Farmer Mike wrote this article that was originally published in the Courier-Tribune newspaper. We thought you might enjoy a good laugh right now so we're sharing it on our website too.
My love of language has largely been shaped by one word: immigrant. I was 9 months old when my dad was stationed at a NATO base near Thorshavn on the Faroe Islands. The sound of my mother tongue, Danish, suddenly unfolded into Faroese. Two years later we moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). My dad found work as an electrician, my mom as a patternmaker at a textile mill. My folks taught English speaking daycare staff 2 Danish words: spise (eat), drikke (drink) and one Faroese word, kooka (poo) so they could communicate basic toddler with me.
Immersed in a new culture, my English flourished. I also learned Ndebele (a Zulu dialect) words like cambalala (take a nap) and xhubha (brush your teeth), pronouncing my c’s, q’s and x’s with tongue-clicks. At home, Danglish, a hybrid of Danish and English developed. Being bilingual, I spoke Danglish without being conscious about what language each word was or in which order they came out. My parents understood me, I figured all other Danes would too. I was wrong. When I was hospitalized while visiting my grandparents in Denmark, I asked the nurse, who was moving me to another ward, a simple question: when are my parents coming to pick me up? He wouldn’t answer and the elevator full of people got strangely quiet. I was really frustrated! Years later, when I learned some Danish slang, I realized why. In my attempt at communicating in Danglish, I had asked a question about sex in Danish that would make 100 sailors blush!
When I was 8, the war for Zimbabwe’s liberation intensified. The Rhodesian government enacted conscription for men, citizens and noncitizens, to fight against liberation. When my parents chose to leave, the government froze their bank account. They sold most of their belongings to pay for the train to Cape Town, South Africa and a two-week journey to Southampton, England on the RMS Pendennis Castle. Three months later we were on our way to Canada with immigrant visas.
In Canada, I used English words for the first time that were nonexistent in my African home. Words like snow, sleigh, skiing, and tuque (toboggan). By the way a toboggan in Canada is a wooden sled that is curved up at one end, not a hat that keeps your ears warm. The English I learned in Africa confused Canadians. I had to replace words like headmaster (principal), lorry (truck) and biltong (beef jerky). I taught my new, mainly immigrant friends, Ndebele, the language of an African culture I felt a close kinship with and had been torn from so suddenly. In return they taught me to cuss in Spanish, Hindi, Vietnamese and Chinese. As I got older, I learned essential Canadian words like twofour, a case of 24 beers, and Molson Muscle, what your belly grows into if you drink too many twofours.
Years later my wife and I immigrated to the UK from Denmark, revealing creative and humorous uses of English. The phrase “all talk and no trousers” means all bark and no bite. A “cheeky pint” is a beer that you probably shouldn’t drink but do anyway. I got a lot of ribbing when I told colleagues that my pants got dirty sitting on the bus on my way to work. Pants in the UK means underpants. The phrase “’Ere be dragons” essentially means stay away, danger. Look on old maps, you’ll see it used to mark places to avoid, like Wales. I would always chuckle when a friend would use it randomly - complete with pirate brogue - in response to questions like “What’s the food like at that pub?” or “How’s your wife doing?”. I had not worked in the UK long before a colleague uttered the words “Hansen, you’re mad as cheese!”, the word mad meaning crazy, not angry. A French coworker who referred to English beef as “crazy beef” during a mad cow disease outbreak would often be referred to as “mad as cheese” by this particular Englishman, to which the Frenchman would respond “everybody fug de cheese!”. Although their banter was lighthearted, they both confided in me that they disliked each other. The Frenchman added that he secretly delighted in the fact the Englishman’s name meant ‘no erection’ in French slang.
My newest home as a serial immigrant is rural Randolph County, in North Carolina. The phrase “skinny minute” was one I’d never heard before, the most poetic way to express doing something quickly! My neighbor Robbie taught me, “I’ll holler at ya’”. It took me a while to learn that it was something he did over the phone. I’ve been caught out on my pronunciation of place names in the county. A few folks have corrected my mispronunciation of the nearby township of Erect, NC (pronounced eee-wrecked). In case you’re wondering Climax, NC is 25 miles north of Erect.
