was polite.

Shetland poniesI often think of memories that will make it to the future, and wonder what will be remembered about now. I have always been horse-mad, and remember going for walks with my mum as a little girl and being delighted whenever we passed a field with equine contents, which I could stop and stroke. Many years later, I still can’t go for a walk without stopping to speak to any horses I might pass, and I hope this is an interest that I’ve passed on to the next generation in my family, which can similarly be looked back on with fondness in future years. The idea of creating every-day memories is very strong in me, and I try and think of regular small-scale adventures that will go towards building a childhood filled with happy memories for the next generation.

Christmas tree unlitChristmas tree litI’m not averse to starting new family traditions, and have successfully managed to incorporate a few Christmas-themed ones into our household. When Odense’s Christmas tree is lit, we are there to see it, and it’s also the cue for me to start getting excited about the build up to Christmas. But more on that subject in forthcoming posts!

Quilt2This quilt was made for my husband by his mother, and since I discovered it languishing in a cupboard, it has been rescued from a life of obscurity and is proudly displayed on our bed. It’s a daily reminder to me that some things really are worth taking time over.

JumperMy current knitting project

My mother-in-law has been teaching me how to knit, and as well as really enjoying it, I feel like it’s a practical way of connecting with tradition. I’m particularly in love with classic Nordic patterns, which I think are timeless.

JumperI recently made this jumper for a wee one-year-old boy, and I hope I’ve created something which I hope will have many happy memories associated with it in the years to come.

There is a strong tradition attached to food in Denmark, and recipes pass through generations with the required level of secrecy. The notion of mormormad (granny food) is still very attractive to the younger generation and seems unlikely to die out any time soon. Most of the traditional courses are really quite unhealthy by today’s standards, but I can assure you, they taste great!

Burning loveMy husband recently treated me to one of the autumn classics: brændende kærlighed (burning love). Warning: vegetarians and dieters look away NOW!!

BaconOnions2Mash First, fry bacon cubes* until they are crispy, then use the bacon fat to fry chopped onions. Pour/sprinkle the bacon cubes, onions and melted fat over mashed potato, and voila, burning love – the ultimate comfort food on a dark, rainy December evening.

*The bacon cubes can be substitued with spæk – the fat attached to the skin on a pig. I haven’t had the pleasure of that version, so far…

Brændende kærlighed

Det har været et hårdt år med alt for mange farveller, både i min skotske familie og min danske. Når nogen sover ind, er der uungåeligt et hul, men jeg oplever, at lidt efter lidt begynder minderne at dukke op, og efter et stykke tid kan man huske tilbage og tænke på det menneske med glæde.

 Da jeg flyttede til Danmark sikrede jeg mig, foruden de praktiske ting som jeg havde brug for, at nogle andre ting også kom med. Som helhed er det måske en lidt mærkelig samling, men hver eneste genstand er en katalysator for et helt spektrum af erindinger, som er forbundet med en bestemt person.

Auntie Jessies horse Denne træhest tilhørte min mormors søster, og hver gang jeg kigger på den, kan jeg se hendes hus, og jeg kan huske de rejser, vi tog på som børn for at besøge hende: syngende af vores lungers fulde kraft gennem hele rejsen, mens vi fandt på vores egne tekster, fordi vi ikke var sikre på de oprindelige; eller da hun gav os røgede baconchips, som vi ikke kunne lide, men alligevel skulle tage imod, fordi mor sagde, det var høfligt.

Shetland poniesJeg tænker tit på de minder, som vil vare ved i fremtiden, og spekulerer over, hvad der vil huskes om nutiden. Jeg har altid været hestegal og kan huske, når jeg gik ture sammen med min mor, da jeg var en lille pige, og hvor glad jeg blev, når vi gik forbi en mark med heste, og jeg fik mulighed for at ae dem. Mange år senere er det stadigvæk umuligt for mig at gå en tur uden at ae enhver hest, som jeg går forbi. Jeg håber, det er en interesse, jeg har givet videre til næste generation i min familie, som den ligeledes kan se tilbage på med kærlighed i fremtiden. Ideen om at skabe hverdagsminder optager mig stærkt, og jeg prøver regelmæssigt at finde på eventyr, som hjælper med til at skabe en barndom fuld af glædelige minder i den næste generation.

Christmas tree lit Jeg er heller ikke imod at skabe nye familietraditioner, og det er lykkedes mig at  indarbejde nogle juletraditioner, som jeg selv har fundet på, ind i vores  husstand. Når Odenses juletræ bliver tændt, skal vi være med, og det er også et signal for mig om at begynde med alle de spændende juleforeberedelser, men mere om det i kommende posts!

Quilt2Denne quilt var lavet af min svigermor til min mand, og efter jeg fandt den liggende i et skab, blev den reddet fra et anonymt liv og er i stedet for udstillet med stolthed på vores seng. Det er en daglig påmindelse til mig om, at der er nogle ting, som man sætter pris på, at andre har brugt lang tid på at lave.

Jumper Min svigermor lærer mig at strikke, og ud over at jeg nyder det, er det en praktisk måde at forbinde mig med traditionen. Jeg er særdeles forelsket i de gamle nordiske mønstre, som jeg synes er tidløse.

JumperFor nylig lavede jeg denne trøje til en lille et-årig dreng, og jeg håber, at jeg har skabt noget, som man vil knytte mange glade minder til i de kommende år.

Burning love Der er også en stærk madtradition i Danmark, og opskrifter er overleveret gennem generationer i dybeste hemmelighed.  Begrebet ‘mormormad’ er stadig tiltrækkende for den yngre generation, og  det er usandsynligt, at det forsvinder for tiden. De fleste af de traditionelle retter er virkelig usunde ud fra dagens standard, men de smager hammergodt, kan jeg bekræfte.

Forleden dag lavede min mand en efterårsklassisker: brændende kærlighed. Advarsel: Vegetarer og de, som er på slankekure, kig væk NU!

BaconOnions2Mash Steg først *baconterninger indtil de er sprøde. Brug så baconfedt til at stege hakkede løg i. Hæld/drys bacon, løg og smeltet fedt over kartoffelmosen. Sådan, brændende kærlighed – den ultimative komfortmad på en mørk regnvejrsaften i december.

*Baconterningerne kan erstattes med spæk, men jeg har ikke haft fornøjelsen endnu…

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