Vancouver, B.C. or Bust!

“Downtown Vancouver Sunset” – Wikipedia

Our lodge is one of many Danish Sisterhood Lodges in the Pacific Northwest, and we convene annually for fun, comraderie, great Danish food, and memories in a different lodge host city. Every lodge and town is unique and as fellow Sisters, each lodge proves to be gracious hosts! This year, road trip with us up to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for a great time in a beautiful city. This year, the convention is hosted by Danish Sisterhood, Dogwood Lodge #179 and Danish Brotherhood Lodge #328.

Representing Mt. Hood Lodge in 2011, from left to right: Marian, Grete, Christina, and Melissa

2011 Silent Auction

Dogwood Lodge was the first lodge organized in Canada and they just celebrated their 45th anniversary in 2016. We look forward to visiting you, Dogwood lodge! They’ve arranged for the convention to take place at the Sandman Hotel, right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Download the registration form here.

Vikings know how to have a good time!

Meeting other lodge delegates from all over the Pacific Northwest is one of the highlights… many lasting friendships are formed at District Conventions.

Fastelavn Comes to Mt. Hood Lodge

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2017 Kattedronning “The Cat Queen”

Our lodge hosted our first annual Fastelavn party yesterday for our families and friends in the community and it was a resounding success. We had just over 50 people attend to make the party magical for the children. We enjoyed seeing the children really work hard to “beat the cat” out of the barrel, make fastelavnsris, run the relay race, and enjoy our Carnival themed Photo Booth.

Relay Race

Relay Race

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“Beating the Cat” out of the barrel in the Slå katten af Tønden game.

2017 Kattekonge "King of Cats"

2017 Kattekonge “The Cat King”


Thank you to all who came to our party and to those those who volunteered to make it a lot of fun for everyone –including those without little ones.

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Adult Costume Contest

Adult Costume Contest


There is really nothing better than Danish pastries and there is pastry for every Danish occasion, including Fastelavn. There are many kinds of Fastelavnsboller and many different kinds of filling. I made several batches prior to Fastlavn to determine which would be best for our party. First, I made the traditional boller made from yeasted pastry dough and filled with vanilla bean crème patisserie and almond remonce, all made made from scratch. It was stuffed, baked, glazed, and oh, so delicious! It was also quite labor intensive since the yeasted dough had to rise, and be perfectly sealed so that the filling wouldn’t leak whilst baking. The result were these luscious little boller, pictured here. I think these are best suited to making small batches for friends and family.

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With such a large attendance for our party, I made the version that uses a choux pastry dough instead of a yeasted pastry dough… there are many recipes for this type of fastelavnsboller that can be found, but I use my tried and true choux pastry recipe for this version. Choux pastry dough comes together relatively quick and it’s simple to make in double batches, or in this case to make a quintuple batch for a large event.

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Instead of filling the dough before it bakes, you halve the baked bun after it finishes baking, and then assemble the fastelavnsboller with fancy fillings just before serving. I decided on two options to serve at our party: fastelavnsboller med flødeskum og marcipan (boller with whipped cream and marzipan) and fastelavnsboller med flødeskum og chokolade glasur (boller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze). My personal favorite is just the simple marzipan filling and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, but children inevitably like the chocolate glazed boller with sprinkles the best.

Fastelavnsboller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze.

Fastelavnsboller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze.


It’s so simple and cost effective to make marzipan at home in large batches for the purposes of Danish baking, I don’t know why anyone would bother buying prepackaged. I mean, if you need marzipan for baking, you probably need a lot of it. And if you like Danish baking, or Scandinavian baking in general, you’re going to go through marzipan like nobody’s business! Here is my recipe for marzipan. You can find others out there and they are all pretty good too, but here is my version that I think tastes best in my Danish baked goods.

Marzipan Recipe

I received Trine Hahnemann’s cookbook, Scandinavian Bakingfor Christmas, and I just love it. I’ve made 5 recipes already from her cookbook, and it’s proving a household favorite. Marzipan can be expensive if needed in great quantities. A good quality marzipan should have the majority proportion ingredients from almonds, but most store-bought brands offer only 1/3 to 1/4 almond ratio. You can make a large quantity, of really excellent quality marzipan, very economically. It’s perfect for Fastelavnsboller, Othellokage, Tebirkes, and more! This recipe is adapted from Trine Hahnemann’s cookbook. I like the portion here, as I can use it for 2-3 different baking projects on average. I like to make a large batch of marzipan and then freeze any unused portion.

Ingredients

1 1/8 Lb. (500 g) raw almonds

7/8 Cup ( 100 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more to dust

1-3 Tbsp pure almond extract (or to taste)*

1 splash food grade rosewater

3 ¼ Tbsp (50 ml) water

Process

In a medium saucepan, bring enough water to boil to cover almonds. Once at a full boil, add almonds and blanch for several minutes. Drain the hot water from the almonds and rinse with cool water. Keep the almonds moist as you remove the almond skins.

