One of my favourite dishes is the humble tabouleh - a Middle-Eastern bulgur salad. Whenever I make it, I try to make enough for several days but I always end up (like tonight) scoffing down whatever is left over from dinner. This is a pretty good, basic recipe. When I chop the tomatoes I remove the seeds beforehand (this makes the salad less soggy) and I use a blender to chop the herbs because I'm too lazy to spend thirty minutes chopping parsley/mint. Whenever I make tabouleh, I think of my friend Liz. Liz grew up all over the world - a true corps diplomatique child. She spent a good part of her upbringing living in far-flung countries and she would hang around in the kitchens watching local chefs preparing food. Liz's arsenal of dishes is therefore very different to all my other friends. Not only did she introduce me to tabouleh, she also taught my taste-buds to appreciate fruits used in savoury dishes, made me fall in love with American pancakes, and made me dream of zabaglione everytime I see ripe raspberries.
And then there is Atole.
Liz would cook Atole for us on cold winter nights. We'd clutch our hot mugs whilst standing on her balcony overlooking Frederiksberg and the world would be reduced to hot milk with cinnamon and sugar - and so everything would be alright with the world.
I miss Liz a great deal. She's here in the dishes I cook and in the things I enjoy, but good cups of tea and hot mugs filled with Atole are scant replacements for her company. When I miss Denmark, I miss people rather than the country. I left Denmark four years ago. In so many ways it feels like it has been a lot longer.
Ah, homesick for Denmark. Let's put on some (Swedish) music and dance around for a bit..