Today I woke up to the smell of coffee and waffles. Lovely and familiar, bringing back memories of Sunday breakfasts over the years. Now that the kids are gone we don’t really make big productions anymore, but Grace is here for a bit and Scott is making us a nice breakfast.
I have so many memories of the girls and their friends coming downstairs, sleepy-eyed, and wild-haired to pack around the table. A table piled high, the menu varied from breakfast to breakfast. Besides the regulars: OJ, eggs and bacon there might be pancakes or waffles. Maybe dutch-baby or, on a good day, everyone’s favorite, aebelskiver.
Aebelskiver. A round Danish pancake with a bit of apple inside. Scott was the chef, taught at the elbow of his mother who used a knitting needle to turn the round pancakes as they cooked. Proper turning was what makes a great aebleskiver, and as the boys got older she let them use the knitting needle to turn the little pancakes when they reached the perfect golden brown.
Nancy grew up near Solvang a Danish village in a beautiful valley in Southern California. Young girls and women in traditional Danish bunad dresses would line the streets with aebleskiver pans to cook for Danish Days celebrations. As family lore would have it, Nancy was cooking there one fall when she met Thor, her future husband. So you see, aebleskiver are a big deal in the Brandt-Erichsen house-hold.
Another Danish breakfast steeped in tradition is the Kringle pastry. When you visit Solvang you go to Olsen’s and buy a slice of perfect, flakey, almondy kringle. On Christmas Eve a Olsen’s kringle usually shows up, air delivered, to our door to make an elegant Christmas breakfast. All bakeries are held to the Olsen’s kringle standard, it is fun to watch my husband and brother-in-law sample pastries in other bakeries in other towns and measure its “Danishness” against their childhood favorites from Solvang.
After binge watching four seasons of the Great British Baking show I convinced Scott that he should attempt a kringle. He is a great cook after all, breakfasts are his specialty. It was intimidating, layered butter, dough rolled so thin you can see through it, finished with a perfect custard/almond paste filling. After five or six attempts we feel like he perfected the kringle!! It is what we will eat tomorrow morning along with our boiled eggs for a perfect Easter breakfast.
If you want to order your own delivered-to-your-door (just a warning, this site will make your mouth water) kringle http://www.olsensdanishvillagebakery.com/danish-kringle/
Add Solvang to your bucket list! https://www.solvangusa.com/
If you do visit Solvang, be sure to visit the Elverhoj Museum, built by Scott’s grandfather and grandmother in the tradition of a Danish farmhouse. It was donated on his grandmother’s death to Solvang and is a heritage and art museum. http://www.elverhoj.org/