Simple summer salad – peach, tomato and avocado

20120822-170036.jpgI’m a regular at Saffron and Honey and am often inspired by her mouth-watering recipes. Some time ago she had a post on green tomato and peach salad that fit perfectly with my current cravings for fruits and greens. I promised her it would go on my to-do-list, but it took me longer than expected (things are always postponed these days…). However, when I suddenly decided to make it I didn’t have my phone or computer nearby and just had to whip something together from memory. I couldn’t find green tomatoes that week, so they were red. But I did find some perfect peaches. Husband had left for work, so I only made enough for me and Son (and although he has to taste he didn’t really help me clear the platter). Here’s what I put in:

  • one peach (skin removed)
  • one tomato
  • half an avocado
  • a few basil leaves
  • olive oil and sea salt

The salad was a complete explosion on the taste bud. So fresh, sweet, delicious and full of taste that I’m telling you: You have to try this! Slice everything as thin as you can and drizzle or sprinkle the last two ingredients on top. You won’t be disappointed!

Thank you Saffron and Honey for your inspiration!

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Board games and wee children

20120822-165951.jpgEarlier this week a local newspaper had an article on the benefits of playing board games with children – and there are quite a lot of them! I imagine many parents took their time to sit down with their children to play board games that afternoon. For me it was good to get a reminder of what I can do with Son that doesn’t require too much on my part (growing a baby and a bump is something parts of my body disagrees with to some extent and has made me rather handicapped). We had actually bought a board game for Son earlier that week, thinking that he now would be old enough to get the point of some of the simpler games. This is the ‘ladder game’, or what is probably ‘snakes and ladders’ in the English speaking world. Son loves it and has had no hard time grasping the concept of the simple game – I guess we’ve underestimated him a bit. But I haven’t tried beating him yet, and that includes a wee bit of cheating on my side…

Plukkfisk – simple and easy fish dinner

Plukkfisk is a dish I have grown up with. It is a dinner that would make gourmet chefs cringe, sigh, or shake their heads in disappointed frustration. It’s quite bland, it’s easy, it doesn’t look like much on the plate, and it’s wonderful, healthy, not at all time-consuming, and the perfect weekday dinner. Kids tend to love it and it’s an easy way to get them to eat fish, and loads of it!

What you need is:

  • One potato pr person
  • One carrot pr person
  • A quarter of a cauliflower pr person
  • One small filet of salted cod pr person
  • Half a spring onion or some chive
  • salt, pepper and a knob of butter

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Rinse and peel the potatoes, dice them and add to a pot, cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. While these boil, rinse and peel the carrots. After 5 minutes of boiling add these to the potatoes. When you can pierce the potatoes with a knife, and the potato doesn’t follow the knife out of the pot, you rinse the cauliflower and add to the water. Leave it to simmer under a lid while you get the fish ready. When the cauliflower is tender (only takes a few minutes) add the fish and turn of the heat. When the fish flakes it is done. Pour out the water and mash everything with a potato masher. Add the onions or chives, finely cut, and the knob of butter (if it looks very dry you can also add a small splash of milk or soft cheese). Season to taste and enjoy!

Strawberry and mango jam

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A bird told me (or I came across it somewhere on the great interwebz) that strawberry and mango compliment one another quite well. It was during my first experiments with jam production this summer that I decided to try them together. It’s so easy, and sooo good, that you really should consider doing the same. 20120816-210629.jpg

Rinse the strawberries and add them to a pot. Slice and dice the mango, see how here, and add to the same pot. Put a lid on and low heat to slowly warm the fruit and berries. Slowly bring the pot to a boil and watch how the strawberries and mango become one. The mango is so sweet that there’s no need to add sugar, but if the berries are a little sour, or the mango not quite ripe, add a bit, but make sure to taste! Add a squeeze of lemon for preservative reasons. After the jam has boiled for a wee bit (if it has boiled, it is done, but mine is usually left to itself for some minutes because I’m busy doing something else) then mash it gently with a potato masher. 20120816-210644.jpgThe jam is just divine. It’s sweet (with no added sugar) it’s not runny (much like plum jam) and it tastes of summer and long summer nights. Enjoy!

