My First Christmas in the USA 53 Years Ago
by Elisabeth Booth
My first Christmas in the USA 53 years ago was and still is a very memorable one.
I was working at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland 5 days a week and on my 2 days off, I had classes & I was very homesick.
I came home to Mentor on December 24, the day Christmas is celebrated in Denmark. My dear husband made it a very special evening. His surprise was a complete traditional Danish Dinner. He had been busy in the kitchen most of the day and from one of his mother’s cookbooks found the recipes’ in English. He had visited my family at Christmas time the previous year and remembered what was served there.
A duck stuffed with apples & prunes was roasting in the oven. He had made Rødkål a sweet & sour red cabbage, which is served hot and small cooked potatoes quickly coated in a melted sugar/butter combination. The dessert prepared was Ris a’l’amande with cherry sauce. The tradition is to put one whole almond in the dessert. The lucky person must produce it, but tries to keep it a secret, so more dessert will be eaten. The prize in Denmark is a small marzipan sculptured pig found in bakeries, but hard to come by here, so we substitute with a surprise treat.
Since 1961 our family have kept up the Danish tradition on Christmas Eve. & in the past the larger family celebration on Dec. 25, as is customary here.