Happy Labor Day, and welcome back to school! Another school year has kicked off. Kids are excited to meet up with classmates. Unfortunately, the traffic is bloody awful. It took me over 2.5 hrs to drive to the office, which usually takes 1 hour. Needless to say, I turned the truck around and headed back to the ranch to work remotely.
The morning commute after Labor Day and school start is ridiculous – especially in NY State, where schools start the day after Labor Day. Stupid drivers, roads are blocked by school buses picking up kids, and all common sense is out the window.
In short, Labor Day is when we celebrate all the hard work and importance of laborers and how they keep the world turning. We honor ourselves for working hard and “reward” many workers by asking them to work on Labor Day. In fairness, we need cashiers and service workers to help us with Labor Day sales.
President Grover Cleveland signed a law on June 28, 1894, making the first Monday in September a legal national holiday every year. This was after a long campaign “fought” by a gentleman named Matthew Maguire, based in Paterson, New Jersey, which he started in 1882. It only took 12 years to get signed into law. Keep up the fight!
A Danish Inspired meal plan
My dear mother is to blame for the thinking behind this week’s meal plan after she responded to a picture I had posted on Facebook and Instagram.
I had posted a picture of a delicious rolled-up skirt steak stuffed with spinach and blue cheese and roasted on the Traeger for 35-40 minutes at 400F.
She said she prefers Danish recipes such as meatballs (frikadeller) with boiled potatoes and brown gravy. Who doesn’t love that dish?
So, to honor my mum, I decided to use Danish recipes as inspiration for this week’s lunches and dinners. “Surprisingly,” many modern Danish dinners are inspired by kitchens from all over the world; hence you will see that we are not that different. However, some ingredients used are more European, so I had to adapt slightly as I can’t get the brands in the US.
A Danish Cuisine
Danish cooking is rooted in peasant dishes served across the country. Like many countries, families use ingredients harvested on or near the family farm, ranging from wheat, rye, root vegetables, potatoes, a variety of bread, fish, and pork.
Families had their storage of long-lasting dry products, pickled vegetables, rye for making bread, barley for beer, cheese, milk, dried peas for soup, and smoked or salted pork. Not a very exotic kitchen and limited variety.
However, I would classify these meals as soul food of Denmark. Delicious and hardy country food will refill you with energy after a long day in the field or factory. Moreover, the bread and pork will stock your body with the needed fat for the more prolonged fall and winters.
Pork, rye, cheese and beer are a stable parts of the dinner table.
That is the reason Danes love beer, bread, bacon, and bodyfat!
No body shaming, please!
Let’s get cooking
With school back, I want to get into the habit of offering better school lunches for my kids. It is very unpleasant to see the lunches that are provided at the schools.
I appreciate that school districts are concerned about funding for ingredients and staff. Still, I firmly believe that you can make excellent and healthier options for our kids instead of the premade shit being offered. So, I’m making delicious homemade lunches with freshly baked bread, Traeger grilled chicken, vegetables from the local farmer’s market, etc.
Making lunches from scratch takes a little more effort and time, but the kids love it. And their friends are excited and envious to see what I’ve made for lunch each day.
The dinners are traditional Danish meat dishes using pork and beef, with typical Scandinavian vegetables and some variations of boiled potatoes.
I deviate from the Danish dinners one evening as I’m serving a family favorite; street tacos with grilled chicken and shrimps with homemade coleslaw.
|Monday||Labor Day BBQ delights|
|Tuesday||Club sandwich with spinach, grilled chicken, and bacon.||Danish frikadeller with roasted potatoes and gravy|
|Wednesday||Healthy tuna salad in a tomato wrap||Beef patties in tomato sauce with boiled potatoes|
|Thursday||Pasta salad||Taco Tuesday, but on a Thursday, with shrimp and coleslaw|
|Friday||Homemade ham salad on a delicious homemade bun||Pizza night as the parents are going to see Maniscalco.|
One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!
Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.
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