04 September 2009


Hi, my name is Karen Elisabeth Lesney.

You see, I was trained in architecture - and love it. But, since late 2008 I have not been able to work and shy of going stir crazy from complete lack of creativity I needed a little mental outlet. And thus, when limited moments were pain free I found myself thinking about how much cooking has also been a huge influence in my life. Our mother was of a generation of women back in Denmark who was not allowed to attend college. And though she was an immensely talented and creative woman, she only attended cooking and sewing school. It also doesn't hurt to have the amazing Danish chef Claus Meyer as a cousin to top it off! So, genetics and location have had a great influence on my love of Danish design and  cuisine.

Both of my passions actually originated from a childhood spent in Denmark. If I wasn't playing with ‘legos’ and building things, I could be found hanging out in the kitchen with a generation of women and family members who brought to the table amazing traditional Danish dishes.
here i am in denmark (near barritskov in jylland)...wearing my 'ikea' colored dress with my little sister, lisa and our mother, ulla.

If there was an ad in the personal section of the newspaper, it would read, “someone seeking happiness in both cooking and design.”

Being out of the creative architectural loop can be frustrating for anyone dealing with chronic pain. What you have before you in this mini-blog are the results of my daily mental moments of clarity that have allowed me tiny escapes from pain. From one obsession to another, this is my place to share thoughts and recipes about the fine art of TOPLESS BREAD.

Now you must wonder...why call this little blog by such a name? Well, it originated some years back when friends would ask why I would eat my sandwiches without the top piece of bread. My silly response was to say that I preferred to eat my sandwiches topless the way I like to sunbathe...which, I don’t. But, it is always fun to respond with the unexpected. Eventually, I started to think about writing a book on open face sandwiches...but, as you can see I have directed that current limited energy toward this endeavor.

Today, without the mental release of architecture at my fingertips I have two blogs, which are each dedicated to a part of my Danish heritage. There is this one and the other one that is dedicated to the modern appreciation of Danish akvavit and other libations called Water From the Vine.

Thus, welcome to the gastronomic delights of my blog TOPLESS BREAD on Danish Open Face Sandwiches, ‘Smørrebrød’ and other kitchen musings…where ‘going topless’ is not an option.


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