cof

Eranthis hyemalis


This yellow little flower makes me happy. If I had a favourite color, yellow might be it.

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Being happy never goes out of style.

– Lilly Pulitzer


I am joining the #WeeklySmile bunch, as I wholeheartedly agree with the host, Trent, that we need some positive posts in between all the serious stuff in the news and on the web. Give someone a smile today, and see what happens!

Care to join us at the #WeeklySmile ? Then go to Trent’s World  and join the LINK UP!

Older entries in the #WeeklySmile:

I haven’t killed anyone!

Turkey smiles

Halloween-smiles

Spanish Smiles

Bliss

Against the Odds
Hideout

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Danish Dream Cake


(Norsk oppskrift: Dansk Drømmekake)

Finally Friday! Finally done with this weeks get-into-shape-program. Do you understand the full extent to being done with this week’s workouts? It means CAKE! Yup! Cake! Doesn’t cake undermine the workout, you ask? Honey, cake is the reason I work out. No cake, no workout.

Today I share with you a Danish recipe. Despite the total lack of licorice in this recipe (Danes have no filter as of what to put licorice in, see here), this seems to be a favorite cake in Denmark. And it is good, and it is easy. Therefore, a perfect cake to bake this weekend, the Dream Cake (Drømmekage):

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Ingredients:

  • 250 grams (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 250 grams (9 oz.) sugar
  • 50 grams (2 oz.) butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 ml (4/5 cup) milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

  • 125 grams (4.5 oz.) butter
  • 50 ml (1/5 cup) milk
  • 200 grams (7 oz.) muscovado sugar
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz.) coconut flakes (desiccated coconut)

Whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy

Melt the butter and combine the warm, melted butter with the milk. Then add the butter and milk mix to the eggs and sugar.

Add flour, baking powder and vanilla, and mix well into a smooth batter.

Butter and dust with flour your baking tin – or line it with greaseproof paper – and pour the batter in.

Bake at 200 C (400 F) for 25 minutes, place the tin low in the oven.

Make the topping the last ten minutes while the cake cooks in the oven: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and muscovado sugar and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about a minute.

Add the coconut flakes and mix well. When the cake has been baking for 25 mins, take it out of the oven, pour on the topping, use a knife to spread the topping evenly on top of the cake.

Bake the cake for 10 minutes more.

Let the cake cool and then cut into pieces and enjoy. (I know I will!)

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Helsingør

Helsingør (Elsinore), Denmark


Now that we have visited the Kronborg Castle, where Hamlet lived, spoke to ghosts, and died, I think it is only natural to pay the surrounding town a visit, Helsingør (Elsinore, as Shakespeare called it). Helsingør is situated on the northeastern tip of the island of Zealand, Denmark, at the narrowest point (4 kilometers) of the sound, (Øresund) between Denmark and Sweden.

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The area has been inhabited for a long time, and around 1200 the first church, Saint Olaf’s Church, was built. Helsingør as it is known today was founded in the 1420s by king Eric of Pomerania. In 1429 he established the Sound Dues, meaning all foreign ships passing through the strait had to pay a toll, which constituted up to two-thirds of Denmark’s state income. At the time, the Swedish side of the sound was Danish, therefore Denmark could control all activity in the sound. With this income, Eric of Pomerania built the castle Krogen that was later expanded and renamed Kronborg. (This is the castle we visited yesterday – Hamlet’s Elsinore.) All ships had to stop in Helsingør to get their cargo taxed and pay a toll to the Danish Crown, and of course this meant increased trade for the town, as the ships had to anchor here anyways. In 1672 Helsingør had grown into the third biggest town in Denmark. The Sound Dues were abolished in 1857.

A lil’ bit of trivia: The car ferry line crossing the sound, between Helsingør and Helsingborg, Sweden is the busiest in the world with more than 70 departures in each direction every day.

The Greatest Ferry Line in the World

Ambience

Crossing

Exposure

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Hamlet’s Elsinore


Yes, this place actually exists! Except the castle’s name is not Elsinore, it is Kronborg Slot (added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list in 2000). You can come and see for yourself, it is in the town of Helsingør, Denmark, on the northeastern tip of the island of Zealand at the narrowest point of the sound, (Øresund) between Denmark and Sweden. The sound is here only 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) wide, so a fortification here has always had an immense strategic and economic importance, and it has been repurposed several times throughout the years.

