November 13,  2014

 

Viggo Johansen's Aftenpassiar (Evening Talk),1886

Viggo Johansen’s Aftenpassiar (Evening Talk),1886

Tranquility, pleasant conversation, and a full stomach are all necessary qualities for a successful evening meal.  However, accomplishing this trifecta can often be a nearly impossible feat.  If and when we do have that once-in-a-blue-moon occasion where everyone makes it home on time, sits down at the table together, and enjoys one another’s company without disruption the only thing we are left to say was that it was a good night.

 

coppenhagen table with candlesLuckily for us, this month, and in the coming months, quality meals such as these are the highlight.  Despite the weather changing, what we all look forward to (and strive for) during the holiday season is spending wonderful times together making memories and enjoying great food.  People put in the extra effort around the holidays to make the most of many ‘good nights’.  This is what makes the holidays something to look forward to each year.

 

roast duckIn every culture throughout time people have gathered together to share a meal.  It is something that we all have in common and often times connect us to our ancestors.  Last week’s post was even solely devoted to the many wonderful Danish recipes that are created for such occasions, and I can be certain that Emma, Anna, Margrethe, along with their friends and families, gathered together and enjoyed these same recipes and traditions 123 years ago.  These days, with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it seems that these gatherings and mealtimes together are becoming even more hard to come by, yet even more significant when they do occur.

 

stmartinIt just so happens that this past Monday was another Danish tradition called Martinmas Eve, or mortonsaften (“Martin’s evening”), where the focal point was on another delicious Danish meal.  Saint Martin (AD 316-397) was the patron saint of France and considered the first great leader of Western monasticism.  He was regarded as a miracle worker, and in Europe a feast of goose or duck is celebrated in his name on the evening of November 11th.  Many Danish and Danish-American homes revel in this tradition as well.  The story behind why duck is served can be a source of debate.  In Catholicism, Martinmas is often symbolized with a goose due to its proximity to autumn, when the last feast before Advent was held.  Another story tells of Saint Martin, who in 371 was to be made a bishop against his desire.  He ran away and hid in a nearby barn, which was inhabited by geese and gave away his hiding spot.  To get back at the pesky birds that revealed him, a goose or duck is eaten.  In either account, it is a fitting reason for another wonderful celebration with a fabulous Danish dinner!  Visit our Pinterest page Delicious Danish Delicacies for this and so many more Danish recipes!

 

mortonsaften