Mike “Mad as Cheese” Hansen lives, works and enjoys a cheeky pint at Ozark Akerz regenerative farm near Coleridge with his wife, Missouri native Sue Meyer. Holler at him on ozarkakerz.com.
Last week we made Pineywoods Heritage Beef flank steak for the first time. Flank is a popular cut for making fajitas, its not the most tender cut, but it's got great flavor. To tenderize, flank needs to marinade for up to 12 hours. Sue made her marinade and it tasted so good we decided to use it for BBQ sauce too. We ate it on short ribs an it was amazing!
Anchovies?! Are you kidding me?!
Yep, that's one of the ingredients. Here are the rest of the recipe:
Combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, anchovies, garlic, mustard, tomato paste, and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth, creamy, and emulsified. Transfer sauce to a mason jar and stir in onions and store in the fridge until you're ready to marinade or smother your ribs in BBQ sauce!
Recipe was inspired by Serious Eats
There is a lot of experimentation in the Ozark Akerz farmhouse kitchen. Sue, being what Mike considers a culinary alchemist, doesn’t always follow or write down a recipe. Well, she finally (and reluctantly) chose to cramp her style and wrote down her recipe for liver pâté. We’re often asked by Pineywoods Heritage Beef customers what they can do with the liver, apart from the age-old standby, liver and onions. We can now share this easy to make and delicious recipe with you.
their friends about Danish cuisine. Danish liver pâté, called “leverpostej” (pronounced liver-posteye) was always a big favorite. Sue has learned to love it and has put her own spin on it with this liver pâté recipe. Mike says it rivals the best leverpostej that butchers make in Denmark. Danes eat leverpostej almost daily. An open-faced sandwich with a liberal spread, garnished with a pickle, bacon, pickled beets, fried mushrooms, mustard or a generous pinch of coarse salt, the list is endless!
One favorite at Danish dinner parties is “Dyrlægens natmad” (pronounced dewa-layenz nat-meh). A direct translation to English is “The Veterinarians Midnight Snack”. It was first introduced in 1920 at Oskar Davidsen, a restaurant in Copenhagen that specialized in open-faced sandwiches.
after midnight at parties in Denmark and meant to help sober folks up before they catch the last train home. The open-faced sandwich has 5 layers:A slice of dark rye bread, bacon grease (in place of butter), leverpostej, salted beef tongue and “sky”. Sky has no English equivalent but is best described as gelatinized beef broth. Mike likes to top it off with onion. Tasty!
We recently took samples of our Pineywoods Heritage Beef to a meeting we had with the Chef de Cuisine at a restaurant. At the last minute Sue decided to make some of her liver pâté to take as well for him to sample as well. As soon as Sue brought out the sample, the chef got a spoon to try it. By the time we finished the meeting 20 minutes later, he had eaten a third of it and told Sue that it was "really delicious". We sent him the recipe the next day.
However you decide to eat your leverpostej, we know you will love the flavor of Sue’s first recipe. Hopefully we will see more of her recipes in the future.
Pineywoods Beef Liver Pâté with Bacon, Rosemary, & Thyme
* 6-8 thick pieces organic nitrate free uncured applewood smoked bacon
* 1 small organic sweet onion, chopped
* 4 cloves organic garlic, minced
* 1 pound wild-foraged Pineywoods Heritage Beef liver
* 2 tablespoons fresh organic rosemary, minced
* 2 tablespoons fresh organic thyme, minced
* ½ teaspoon sea salt
1. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove from pan and set aside to cool.
2. Add the onion and garlic to the bacon grease and cook for 1 minute on medium-low. Top with liver and sprinkle with herbs. Cook slowly, turning several times, until the liver is no longer pink in the center. Optional: keep a small amount of the raw onion aside & add in Step 3 for some crunch.
3. Cool slightly. Place all ingredients into a food processor, including bacon grease from the pan, sea salt, and optional raw onion. Process to your preferred consistency, I prefer it smooth.
4. Enjoy warm, fresh from the food processor by itself or on your favorite bread or cracker. Experiment with toppings – one of my favorites is bread & butter pickles. Refrigerate leftover pâté and eat cold or reheat, as desired.
Inspired by: https://autoimmunewellness.com/bacon-beef-liver-pate-with-rosemary-and-thyme/