The castle dates back to a stronghold, Krogen, built in the 1420s by King Eric VIII (Eric of Pomerania*). King Frederick II** transformed the stronghold into a Renaissance Castle from 1574 to 1585. Much of the castle was destroyed in a fire in 1629, but King Christian IV subsequently had it rebuilt.

*Related reading: Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless, where Erik of Pomerania becomes King through adoption by King Pantsless (Margrete I)

**Related reading: Roskilde Cathedral – The Renaissance Ruler, about Frederick II and his young Queen.

Per a legend linked to Arthurian myth, a Danish king known as Holger the Dane, was taken to Avalon by Morgan le Fay. He returned to rescue France from danger, then traveled to Kronborg castle, where he sleeps until he is needed to save his homeland. He mst be knackered and overworked to sleep this long! His beard has grown to extend along the ground. A statue of the sleeping Holger has been placed in the castle.

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Holger the Dane

The Ballroom was, when it was completed in 1582, the largest hall in Northern Europe. It measures a whopping 62 x 12 meters. The present floor and fireplaces are from the rebuilding 1924-38.

The chapel was inaugurated in 1582, but in 1785, as the castle was being fitted for use as army barracks, the chapel was fitted out as gymnasium and fencing hall, and the furniture was stored away. In 1838, the chapel was refurnished with the original furniture, and reinaugurated in 1843.

The Swedish army besieged and conquered the castle during the Dano-Swedish War of 1658-60, and the castle was deprived of many of its most precious art works. The Swedish conquest demonstrated that the castle was far from impregnable, so after the castle was back on Danish hands, the castle defenses were strengthened scientifically. After their completion, Kronborg was considered the strongest fortress in Europe.

From 1739 until the 1900s, Kronborg was used as a prison, and the inmates worked on the castles fortifications. From January 17, 1772 to April 30, 1772, Kronborg was the place of imprisonment of Queen Caroline Mathilde***, following the scandal of her affair with Johann Friedrich Struensee.

***Related reading: Royal Shenanigans, where I tell the story of the Royal infidelity that landed the young Queen in prison.

***Related reading: Roskilde Cathedral – Power struggles and insanity, the story of the mentally ill King, the imprisoned Queen’s hubby.

We do have to talk about Hamlet, William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, which is set here at Kronborg. In the play, it is called Elsinore, though that is actually the anglicized name of the surrounding town Helsingør. The play has been performed several times in the courtyard and at various locations on the fortifications. For those of you that are dire Hamlet-fans, here are some famous Hamlets:

The castle was opened to the public in 1938, and they host a fantastic Christmas Marked two weekends in December every year. I absolutely recommend visiting Helsingør and Kronborg Castle. And should you happen to be in the area in December, make sure you visit the Christmas Marked!

Aesthetic
Ambience
The Greatest Castle in the World
Graceful

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Halloween-smiles


14917267_10154344610811622_2277339575043380159_oThis past week there has been alot of smiles. Of course, Halloween being the reason for many of the smiles in my household. Halloween is not really a Norwegian or Danish thing, but it is getting more and more common. Of course there are valid arguments on both sides of whether or not we should import traditions from abroad. I guess I have landed on the pro-Halloween side, because I do not think it hurts anyone to dress up and have a little fun. To hand out some lollipops while complementing the fantastic costumes is not what I consider a nuance – but rather fun. It’s not like you are being bludgeoned to hand out candy. Unfortunately, they had terrible weather this year for trick or treat. Of course, Old Mamasan made Pumpkin pie, and the Karate Kid did a fantastic job decorating, don’t you think?

Tivoli in Copenhagen takes it all out for Halloween, and it is so much fun! This year, we went twice! Actually, the Kid went three times, as he went with the people from church on Sunday, in addition to the two times with us. We all just love seeing the decorations and the lights. I hope the pics convey some of the ambiance and god times this time of year in Tivoli. Of course it is pure chaos in Tivoli in the weekends, so do yourself a favor and visit on the weekdays.

