After classes on Friday, I came home early in the afternoon with tulips for Camilla and to give her my present-- a Pandora heart charm. When I purchased the charm earlier in the week from a Pandora store on Strøget, the saleswoman told me that Pandora was actually a Danish brand. Who knew that something so popular in the USA came from such a small country?? We then celebrated together by singing the Danish birthday song and with traditional Danish birthday layered cake filled with bananas and raspberries... delicious!
Singing to Camilla
Danish Birthday Cake!
Before the performance, my host family and I went to an excellent Italian restaurant in the Fredericksburg area of Copenhagen. It was fun for me to translate the menu since it was in Italian and Danish; I found myself reading the Italian and then looking to the Danish description to see if I could understand it with the little that I have learned so far. We ordered two antipasto platters complete with an assortment of grilled vegetables, thinly shaved meats, cheeses and bread. For my main meal, I had a spinach and ricotto stuffed homemade cannelloni. To say that this food was excellent would be an understatement :) "Singin' in the Rain" was terrific as well, and since I've seen the American film before, I was able to follow along pretty easily. My favorite part was hearing the English songs in Danish and watching the leading actor perform with buckets full of water coming during the memorable, iconic song.
And it gets even better! Saturday was a chance for the extended family to celebrate Camilla's birthday. Her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins met at a bowling center and we bowled for an hour before coming back to our house for presents and a feast (I'm not going to say how I did at bowling, but let's just say that the Danes definitely bowl better than me!!).
There was a total of 17 people at our house, and we had to divide the tables into the "Adults" and "Children." Camilla had decided on the menu-- beef stroganoff with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, cabbage and apple slaw--and my host mom had been preparing the meal all morning so we could all definitely taste the love. Sitting at the "Adult" table, it was really interesting to hear/follow the conversation and I think they all enjoyed having me chime in whenever I understood something. And of course, a birthday dinner would be incomplete without the dessert! Not one dessert though, TWO! Camilla and I first assembled dishes of vanilla ice cream with mangoes, blueberries, and raspberries and a Holland caramel wafer cookie they had recently purchased in Amsterdam. Later, we sang to Camilla and had chocolate muffins with vanilla icing and sprinkles. We all questioned the difference between muffins and cupcakes and it was finally decided that Camilla had "broken the rules" and put icing on muffins; they were all pretty shocked when I said that in the USA, muffins are traditionally eaten for breakfast because that would be too sweet for their palates in the morning.
Danish birthdays are all about gathering with the family, eating great food, and honoring the special person... so who's birthday is next??
Vi Ses Snart