I have much to tell y'all, but I only have three hours and nineteen, er, eighteen minutes before the intertubes close up again. Ready, set, go!
Since Andrew got home from Chiapas and set up his new computer he has been BitTorrent-ing like crazy -- all the episodes of Battlestar Galactica he missed and every album released during his absence. Or so it seems. My poor little Mac Mini cannot compete in the War For Our Bandwidth; it times out at least 80% of the time that I click on a link. I finally insisted that Andrew release our DSL to me from 8:30 to noon every day. Which is why I have a deadline to finish this post. Three hours and, um, fourteen minutes left.
What to tell you about first? How about what we had for dinner yesterday? Æbleskiver!
What are æbleskiver? You may very well ask. I could not possibly comment.*
[frustration] Even though I am writing this during the time when Andrew's downloads are limited to 10K/sec, my MM continues to time out over half the time. Go to Plan B: do the blog post using my Work Laptop (which continutes to reside with me so I can take every available CPE credit available free through my employer). For some reason the WL doesn't seem to have nearly as much trouble sharing the DSL connection. But in order to do that I have to copy the photos I have taken since the last blog post to my thumb drive, then copy them to the laptop. Argh, my 64MB thumb drive only has 3MB free, and even though I delete every frickin' file that is on it, Mac Finder still tells me there is not enough room to copy anything. Go to Plan B1: run downstairs and ask Andrew he has a thumb drive and can I borrow it, please. He's not in his room (must have gone for his morning run), but his laptop is downloading on his desk; I pause all his downloads to see if that will help. Run back upstairs, try the MM; nope, no better. Play solitaire while allowing blood pressure to drop to normal levels. Idea: maybe Andrew isn't out running, maybe he is in the bathroom. Check, discover this is the case. Ask about thumb drives; yes, he has two, a 512MB and a 128MB. He fetches them for me upon emerging from bathroom. Bigger thumb drive turns out to have <100MB free; smaller one locks up my MM. Return both to Andrew, ask if he can delete anything on the larger one and free up some space. He does, returns it to me. I copy photos from MM to thumb drive to work laptop. Whew. [/frustration]
Where was I? Oh, yeah, what are æbelskiver? Let's let the experts tell us:
I love that they compare the size to a very large hailstone.
ETA: Upon rereading this post I find I have done what Andrew calls "burying the lead." Æbleskiver, as it says in the newpaper ad above, are Danish pancakes. Onward.
So Andrew and I hustle on over to West Denmark at 5 pm (me thinking that this is a good time, the early rush will be over and the chronic late-comers won't have arrived yet) and discover there are roughly a gazillion cars parked along the country road in front of the hall. We go in, buy our tickets, and find we are numbers 240 and 241; a few moments later they call numbers 150 to 160 to come downstairs and eat. So we have some time to wait. What a time to have forgotten my knitting.
But there is entertainment. I encounter another county board member whom I have been meaning to call about a resolution which he is bringing before the board at the next meeting. We chat for awhile, and he explains his thinking to me.
More time to wait. I think I'll show you a bit of the hall where we waiting.
The Danes were a sea-going people:
I always thought Leif Ericsen's name was spelled Erikson and that he was from Norway. That is probably because there were far more people of Norwegian than Danish heritage where I grew up in southern Minnesota.
There was music:
But best of all, there was æbleskiver-making.
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Yep, very large hailstones, all right.
There were two stoves and two crews making the hailst--, er, æbleskiver. Crew One, above; Crew Two, below:
That's Mike, Andrew's friend and mentor and hero in the green "Got Luck?" t-shirt. Mike is a long-time peace activist. He's an organic farmer and a substitute teacher and coach and speaker. He was arrested in his younger days for throwing blood on the White House; he has traveled to the Mideast multiple times, once meeting with Yassar Arafat. More recently he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives on the Green Party ticket, opposing Rep. Dave Obey -- one of the more liberal Democrats in the House -- from the left. (He got 27,00o+ votes: Dave, take note.) He is also the person most likely to help out with any kind of local volunteer/fund-raising effort; his wife Barb was working in the downstairs kitchen. They are dear, dear, very idealistic people.
The æbleskiver batter was mixed in the downstairs kitchen and rushed upstairs in handy buckets carried by the kids of Crew Two:
Cooking/baking æbleskiver is a labor-intensive business. Each person on the cooking crew tended one 7-æbleskiver iron, except for the real experts, who tended two. First, a squirt of oil into each large-hailstone-sized indentation in the pan, then a ladleful of batter. As soon as the bottom of the æbleskiver cooked, the crewperson turned it a quarter-turn using a special skewer:
The cooking and turning would continue until the outside of the æbleskiver was the perfect shade of brown. Sometimes the crewperson wasn't paying close enough attention and an æbleskiver would get too brown, even black. The rejects were tossed into the bowl in the center of the stove; you can just see the edge of it in the above photo. After I took these pictures the crew let me steal a couple of the rejects for Andrew and I to sample. Mmmmm, even the rejects were good!
Eventually our numbers were called and we trouped downstairs to the eating area. Because I was very hungry and not as good a blogger as I could have been, I have exactly zero pictures of the actual dinner. Instead, I will use my words: we were each given a plate with 3 æbleskiver and a 4" link of medisterpolse (Danish sausage, mild, about 1" in diameter, and tasting distinctly of cloves). There was a pitcher of water, a thermal carafe of coffee, a small pitcher of warm syrup, and a bowl of sodsuppe (fruit soup) on every table. I had had fruit soup once about thirty years ago and remembered it as being kinda yucky, but I found it quite tasty yesterday. It's made with dried fruit stewed in (sweetened?) water, probably with some spices, and served cold. I'd never had the sausage before, but I'd like to have it again. Soon.
Happily this was an all-you-can-eat kind of dinner because three æbleskiver and a hunk of sausage is not nearly enough to fill one up. Æbleskiver taste pretty much like regular pancakes, only lighter. Three of them equal about one medium-sized ordinary pancake. We -- Andrew and I and the three other people at our table -- kept asking for and getting additional bowls of æbleskiver. We didn't push our luck by asking for more sausage, darn.
Oh, yes, there was dessert, too. Our choice of apple crisp or a lemon chiffon thingie. We Scandinavians really like our sweets.
This is purportedly a knitting blog, and if I were any kind of decent knitblogger I would have photos to show you of the lovely Norwegian sweaters that I saw. You will just have to make do with this instead.
* Anyone know where that quote is from? I don't think googling will help you; it didn't give me any results, but I know where I remember it from so that's okay.