apr 21 2009

Visiting Oma

Published by under Meg og mitt liv

Most Norwegians try to go to skiing in the mountains during the Easter holiday, cabintrips, etc., this year I went to visit my grandmother (Oma) in Germany. Instead of snow and cold, I got sun and almost summer-like temperatures. Going from grey, snowy, not cold/not warm Oslo to the little village she lives in felt like fast-forwarding from one season to another; her garden was blooming with tulips and crocuses and daffodils, the bees and bumblebees were humming around like it had never been winter, and the little birds that she feeds every day with homemade (!) bird food wake me up every morning with beautiful song and I wasn’t even annoyed by having to get up at 7.30 am during my vacation. The simple reason for that was the fantastic everyday-breakfast; the smell of freshly made toasted bread and coffee was too good to sleep in to. And the dinners! Oh my, I got everything I’ve craved since my last visit and more; memory-laden comfort food.

German gourmet food
- Seidewürstle (some kind of delicious wiener hot dog), brown vinegar lentils, Spätzle (German speciality, think noodles) and a locally brewed pilsener. Yum! I’m going to make my mother teach me how to make Spätzle, but it’s hard, it requires a special cutting board and knife, and a loot of patience.
German gourmet food
Sausagesalad with ham, pickles and that wonderful black sausage from the Saturday farmers market, plus a slice of delicious sour dough stone oven potato bread. I just can’t get the ingredients for this dish home in Norway, we’re lightyears away from the selection and abundancy of different food types that you can get in other countries. It sucks!In this little village there’s a farmers market EVERY Saturday, in Oslo there’s one every couple of months, half the size of the one in Nagold.
Except from eating, reading non-scientific books (the luxury!), napping, smelling the flowers and sunbathing in the garden, we went to Wilhelma, the zoo in Stuttgart I’ve talked about before in this blog. We came just in time to see the Magnolia trees blossoming, and what a sight that was – breathtakingly beautiful. I love the fact that this zoo not only focuses on the animals, but also spends a lot of resources on the botanical part of the zoo. I took like a million pictures with my mothers camera (mine is still broken), here’s a few of them:
Wilhelma zoo
Wilhelma zoo
Wilhelma zoo
- I just adore those big and lucious, light pink magnolia blossoms.
Wilhelma zoo Wilhelma zoo
- Three of my favourites: Wilbär and his polarbearmama, and the Cuban tree rat.
I came home with recharged sleep – and energystorages, a suitcase filled with smoked dried sausages, chocolate, whisky, and what one theoretically could call  a tan (increased amount of freckles); I call that A Good Vacation!

 

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mar 31 2009

Lentil craze!

Published by under oppskrifter,Ukategorisert

Lentils are a great ! I never ate them during childhood, except maybe once or twice while visiting my grandmother, but my mother would never make them for dinner. Not until I moved into my own place and I started cooking – I mean really COOKING things from scratch, reading food blogs, try to learn everything there is about good food – I stumbled over the wonderfully diverse group of legumes called lentils. They are cheap, you can always have them in your pantry since they’re dried, they’re full of stuff thats good for you, they’re a healthy alternative to potatoes/pasta/bread and other starchy food, and they don’t take a long time to cook!  – They contain dieatry fiber, lots of different aminoacids (proteins), minerals and folate – need I say more?  The only thing you have to do is to rince them in cold water a couple of times, and pick out un-purities like small pebbles before you start cooking.

There’s a huuge variety of lentils out there, but I especially like the green puy lentils, the small red ones, and the yellow split lentils.

File:3 types of lentil.jpg

Read more about lentils on Wikipedia

I especially like to use lentils in Indian curries, but I’ve also mashed them up for use in veggie burgers, in soups, in salads with a nice vinaigrette or in a stew, like this one: It started out like a soup, but then I just added all the lentils I had in my pantry since I had like three different kinds of jars that were getting empty, and the soup got thick, mushy and stewey. The following days I would alternate between reheating the leftovers for a warm lunch, or eating it cold, like a spread on thick slices of bread, with some extra roasted onions on top – yummy! Lentils keep well in the fridge for at least a couple of days in a thight container.

Multi-purpose lentil stew/soup/spread

Approximately:

- 1-2 tbs of red curry paste

- 1-2 tsp hot madras curry powder

- 2 big carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons

- 2 big yellow onions, diced into small pieces

- 1 big sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes

- 2 medium big potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

- 1/4 of a medium-small cabbage head, sliced into strips, then squares

- 1 – 2 cups of brown  lentils (also called puy lentils)

- 1/2 cup yellow lentils

-1 big red capsicum

- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes

- 1 can of coconutcream (I would’ve used 2, but forgot to buy more)

- enough chicken-/vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and lentils after you’ve added the tomatoes and coconutmilk.

I had to divide the stuff among two casserolles and ended up with huge amounts of food, so about half of this would be enough for 4 people, I think. I let everything simmer and bubble for at least an hour, adjusting with some water to avoid the stew from getting too dry.

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