December 26 2011
The duck was delivered on time, hooray! Considering the fuss we made when picking it up from the restaurant, you would think it was a long lost friend or relative. I can’t describe the relief when we got the news that this would be a perfect – duck included – Christmas after all.
We spent the whole day preparing for dinner, which only lasted about one hour. A lot of ingredients and details are involved in a proper Christmas dinner. Some ingredients came with my wife from Denmark, and I have now figured out that it had something to do with the mystery of her heavy luggage.
There is a Scandinavian saying that too many chefs kill the food, and since I am a strong believer in that saying, we divided ourselves into groups, taking care of different chores. My group did splendidly, if I may say so, and consisted of… well, myself. My area was the actual duck, which was grilled with lots of oranges and later served with potatoes, red cabbage and gravy, while my wife and daughter made the ris à la mande.
Ris à la mande is a dish made out of sweetened rice served with cherry sauce. With a name that is obviously French, I served it to some French friends a few years back, positive that they would know the dish well. However, I can tell you that they did not only not know it, they weren’t big fans of it either – so I think I’ll keep it to myself and my Danish friends and family from now on.
Anyway, once the food was on the table, it was like a war zone – as soon as the food hit the table you needed to attack immediately and fill your plate. Repeat as often as necessary until your stomach hurt from the senseless overeating.
After dinner, it was present time – on the wrong day compared with most other countries of the world, but hey, if you haven’t realised it by now, we Scandinavians aren’t really like everybody else.