New in Denmark

Goodbye and ‘farvel’ from Diane’s Daily Denmark!

Dear Readers

We’ve come a long way together since my first blog post here on 9 September 2010. Three hundred and fifty-seven posts, to be precise. But it’s time to tidy my blog desk because Denmark.dk is shutting us down. We have come to the end. Slut! As we – selvfølgelig – say in Danish. 😉

I’ve loved sharing my experiences and fascination with those crazy Danes and Denmark. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. It’s been a good six years!

Before I switch off the lights for the very last time, below is a rerun of my Danish Christmas Advent Calendar and my New Year’s Eve post.

As Queen Margrethe says…Gud Bevare Danmark!

With much love,

Diane, Denmark 🙂

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http://blogs.denmark.dk/diane/2015/12/31/here-comes-2016-jump/

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Change for this and other blog sites

Scott May 2016Certainly mixed feelings fill me when I read in an email Oct. 28th that denmark.dk will be closing the Blogging Denmark site (blogs.denmark.dk) by Dec. 15th. This also means all my posts since August 2012 will be removed and possibly moved to another site.

First, I want to express my profound thanks – words are not enough – on behalf of all the bloggers and me for denmark.dk, a website maintained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. It provided for us a site to write and an Internet connection to people we otherwise wouldn’t have reached. As a longtime freelance journalist, I know the value to reaching new readers.

Second, thank you one and all for reading my blog postings. Some of you offered criticism – always healthy from an open-minded journalist/writer – with the number one complaint being my posts were too short. As one who has many projects going on I must admit I poured my heart out in each and every post. I am still heartened by this comment made over and over by many of you. Would rather hear this than to read that my posts are too long! I also received a fair number of spam, inevitable in this day and age I guest. But still other responses from readers ‘warmed the cockles of my heart,’ as the ol’ saying goes, is that many bookmarked my blog with the hopes of following my postings. I sincerely thank you.

Third, the media landscape is changing and changing fast. As much as I like consistency (as a historian and a U.S. presidential historian at that) I know change is part of life. Who knows what the future may hold in regards to my writing about the Danes and Denmark? The experience in writing a travel blog in my first visit to Denmark (let alone travel overseas at the age of 53) to see where my Larsen family lived in Nordjylland in the Tranum and Broust area was a wonderful challenge. Some of you followed my two-week trip, from ‘wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen’ (as the song goes) to the northern tip of Denmark, standing with one foot in the North Sea, the other in the Baltic. Let alone meeting many Danes – like the school teacher on the train who was taking her students to spend the day at Tivoli, the restaurant waitress who served me dinner in the Grenen area, to Trina, a school teacher who graciously met me on my second trip to Denmark. What memories!

I have a couple of posts I need to write and post on Northing Rotten in Denmark before it goes dark. One is about the U.S. Electoral College – I was a member in the 1980’s twice – to help many of you understand this confusing way Americans elect its president and vice president. The other is a wrap-up of most (or all) of my posts since August 2012. I hope you will find it entertaining.

Thursday is the American holiday of Thanksgiving, a holiday to give thanks with family and friends, break bread by way of a large turkey dinner with all the fixings (including potatoes, cranberries, stuffing/dressing and candied yams), but also the unofficial start of the frenetic holiday shopping season. ‘Black Friday’ is the day after Thanksgiving where literally millions of Americans (and more and more Canadians…) hit the road, stand in long lines – some stores open up at 5 am while others just after midnight – to race through the aisles and shop, shop, shop for Christmas presents. As things morph incorrectly down through the years, the term Black Friday originally means when merchants and businesses see for the first time they ‘run in the black’ (profit) after a year of running in the red (loss). I suspect Black Friday will take on the meaning of black eyes and black and blue bodies from all the fighting which break out on this shopping day.

I give grateful thanks to denmark.dk for providing me this platform for my writings, impressions and thoughts about Danes and Denmark as well as many of you dear readers. There truly is nothing rotten in Denmark.

Scott May 2016

Danish, Danish (and only Danish) Music Day!

Tomorrow, 27 October 2016, is the last Thursday of the month of October which means that it is – selvfølgelig! – “Spil Dansk” (Play Danish Music) Day! 🙂

So don’t be suprised if the only music you hear on Danish state radio is by Danish groups (some of which also sing in English), Danish songwriters, Danish producers. Anything that has even remotely been touched by the red and white flag counts! But if you’re interested in Hit Lists and what you’d normally expect to hear around these parts – and what people actually buy and add to their collections – then take a look at Hitlisten.nu where you’ll find every official Danish list. There are the usual American artists, as you would expect, but also Danish artists like Lukas Graham, Volbeat and Rasmus Seebach are still in there. On a side note, Hitlisten’s info on the increasing number of vinyl records sold is rather interesting for an old, nostalgic lady like myself 😉

One of the more avant garde and original Danish artists right now is Bisse, who has taken the reviewers and the indie fans by storm. In Denmark, albums are given marks (or hearts) out of six. Here’s his own song, where he gives, “Seks hjerter til livet” – “Six hearts to Life”.  Check out his album “Højlandet” which got 5/6 stars across the board from Danish reviewers. Bisse sings in Danish and you can hear him on soundcloud here.