Put the almonds in a food processor, and using a blade attachment, process until it becomes a paste. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and blend again until completely incorporated and smooth. Then add the almond extract, rosewater, and water and blend well in the food processor for a final time. *I prefer a strong almond flavor in my marzipan (especially if it will be made into remonce or frangipane), so I typically add more almond extract, but 1 Tbsp is a good baseline.

Take the marzipan out of the food processor and knead by hand on a clean work surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Let the marzipan rest a least 1 hour before using and store in the refrigerator. It keeps for up to 3 weeks, sealed in plastic wrap in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It may be frozen for up to 3 months.

Makes 1 1/3 Lb. (600 G)

Enjoy! – Ava
Danish Language Lesson

almonds = mandler

sugar = sukker

almond extract = mandel ekstrakt

water = vand

confectioner’s sugar = konditor sukker

Quilting for Campers

Himmelbjerget Quilt Raffle

Every year, Mt. Hood Lodge is proud to support Himmelbjerget, the Danish language and culture camp for youth ages 10-18 at the Menucha Retreat in Corbett, Oregon. This beautiful camp overlooks the stunning Columbia River Gorge, a truly unique setting for one of the few Danish camps in the United States. One of the ways we support the camp is by fundraising for scholarships for local youth to attend the camp. In 2016, we were able to help 12 children attend Himmelbjerget! This year, one of our members, Betty McKinney, donated this stunning basket motif quilt to raffle for Himmelbjerget camp scholarships. Isn’t it lovely in a classic blue and white palette?! (The lighting in the pictures show a creamy off-white, but it’s really a crisp bright white).

Himmelbjerget Quilt RaffleHimmelbjerget Quilt Raffle

We are selling raffle tickets for this heirloom quilt that just covers the surface of a queen size bed. It even comes with a matching cover for stylish storage! Tickets will be for sale at our lodge meetings and events and the winner will be drawn at the Himmelbjerget fundraiser dinner on April 29, 2017 at the Condolea Terrace Clubhouse. The raffle tickets are a good deal as quilts of this caliber are worth well over a thousand dollars. Tickets are sold at $3 each or 4/$10. Alternatively, raffle tickets can be purchased by mail, postmarked no later than April 15th, 2017, checks payable to Mt. Hood Lodge #81, (along with a SASE for tickets) can be mailed to Christina Sallee, at 16116 SW Deline Court, Beaverton, OR 97007. You need not be present at the fundraiser dinner to win. Good luck!

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Boller: A Bun for All Occasions

With the Christmas season decidedly over and all the beautiful Danish Jul ornaments tucked away for another year, our lodge is in great anticipation of our next Danish holiday, Fastelavn, celebrated in Denmark in February. We are just over a month away from our lodge’s Fastelavn celebration and perhaps most excitingly, that much closer to sinking our teeth into the much favored Fastelavnsboller (Shrovetide Bun or Lenten Bun). Fastelavn is a celebration similar to Carnival or Mardi Gras, but a decidely Danish way to celebrate right before Lent.

In looking through my Danish cookbook and recipe collection for the perfect Fastelavnsboller to make for our party next month, I realized the great variety of boller (buns) there are that are enjoyed other times during the year. There are boller for birthdays, boller for tea and coffee, savory boller that can be used for sandwiches, chocolate boller, and Kings Boller, to name a few. Basically, think of a reason to eat boller, and you can probably find one. They are not always the sweet little cream and marzipan filled dessert we like to think of at Fastelavn. With that, I want to share one of my vintage recipes for boller from my personal collection: teboller (tea buns). I highly suggest for any kind of baking, but especially Danish baking, to obtain a small digital scale for best results.

Vintage Teboller Recipe Card

Vintage Teboller Recipe and Photo Card courtesy of Det gode Køkken, København.

Teboller (Danish Tea Buns) 

This vintage recipe probably dates back to the 1960s and states that these cardamom flavored buns are so easy to prepare that even kids can help. Try this and let me know what you think! Please pardon any translation errors.

Ingredients

500 g wheat flour

70 g yeast

100 g unsalted butter

1 Tbsp cardamom

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 dl lukewarm water

1 beaten egg

pearl sugar

Method

Put the wheat flour into a mixing bowl, cut in the yeast and butter. Add the cardamom, sugar, salt and lukewarm water and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Shape the dough into 16-18 uniform buns and place them on a lined baking sheet. Leave to rise in a warm place, covered with a clean cloth, for about 15 minutes. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle them with pearl sugar. Bake the buns in the center of the oven at 220°C (428°F) for about 15 minutes. Serve warm, split and spread with butter and enjoy with your faborite tea or cup of strong coffee. These will store for a couple of days in an airtight storage container.

Hilsen, Ava