Ella – March 27, 2017

I can hardly believe my words are appearing as part of The Hope Chest!

I, like many of you, have been enjoying these correspondents and anxiously awaiting the entries that contain shared memories, travels, recipes, and connections to ancestry. So much of it is familiar to me. I am Ella, the great-great granddaughter of Mrs. Anna Mikkelsen, one of the 12 founding women of The Danish Home.

I have heard so many stories about her over the years and, I’m told, carry on her legacy as “The Domestic Maven” with my penchant for cooking and baking, particularly Danish recipes, and, truth be told, always enjoying a good gathering!

Which is how I have found myself here. As The Danish Home prepares for its 125th anniversary celebrations, I was honored to be asked to be part of a committee to plan a variety of upcoming events to celebrate our history and heritage. Having the opportunity to weave my talents into the Scandinavian traditions that have been passed down from my great-great-great grandparents, Danish immigrants, is an honor.

Frikadeller-1 Jody

“Frikadeller” is Scandinavian meatballs…and delicious! (photo source)

At our first committee gathering, I found myself in a room of other descendants of the founding women of The Danish Home and felt an immediate kinship with them. There is something so energizing about being around others whose stories and families are intertwined with your own.

As we began brainstorming ideas, I was so excited to share my thoughts for decorations and Danish recipes for the various events. Before I knew it, we were trading recipes for Frikadeller (Scandinavian meatballs) and Amagergryde (Danish Amager Stew) and talking about our memories of the treats our grandparents made, from Swedish rice pudding to Frazipan (Danish almond cake). It is amazing how many childhood memories are tied to the smells of Danish dishes at a family gathering!

I am most excited that one of the ongoing 125th Anniversary “Catch the Spirit and Prize” events is asking for people to submit their Scandinavian recipes, stories, photos, jokes and family traditions on The Danish Home’s Facebook page. It will be fun to see what Danish recipes have been passed down through generations! So many of the recipes I still enjoy making for my family have been tweaked and changed over the years to include more American ingredients, so I look forward to getting some new inspiration!

I’ve also been combing through the recipes posted on The Danish Home’s Pinterest page and don’t even know where to start, there are so many good ideas!

rice pudding

Swedish rice pudding stirs the appetite and fond memories. (photo source)

While the details and specifics for the upcoming events will unfold as we continue to meet and correspond, I look forward to learning more from others about Scandinavian traditions and, hopefully, filling The Danish Home with the sights and smells that bring residents back to their childhoods and the places they have called home over the years.