And what do I currently have on my turntable? Agnes Obel. I’ve never really been a huge fan of her, but I love, love, love her latest album, “Citizen of Glass”! Agnes sings in English – here’s the song “Familiar” from the new album. And, although she has been settled in Germany for a few years, it’s kind of cool that she was born around the corner from us and was a former pupil at my DD14’s school (dear daughter, aged 14)…

But while we’re at it…let’s not forget one of our old favourites from Marvelous Mosell (with a teeny bit of help from Chic and Sister Sledge…) which contains the immortal lyrics:

Der var både bajere og hash,

men jeg sagde: Stik mig bare en

kærnemælk i et snavset glas

med et sugerør i

og gør det i en fart, for jeg er sørme tørstig!”

“There was beer and hash

but I said: Give me some

buttermilk in a dirty glass

with a straw, and do it nifty

‘cos I’m really thirsty” 😉

What’s not to love?!

Happy ‘Spil Dansk‘ Day! Put on those dancing shoes and remember to turn it up to 11! But don’t forget to get out and hear music live… Like Johan, from my very favourite Danish band Magtens Korridorer, you’ll probably be swept off your feet! 😉

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Diane 🙂

I heart Danish comfort food! (Part twelve – Burning Love – Brændende Kærlighed)

Dear Readers

There’s no turning back! Despite a good fight by the Indian Summer the last couple of weeks, autumn is well and truly here. I’m now wearing my gloves on my morning bike rides because it is so darn ch-ch-chilly! But, hey ho, I’m a seasoned winterbather so I’ve learned to just suck it up and enjoy the small things…here I am this morning after my skinny dip, with some seaweed in my hair! 😉 (Air temp 8c/46f , sea temp still fairly ‘high’ at 12c/53f)

But every (soggy, rain-filled) cloud has a silver lining so the onslaught of the autumnal weather means the excuse to turn up the ‘hygge‘ on, get snuggly indoors and enjoy some fantastic Danish comfort food. I can’t fathom that I’ve been blogging here for five years, have written an eleven-part series on comfort food, but have not yet mentioned…Burning LoveBrændende Kærlighed! 😉

Like most Danish comfort food, it isn’t healthy. Nor is it pretty. So you are forewarned!

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Fry up a lot of bacon until it is good and crispy and crunchy. The more, the merrier. I usually buy a whole piece and chop it up myself into little strips.

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Remove the bacon from the pan and fry up a whole lot of onions. I also added a carrot or two (just to get some extra veggies in). Just get the onions nice and soft. You don’t want them too brown and you don’t want them to get crunchy.

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Next you are going to make up your mashed potato. Now, if you are going the whole hog, you can boil/mash/add butter/salt. But last night I used the cheat’s version and went with a packet as we didn’t have much time. Did you know that there are several types of mash mix…check the label. Some have extra oils and chemicals added. Others are basically just cooked dehydrated flakes of real potato which you then rehydrate. (A fun fact which I learned in my heydays working at the European Court of Justice in the 1990s…yes, we had a case about the ingredients, and what should be listed as ingredients, in mashed potato! Case C-144/93 Pfanni Werke)

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But, as usual, I digress! Potato, potahto…you decide what kind of mash you want to use! 😉 Put your mash in a large dish, top with the soft onions, pour the crunchy bacon on top of that. You can, selvfølgelig, add some chives or parsley on the top for a green garnish. But as my DS16 (dear son, aged 16), once said when he was about 5 years old, “Mummy, why do you put grass on top of our food?” Ha! 😀 But I would suggest that you finish off the dish with some freshly ground black pepper and serve it with lots of pickled beetroot…

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Then dig in!

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After that you are free to go lie down on the sofa and hygge to your heart’s content…

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Diane 🙂

 

 

Culture Night 2016 – Choirs, Cuisine and Carlsberg’s Coziness

Every October there is an event in Copenhagen that I have come to greatly enjoy these past 10 years. It is called Kulturnat or Culture Night. It is 24 hours of amazing events in all areas of culture in all areas of the city. From music and art to architecture, food and lectures, there is something for everyone. This year I think it will be even better with some new cozy offring from Carlsberg, the country’s well-known brewery. (more…)