(Those of you who notice that Sir Nerdalot is looking a tad less fuzzy in some of the pics, yes, he shaved for Movember and is now growing a stache :-))

Oh, another reason for me to smile is that I have finally got an idea for my NaNoWriMo-book. It might not be a great idea – but it is an idea, no matter how crappy 🙂

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I am joining the #WeeklySmile bunch, as I wholeheartedly agree with the host, Trent, that we need some positive posts in between all the serious stuff in the news and on the web. Give someone a smile today, and see what happens!

Care to join us at the #WeeklySmile ? Then go to Trent’s World  and join the LINK UP!

Older entries in the #WeeklySmile:

Spanish Smiles

Bliss

Chaotic

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Danish Oatmeal Buns – Kajeboller


(Norsk oppskrift finner du ved å klikke på linken: Danske Kajeboller)

Normally it is the parents that makes and packs the lunch for their schoolkids… In our house, it is not only the other way around, but we take it as far as the Kid buys lunch at school and brings it home to his mom!

I guess this requires a lil explanation… We are Expats, living in Demark and the Kid attends Danish school. He can bring his lunch from home, or he can buy food in the school cafeteria where he has several choices to choose from – one of them being what is called “Kajebolle”. The Kid has praised the Kajebolle for so long that I finally asked him to buy one and bring me so I could try it. I have never seen these in the store, and I wanted to try them. Of course, Expat’ing includes sampling the local foods, and OMG does the Danes have lots of great food!

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Back to the Kajebolle – you must try them; they are super good. And they are not even all that unhealthy. The oats and honey gives them a subtle sweetness and the cold rising gives a fab texture. No kneading required, just stir with a poon – and stick the dough in the fridge overnight.

They are extremely good with just butter, and that’s how they are served in the school cafeteria. (I have of course tested with cheese and jam too – which is lovely!)

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Watch this gooey, sticky dough transform into lovely crispy buns

Kajeboller (about 11 pieces)

  • 10 g yeast (or approx. 2 g dry yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 150 g oatmeal
  • 650 g plain flour
  • 700 ml cold water

Stir the yeast with the honey and salt, and add the cold water, oatmeal and flour. Give it a stir, the dough is loose so you can stir it with a spoon. Put on a lid or cling film and place the bowl with the dough in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 C.

Dip a tablespoon in cold water and scoop out pieces of dough and place on your baking tray. Dip the spoon in cold water before scooping out a new piece of dough to prevent it from sticking. The dough feels weird, but have no fear – it is supposed to be like this.

Sprits cold water on the buns right before you stick them in the oven, this makes the delicious crispy crust.

Bakes at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on size of the buns. Do not use the fan in the oven, and make sure the oven is holds the temperature before putting the buns in.

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Transformation

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Connect


I want to use this picture as an illustration of the word «Connect». The picture is of an old salvaged wreck of a Viking ship (you can see them at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark).

This ship represents a connection in a historic sense; it connects us today with people that lived a thousand years before us.

It also represents a connection in a practical and sociable sense; it connects shores, countries, continents… and people.

Isn’t that a rather nice thought?

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Viking Ship

Voyage

#developingyoureye

Graceful

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Home


63942813As an Expat I have given some thought about what «home» is. Sure, we can look up the dry explanation in a dictionary. Or we can define it ourselves, yea, let’s do that – should be way more fun.

You see, my family and I are Expats in Denmark. We rent a house in a small town north of Copenhagen. The market in Denmark is so slow that investing in real estate here is a complete no-go for us. And even though we absolutely hate the house we rent, we have recently extended the lease period.

Why would we do that?

Pure laziness would be a huge part of the reason why we decided to continue to rent this house. We just can’t be bothered to move – because that is a lot of work and boring.

go-big-or-go-home-memeThe proximity to The Karate Kid’s school was also a huge factor in deciding to prolong the lease.

And… The house itself is not why it is home. It’s more about making it home. So we moved in our furniture, our clothes, our stuff. Granted a whole lot of our stuff is still in storage, because this house is way smaller than the beautiful and rather large house we had in Norway. But we have unpacked enough stuff to make this Danish house feel homely.

