23 December 2008

Christmas preparations

While Lisbeth was sent to Denmark to fetch our Christmas presents (and run a couple of other errands) it was Tue's job to look after the little apartment and shop for the holiday festivities. Particularly the latter can be time consuming when looking for unusual goods and only speaking a broken French. In an attempt to have at least some Christmas traditions we have decided to repeat last year's Christmas cake. For this we require of course the Italian hazelnut liqueur Frangelico, but that shouldn't be so hard to get here, this close to northern Italy where the drink originates? Wrong! Most places that Tue entered and asked for it, he was greeted by a puzzled "C'est quoi, ça?" ('That is what, that?!'). So in the end it was also Lisbeth's job to parallelly import a bottle purchased at the Italian store Supermarco in Copenhagen.

It went a little better when shopping for various cuts of pork. The butcher at the supermarket Migros did have a funny look on his face when Tue asked if he could buy "graisse du porc" ('fat of pig')? Not to be deterred by such, Tue persevered with "lard sans viande" ('bacon without meat'), after which the butcher concluded that perhaps the product in mind was "bardes" ('broad strips of lard'). Once it was confirmed that they agreed and he was busy weighing out half a pound of it the butcher wanted to know what it was to be used for, so Tue had to try to explain liver pâté. Then he didn't have any more questions. But Tue did: what about a "rôti du porc avec sa peau" ('pork roast with its skin')? For this he could only suggest a pork shoulder - with the shoulder bone still in it, that is. Not optimal for Danish style pork roast. At the butcher in the supermarket Coop things didn't go any better. Only when Tue entered a real butcher store, was he told that he could come pick up the piece of meat he was looking for the next morning.

Thinking of specific tasks to perform, a wish had been expressed for a nail on the door for hanging a Christmas decoration from - actually we have practically no nails, but Tue succeeded in finding a single nail, left over from the assembly of some piece of Ikea furniture earlier in the year.

Likewise, a wish had been expressed for the baking of more cookies, particularly the traditional Danish cookies vanilla wreaths and perhaps also the so-called Jew cookies. Before any baking took place, intelligence arrived that both of these two types of cookies had been donated from Lisbeth's mother, so perhaps it would be preferable to try to bake something else. Tue then chose to make the not particularly Christmassy pistachio shortbreads, and the modern compliment of the Jew cookie, the palestinian cookie, giving a fresh breath of some different spices.

Last but not least, the purchsed lard was of course used to bake the intended batch of liver pâté and when Lisbeth's flight touches the runway tonight the pork roast will probably be in the oven at home...

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