Friday, July 27, 2007

Strawberries.

This summer has not been a good summer for the strawberries. In the southern parts of Norway it has been too much rain, here wher I live it has been too dry.
I bought six kilos of strawberries at the market earlier this week and had to pay a fortune. But it is well worth it. We ate a few that same day, and I made jam for the freezer. And as soon as I had finished conserving the berries I made fresh bread. Supper that night, with a table filled with us and houseguests, was lukewarm, bread with fresh strawberry jam. Delicious.



Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pizza recipe for my brother Børge

The house is still filling up with summer guests, and alot of my time is spent in the kitchen. A couple of hours ago we sayd goodbye to guests, in half an hour we are expecting the house to be filled with new house guests. I have a foccatia in the oven and will make a salad as soon as I have posted this blog. Terje will heat the grill.

What I plan to post about now though is the simple pizza of the house. Marta has had two small cousins staying here since yesterday. The weather is gorgeous and they have spent the day playing out in the garden. When lunch time came they were all hungry and I decided to make the pizza of the house - making it the way I love - search the fridge and go. Just as we sat down at The Blue Table, my brother, his wife and their son came to pick up cousin Embla. I had planned a pizza for 6, suddenly we were 9 and it didn't take long to finish every piece of the food.

Børge, this pizza is so simple to make. Here is the recipe for you:

The Blue Garden's Pizza.

Dough is made of :25gr fresh yeast, a little salt and a little sugar which is added to the yeast. When the yeast has melted I add 3dl of lukewarm water and "just enough" white flour.

Let the dough rise for half an hour.

Press the dough out on a plate to fit the oven and cover it with tomato sauce/ketchup, salami and cheese.

Bake in 220C for about 20 minutes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Slowing down.

The party is over. Our house has been filled all day, starting with a birthday breakfast for my sister in law this morning, continuing with celebrating my parents and their golden wedding.
We love company and we love to fill the Blue Garden, but it is also nice when the party is over to sit down in a quiet livingroom, read a few pages from a book, think back to nice moments from the day. Marta has two cousins staying over and I hear alot of chatting and laughter from one of the upstair bedrooms.
I found a piece of bread left over from the lunch, and a boiled egg, and I walked out in the herbgarden for some dill and couldn't resist a few blue borago flowers when I passed by. A simple sandwich can be made into a small feats.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Salad time.

Today is my parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary and we are celebrating all week-end. The main party will be in my parents' flat today with children and grandchildren, 19 all in all (two of the oldest grandsons weren't able to come). And tomorrow we will keep on celebrating in The Blue Garden.
Two of my brothers live out of town, one up north on The Lofoten Island, one in Iceland, and now we are all together here in Trondheim. The House in the Woods is full and the kitchen is busy from early morning till late night.
Greens and colours from the herb garden plays an important role in my kitchen, and these days more and more salads are created. Healthy, tasty and colourfuls. And my fingers have the most delicious smells all day long.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A memory of friendship.

Coming home from work my feet usually take me to the kitchen. I open a cupboard for a pan, the fridge for some meat and vegetables, I walk out in the garden to see what is most tempting in the herbgarden or the vegetable path. I wash my hands and I start cooking. I wear my everyday clothes, a pair of jeans, a blouse or a sweather. Some days my clothes get stains, some days not. In a drawer I have a collection of aprons, old and new, big and small, colourful or plains. But I seldom think of using them. Why is that? I guess the answer is that it is so easy to wash clothers today. I use only natural fiber clothes and our washing machine will be doing some washing anyway - a blouse more or less doesn't matter. In many ways I am old fashioned and it is important for me to take care of old traditions in the kitchen. To cook and bake what we eat instead of buying fast food. To experience with new traditional dishes or to make again when my grandmother taught me. But somewhere along the road I have lost the tradition of wearing an apron.
May be I should start again. I could open the drawer where I keep all my aprons and find one which goes with my mood. Or find one which could protect the blue top I am wearing and which I plan to wear again tomorrow without washing it in between.

__________________________________

I do open the drawer, and deep in the bottom I find a treasure, an apron I am proud to own. Hand stiched Hardanger embroidery made by the old, old fingers of a woman who was my penfriend for many years in my youth. With a gap of almost 70 years between us the letters want fluently back and forth between our mailboxes, and for my confirmation when I was 14 she made me this apron.

The apron is well used, and over the years it has followed me through alot of celebrations and parties - yes this is an apron to use when serving, not when you cook :-). Today it will not go back to the bottom of the drawer. I will find a place for it where I can see it, and my thoughts wanders to dear old Jenny and all my other penpals around the world. A memory of friendship across the borders.

More great apron stories can be found over at Ilva's fantastic food blog.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back home from two weeks in Italty.

We have spent the past two weeks in Italy, feasting on the tasty food of this lovely country. We have stayed in two different flats during our vacation and I have cooked several of our dinners. But mostly we have eaten out - pizzas, pastas, meat and seafood, almost always starting with a bruschetta, always ending the night with a gelati. Sweet dreams.
When we came home late Saturday night our daughter had prepared dinner for us, but yesterday the kitchen was mine again. With an almost empty fridge it was a challenge, but "search and you shall find". And an overgrown herbgarden helped alot.
I made a pizza, and a green salad coloured with the first blue borago and alot of fresh oregano. And I went over to Ilva's foodblog for alot of new inspiration for days and meals to come.