Although there are things that are connected to certain memories, nostalgia and all that, they are still just things. And without a cat galloping across the floor and jumping up in the sofa just to piss off the dog, and a teenager aggrivating his mom by playing too loud music, all the things are meaningless. Because the memories are still there, even without the things.

home-is-where-your-heart-isIt’s not the house and things that make the memories. We make the memories. Yes, we have had many nice family meals around the dinner table. Without the family, the table would just be a table. And when that table is traded out for something new and not worn out, we will still have the memory of those nice family dinners. The table doesn’t matter. It’s unimportant.

What is important? Family. Friends. Pets. Those are my true valuables. That is what makes the home. Not the house, not all the stuff.

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Home is where the dog hairs sticks to everything but the dog

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Home is where the cat learns to read

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Home is where there is a Tiger on the roof

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Home is this bright looking fella

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Home is where you return to after showing this young man the world

 

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… So Tired!


Good morning and thank you for meeting me at one of the many dog parks I Denmark. I like this one in particular because there is always other dogs Sir Hoof Hearted can play with while we sit outside the café and enjoy coffee and perhaps a piece of cake.

Where is this #WeekendCoffeeShare taking place? We are right north of Copenhagen, Denmark, at Bernstorff Slot og Slotshave (Bernstorff Castle and Garden). As mentioned above, there is a cafe here where you can bring your dog. There is also a Tea-room in a gorgeous rose garden – where you may not bring the dog.

This is all set in a beautiful forest with wide paths, and there are huge lawns for your dog to run and play on.

 

The reason I wanted to meet you here, besides it being a beautiful place, is pure convenience. Here we can sit and chat , outside in the crisp autumn air, over a constant flow of coffee from the cafe, while the dog plays with other dogs, and I don’t really have to do anything.

You see, I am dead tired today. Only got a couple hours sleep last night. Yea, I was busy all night.

I woke up in the middle of the night by a burglar in my room. I asked him what the hell he was doing, and he said he was looking for money, jewelry and valuables… I am so tired! We spent hours searching high and low!


Care to join us at the #WeekendCoffeeShare ? Then go to  Parttime Monster Blog and join the link up!

Want to see my previous contributions to the #WeekendCoffeeShare? They are funny, I promise:

Handegg (and why Sir Nerdalot is in the dog house)

The Doc’s in!

Fall Folly

1-irish1

An Irishman goes into a bar…

Once in a lifetime

Sausage much?

Brexit explained

The Nerve!

Brexit Tea

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Trouble is my middle name

We should not sleep away the summer night

Diet much?

Wolf Whistle much?

An eggy conundrum

Happy Mother’s Day!

#WeekendCoffeeShare

Nice to meet you

Coffee and taxes

read my blog

 

Museum Aside

We need a little break from the Royal shenanigans at Roskilde Cathedral (and I need to go back and take better pictures of the rest), but let us stay nearby in another very historic part of Roskilde, Denmark:

Denmark’s national museum for ships, seafaring and boatbuilding in the prehistoric and medieval period; The Viking Ship Museum.

This museum exhibits five original Viking ships excavated nearby in 1962. These ships were deliberately sunk at the Skuldelev in Roskilde Fjord around the year 1070. The reason for sinking them was to block the most important fairway and to protect Roskilde from an enemy attack from the sea. These five ships turned out to be five different types of ships (and two of the originating from the area in western Norway my mother is from) ranging from cargo ships to ships of war.

Excavations for the shipyard expansion of the museum in late 1990s uncovered a further 9 ships from the Viking age and early medieval period. This is the largest discovery of prehistoric ships in Northern Europe and includes the longest Viking warship ever found (the Roskilde 6 at 36 meters). And they might even find more as the excavations are not yet completed.

The museum also conducts research and educates researchers in the fields of maritime history, marine archaeology and experimental archaeology; they host conferences and house a research library.

The Viking Ship Museum has a long tradition of Viking ship reconstructions and boat building and also collects boats of interest from all over Scandinavia, the collection now comprising more than 40 vessels. It is possible to follow or engage in the ship building process here, as the associated ship building yard is constantly building new ships by original methods as part an experimental archaeology learning process.

You can get out on the sea in one of the reconstructions during your visit to the museum, and you can try a few of the crafts at the ship building yard, as this is a very interactive part of the museum – a great venue for learning for young and old!

When visiting this part of the world, make sure you stop by The Greatest Viking Ship Collection in the World!

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The Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark