It’s been too long, so… Lemon Chiffon Pie

I haven’t posted a baking post in I-don’t-know-how-long!  It’s not that I don’t bake anymore, I bake something almost weekly (I don’t want to know how much butter I go through in a year), but I haven’t made time to take photos.  However, something finally changed, and I managed to take some of this Lemon Chiffon Pie I made yesterday!

I first heard of it on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen that I saw while I was in the US (still is and always will be one of my favorite cooking shows!).  It looked great, but I didn’t have time to make it right away.  Recently, I had a few spare lemons, and was browsing Foodgawker for lemon-related recipes, when I remembered that I promised Andreas that I’d make this!

The end result is quite nice, fluffy, a little rich, a little foamy, a bit crunchy, and very lemony!  It’s really delicious, bright and refreshing!

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My crust ended up a bit thick at the corners, and I also had to substitute almost half of the graham cracker crumbs with bread crumbs…

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It was a really fun pie to put together, with a graham cracker (ahem…breadcrumb…) crust, lemon curd, and a fluffy chiffon topping.

I used this vegetarian gelatin I had lying around, and didn’t quite know how to convert it.  I think I may have ended up using not quite enough, because my pie flops around quite a bit when you take pieces out, but I’d rather have a sloppy piece of pie with a nice texture, so I’m glad it turned out the way it did.

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7 Things I Didn’t Know I Was Missing About the States

Coming back to the States this time, had a different feel than it ever has before.  It’s the second time I’ve been back since I moved abroad, but considering that last time, I was somewhere deep inside a having-a-newborn-haze, I noticed many more things this time around.  These are some things I didn’t realize I was missing about the good ol’ USA

1. Being Polite:  Not to say that people are not polite in Denmark, or that I’m not polite in Denmark, but I forgot how easy it is to be polite in your mother tongue.  No wondering if I was saying the right thing, in the right way.  I knew exactly how to respond to any small-talk venture, and could very my “yes, thank you”s with some “absolutely!”s and “definitely!”s.  I do all my communicating in Danish here, with the exception of Andreas, Theo, and friends of mine that aren’t from here.  I am just so used to dealing with the daily frustrations or insecurities of communicating in Danish, that I totally forgot that sometimes, trips to the shop are actually super easy, and not intimidating at all.

2. Friendliness:  This is kind of an add-on to number one, but the friendliness was refreshing!  I had a full, easy conversation with another mom at the park, and even got to know a few people on our plane trip.  While I do actually appreciate the Danish anonymity on public transport, and the lack of expectation to make small talk, it is really nice once in a while to go back to the Midwest way of living, and for the three weeks that we were there, I found it really easy and comfortable to talk to strangers.

3. Variety:  We were looking forward to shopping in the US (we even came over with a suitcase packed into a bigger, empty suitcase so we’d have more room to bring our goodies home).  But I was focused on the cheaper prices (and the knowledge of which stores carry what for what price), and had completely forgotten about the sheer amount of choice in the shops.  While it was fantastic while we were shopping for clothing, and I could get whatever caught my fancy, I was struck with a bit of green jealousy, when I saw the homewares that were much too big to bring home.  If only I had that kind of selection at those prices here in Denmark, we would have the most beautiful home!

4. Food:  Okay, I did know that I missed the food.  But I really missed it, so I think it deserves a spot on the list anyways.  Topping the list are: Vegetarian Italian sausage (and just all of the vegetarian options in general!), crackers, cheese curds, and donuts (I didn’t actually even get any donuts while we were there, so I might just have to make some myself soon!).  I would probably be embarrassed if anyone saw the size of the sack of candy I brought home with me.

5. Amazon:  It’s been so long since we could use Amazon, that I rather forgot how awesome it is!  We mostly did one big Amazon haul, but it was fantastic to find almost every special thing we needed in one place, with free two-day shipping.  It’s probably a good thing that we don’t have it here, because I’m sure our budget would spout a little leak, but it was fantastic while it lasted!

6. Animals;  Yes, okay, there are animals in Denmark.  But this is more of a going-back-home sort of thing.  My parents’ house is filled with animals.  At present, they have: a canary, a parakeet, two guinea pigs, a cat, and a dog (with an additional cat and her four kittens living on the front porch).  Theo loved each and every one of them, and they tolerated him with varying degrees of caution.  It’s really fun to have animals around, and since we’re not at a point in life where pets are a great idea, it’s an exciting bonus when we visit my family.

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7. Cars:  I do love being a bike family in Denmark.  It works well for our life here, it’s cheaper, environmentally friendly, etc. etc.  But in the US, people have cars–and for good reason!  No one wants to bike thirty miles to get to the grocery store.  We went on a few trips to town, and my parents were good enough to loan us their family car, and it was great!  I did not have to think about how I was going to bike home with everything I was buying.  I didn’t have to carry ALL the things we were buying into every store we were going to.  It was a welcome break.

I’ll never be sorry that I made the swift and absolute decision to live in Denmark, but the longer I’m away from my homeland, the lovelier I find my visits, and I rather like it that way.

Ah-side!

One of the perks of visiting my parents is their expansive back, front, and side yards, and Theo was more than ready to take advantage.  Especially the first half of the trip was wonderful weather, and we spent many an hour on the “fwing.”

Theo discovered bugs, toads, cats, and deepened his interest in birds.  He was amazed that there were cows, just waiting to be gazed at, right next door.  He learned to pluck flowers (mostly dandelions, luckily), and got dirty, grass-stained, wet, and loved it.

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Frolic Wagon

I spent most of my childhood roaming these grounds, and it was really fun to see Theo following in some of my tiny footsteps.  He discovered a litle pocket of rocks, that I think is meant to help with drainage from the drainpipe, but which I always thought was a troll-cave.  The swingset is a different one than the one I grew up with (and thank goodness, because I am fairly certain that it would have crumbled into a heap of rust-crumbs if it did still exist, and someone attempted to swing on it).  He had so much fun playing on it, though, and surprised us all with his superb climbing skills (which he inherited from Andreas, and definitely not from me).

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Outside

On a mission

Bench

I’m back! (In more ways than one)

I am back!  We are back!

Our three-week stint in the US has come to an end, and we are back in Denmark.  I am also back to blogging!  I’ve had so many ideas for posts lately, and really want to get back to sharing our day-to-day life.  It was hard enough to eke out a few minutes for myself when we were visiting family, so blogging was a no-go.  Before our trip, life was so fast-paced, that catching up on anything felt beyond me, but after a nice rest, a little slow-down, and a break from making dinner every day, I feel up for it again, so here I am!

Our trip was, in a word, fabulous!  Theodore is a great traveller, apparently.  And even though travelling with a well-travelling toddler is still exhausting, both plane trips went as smoothly as possible!  There were very few tantrums, very little fussing, and Theo contended impressively with the lack of sleep, dry cabin air, and befuddled time zones.  He loved gazing out the airport windows at the planes, and adores moving sidwalks.  He soaked up the praise of all those around him, and proudly marched, back-pack-laden through five airports.

The time spent with family was awesome.  We played so many games, ate so many treats, had fun outside, and Theo was thrilled to see that the family he had gotten to know via Skype were not television characters, but real live people.  Everyone was taken with his silly antics, and even the dog, Tootsie, was incredibly patient.  The cat was less-so, but…what else do you expect from a cat?

I have a few separate posts planned about our trip to the states, so I don’t want to spoil too much here, but just know that we had a magical trip, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences!

This was pretty much his face during the whole trip

This was pretty much his face during the whole trip