Today was a travel day… I got on the train headed for Hamburg. It was another dreary, drizzly day in Copenhagen, and after 3 full days here I was feeling ready to move on. The guy sitting across from me on the train had an adorable, sweet little Cocker Spaniel named Goldie, who I immediately started canoodling with. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, dogs are truly the best way to meet people. I read it somewhere once that dogs are the glue that is keeping our society together. All I know is that when I have my dog with me, I always meet someone who wants to give him a scratch, talk to him, and ultimately talk to me. Without that connection we’re all just strangers, but once you throw a cute furry creature into the mix we let our guards down and open ourselves up to meeting someone new. So, David is a New Yorker living in Maine who is currently in Europe doing a few stints of chef apprenticeship. He just finished doing 6 weeks at a restaurant in Copenhagen called Noma as a stagiaire (which means you work for free in exchange for on the job training and the opportunity to work with the top chefs.) It got me thinking that might be an option for me as well. Pay $8000 for school, or work somewhere for free and learn probably as much (if not more) in the same amount of time. I’m mulling it over…food for thought! Pun intended!
Noma is a restaurant similar to elBulli in Spain where they treat food as science, combining strange and wonderful ingredients to create an extremely unique dining experience. As we were talking he kept pulling things out of his bag to show me. He pulled out 3 glass mason jars with greens that he had foraged himself. Sea beans (as pictured above), beach mustard and goose foot (also known as lambs quarters.) I’d never heard of any of these things, other than the sea beans. They all tasted quite different from each other. Definitely fresh and with a nice, salty finish. You know I like my salty snacks!
Noma is very much about pushing the boundaries of food, and creating things that have never been done before. He was telling me about some of the desserts that they would “build” in the restaurant, and I was rather intimidated as he was telling me the types of things they were making because well, I’m a gal who likes making savory shortbread, brownies and biscotti, it would never occur to me to create something like hay parfait (yes, hay) or a brown Norwegian cheese dessert.
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The train ride from Copenhagen to Hamburg was interesting to say the least. I wasn’t really paying attention when suddenly I looked out the window and saw a car slowly driving by and thought to myself, “Hmmm, that’s weird, it looks like we’re on a ferry.” Well guess what? We WERE on a ferry! I had this sudden weird, kind of trippy sensation of, “Hold on, I AM on a train, right?” Has anyone out there ever heard of a train going on a ferry???? I certainly haven’t, and I have to be honest, it kind of freaked me out! I just kept thinking… “what happened to the tracks? Where did they go?” Now that I look at my Eurail map, I can see the dotted line across the Baltic between Rodby and Puttgarden indicating a ferry crossing. Never a dull day over here in Europa!
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I was getting picked up at the train station by a cousin who I’ve never met before. We set a meeting place but I couldn’t figure out exactly where is was and we missed each other in the process. She was walking around looking for me, I was wandering around looking for her, both of us going on just seeing a couple of pictures of each other. Oh, a recipe for disaster! So I finally go and ask if they’ll make a PA announcement asking her to come to the service point to meet me but she must have already left because I waited for another 15 minutes then gave up and grabbed a cab to my hotel. I was going to take the U Bahn but I was so tired and hungry and had to pee really badly (and the only toilet I could find was out of order!) so in the end the cab was the best option. We’re getting together tomorrow night and I’m really excited to finally meet her!
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It’s only 10:00 but I must go to bed because I had some irritatingly loud party chicks in the room beside me last night who came home at 4am and proceeded to slam their doors as hard as they could and talk and laugh like they were the only ones on the planet. Then when I banged on the wall to let them know they were being loud they had the nerve to bang back at me! Grrr. then I couldn’t really get back to sleep out of sheer annoyance! I got them though… I put my ipod on nice and loud this morning and aimed it at their wall. I sincerely hope I didn’t wake them (insert evil laugh here.)