|Louise with guest Jason at the buffet table|
For the occasion, she has rounded up a few other compatriots that reside in Freetown. Nina has brought a tin of liver pâté (leverpostej), Susanne a jar of herring in curry sauce (karrysild) and Kim's contribution is desert; assorted licorice (vingummier, lakridser and piratos).
|Salmon, liver pâté and avocados|
After a little introductory round to get to know all the other guests, we cluster around the buffet table and help ourselves to the starters. Smoked salmon (a rare treat in Sierra Leone) with avocado and homemade cucumber pickles on bread. In Denmark, these open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) are quite a phenomenon, though they usually would use thin slices of dense rye bread rather than the French bread available to us here. What makes these sandwiches so special is the bread, the types of topping and the fact that huge amounts of the topping are heaped on the bread, be it
|The meatballs in curry sauce|
|Looks nondescript, tastes great!|
After dinner we gather round the sofa and have some of the licorice. As I grew up in the Netherlands, I actually truly appreciate this as a treat. Some of the Brits present are less enthusiastic.
Somehow, I have convinced Susanne that the dinners for this blog always include the hosts singing the national anthem...and dutifully, the three blondes (Kim opts out) sit down and manage quite a few tuneful verses of (for me) unintelligible lyrics. They also explain some of the traditions surrounding Christmas and New Year Eve's celebrations, which involve the British comedy sketch Dinner for One being repeated on television year after year. And the queen's
speech on December 31 is obligatory viewing for all Danes, not to be missed if at all possible.
A truly delightful evening. Afterwards Louise even sends me a picture of real Danish rye bread that she made herself a few days later (one of the guests at this dinner had brought the flour as a present). She uses a lot of exclamation marks to convey her excitement and writes that it was 'almost like Christmas'. Only when you are away from home for longer do staple foods take on such a special meaning!
|So blonde, these Danes! All ready to sing the national anthem.|