It turns out it's perfectly appropriate, and I even wish I had planned it this way, that I'm two days late for my weekly Monday Scandinavian Kitchens exhibit. Today, being, July 4, Independence Day, is the perfect tie-in to dedicate this post to my parents, who came from Copenhagen to the U.S., at that time, sailing past Lady Liberty, to pursue the American dream.
My parents, especially my mother, wanted to assimilate as seamlessly as possible into American life. She quickly found a church to become a member of, got involved in school and PTA activities, made lots of genuinely good friends and was happy to gain citizenship and to feel like an American. My father founded a business, made his fortune, later lost it all, blaming it on unions, also typically American! I lived the American dream growing up, and while assimilation was important to my parents, the wonderful Scandinavian cultural traditions remained intact. Food, the language (between my parents), the fantastic Danish modern furnishings, the special Danish sense of humor, and more, remained inside the home as I grew up. To think of the furnishings that were thrown out in later years, I can't go there! I was raised in two cultures with perfect balance and proportion.
So, hats off to my parents and those who dream of a better life in the U.S. I still cannot imagine the pain there must have been to leave one's home country, family, friends and all that is precious, but the promise and draw of the United States surely burned strongly then and burns ever stronger in so many people dreaming of living in the U.S. And, the dream of a better life became official on July 4, 1776!
It is with great pride as a Danish-American, that I share with you some simple, yet lovely, vignettes of Scandinavian kitchens, with a little bias toward dining together, on this July 4! Enjoy!
Here is my cousin Lis in her kitchen in her and her husband's summer house. A great memory: