It was a pretty quiet house for most of the day. Susan and the girls went to Badlands Ministries south of Medora for its Fall Family Day . . . and left me behind! Some family event, huh? No, really, that was at my request so that I could catch up on some work. While they were painting pumpkins and roasting hot dogs and singing songs and having a worship service, I was at the computer and then at the grocery store and then at the stove. Yes, it was time for another Scandinavian Saturday, and today I was on my own in the kitchen.
It has been cold and windy and rainy the last several days, and today was chilly and overcast. I decided it was a good day for lapskaus ["stew"]. We had lapskaus at Norwegian camp this past summer (remember?), so I recalled generally what should go into it. I also found several recipes online and in a Scandinavian cookbook that I have. I took the best from each and made up my own recipe! When the ladies returned home, they reported that the smell in the house was heavenly--and I must admit: it did smell good. Here's what I served for supper:
It's always a Scandinavian touch to serve fish, so here in the bowl is shrimp-'n'-crab salad sprinkled with Danish bleu cheese. We ate it as an appetizer on celery sticks and rye knekkebrød ["crispbread" or hardtack]. And those are my mom's dill pickles in the bowl on the plate.
The lapskaus was an enormous hit. I fried pepper-bacon and onions to which I added chicken, pork, more onions, leeks, garlic, celery, carrots, rutabaga, and potatoes. I added seasonings and fresh thyme and bay leaves and turkey stock and then let it sit on the burner for a long time to stew. It's safe to say that I made enough to have plenty for leftovers; I filled a 1.5-gallon container with what remained after we gobbled up our supper portions! But it's so good that I'm already looking forward to having it again for dinner tomorrow.
For dessert I sliced some fresh strawberries and macerated them in sugar and kirschwasser (a German cherry brandy). I whipped some cream with sugar and vanilla extract and served slices of angel food cake covered in the fluffy whipped cream over which we spooned the strawberries. It was my version of bløtkake ["cream cake"], which really should have several layers with whipped cream and fruit between them . . . and then over the whole thing. But this was a delicious substitute nevertheless.