There are 2 different nationalities in our couple; during certain festivities, it’s therefore important that Lars and I can come to a compromise. Luckily, we do share the same preferences/priorities:

  • The food has to be delicious. Lars and I are foodies; because of my ASD however, I experience this differently. I am hypersensitive, I can literally lose myself in the taste of excellent food. ASD can have its advantages!
  • Relaxing: neither of us likes to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food. And stress has to be avoided when you deal with mental health issues.
  • We are inspired by two movies.

Babette’s Feast, where French cooking plays a very important role.

Julie and Julia, also devoted to French cuisine!

23 December

Lars once told me:

In the life of any Dane, there are two very important dates, 23 June and 23 December.

The Viking

23 June is “Sankt Hans Aften” (the Danish version of midsummer night), 23 December is called “lille juleaften” (small Christmas Eve). This is just the evening before Christmas Eve; it’s also a tradition in Norway and Iceland.

On the menu…

The weeks before the festivities I had seen a lot of publicity for shrimps. This is my own take on shrimp cocktail: shrimps (obviously), mixed salad, and tartare sauce (I couldn’t find any cocktail sauce).

Confit of duck with mixed salad and fried potatoes for our main dish.


24 December

Christmas Eve is the main event for the Danes. Goose, duck, and pork are popular for the main dish.

Not just any dry-cured ham for a starter, but the best in Spain: Jamón Ibérico (also known as Pata Negra).

In the afternoon I had started with the preparation of the main dish…

Tadaa! Boeuf Bourguignon! Slowly cooked beef, carrots, mushrooms, bacon, and onions in red wine. The Viking called it “phenomenal”.

Back to Danish tradition for dessert: Riz a l’Amande (French origins!). Milk rice, cream, almonds, and cherry marmalade. Whoever finds a whole almond wins a prize. It was decadently delicious!

And sweet cream cherry to accompany all the decadence.

25 December

This was the main event in my family. The Danes by now find themselves in a food coma.

This time the starter was some duck mousse, presentation à la Viking.

To be more precise, Viking in a non-creative mood.

The two other courses consisted of leftovers of the 2 days before.

26 December

The Danes have awakened from their food coma. It’s time to eat the very last leftovers with new dishes.

After all this meat it was time – finally! – for fish!

A very simple starter: smoked salmon.

I wanted to prepare sol meunière. Unfortunately, I had to do with dorado. I coated it in flour and then slowly fried it in (lots of) butter. Not pictured: served with lemon, boiled potatoes, and a salad.

Honestly, I cannot remember what we had for dessert.

1 January

Lars and I always stay in a tranquil hotel for New Year’s Eve, as far away as possible from fireworks and firecrackers. I hate loud noises, and they can even trigger a severe panic attack in me.

For New Year’s Day, I cooked “coq au vin”. Slowly cooked chicken with vegetables in red wine. And we forgot to take a picture. Chocolate ice cream for dessert (vanilla for the Viking).

That’s it, folks! Since 2013, Lars and I have celebrated Christmas and New Year without any family. The pandemic therefore didn’t affect us as much it did with our friends. We found most of the ingredients in our local supermarket (Dia); for the more luxurious produce (duck confit/mousse, dorado), we went to Mercadona. All in all, we had a great time!

What about you? How did you celebrate the holidays? Any problems with the pandemic? Do you have any special traditions? Let us know in the comments!


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