Mexican hot dogs in Copenhagen

In Scandinavia it is completely normal and utterly common for people to leave their babies in elaborate strollers outside of venues—stores, bars, restaurants. It seems insane to us Americans, there it really is normal. This baby was in a stroller sleeping outside—and it was cold—during our entire meal.

We were in what was a sort of food court. The part we were in was supposedly Mexican. On the menu were many kinds of hot dogs. I think of hot dogs as quintessentially American, like US American not Mexican American. I’m not quibbling. It’s totally fine with me and I was intrigued, I wanted them. We shared a BBQ empanada which now that I think about it doesn’t seem very Mexican either. And then we shared “hot dogs.”

The sausage itself was being made right there, right then. It turned out to be more bratwurst than hot dog, OK, not at all hot dog. And the toppings were not even vaguely hot doggish. But they were delicious. I just wish that baby hadn’t been abandoned there. I’m sure it was fine but, you know, being US American, it seemed so wrong.

Entertaining again

More colleagues. But this particular batch was vegan, well she was anyway, him not so much, but so then we all were. I have to admit this made it a little difficult (for me anyway) so my better half whipped up a batch of falafel (from scratch, dried beans even). I do not impress easily but I was impressed. There was a rough patch when I thought he was going to toss his grinderizer out the window as it was not grinding as appropriately as he felt it should be but we (he) got through it.

It was a great meal and I am sure they liked it. The falafel was amazing.

Leftovers? Lasagna!

The NYT recipe for shrimp creole that I used said “four servings” but there were like 28. So yeah, leftovers and I thought, “Lasagna!” You can make nearly anything into lasagna, FYI. However, there wasn’t really enough to make a full on shrimp creole lasagna, I thought, so I improvised by adding some Italian sausage.

When I was done I suddenly had enough lasagna for another 78 people, approximately. The miracle of the loaves and shrimps. I like to think that I learn lessons as I go, but apparently not.

I did get an Mmm from the Royal Indian Mounted Police when he tasted it for the first time so there’s that.

Extra effort

The old ball and chain invited a former colleague over for dinner. I had never met her but I knew that she was a good cook and that she appreciated good food. He asked me to make shrimp creole and I added a cake and salad to the menu. Making this cake was maddening. You try making a cake when the oven is barking orders like this at you. And then there was the issue of frosting it. I just hate frosting cakes. First there’s the crumb coat annoyance and then there’s the moment of panic when you think you don’t have enough frosting. You cannot begin to imagine what the kitchen looked like.

This recipe for shrimp creole called for making a dark roux which for those of you who don’t cook is a mix of butter and flour, in this case sautéed until it is brown. Sound fun? Fifteen minutes of constant stirring.

At the last minute I decided to make croutons out of an end of a loaf of bread that was lying around. The salad was just going to be oil and vinegar on lettuce. Why not add a little something extra? OK, chopping up a stale end of bread—little bits and crumbs skittering all over the goddam place is a really great addition to an already messy kitchen. Then I sautéed the mess in garlic oil, which I had to make first, of course. At some point in this I thought to myself, “Why the fuck are you doing this to yourself?!?”

During the meal his colleague leaned to her husband and said, “Diese Croutons sind lecker!” These croutons are delicious. That’s why the fuck I do that.

Recipe link below

I thought this recipe for shrimp creole was really good, if a lot of work and the Royal Indian Mounted Police made fresh creole seasoning which was freaking awesome and somehow he was able to make this without the massive mess I’d have created… recipe here.

We didn’t eat here

The Danes seem to be nice people. They are very polite and patient. No horn blowing or motor scooters zipping in and out of traffic in Copenhagen unlike certain other places I could mention. But jeez, the stuff they eat. I was having difficulty dealing with just looking at the menu until I got to the smoked eel. I nearly passed out.

Rhubarb herring. Herring, with 3 kinds of herring. The mind reels.

Some other wedding tidbits

Wedding fashion: I’m not so much a fan of the gay rainbow thing but for our wedding I bought this pair of underwear and wore it secretly without my future husband knowing. It didn’t quite have the impact I’d wanted when he discovered it later. “Why are you wearing those?” He asked in a completely dispassionate way. Anyway, I tried.

A number of people have asked in oblique ways about the scarves while, I am sure, actually thinking “oh brother look at those two knobs being all European” and well, yes. But it was very cold and we did not have overcoats. It was really not about being fops.

