“Foraged cuisine” has recently been earning Copenhagen restaurants raves. At Noma, Geranium, Nimb Louise, and elsewhere, Rene Redzepi and his acolytes prepare foraged ingredients in edible creations designed to highlight the surprise: look, among the seaweed and shells, here’s a meticulously crafted oyster reduction. You might almost miss the delicious morsel, if you didn’t know to look for it. While we enjoyed our own meals in this style, we didn’t have to forage for fun in Denmark. The castles and cafes, Viking ships and museums, were out in the open. Tivoli even calls itself a “Pleasure Garden.” Ice cream (with or without marshmallow “guf”) was widely available, and clearly marked. Some villages felt as if a Hans Christian Andersen story had come to life on the streets. Danish history was engaging and interactive for all ages. The four of us, and Grandma Lynn and Papa George, had a wonderful time: a week based in our Copenhagen flat, ludicrously well-stocked with Legos; another week relaxing at our “beach house” in Vejlby Fed, on the island of Funen. Turns out it’s quite exciting to be “in a different land,” as Cleo aptly put it. We even used our pink fishing nets to try a bit of low-tide foraging, ourselves. All the photos are in the album.
Rosmmenn play their first round of FodBoldGolf
In our first-ever round of the Danish pastime of “fodboldgolf” — 18 golf-style holes into which you attempt to kick a soccer ball — we encountered once again the Danish phenomenon of the Honor System. Repeatedly, we encountered museums, bag drops, unlocked bikes, and other features that functioned completely on the honor system. At the unmanned Fodboldgolf course, for example, one calculates the fees according to one’s golfing party, and deposits said amount in a small drop-box. It represented a level of cultural trust we Americans found utterly, repeatedly, amazing.
Cleo loves singing, dancing, making art, and running: she almost always wins the races around the Lafayette track with her pre-K buddies. She loves to wear things that are sparkly and/or polkadotted, and she is not averse to a headband with antennae topped in flowers or shamrocks. She has a stubborn streak that she came by naturally. Her big sister is her best friend (and also, not infrequently, the reason for Cleo’s stubbornness). For her fifth birthday, she and some friends painted pottery together. As has been recent tradition, her birthday party was immediately followed by a Passover seder and its ritual of dipping bitter foods into salt water so that they tasted of the tears of slaves. This confluence of events may, in fact, be the origin of the phrase, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.” Or, perhaps not. A celebratory weekend concluded with an Easter celebration with Pat, Erica & Evan — and oh yeah, one more chance to blow out some candles. Photos in the album!
For Spring Break, we met Grandma Jeanette in Washington, DC, for a week of museums, monuments, and walks. The cherry blossoms were bursting into bloom a few weeks early, making us grateful for the warm winter. We toured the White House and Capitol, and marveled at rockets, airplanes, and the very first Teddy bear. A selection of photos is in the album.
So possibly, it was a mistake to have taken the girls to see a local performance of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” about a month before our trip to St. Lucia, because not a day went by without a chorus of Meet Me in St. Lucia, Lucia…meet me at the beach. Papa, who can always be counted on for silliness, happily joined in with each chorus. We had a terrific two weeks with Grandma and Papa, although we all wished the Crawfords had been there too. St. Lucia’s got a wide variety of beach types, on both its Caribbean and Atlantic coasts, and everything from rainforests to volcanoes. This family tradition of a tropical holiday trip is a pretty special one. It’s an awfully nice way to let go of one year’s baggage and get the new year off to a sandy, on-island-time start.
The best thing about Traditions is that sometimes you’re there to see a new one created. This year we saw the birth of the Sunset Club, a nightly meeting Leda & Cleo held with their grandparents on the patio as the sun melted into the sea. The rules were simple: 1) Leda was in charge; 2) Everyone was required to have his or her beverage of choice in hand; 3) In turn, each member shared one favorite memory of the day, and one element of tomorrow they were especially looking forward to; 4) Leda, and only Leda, was permitted to adjourn the meeting. Below, the St. Lucia version of Sunset club, as they looked at the outset of 2012. Many, many more photos in the album.
Sunset Club, St. Lucia
Hanukkah and Christmas overlapped this year, leading to an all-inclusive holiday bonanza at the Rossmann house. Even more joyous was the company of Grandma Jeanette and Grandpa Dave. Leda and Cleo agree that the top gift this year was the remote control Shark that Santa brought (and Daddy spent 90 minutes filling, assembling, and testing). Photos of all the festivities are in the album…Happy 2012!