MIDSUMMER NIGHT – ST. JOHN’S EVE

36 Sct. Hans 2013 jpegToday, the 20th of June,  is the longest day of the year in Denmark. Offcially the sun rises at 4.27 in the morning and the sun sets at 2l.55. And yet the Danes celebrate this time which is known in English as Midsummer Night on the 23th of June..But really it is already light at 3.00 in the morning and it doesn’t get dark, not really dark, until around midnight. This calls for a celebration and the Danes, young and old, flok to the beaches, parks, lakes and anyway there is water to celebrate the longest day. Some people even build bonefires in their backyards if there isn’t any water near. This is done  in memory of the Church’s witchburnings of the 16th and 17th century. This is a tradition that stems from pagen times, showing the defeat of darkness  to the powers of the sun god.  The Danes are not really concerned with this tradition of witchburning, but they are just looking for an excuse to party, invite friends and family and in general enjoy the special atmosphere of the long, cool evenings after a long winter when the days turn dark already at 3.00 in the afternoon. Midsummer, also known as St.John Eve in Danish, is a popular festival right along with Christmas.

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Friends and family gather on midsummer night and eat dinner together. Afterwards they walk to the beachs or parks together with many other Danes. They sing and enjoy the evening. A bonefire is build so everyone can join around and watch the burning of the witch which is set high on top of bonefire.

NORWAY LOBSTER WITH PARSLEY

4 appetizer servings

1 quart water

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

8 Norway lobsters

½ cup cup chopped parsley

½ cup rapeseed oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Dill sour cream dressing:

1 cup sour cream

2 tsp. minced shallot

1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper to taste

To make the Norway lobster, bring water, lemon juice and salt to a boil. Place lobsters in boiling water and bring water to a boil again. Cover and remove pot from heat. Let lobsters remain in water 2 minutes before draining. Can be made the day before.

To make the dill sour cream. whisk togeter sour cream, shallot, dill and lemon juice in a small bowl.. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until the should be served. .

To serve, place lobsters belly side up, on a cutting board and cut in halves lengthwise. Mix parsley, oil, salt and pepper and spread mixture on lobsters. Grill them 2-3 minutes under a hot grill. Serve with lemon wedges and dill sour cream. Bread is a nice accompaniment.

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