The Danish Pastry (Hello)

So much of my kitchen and recipe knowledge comes from my mom. So many of the things I do in the kitchen I do simply because she does it like that too. She made fresh meals for her family of six every day and continues to make food for us long after we have all moved away from home. If it hadn’t been for her endlessly refilled freezer containers of chili and soup, I would have lived on cereal all through university. I know that one of the things she wondered about was how I was going to survive once we lived on different continents. Trust me, the thought occurred to me, too.

My mom makes from scratch look so easy and effortless, and if it weren’t for my parents’ efforts in the kitchen, my siblings and I would not have the appreciation for Danish food that we have — honestly, knowing how much of Danish culture is food — we probably wouldn’t have much of a connection to the country at all.

But while there was homemade rye-bread and picked herring; picked beets, cucumber salad, home-butchered pork of several varieties; and the best home-baked white bread, cookies, and cakes that anyone could ask for, even my mom had her limits. She would not make wienerbrød Danish pastry. The time investment was simply not one that she was willing to make. So we all had to suffer without the one thing Denmark is probably most known for while living in Canada, then beg the local bakeries to take our money as soon as we arrived back in Dk on holiday.

And while I do love those buttery bites, and have often ranted about the subpar nature of the “slop most Canadians call Danishes”, I agree with my mom. My time and money are better spent eating pastry than making it. I promise to only share the experiments that end well, but I cannot promise pastry.

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