Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, made up of turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pie. Preferably, pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is pretty much my favorite holiday. Revisionist history aside, foods eaten on Thanksgiving are just so delicious! This year, our first year away from giant turkeys and piles of mashed potatoes, we’ve been invited to an American Thanksgiving hosted by one of my husband’s co-workers. We were asked to bring something.
So, I decided to bring pumpkin pie.
My cooking and baking skills are mediocre at best. Sometimes I get lucky – if I follow a recipe to a T – but most of the time this is not my forte. But I really wanted that pumpkin pie! So, I got to work.
I ordered the pumpkin puree from My American Market. They’re located in France and they charge a fortune, but I was worried about not finding it in the store (ironically, the ethnic section at Bilka had some, but I didn’t know it until it was too late). So I ordered two 15 oz cans and paid – wait for it…. – 181 kr (that’s almost $29)!!!!!!!
Did I happen to mention how much I love pumpkin pie?
Anyways, the rest of the ingredients I got at Bilka. Bilka is as close to Target as you can get. They sell everything, including ethnic foods. They have an American section, with an ample supply of Jello and marshmallows. Not so much of any of the stuff you might actually want or need. So, I improvised.
In the United States, although I never got through the holiday without pumpkin pie, I never actually made the crust for it. I bought the crust. Sometimes I even bought the pie (from Costco. Costco… I’m starting to miss you). But now, I had to make it!
I bought what I assumed was white flour:
Hvedemel turned out to be wheat flour (“hvid” is white and “hved” is wheat! Damn it!). Ah well… It will be a healthy crust.
I got some butter… It’s salted, but damn, this butter is good. And they slashed their prices for the holidays! 12 kr for 250g. $1.90. (What I lost on the pumpkin puree, I made up on the butter)
I, of course, needed a pie pan to make a pie, but I looked and looked and did not find one anywhere! The closest I came to were these aluminum tart pans.
I forgot to take a picture of the crust, but here is a picture of the crust covered in foil, ready for the oven. I did not have beans, so I put in a bunch of rice…
Then I moved on to the filling. I whipped the eggs.
I put in brown sugar (or what I thought was brown sugar. Google doesn’t even know what muscovadorørsukker is) and some spices.
Then I put in the $15 can of pumpkin puree.
And now it was time for condensed milk…
So… Kondenseret mælk sounds like condensed milk, right? Well… Apparently, someone hasn’t been paying much attention in class… Sødet means sweetened!
Once I opened up the can, it was evident that this was not condensed milk. I was so distraught, I swallowed two spoonfuls of it and added about half of the can to the pumpkin mixture. Any more would have sent people into diabetic shock.
So… I improvised. I never improvise in cooking or baking. This may not end well.
I baked it and it came out looking like pumpkin pie. I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the fridge.
Tomorrow, we will know if it tastes like pumpkin pie.
I came across your blog by accident and must admit to having a chuckle when I read about your pumpkin pie shopping-related challenges. Then I read on and realised you’ve settled in Lyngby where I grew up – small world. Good choice! It is a lovely place, I hope you’ll be happy there.
I’m a translator, by the way, living with my husband and our two little girls in Copenhagen, but I very much hope to return “home” to Lyngby one day (when we can afford it).
May I suggest – when spring comes around – that you take a trip with Baadfarten: http://www.baadfarten.dk/english.aspx . It’s a beautiful way to explore the local canals and lakes. Also, if you haven’t been, make sure to visit Dyrehaven: http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/dyrehaven-gdk414367 .You’ll love it, and your dogs will too, but make sure to keep them on a leash at all times. I also recommend Sophienholm and the park, they have art exhibits there, artwork dotted around the park, and it’s a pretty place for a walk (again, keep the dogs on a leash in case they get excited about the deer).
If you’d like to experience a totally over-the-top and very different Christmas market, there’s a small but intensely overloaded one to be found at the organic farm of Fuglebjerggaard, run by Danish cook, cook book author and organic farmer extraordinaire Camilla Plum. It’s about 40 min drive from Lyngby, but if you have time on your hands in the first week of December it’s certainly an experience – amazing food, lots of spices, their own produce for sale (veggies, lamb and pig meat) for sale, colourful Christmas decor from India, wreaths made from their own ‘supply’ from the garden, etc.. The website is not exactly clearly laid-out, and clicking “English” only produces a short backstory on Camilla and her farm, but there is a headline that says “Jul”, so click on that and run the content through Google Translate for details on the Christmas market. 🙂 http://www.fuglebjerggaard.dk/
I know it’s true that it can be hard to make friends with Danes when moving here, but it is in part due to the fact that we make a lot of our friends while in school (it’s that strong teamwork-rather-than-competition education culture), so by the time we’re adults/graduated we have a large network of friends already and aren’t really looking to expand it. Or so I’m told by people wiser than me.
Phew, that turned out to be half a novel. I just meant to make a few suggestions… If you have any translation-related or Lyngby-related questions, drop me a line. 🙂
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Thank you so much for the suggestions! I love to hear what locals recommend. I will most definitely look into the Christmas Market. Thank you for the comment! I hope you’ll keep reading. And I love living in Lyngby. It’s such a nice town. I feel very lucky we ended up here!
Hej Mai-Britt, jeg er såmænd Beatas nabo :D!
Knus fra Karsten
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what a small town! 🙂