A Swedish speciality is the Wallenberger. I know this because I have a Swedish client and whenever they have friends for dinner this is the dish that I need to prepare. A Wallenberger is ground veal mixed with egg yolks and cream. It has a runny consistency that requires six hours in the fridge before being rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. These creations are delish, especially served with the tradition of mash potatoes, peas and lingonberry sauce. As a Brit, who has never experienced this dish made by anyone but myself, I enjoy the appreciation and fond memories that it brings up for my clients guests.
For me, that is the joy of cooking for others. It is a creative endeavor, not a chore. The whole process of going to someone else’s home and preparing a meal in their kitchen, that they then experience is what this is all about for me. I now know how an actor or musician feels after a performance.
Food, like nature is an important experience of our daily lives. Taking an interest in the flavors and what we put in our bodies can affect how we will approach the day. I know that when I eat dairy I get headaches and feel tired. Maybe it is psychological. I know when I eat a large green salad with chicken breast I feel the most satisfaction with my food choices. As a chef people assume that I need to eat gourmet. No, I need to eat fresh, green and seasonal.
Christmas is always loaded with food experiences. Childhood memories are created. For me these include mince pies warmed with whipped cream on top. A turkey dinner is not complete unless followed by a mince pie. As usual this year I ate to agitate my heart and to over stuff my stomach. These meals were happy occasions spent with my Mother at other people’s home cooking for me. There is no greater joy in life than having a meal prepared for me in a friend’s home and watching the love and enjoyment that they put into the experience. These days friends feel the pressure to please me with their culinary talents. This should not be a concern because I just enjoy the event regardless of what they prepare.
Christmas time is an important time of year because it reflects the mood of the whole past year and sometimes it is setting up the coming year. I am always mindful of this as I go about my celebrations with loved ones.