from mormor’s kitchen
People often ask me how I first became interested in
food. The answer has always been the same—because
of my grandmother.
Cecilie, or Mormor as I called her, was this petite dark-haired woman who always smelled of coffee and the
perfume named 4711. She was constantly in the kitchen
baking, cooking or flipping through cookbooks planning the next meal. She made everything from scratch:
“mix with water” was not in her vocabulary.
Three times a week, she would put on her coat and hat
and go grocery shopping. She was demanding at the
shops—nothing but the best for her—as she would
smell and touch her way to the highest-quality stuff. I
pity the man who sold her something bad.
I asked her once where her love of food came from. She
told me that she was a young woman during the second
World War, a time when food was very scarce and of
very poor quality. She often had to go to bed hungry.
She made a promise to herself that after the war she
would never go hungry again.
I guess that’s why she would always use full-fat
products as well. Her cooking was loaded with
cream and butter—she would give Paula Dean a run
for her money!
Once, when I was 5 years old, I fell off the kitchen
counter while watching her bake: my front teeth
went through my lower lip. I was rushed to the
emergency room and had to get three stitches. As
consolation, my parents told me that I could have
whatever I wanted; pretty sure I would pick
some fancy toy. But my answer was, “I want
Mormor’s Cod Au Gratin.”
No wonder I turned out to be a foodie!
I got my wish and my grandmother made it with
melted butter, fingerling potatoes and grated carrots.
And I still remember the taste.