Friday, July 17, 2009

A Visit to Solvang

The morning after the jewelry show, we went into Solvang for breakfast. Solvang is a sleepy little Danish town nestled in the Santa Ynez valley. The streets are lined with Danish styled buildings and tourists fill the sidewalks. There are numerous Danish bakeries scattered all over town as well as restaurants featuring Danish smorgassbord cuisine. It is definitely not a place to visit if you are on a diet. I'm always on a diet, but I told myself I could start again on Monday.

My sister Julia said we had to try Aebleskivers. So off we went to the oldest Danish restaurant in town that features Aebleskivers which are round balls that tastes like a cross between a muffin and a doughnut. Aebleskivers are made in a special cast iron skillet with round circles like a muffin pan. They are delicious.

Here's the recipe -

Danish Pancake Balls
2 cups buttermilk2 cup flour2 eggs1 Tsp. Baking powder1/2 Tsp. salt, 1/2 Tsp. soda, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 4 Tbsp. melted butter
Separate eggs and beat whites until stiff. Mix all other ingredients together and beat until smooth. Fold in egg whites quickly.
Heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil (or butter) in each cup of the pan. Pour batter into each cup (1/4 " from top of cup) and turn when bubbles appear around the edge. Use a knitting needle or fork to turn and turn 1/4 way over, wait for bubbles then make the last tour completing the ball. Allow time for the center to cook. They are traditionally served with butter and raspberry jam. (You can probably order a pan on line from any of the specialty shops in Solvang.)

After breakfast, we walked around the town, popping into gift shops and souvenir stores. We avoided the fudge store and the Danish cookie stores. Some of the shopkeepers wore authentic Danish costumes which was fun to see. There is a museum of racing and a museum of Solvang's history as well as a museum dedicated wholly to the works of Hans Christian Andersen. Hans Christian Andersen wrote more than 160 Fairy Tales which have been translated into more than 100 languages. The museum is operated by the Ugly Duckling Society, a non profit organization created to "foster appreciation for the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen." You can go to their web site by following the link below -

It is a small,lovely museum and one worth visiting if you are in Solvang. Great for kids.

Here's my sister Julia as we walk the streets of Solvang. We caught up with her husband Gary and mine, Steve, on the way to look at one of the windmills. The men are standing in front of two buildings that are good examples of old Danish architecture.
From there, we walked up the street to see the old hotel that was recently bought and refurbished by the Santa Ynez Chumash Tribe. The hotel was renamed and is now Hotel Corque. The facade is still typical Danish, but the interior is elegant modern. click on link to see the gorgeous interior of this hotel. It looks like a great place to stay in Solvang or while visiting the surrounding wine country. I was impressed. They also have new restaurant called "root 246." We didn't eat there but the food I saw looked delicious and we'll definitely dine there next time. They claim that the restaurant is all about locally grown ingredients and they boast that the only freezer in the restaurant is for ice cream. How fresh is that! Check out the restaurant at the above link.

There is so much to do in Solvang and the surrounding valley. Take a wine tour or ride bikes, find art in the neighboring town of Los Olivos - You can golf, go swimming or visit the Chumash Casino Resort which is also a showplace. I wanted to go to the casino, but we needed to start our drive back to Palm Springs. Just as well, I didn't want to leave the money we'd made at the jewelry show at the casino which with my luck is what usually happens. I'm not very lucky at gambling. Oh, well, I'm lucky in love and with having a wonderful family and great friends. Anyway, we said our goodbyes and after getting Dylan Thomas in the car and we headed home.

Coming down the valley and then past Santa Barbara, we had the Pacific Ocean on our right. Surfers were on the water and people lay on blankets on the sand or walked along the edge of the water. I wanted to stop at every beach to look for sea glass. We didn't stop but as the ocean scenery rushed past the car window I thought about sea glass and dreamed of sea glass jewelry my sister Shirley and I could create.

You can find our sea glass jewelry and other pieces at

Coming next - We show our jewelry at the Cathedral City Art Festival - (our first art festival!)

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