I skipped out of work at noon on Friday. The last couple of weeks have been so tiring that just leaving work early was magical enough. I rented a car and hoped it would have an aux input jack (don't all new cars have them nowadays?), but it didn't. I popped into the used CD store across the street for a quickie 10 minutes/€50 driveby that turned out awesome.
8 hours later I was in tiny, windy, rainy Låsby, Denmark. It was 11:30pm and just finally getting dark.
I really like Denmark. It's all low plains, rolling hills, and dairy farms, like the part of Vermont that I'm from. Most importantly, the food is awesome. There isn't much fancy about it, just meat, cheese, and sour rye bread, but the water is clean and the animals well-treated, so everything tastes great. In Heat, Bill Buford quotes a butcher saying that Denmark has the best beef in the world, and it's certainly the best I've ever had. Berit & Sune took me freezer-shopping in their garage where they have 1/4 of a cow tucked away. We picked out 1 obscenely huge Fiorentina, a couple NY Strips, and a pair of minute steaks.
Saturday afternoon we stopped by a farm near Berit's parents house and got some potatoes. There's a sign up assuring shoppers that the potatoes are dug several times a day for maximum freshness - the skins slip right off under running water. They cook up creamy and silky, hardly in need of butter, salt, and parsley, but happy to accept them all.
For the steak, I made a simple red wine gravy, with a half an onion sauteed in beef fat (yes I did), stock Berit had made beforehand, and all the pan drippings accumulated when the steak was resting from its stint on the grill. It wasn't the best gravy I've ever made, not quite strong enough, but Sune was happy to have talked me into making gravy at all. Myself, I was happy to be drinking from Berit's excellent collection of Italian wines.
For dessert - strawberries. Also freshly picked from the farm, with a bit of amazing local honey, and a splash of milk. I'm not a milk drinker ordinarily, but mmmmm. The honey is weedy and sharp, cleaning up the milky heaviness. Heavenly.