Tuesday, June 30, 2009
corner view bergen, norway: staple foods
if you ask for the most typical food here nowadays, the answer will probably - and sadly - be this:
yup, frozen pizza.
if you ask for traditional food from western norway, you might regret you asked. if you're sqeemish, don't scroll down, or you might feel a bit sick yourself.
although eating this particular dish is mainly kept for enthusiasts (and some brave tourists), smalahove is probably the one thing you'll hear mentioned most often when asking about western norwegian traditional food. it scares the shit out of foreigners and most norwegians too. smalahove, - literally 'sheeps head', is an old tradition from these parts of norway, from back when one had to be frugal to survive. formerly a poor man's food, this is today considered a delicacy.
i picked the least scary picture. just go ahead, google it, and enjoy the photos of it in various stages of being eaten. like, when there's nothing left on the plate but the scull and the teeth.
smalahove is usually eaten in the months before christmas, and yes, you eat everything. including the eyeballs. for some, eating this has become some sort of test to show how brave you are. but i think this is limited to your first try, as most people discover that it's actually just salty lambs meat and quite good. perhaps except for the eyballs. i wouldn't know, i've never tried it and i'm not particularly tempted!
(at least, i was decent enough to wait till you'd had your breakfast :) )
Saturday, June 27, 2009
it seems she's constantly collecting small animals, and i wish i knew more to give her some advice on how to feed them and just generally keep them alive. yesterday she brought home three bumble bees in a glass jar. sure, she had punched holes in the lid, and intended to pick some flowers for them, but they seemed so 'sleepy' that i slightly panicked inside and decided they had to go or they'd die. i wish we had a lisa closet - a closet with a lisa we could bring out everytime we had questions concerning bugs!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
this is incredible easy to make, it practically makes itself. if it looks complicated, it's only because i tend to blabber.
EDITED TO ADD: i just found out that lemonade is not commonly diluted with water, so just to make clear; this is syrup to be diluted!!
40 - 60 clusters of elderflower blossoms
3 organic lemons
2 liters of water
2 kg sugar
20-25 grams of citric acid (optional, depending on storage - see below)
- pick your blossoms in dry weather, and preferably when newly blooming. the tree continues to bring forth fresh blossoms for about a month, so there's plenty of opportunities for making another batch later if you like. - don't rinse the blossoms in water, but gently shake them to drop any bugs. the rest is strained out later on. - place the blossoms in a laaaarge pot/bowl.three clusters in different stages of blooming
cut them just about so - cut the lemons in slim slices. keep the rind/skin on, that's why you'd want organic ones (if you can't find organic lemons, you can leave your non organic ones in a bowl of water and add 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda. this will rinse off most of the pesticides). - add the lemons and the sugar to the water and bring to a boil. - dissolve the citric acid in the mix and pour it all boiling hot over the blossoms. - leave to cool, then place in the fridge with a lid/cloth/big plate or so on top. leave it in the fridge for 3 days, stirring the mix once or twice a day.
- strain the mix through a loosely woven (and clean!) cloth. - put it on clean, cold bottles/jars/what have you, and store in a cool place.
you can put the syrup in the freezer to make it last longer. if you know it won't be stored for long, you can leave out the citric acid. on the opposite, you can rinse the bottles with atamon water (a preservative based on benzoic acid) before you fill them with the syrup, to make them last longer.
to drink - and this is essential: mix about 1 part syrup and 8 parts water in a glass. of course, this will depend on your preferences. if you like it sweet, use more syrup and less water. this can just as easily be made into tea, by adding hot instead of cold water.
EDITED TO ADD: well whaddayaknow, i learned something new from this post. i found out that most people outside of (northern?) europe don't drink saft (norwegian term). i thought 'lemonade/limonade' was the common name for saft, but of course it's not. when i looked up 'elder' at wikipedia, i found this: "The French and Central Europeans (Austrians, Croatians), but particularly the Swiss (the foremost experts of Sambucus cultivation and culinary applications) are known for their elderflower syrup, most commonly made from an extract of elderflower blossoms, which can be added into pancake (Palatschinken) mix instead of blueberries. Most Balkan countries (Serbia, Romania, Macedonia) will use a similar method to make a syrup which is diluted with water and used as a drink."
*due to the church's attempt of christianizing the pagan people and their customs, midsummer celebrations take place on the 23rd instead of the 21st here in scandinavia. it is called saint hans - hans being a short form of johannes (john). (btw, in the netherlands it's called saint jan - be sure to check out daans great midsummer celebration here!). it is actually the 24th that is saint johns day, but it's an old scandinavian pagan tradition to start a celebration the night before it occurs. this is also the case for all the other christianized holidays.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
it's dead exciting and a lot of fun to watch your kids grow, become, finding their shape and form and - hopefully - their place in this world.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
the little things
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
corner view bergen, norway: street fashion
i knew immediately that i couldn't do this one. for one, i can't seem to keep interested in other peoples clothing long enough to think of getting a picture. the other reason is, well...
let me put it this way:
when i had my son about 13 years ago, i was so happy that by the time he would be a teenager and start caring about looks, the trend of boys showing half (or more) their butt would be long gone.
can you believe it? it's still here! they can't even walk straight, in fear of loosing their pants. luckily, that's what my son discovered when he wanted to 'look cool' too. what i see, as a massage therapist, is future clients with lumbar back pain.
there hasn't been a good looking fashion trend for young people for, i don't know, as long as i can remember. so i just try to ignore the street fashion altogether.
but a post can't be imageless, so here's some shots we took on our trip into town on constitution day.
(i don't know what happened to my previous post, but the text disappeared. it was so frustrating that i didn't bother to write it up again)
perhaps some real street fashion at:
jane, ladybug-zen, ian, bonnie, esti, sophie, cele, modsquad,caitlin, joyce, ani, kim, a day that is dessert, natsumi, epe, kaylovesvintage, trinsch, c.t., jeannette, outi, schanett, ritva, francesca, state of bliss, jennifer, dana, denise, cabrizette, bohemia girl, dianna, isabelle, amber, a girl in the yellow shoes, mister e, janis, kari, jgy, skymring, elizabeth, audrey, allison, lise, cate, mon, victoria, crescent moon, erin, otli, amy, ida, caroline, lisa, dorte, kimmie, la lune dans le ciel, nicola, malo, vanessa, britta, virgina, april, b, kyndale samantha, karen, kristina, dorit, goldensunfamily, sophie, janet, mcgillicutty, desiree, di, travelingmama, aimee, sunnymama, amanda, ali, jenell, guusje, britta, juanita, pamela, inna, daan, myrtille, cris, ibb, susi, jodi, lily, gillian,
jeanette, athena, pienduzz, latisha, clairette, satsuki