Friday, June 29, 2007

Time for the first harvesting.

There is something satisfactory about the feeling of harvesting from what you are growing, or harvesting from the fields or the woods. We make something from "nothing", we use our green thumbs, we are saving for rainy days......and we connect with our foremothers.
Today it was time to harvest the rhuburbs. I have made cakes and pies for several weeks, using fresh rhuburb stalks. Today I cut down all the biggest ones, leaving the smallest to give nutrition back to the roots for next year.
Rhuburb marmelade is easy to make. Peel the skin from the stalks and wash them in cold water directly from the tap. Cut into small pieces, 1-2 cms. Put the pieces in a saucepan, add sugar (I use about 750 gram with 1 kg rhuburbs). Boil till the rhuburbs are smooth. Add some a few drops of lemon juice and a teaspoon of vanilla sugar and fill the marmelade in hot glasses.
You now have a perfect taste of summer for cold days. And for warm ones :-)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Anniversary snack

Today is our 27th anniversary. We have been on a drive around the Trondheim Fjord, which you can read about in The House in the Woods tomorrow. We had a very good salmon lunch around noon, and though we had originally planned to have a family dinner tonight, with three of our kids (the forth is in Australia), we changed our minds and stopped at our son Øystein's flat on our way home from the drive to have coffee, icecream and strawberries instead of going home to make a heavy dinner.
But we ate lunch early, so tonight we were both in for a treat. We are leaving for two weeks in Italy on Monday, and we will be away for a wedding this week-end, so I try not to grocery shop right now, and instead use what we already have. And out of that came "Leek bruschetta with feta cheese"
I fried some leeks in olive oil, and at the end of the frying I added some feta cheese (left over from a pasta saled earlier in the week). Then fried some pieces of French bread I bought yesterday.....again in extra virgin olive oil. Topped the fried bread with the leek/feta cheese mixture, and......a perfect treat for a light supper.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Squash with honey fried pine nuts

I love these long and sunny summer days when I have time enough to plan our meals, time enough to take a walk over to one of the nearby grocery stores and time enough to actually cook a real meal.

Every day I get inspiration from Ilva at Lucullian Delights, and a few days ago Ilva gave us the recipe of a zuccini salad. I bought a squash today and decided to use her idea as a beginning, but made my own changes. So out of that came a "squash with honey fried pinenuts" which I served as a starter out at The Blue Table for today's dinner.

We were five around the table today, so I cut 10 slices of squash which I fried in olive oil. But before frying the squash I had already prepared the pinenuts, frying them in olive oil and then sprinkling them in a sweet Italian miele di accasia (honey).

I served the starter cold, and since the lavendels and the boragos are not blooming in The Blue Garden yet, I decorated the plate with small violas which grows wild in the garden.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


"Martnan" - the market, is going on in Trondheim for three days. Martnan is an annual event with roots back to medieval times. There are hundreds of stalls, most of then totally without any interest, but this the Martnan is an event we have to visit.
An in between the cheap stalls you find treasures. Especially the food stalls where you can buy traditional food. Dried sausages and a very special honey cake have been favoriets since my childhood. And also a special cookie called "rømmebrød". I bought a box, and we had some for supper tonight, with brown goat cheese.
The quilt in the background, a crazy star, was handpieced and handquilted by me some years ago.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Guests in the Blue Café

Summer vacation, and time enough to invite my two best friends for lunch on a Monday.
As so often before I forgot to take all the photos I had planned. Always so much to think about to prepare the food, make the table, get flowers from the garden and so on.
But from the photos I have, you shall be able to see glimpses of the Greek inspired pasta salad, and also the last piece of the foccatia.

There are a few leftovers. Welcome to The Blue Café.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

Vanilla sauce for the rhuburb pie

Vacation time, Friday night and a quiet house without kids. A perfect night for making something sweet. Terje had so many nice words to say about my rhuburb pie last time I made it, so I decided to go for another one. Lat time we ate it with ice cream, but today I couldn't find any icecream left in the fridge, so I decided to make a vanilla sauce.
I mixed 4 dl skimmed milk, one egg, 1teaspoon of potato flour and two tablespoons of sugar. Heated it untill it almost started to boil and took it off the plate. When it started to cool I added vanilla sugar.

