Flowers in the garden

My husband rarely buys me flowers. Now, I’m not about to complain about my husband not being romantic enough. Au contraire, I’d rather like to point out the love he puts into the work he does in and around the house. You see, he doesn’t often buy me flowers, but he has been spending a few hours working in the garden during the past year. And instead of a bouquet of red roses, that I would have to cut, vase and throw out after a week’s time, I am now greeted by these beauties every time I enter the house.


There are plenty of them. About one metre tall (3ft) and they really do stand out from the surroundings. The leaves on the nearby trees are changing their colours and the days are getting cold. There are few really strong and bright colours left. But these flowers decided to bloom surprisingly late this year and stand strong through wind and rain.

I hope they stick around a little longer. Every day they are reminders of everything Husband does for me, our son, our home, and for himself. The small things in life are what builds our foundations, and lucky for me, those small things are being represented by beautiful flowers in the garden. I prefer these beauties to flowers in a vase any day!

Mashed swede

Please join me further down the path of Norwegian delicacies. Today we have a very simple dinner planned: sausages and mashed swede (or rutabaga if you like).

The big, round root is first sliced, then peeled (using a small knife, don’t bother with no potato peeler) and diced. Put in a pot, add water to just about cover the root, put a lid on and leave on medium heat to simmer for a while. To check if it’s done pierce a piece with a sharp knife, if the knife won’t hold the piece of swede then consider it done. Drain, add a pinch or two of sugar, add a wee bit of milk or cream and a spoonful of cream cheese (if you like). Mash it all up using either a masher or a hand blender. A swede can without problems be mashed using a hand blender (potatoes should not). I often add a carrot or two to the mash. The carrots are then sliced and boiled with the swede.

I served this with lamb sausages (which you really should try if you’re in the area!)

Swedes are people too and should not be confused with the root-vegetable which is the subject of this post. No Swedes were hurt making this dish.

Good morning

Indeed it is! I’m sitting here now with a big cup of white Thé de Songes from Le Palais des Thés. You see, yesterday I came across a new shop in a wee shopping centre close to home. A tea shop! Might be my new favourite shop with teas from Le Palais des Thés and Løv, as well as a nice selection of chocolates, spices and coffee. I’m in løv!

Do you have a favourite tea? I love tea and I’m always looking for new favourites, please share your favourites with me

 

Autumn

I’m quiet, I know, I’m not dead I’m still here, I’ve just been very busy living.

Autumn is here and now it’s here to stay. I really don’t mind. I bought this cute, little umbrella this summer and I now get to use it every day. I enjoy huge cups of tea at night (and at work) and I have a son who at least every weekend gives me plenty of reasons to go outside and enjoy the season.

Son has a few favourite activities that I must admit I don’t participate in as much as I should. For some reason it seems more of a hassle dressing myself properly before going outside than it is to dress him properly. The big puddles are thus reserved for my wee man. 

Another favourite activity is to pick rowan berries, throw them high up in the air and see them dance around us as they fall down. Before the berries stop rolling about, Son tries to smash them flat by stepping on them. In this activity I participate joyfully but I do restrain myself a wee bit and let him get most of the berries. 

And for those of you with culinary interests, the black gems hidden in the bushes at this time of year are the blackberries. In Norwegian they’re called ‘bjørnebær’ which translates to ‘bear-berries’. Many of Son’s teddy-bears have suffered many a stomach ache after stuffing their faces with these sweet things

Norwegian cuisine – lapskaus

I can’t think of a stew more common in Norway than ‘lapskaus’ is. The are of course a multitude of varieties, and no two recipes are the same, but the ingredients are often the same, and very “Norwegian” if you like, in that they are easy to get hold of and produced or grown locally. Wikipedia claims the name has its roots in German and English and was introduced in the 18th century. The dish itself, however, I do believe has been around a little longer.

We had my in-laws visiting and the ingredients I then used for five adults and a wee man (two-year-old) was as follows:

  • 500-1000 grams of meat (pork, beef or lamb is preferred, bones creates more flavour, and if the meat is cured or a little salted then all the better)
  • 8 potatoes
  • 1 medium sized swede (or rutabaga if you like, I find it hysterical that a vegetable has the same name as our neighbours in the east)
  • 1 celery root
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 leek
  • salt and black pepper

Dice everything (or, well, slice the leek and carrots) into approximately equal-sized pieces. Layer in a big pot starting with the meet, continue with swede, potatoes, celery root, carrots and finish off with leek. Add water up to about a third of the contents in the pot. My rule of thumb here is that when I can spot the water in between the veggies, it’s enough.

Heat it up then leave to simmer for as long as you’d like. This is a dish we often make before going on a Sunday hike. We leave the house for several hours and come back for a ready made dinner. Perfect! 

Peanut butter truffles

I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Problem is, they’re hard to find in this part of the country. And when I do stumble upon someone importing them, they cost about an arm and a leg. Yes, it’s worth it, but still…

Over at Pinterest I came across this post and I just had to try. Husband and I were playing about with a chocolate recipe earlier this week and had a few hundred grams of chocolate left. Just enough in which to dip these small peanut butter truffles. 

I will definitely make these again. Though next time I will add a wee bit more salt, swap some of the icing sugar with regular sugar or fructose and also make a bigger batch. They were that good! And, by making them myself I control everything going into these pieces of deliciousness, which means there are no dubious ingredients and they can also be made with so little added sugar and fat that they consist of little more than peanuts and chocolate.

And, after watching a little too much of South Park during my teenage years, I can’t help but have Chef’s “Chocolate Salty Balls” on repeat in my head when thinking about these…

Men are so easy to please

I was cooking something using half a lime for dinner here the other day. I was stuck with the other half, and didn’t know what to do with it. But then, while filling the water bottle to be placed in the fridge for extra cooling before eating, I had an idea. I sliced the lime added it to the water along with a few lemon balm leaves. So simple, easy, and so good (as long as you remember to stir the water a wee bit before serving)