Husband John and I undertook a bit of a ‘roots’ tour last autumn when we traveled to Denmark. He had not been there since he was a child, to visit his maternal grandparents. We were greeted by cousins John had never met. Cousin Ulla, her husband Chresten, and cousin Stig were at the train station, waving small Danish flags when we arrived. They entertained us with a tour of the ancestral village, John’s mother’s childhood home, and we had a delicious seaside picnic that Ulla had prepared.
You’re not really in Europe unless you see some churches, and so we did that.
When we returned to their beautiful home, we read letters from World War II that had been exchanged between family members, all in Danish of course, with Chresten kindly translating. We discovered family secrets, and many stories thethree cousins had never known.
When it was time for dinner, I figured we’d go to a restaurant before catching the train back to Copenhagen. But no! Ulla set the table and out comes dish after dish of beautiful Danish food. I’m still not sure how she managed it. Here is one of the things she served:
Ulla’s Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- ½ cup flour
- 1-2 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 2 T finely grated onion
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2-3 T butter for frying
Put the milk, flour and egg into a medium bowl and whisk till smooth.
Put the meat, onion, salt and pepper in a separate bowl and mix. Then add the milk mixture little by little until it is incorporated. You can use your hands, a wooden spoon, or use a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. There may be a little extra milk mixture; you should continue adding the milk to the meat until you have a mixture that can be shaped with your hands)
Refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes, or up to two hours.
Heat the butter in a frying pan.
Use a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture and shape into a flattened ball. Add each meatball to the butter until you’ve used all the meat mixture.
Fry the meatballs for 4-5 minutes on each side, then serve.
One last note about this happy reunion: I must report that Chresten has an important position in the LEGO company. How Danish is that?!?!?! LEGO is building a manufacturing facility near Richmond, so Ulla and Chresten visited us last month. We look forward to seeing them again.