We ate out on the kitchen veranda, a roofed veranda where we get the late night sun.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer solstice

The longest day of the year, and here in Trondheim it is a beautiful, warm and sunny day. We have just had a late dinner out in the blue garden - 8 around the taco table. And a perfect day is ended with peppermint tea. The peppermints in the herb garden are growing almost too fast.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer at the table

During the summer months you always find colourful salads on the table in The Blue Café. As soon as the frost is out of the soil I have the salad seeds planted, and it usually doesn't take long untill the first greens are up. From then on the vegetable garden gets daily visits from me.
I use to colour my salads blue with borago flowers, but the borago is not blooming yet, so other flowers will have to do. The beautiful purple flowers of chives are often used, but tonight, making a salad for supper (our son Øystein phoned last night to let me know that he would stop on his way home from work to have supper with us) I found some wild daisies.

Green ruccola salad, mozzarella, cherry tomatos and purple flowers. I love the dance on this plate.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pasta salad - leftovers.

Terje has renovated our master bedroom, and today it was finally time to move in there again, after having slept on the floor up in the attic for some time. I love doing the clean beds and filling the wardrobe with our clothes which have been stored temporary over chairs and on tables in the attic office.

And in between our working we had a lunch break out in The Blue Garden with left overs from yesterday's pasta salad.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cold pasta salad

It is time for summer parties and end of term parties. This afternoon Marta's soccer team will have a barbeque potluck party. Terje will go with her, I am going to celebrate that it is 30 years since I finished High School.

I am making a cold pasta salad to send with them to the party. The herbgarden is growing so fast these days, and we are feasting on herbs at every meal now.

With the cold pasta I mix leeks, tomatoes, green iceberg salad and a good collection of fresh chopped herbs. Then I added olive oil and Maldon salt. A simple and perfect meal which can be eaten alone, or with meat and sausages from the grill.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rhuburb Pie

Is there a better way to praise summer in the kitchen than to make.....and to eat a rhuburb pie :-)
My rhuburbs are growing so fast. I plan to make some marmelade, but haven't found time to do it yet. But Sunday afternoon was the perfect time to make a pie and to enjoy it out in The Blue Garden. With my mother who came to visit us while my father went to a football match (soccer)

Again I cook without a recipe. Made a dough of white flour, butter and cold water and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. Used 2/3 of the dough to cover the pie plate. Let it have 10 minutes in the oven on 175C before adding the chopped rhuburb mixed with sugar and potato flour (English name please....)

Back in oven for about half an hour.

Eaten out in The Blue Garden while still hot, with vanilla sauce and a cup of coffee.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Food for hiking

Hiking is popular in our family, especially when we are at our cabin. We have a favorite mountian we love to climb, Høvikfjellet, and food never tastes better than when you have reached the top and sit sheltered for the wind, on top of the world, with a view which is almost impossible to describe in words. At Whitsun our lunch consisted of bread, eggs and "Norwegian kaviar", coffee, water, and of course chocolate. Chocolate is always allowed when you hike. (May be that's why I love hiking so much.......)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A snack in the Blues.

I had a very early lunch in town with Marta, and we plan to have a late dinner out in the Nordic summer-light garden. Around 5pm I was starving, and I decided to make myself a little snack.
The ruccola salad is ripening in the herbgarden, and I picked the first leaves to eat. In the fidge I had some cherry tomatoes and a mozzarella cheese, and I also had a piece of old and dry bread which I toasted.

I filled a small ceramic bowl with extra virgin olive oil, filled a glass with tapped water and a piece of lime. And filled another glass (bought in Prague last summer) with some Italian white wine.

I carried it all out in the Blue Garden, and the afternoon hour was mine. Accompanied by a Gertrude Jekyll garden book - but that will be the theme for tomorrow's Booktalk on a Sunday in my House in the Woods.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

cucumber salad

It is not my intention to ignore The Blue Café, but life the last weeks have been really busy. I have been travelling quite alot, I am busy at work, and when wonderful summer weather came a few days ago the garden is calling my name, loud and clear.

There is still always food to prepare though, and I stick to my slow food philosophy, trying to buy as little ready made (fast food) as possible. And now, with the herbgarden bursting with fresh herbs in a choir of sweet fragrances, it is so much fun to make healthy food.

With fried fish, like the pollock we had the other day, I make a cocumber salad which we all love. I have learned to make alot, and when the meal is over there is never any leftovers.

I make a fluid of vinegar (made last autumn with herbs from The Blue Garden), water, olive oil and (alot) of sugar. Then I add chopped herbs "of the day", the one in the photo has chives. One or two cucumbers are peeled and cut into very thing slices using the Norwegian invention "osthøvel". Cover the cucumber slices in the vinegar and let it rest some minutes before eating.

It is perfect with fish and potatos and a little (or alot) of sour cream/rømme.