The entire month of December running up to the 24th – family and friends normally gather around in each other’s place (taking turns hosting a small get-together) where they serve glogg and aebleskiver in addition to christmas cakes and cookies like brunkager, pebernoedder, joedekager and honningsnitter! Glogg is spiced mulled wine with raisins and almonds in it, while aebleskiver (loveliest and lightest doughnut like round treats or beignets) are being served with jam.
A typical danish christmas affair – christmas dinner on the 24th with traditional roast pork, roast duck with prunes, stewed red cabbage , brown potatoes, pickled asier (not sure what it is called in English – a pickled squash/cucumber like vegetable), stewed apples and gele! That is what my family (in laws) usually have as tradition.
The sweet ending is the traditional “Ris alamande” – creamy rice pudding with almonds and cherry sauce. The trick is to get the whole almond and if you got it, you have to pretend you did not. That is to encourage people to continue eating the rice pudding in search of the whole almond. You see, there is a gift to the person who found the almond! After the big dinner, there is a singing and dancing around the christmas tree before anyone is allowed to open their presents. Normally a Santa Claus will show up for the kids.
The night continues with the children ( my niece and nephew, age 6 and 3 years) playing with their new toys and the adults chatting away with some coffee and ‘konfekt’ (marcipan chocolates and various others sweets and christmas cookies).
The following days were spent with relatives over a julefrokost (christmas lunch) and catching up! The first day we had over my brother-in-law’s place with his family and the 2nd day we had it at my husband’s aunt’s place. A julefrokost is a long meal time normally starting at around 1pm to 5-6pm of continuous eating and drinking. Here the danish open sandwiches are being served with a whole range of toppings on ryebread! Not forgetting lots of christmas beers and snaps!
Normally one starts with the fish dishes like pickled herrings of different sorts, fried fish, shrimps and egg. Then followed by roast beef, frikadeller (meat balls), roast pork slices and moerbrad (braised pork with onions) and not forgetting liver pate (warm) – not my favourite though. We continued after a break with a cheese platter. Beers and snaps were drunk during the meal. There was a lot of food that day!
MERRY CHRISTMAS !