Solbær- og ripssaft – Black and red currant drink

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My parents have several bushes of black and red currants and I was so excited to get my hands on them this year. I was very disappointed. From in all 10 bushes (or thereabout) we ended up with only half a litre of black currants and half a litre of red. I was first set on making jam. With those small amounts I figured jam would last longer and could thus be enjoyed far into next year, if used sparsely. But then I came across a blogger who talked about the benefits of black currant ‘saft’ during colds or flus during the winter. I wouldn’t get many drops of ‘saft’, but what I got will be worth it’s weight in gold when winter sets in. I thus decided on ‘saft’. 20120816-210736.jpg

Here is what you need: I had about 650grams of berries and simply halfed the amount, added a comma and litre instead of kilos for the measurement, resulting in (650/2=325) 3,25 dl of water. Divide the weight of the fruit by 3 to find how much sugar you need (650/3= approximately 200grams of sugar).

For one kilo of berries you then need:

  •  half a litre of water (1000gr/2=500) 5 dl
  • about 330 grams of sugar (1000/3=333)

20120816-210748.jpgAdd the berries and water to a pot and let it boil for about ten minutes. Add a muslin cloth to a pasta drainer (or similar) put this over a bowl and sieve the ‘saft’ through the cloth. Tie the corners of the cloth together, and hang it over the bowl and remove the pasta drainer. Hang it for about an hour or until it is so cold that you can squeeze what remains of the juice out of the cloth. 

Put the juice back into a pot and add the sugar. Heat it until the sugar has dissolver and leave to cool under a lid. Add to boxes (for freezing) or sterilised jars or bottles (for storage).

When the winter comes with its viruses and colds you will now have some proper c-vitamin shockers to aid your immune system. Drink it hot or cold and enjoy! 🙂

Rørte jordbær – easy strawberry jam

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My mother-in-law makes a killer strawberry jam. I have never done so myself, or at least not been aware that I was actually making jam. But this year I wanted to take advantage of the many berries we have every summer, and also to try and reduce the amount of store bought jam Son eats (and thus also the sugar he eats every day). Husband and I tried ourselves, but it was nothing like his mom’s. I was also keen on trying to keep it as natural as possible and did not want to add store bought pectin or acids where I was unsure about the content (I don’t mind either, but the pectin usually found in stores here is rarely simply extracted from fruit…). We ended up with a runny, but still tasty, goo. It was good, but not what we had set out to make…20120816-210520.jpg

I read up a bit and found agar. We did some experimenting with that, but were quite disappointed. And the jam we wanted to make was supposed to be quite runny, so we didn’t really need it. We then went directly to the source. 20120816-210539.jpgHome made, non-cooked, strawberry jam is supposed to be lumpy. It’s supposed to be sweet without being to sweet. And it has to taste like freshly picked strawberries. A normal mixer will make it into smoothie. But mother-in-law showed me the whisker! And that’s all you need to make the jam! Simply dice the strawberries (cut them in half or into four), put them in a bowl and whisk them together with a bit of lemon juice (this will slightly increase the life expectancy of the jam). Find a big spoon and add a little jam to a smaller spoon (the taste-spoon) and taste (this way you don’t have to put your fingers in the jam, nor add your saliva to the mix). Strawberries vary much depending on type, season, weather etc, so you don’t know how much sugar you want to add unless you taste it. You’ll be amazed at how little you need at times.

I freeze my jam in smaller boxes that will easily disappear after a few days, and that are also easily defrosted in the fridge. That way I can whenever I want add a little taste of summer to the table in during the coldest winter days, with all the goodness of freshly picked summer strawberries. Enjoy!

Raspberries

20120816-210940.jpgWe didn’t have much luck when trying to find berries to pick ourselves this year. It simply has not been a good season for some berries, and some, while, where they were available to us the bushes simply let us down. But luckily for us we have found some good deals. We did find four kilos of raspberries for a decent sum. And the results of the find with recipes will follow soon!