On a Midsummer’s Eve
My family has Scandinavian roots, specifically Norwegian and Danish, which explains why my inky dark eyebrows don’t match the shade of my hair. (Give me a break Denmark!) Because of this ancestry, and our close ties to some dear Norwegian friends, my family yearly celebrates Midsummer’s Eve: the biggest party this side of a smorgasbord.
Midsummer’s coincides with the summer solstice and is usually observed in Norway and Denmark on the 23rd of June. It’s honored more vigorously than any other holiday, except Christmas. It’s little wonder that a region that gets scant to no sunlight in the winter months celebrates a time of year when the sun hangs around 24/7 like that annoyingly cheery acquaintance you just can’t get rid of.
While a bonfire is a customary accompaniment to Midsummer’s Eve, we skipped the roast and went straight for the food. My mom made traditional Norwegian mush for our festivities while I focused on preparing rum balls. Rum balls are pastries similar to éclairs filled with rum flavored whipped cream. I typically only make these for this particular occasion, which keeps them special and my butt skinnier.
After our hardy meal we went Viking on the neighborhood. With the help of our stout vessels we wreaked havoc on the streets. Okay, we took turns riding my parents’ powder blue Vespa and dorky tandem bike around the block but we did so with fury I’m sure. The kids couldn’t get enough Vespa rides with Grandpa but only Jason dared scoot with me. I’m pretty talented on two wheels but not when they’re motorized. However, I think the tales of my poor steering skills have been unjustly inflated; so far I’ve only tipped the Vespa over not crashed it. And hey, that’s a better track record than half the celebrities out there.
It was a beautiful evening for a pagan rite and for filling our oddly-eyebrowed faces with fatty substances. Since I’m a fan of summer, sunlight, and cream you don’t really have to remind me of my Northern heritage to get me to live it up and stuff it down in honor of the season. Norwegian or not, I’m happy to shove rum balls in my tummy and sing halleluiahs to the sun anytime.