Tuesday, April 30, 2019

In memory of Harriett Beach

I really don't know how to start this.

A good friend died this past weekend, a woman I admired, looked up to, an incredible, vibrant, talented, compassionate, opinionated, amazing woman.

She was a free spirit, a talented artist, baker, cook, activist, writer.
She'd been many things in her long life, but I was honored to call her friend.

Here's the link to her obituary, which gives you some bare bones facts about her. 

Harriett Beach was so much more.

I learned so much from her, she encouraged me to write, pushed me to finish off my cookbooks, and in fact edited all of them for me.

We exchanged recipes, and hints and ideas and just chatted, not as much as I could have, I let life get in my way sometimes.  And I'm sorry for that now.

I had her and another friend in for a small Stort Koldt Bord or small smorgasbord this past Boxing Day, December 26th if you're curious.  We sat and talked and ate and had a wonderful time for over 3 hours.  It was magical and I'm so glad I was able to share a favorite tradition with her and Luba.  We ate 2 kinds of Herring, along with some other Danish delicacies and of course a couple shots of Aquavit or Snaps with the meal.   It was a total hyggeligt aften. (cozy evening).

I'm also so grateful that I had a whole day with her a couple of weeks ago.  She'd wanted to go to Tallahassee to Costco, and was currently without a vehicle, so I took her up there.  In turn she introduced me to a store I'd never been in, and I got so excited, I not only found some Lurpak butter, only the best butter in the world, it's Danish, but also some deep fried onions which I'll use on some open face sandwiches.   I in turn, took her to Trader Joe's and she was like a kid in a candy store, well, kinda, she hung out in the cheese aisle.  We had lunch, at an Indian restaurant and had a blast figuring out the spices in the various dishes.

However, one of the joys of being Harriett's friend was sampling some of the great food she'd bring to the various potlucks in our area.

She was a great cook, and delighted in coming up with different dishes, as well as interesting twists on familiar recipes. 

I thought I'd share pictures of some of the dishes.  She always had an adventuresome streak when it came to bringing a covered dish to any event.

These are just a few pictures of the many interesting and delicious dishes she made over the past few years.
This one was a Tomato Aspic.   She didn't take much of it home that night. Everyone loved it.
 Another time she brought this spiced Watermelon to a gathering.
 She was well known for the various veggie dishes. Here are some of her beets, Greek style.

 Here are some spicy Zucchini Pickles she made.
 Another time she brought some Sild Salat she'd made from my Danish Cookbook.  Although she did put her own twist on it.

I would never have thought of poaching fresh Okra and pairing it with a light curry sauce, but she did. 
 And then there was the time she made some eggplant enchilada's
 Harriett also had a fine hand with Green Beans. 
 One time she brought some marinated Green Beans and topped them with pickled Kumquat slices. 
 She did like her pickles.
 Some more Green Beans, marinated and served cold
 And then there was the time she brought a version of Limburger Cheese on Pumpernickel bread.  I scarfed up a few pieces.

I have more pictures of lots of great dishes she made and shared.  It was always inventive, always delicious and always appreciated.

I will miss her, so much but am so glad I got to know her and become friends.  I'm not publishing a picture of her, because frankly I don't have one.  I have her face in my memory, and always her in my heart.
And that's a good thing. 

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. Excellent piece. She would be ecstatic over it.

    1. Thanks Skip, I hope she'd be please with it. I will miss her as will many people here.


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