In the U.S. hotel rooms might list a dinette or kitchenette as a an additional feature, usually in a suite. For our family trip to Denmark, I was looking for a full kitchen with accouterments which was listed as a “Self-Catering Kitchen” on the Novasol website through which we made our rental arrangements.
What a shame, you might think, that either we’re cooking on vacation, or worse, not enjoying the cuisine of the new culture we visited. However, with 4 growing boys and so many places to go, we are careful with our funds. So I cooked several items ahead of time, packed up a lot of favorites (American and Dutch), and headed out not knowing how well equipped the kitchen would be.
Obviously, the Danish home owners expected us to eat boiled eggs for breakfast, since there were 15 metal egg cups and special cooking timers the likes of which I’d never seen for turning out the perfect hard (at 3 levels), medium (at 3 levels), and soft-boiled eggs (at 3 levels). The kitchen had enough glasses, plates, and cutlery for 2-3 meals a day for 6-8 people without having to wash dishes. Of course, the dishwasher wouldn’t hold that many soiled utensils anyway.
Our experience of self-catering kitchens has taught us that they have various stocks of appliances. This Danish one was exceptional from the regular sorts of items, coffee pot, microwave, electric kettle, to those items reflecting extra care, abundant pans, bread warmer, paper towel stand, coffee carafe and, not to be forgotten, 15 egg cups. In addition bits of supplies one might forget to pack were available to get us started, toilet paper, salt & pepper, tabs for the dishwasher, some detergent for the clothes washer and dryer. All 6 of us thoroughly enjoyed tramping along the Denmark coast and exploring the outdoor through sand and mud, so the washer and dryer were used every day.
Still, there were things that I wished we had packed in our minivan. There wasn’t a pitcher large enough to make up ice tea the way we like, and we should have anticipated that. Also, since we’re not inexperienced European travelers, lack of foresight left us without ice trays. You’re thinking, ice? That’s so American.
My husband is very resourceful and always surprises me with his ability to think outside the box. Imagine my surprise when he brought me a glass of ice tea perfectly chilled with large ice cubes on our second day of vacation. Turns out we had a use for those 15 egg cups after all.