Pass The Gravy

August 26, 2015

When we were children, my parents had a wonderful Danish cook named Christa. Other than rugbrød, (a sourdough rye bread) which she made from scratch, there was nothing Nordic about her cooking. Instead, she prepared quintessentially English dishes like Shepherd’s Pie and roast beef with all the trimmings. Her Yorkshire puddings were the best I have ever tasted, all soft and pillowy and covered in homemade gravy. And her wafer thin lemony Dover Sole was perfectly crispy along the edges, and served with boiled potatoes smothered in butter and salt. For the lamb, she made her own mint sauce, although we mostly preferred jelly from the jar. Christa’s repertoire was not vast, but whatever she cooked was excellent. At tea time, she prepared fruit cake and coconut squares and shortbread topped with a slither of maraschino cherry. And on birthdays, she made elaborate cakes in the shape of fairy castles and football pitches. I don’t remember Christa smiling much, and she rarely showed us any affection, but she certainly poured love into our food. And to this day, I have yet to eat a traditional British Sunday roast quite like hers.

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