Wedding cake: October 13th is also my sister Patty’s birthday, she turned Medicare age so celebration was in order too. My sister Mary K made a duel purpose cake. Wedding on one side, birthday on the other. My sisters and their respective spouses then sang and sent a video. It was very moving, even for me, someone not easily moved, I choked up. I was sad they weren’t there but this gesture was something very special and way out of the ordinary which sort of sums up the whole deal.

Wedding Beers: I know champagne is the usual but I prefer beer, I’m not a champagne kinda guy, despite what the scarf may suggest. We stopped for the wedding lunch in some small, absolutely charming Danish place. The bread came with butter and a little pot of lard. We did not eat that. The paintings on the wall by a local artist of Nordic coast lines were fantastic. Very Matisse like. The photographs do not do the place or the paintings justice.

Luck and money: We were married on the 13th and stayed on the 13th floor of the hotel. Looking forward to that first Friday the 13th anniversary. Ashish’s colleagues made a small celebration for him in his office. They gave him some sort of decorative christmas tree ornament-like made out of money. These are actual useable euros so, starting out lucky.

Rehearsal dinner: We didn’t really have all that much to rehearse. I’m not overly given to making public spectacles of myself anyway. In fact, we didn’t even discuss the impending event. It was a Thai restaurant filled with Thai people. They were more interesting to talk about. The food was absolutely fantastic. Except not that radish flowery thing, which I ate, it was dry and woody.

Wedding dinner: After our wedding lunch we went to the Danish history museum which was essentially impossible to comprehend and filled with billions of tiny bits and pieces of pottery, rusting weaponry and other oddments. That night we had our wedding dinner at an Italian restaurant that was apparently locally sourced, artisanal and, you know, free range and what not. Our appetizer was house-made burrata and sautéed “scavenged” greens. On the one hand I appreciate that but on the other I was put in mind of the weeds growing in between the sidewalk slabs. The greens (weeds) were not exactly toothsome and I seem to think had a faint taste of, well, sidewalk.

So Copenhagen

After 13+ years, the Royal Indian Mounted Police and I decided to get married. We had attempted this in Oslo 6 years ago but the official paperwork got gombolixed up and we missed a deadline, yeah, so bummer. And would have done so before now but COVID and other annoyances intervened. Denmark is more or less the Las Vegas of the EU in that they have fewer hoops, I mean requirements, to jump though. To get married in Germany where he currently lives, I’d have had to been a resident for 180 days and attend marriage counseling. (which isn’t such a bad idea) But well, Copenhagen is an hour away.

Many people were concerned that we would be lonely or something would be missing but we had each other and that was enough. I can say it would have been better with loved ones around but it was a lovely day, if somewhat cold (hence the scarves). The city hall was really charming, the fully pregnant registrar was adorable. And it was just fine. And it turns out that not having other people there made us focus on each other. We had beers with our lunch in a lovely Danish restaurant and we danced to Joan Armatrading in our hotel room.

The one exception is that the photographer did not take our picture when we kissed and it wasn’t because he didn’t have time.

I miss my Rodney Strong

We may have had a great deal of delicious wine but…

In the last 2 pictures you can see Roman Polanski in the back corner. It was really him and he was having dinner with a young woman obviously not his daughter. I did not, as I wanted to, get up and throw my wine on him indignantly. What would that have accomplished except wasting my wine? On the other hand it was not Rodney.

Chez les marchés

Just so freaking glorious. This is just one market (Richard Lenoir) and not even the best one. They are all over Paris. If you go near to closing you can get everything half-price. Of course you risk not getting that barracuda you were planning to make for dinner.

Mo’ Bordeaux

I have the idea that there is something sacred or holy about making the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. This is a walk that several people I know have done. But I thought it was a specific walk in Spain. It turns out that these walks are all over the place You can start in Russia if you want to. But maybe it is not even a pilgrimage. It’s a trek tho. From Bordeaux to Santiago de Compostela it is a 198 day walk. There is nothing holy about this to me. Well, yes, wholly insane. So I did my pilgrimage in Bordeaux. It was just a few blocks but I’m pretty sure I get the points. There are no real written rules that I am aware of, at least not ones handed down from St James, so, you know, it counts. There are various organizations, societies, clubs and legions to which you may attach yourself in some way, shape or form, the most common one was started in 1987. Mm hm, just sayin’

I’m happy with the French Card-Carrying Covid Club (valid in all EU countries) into which I’ve been inducted. There is a document of some sort you get at the end of the Camino but, again, I have my FCCCC document and that’s good enough for me.

Anyway this little clam shell dealio in the street is what makes it a part the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, so, you know, verified in my mind.