Tuesday, December 19, 2023


In Denmark, in December, a brown cookie delights the nose and mouth. The history of Brunkager began during medieval times when, in celebration of the winter Holy Days, newly arrived spices from the Far East embellished rye bread. In 1835, newfangled cooking stoves with regulated heat permitted a refinement of the recipe to its present cookie form. Potash, a leavening agent, introduced two attributes: crispiness and a slightly bitter aftertaste. The Danish, living in a chaotic land where the woods teemed with stick bearded trolls grinning through festering teeth, reconciled to the bitter with the sweet.

Here are a few Brunkager recipes:



Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Sirop de Liège

Fruit butters first appeared in Northern Europe during the Middle Ages when newly established monasteries began planting large orchards. To lengthen the fruit season, a preservation process was invented that involved slow cooking the whole fruit–skin, seeds and all–at a low heat.

All that simmering breaks the fruit down into a velvety, spreadable “butter,” with half the sugar of jams and jellies. While fruit butters can be made from all sorts of fruits; cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, etc., the Belgian Liège variety traditionally uses pears and apples. Most Belgian Sirop de Liège is thick, dark, and almost jelly-like.

Sirop de Liège is used primarily as a spread on an open-faced sandwich or piece of toast. It can be placed in a little container on a cheese plate. We like it spread on a toasted cheese sandwich!  It can also be used as a sauce on meats or to replace syrup on pancakes and waffles. It is sometimes added as an ingredient in marinades, salads and desserts. 

Here are a few Sirop de Liège recipes: