25 oktober 2010

Rye Bread and Raisins

When I grew up we never heard about organic or sustainable food. We had food and it was bought in the shops, and in the summer time – which I spent with my grandparents at the beach – people would come by on different days and sell, meat, fish, bread and vegetables. Some days I would go to the butcher with my granddad and sit in the back and get a soda while my granddad would chat and get his fresh meat. Often that would be pork, we only had beef for special occasions.

Every morning before lunch, which was always a hot meal, my granddad would sit in the backyard and clean the new potatoes. My grandmother hated doing that, she did all the cooking, but my granddad did the potatoes. I loved my grandmother’s cooking, I can still taste her roasted chicken with new potatoes and sweet and sour cucumber salad, just one of my many favourites.

Sometimes in the late afternoon around 5 pm I had my last swim, and my grandfather would sit and watch, and when I came up from the water he would wrap me in my bathrobe and I would sit on the beach and have my dinner and watch the sea and the changing of the lights.

The dinner would be «madder»: that is what we call the kind of simple flat open sandwiches. One would be with potatoes cut in slices put on a slice of rye bread and then cracked pepper and a bit of chopped chives on the top, the second one would be with the cold chicken from the lunch and the cucumber salad as topping. The last one would be with raisins, that was my pudding, a slice of rye bread with a thin spread of salted Danish butter and topped with raisins, uhmm… that one has stayed with me, if I really have a craving for something sweet at night with my tea, that is a perfect evening snack.

Rye bread was part of my childhood and I still eat it everyday either for breakfast, toasted with cheese and jam, or lunch as smørrebrød or a snack as just described. I think my love for food comes from all these wonderful moments, and rye bread is such a profound part of my childhood and my life. No mater where I have lived in France, England or USA I have brought my sourdough starter, and found a way to bake rye bread. Therefore it is such a fantastic opportunity to share and spread the joy of eating rye bread, but also the health benefits.

One of my goals it to get people to know smørrebrød and rye bread like they know burgers, Cesar salad, lasagne, BLT sandwich. These types of food have not been part of the world food scene all the time. Therefore I believe the time has come for smørrebrød and the Nordic tradition of Rye bread.

Trine Hahnemann