Last Saturday, some of our new friends in Billund invited us to take a walk at a nearby lake called Kvie Sø, and then lunch afterwards at a pancake house, or pandekagehuset. It was a nice day for it – omg blue sky! – so off we went!
The lake is a very popular spot during the summer, but it’s off-season, so we pretty much had the trails to ourselves. The kids rambled ahead and we walked for about 30 minutes to work up an appetite for lunch.
The pandekagehuset is also a popular spot in the summer, but today it was quiet – and very cozy inside.
Here’s my favorite part of the interior – an old painting hanging on the ceiling showing ye olde party folk. I like the dude on the floor. Go home, Bjørn, you’re drunk.
First things first: beer! They had a great selection of Belgian beers, so I was happy. I chose the Troubadour Obscura, which I hadn’t seen it before (and also because Obscura is the name of a German technical death metal band I really like \m/). It’s a Belgian brown ale, very tasty. Also like a sour red but without the tartness. Would definitely get again.
The pancake selection was equally as impressive. They’re not Danish pancakes, they’re actually Dutch galettes (hold on while I look up “galettes”…okay they’re like French crepes or Chinese bings, whatever a bing is.) The boys, of course, opted for sweet pancakes with powdered sugar and chocolate, because chocolate, while B and I got more savory fare: leek & cheese for me, and apple & bacon for her.
This was my favorite meal so far in Denmark… but the day wasn’t over yet! Our friends remembered that that Monday night (this past Monday) was Mortensaften, also known as St Martin’s Day or Martinmas in other parts of Europe.
Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier in the 300s who became a monk, and later in his career, was about to be appointed bishop. He didn’t want the position though, and hid in a goose pen – but the geese honked and gave him up. (I know how he felt – we had huge flocks of Canada geese on our property when I was growing up, and those birds are a-holes). Eventually, it became customary to eat a goose to celebrate the holiday, though over time it became duck or hen because I guess geese are expensive to raise and fatten.
Anyway, since we were already all hanging out, and the kids were having fun, our friends invited us to their home for an early Mortensaften meal. It was a lovely, chill afternoon just hanging out, making our way through a case of Christmas ale (the real kind, no more kinderbier for me), and playing Upwords.
Then the cooking started, and our host showed off his skills in the kitchen: Prepare stuffing of apples, prunes, and Christmas beer. Put it inside the duck and sew/close up. Roast in the oven while also simmering the neck, liver, and some bouillon to make the gravy. Then have some more beer.
Sorry, I don’t have any more pics of the actual meal, because once the duck came out, this blog became a distant afterthought. The liver gravy was the best part – savory, rich, decadent. Fingers crossed there are more duck-related events on the calendar so I can try to recreate it on my own.
Thanks to our friends for inviting us to enjoy such a lovely and delicious day!