Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Rice Porridge/risengrynsgrøt

Today is one of the favorite days in my year. I am decorating for Advent. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, the first candle in the Advent wreath will be lit during breakfast, the Advent star will shine in the livingroom window, purple wil be the dominant colour. I have a secret cupboard down in the basement where I keep all my Advent and Christmas decorations, and I am bursting with anticipation every year when I open the cupboard on the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, to look through my treasures. Monday is December 1st, and my Advent Basket will be waiting for me in the morning, the basket fillings are all down in the basement cupboard somewhere.
I spend most of today at home, and surrounded with so many memories from the past I get a need for some traditional cooking. All through my childhood, and also when our own kids were small, we used to have "risengrynsgrøt", rice porridge, for Saturday lunch. Nowadays I make it only occationally, but today was a perfect porridge day.

4 servings (+ some leftover for "rislapper")
3dl porridge rice
3dl water
1liter milk

Boil porridge rice and water for a few minutes. Add the milk, get it to the boiling point, turn donw the heath and let it "almost boil" for about 45 minutes, Add a little salt.

Serve with butter, sugar, cinnamon and raisins

Monday, November 24, 2008

Limonade from the garden

The kitchen is mostly my domene, at least when we talk about preparing food. My husband often comes after the meal is finished to help with the cleaning. (praise to him!). But from time to time Terje decides that he wants to "make some food". The coming month will be a busy one for him, as he is a great Christmas cookies baker. I can't wait to all the delicious smells which will float from the kitchen when he starts.
Last week-end he woke to a kitchen day. In the freezer he found the berries he had put there a few months back, now it was time to transform them into limonade.
Black and red currants were the main ingredients this time. We have a limonade boiler, old bottles were warmed in the oven, and soon a warm, sweet smell filled the house.

This limonade is the best you can get, giving us a taste of summer all year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Salmon for breakfast

It is snowing outside, King Winter came early and he came strong. Indoors it is time for fires, mugs of tea, hot chocolate and books. Piles of books. I have a long list of books I want to hike my way through this winter, and I have a year's subscription of Food and Travel to enjoy. They are nicely stacked in a woven basket, waiting patiently for me to armchairtravel the world through recipes and colourful photos. And there are cookbooks. Cookbooks are not only for recipes, mostly for me they are for reading, enjoying, mindtravelling.
Most of all though, Sunday mornings are for long, slow breakfasts.
In the fridge I found a few tiny little pieces of smoked salmon. The girls love salmon, so when we buy some, I never know how long it will last, or rather, I know it will not last long. But the few small pieces were enough for me and Terje to get the right taste of salmon with our omelette. And with some foccaccia from last night, warmed to get back some of the fresh, crisp taste, the leftover breakfast became a perfect feast for a dark November morning.

3 eggs
some cream, milk or water
spring onion

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Foccaccia topped with pear.

A long, quiet Sunday at home. It was snowing lightly outdoors when I woke up and I knew that the day would be perfect for reading, listening to music, quilting, and some kitchen fun.
We had a late breakfast my husband and I, both girls were sleeping over with friends. Music on, chatting about this and that. Bread with fruits and nuts from a bakery downtown, alot of tea. Sunday morning breakfast just as I dream them to be.
But breakfast bread doesn't last for ever, and while it was still too early to start to prepere the moose soup for an early dinner, I decided to bake a sweet foccaccia. Two almost overripe pears were in the fruit bowl together with apples and oranges, perfect for a foccaccia topping.
25g fresh yeast
3dl lukewarm water
ca 5dl white flour
Put the yeast in the baking bowl, add a little salt and sugar. Let the yeast melt.
Add the water and stir well.
Add flour and stir more.
Let the dough rise for half an hour.
Glaze a baking tin, about 20x30cm with olive oil. Put the dough in the tin, add sliced pears, sugar and cinnamon.
Rise for yet 30 minutes.
Bake at 220C for about 25 minutes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Okra, inspired from India

During my weeks in India I learned about new fruits and vegetables almost every day. I loved to go grocery shopping with Carolyn, as most of the shopping she did was vegetables, and I loved to watched while she cooked one creative dish after another. I found most of the vegetables tasty, though some did not correspond with my tastebuds....... My favorite though was okra. Fried okra was served several times, and I helped myself again and again, enjoying this new to me taste.
We usually have a late dinner on Friday nights here in The Blue Café. Today I've been to the fishmarket downtown to find a treat for dinner, and on my way back to work I passed one of the many small Asian grocery shops which are to be found in Trondheim. I went in just to have a look at the vegetables, and to my surprise and pleasure I found that they sold okras. I didn't hesitate, but bought a bunch, and couldn't wait to come home to fry them.
Ingrid, Marta and cousin Mathilde found the taste strange, and will probably need more time to get used to it, Terje liked the new taste, I loved it. Fried in olive oil in a deep wok pan, sprinkled with Maldon salt, it tasted just as good as the okras I ate in South India.
My kitchen and my cooking is changing, more creativity, new tastes, colours.....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ginger tea on a chilly night

Winter is on its way to my corner of the world. Frost has come and covered the grass out in the garden with a thin white film. I am only just home from the warm and sunny Indian days and don't feel ready for frost yet.
I was tempted to make myself a mug of thick, hot chocolate last night, and the thought made my mouth water. But then I thought better of it. Why not make a nice, healthy cup of ginger tea instead. And sweeten in with some fruit.
Ginger is good for the body, good for my arthritis, and felt even better with a nice book, and a couple of candles to give a feeling of warmth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pomegranate and yoghurt

I am back in my own kitchen, back to my own busy days, and with me from India I've brough alot of ideas which I hope can come alive in my own kitchen.
So far I haven't done very much cooking. The days and nights have been too busy. I don't want life to be too busy for cooming, but I can't always make my days exactly the ways I want them. A job and a family need time, time I give willingly. Meanwhile my kitchen is there, patiently waiting, and I know that days will come when more time can be spent making new and traditional dishes.
Today Marta came downtown after school and we had pizza together. Then we had some shopping to do for her upcoming dance performance before it was time to go back to school and a parent-teacher appointment. Home from that it was time for homework for her, writing for me, and suddenly it is almost bedtime. The pizza made me thirsty, so for a late night snack I've made a bowl of yogurt and pomegranate seeds - directly inspiration from South India :-)
Pomegranate youghurt
fill a small bowl with plain yoghurt
add pomegranateseeds
can it be any easier than this?