Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pancakes for birthday breakfast

Two birthday kids in two days. We combined and invited to dinner last night, family, mid-20 students and on the step to become teenager girls. A success. Marta, who is 13 years+one day old today had a few of her best friends to sleep over, and this morning I woke them with a pile of pancakes, ready to fill with blueberry jam made of blueberries we picked last summer. Grandma and grandpa, who couldn't come for the dinner last night, came up and had pancakes with us.

Recipe for pancakes? Well, I don't think I have ever used any, never in my life. I learned to make it as a girl, just like I have taught all our kids to make them, still without recipes.

Start with eggs, add milk, melted butter, salt, a little sugar, flour. Stir well, look forward to the meal and the people you will share the pancakes with, keep on stiring. Rest before frying the pancakes. Do the table with more than a teaspoon of love. Enjoy the food, compare blue tongues.

Music for this? Do you have any suggestion?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fishballs in white sauce - typical Norway!

When I do grocery shopping I often have an idea in my head what to buy, which means I also have an idea of what to make for dinner. But some days I like to let the colours in the shop guide me. Like the day I found this beautiful white and green fennel. The day was cold and grey, and after a walk home from work I had wet, wet feet. I needed some comfort food, and knew that the sweet, licorice taste of the fennel would be just perfect. I knew I alreday had fishballs at home, so then the desicion was easy. Fishballs in white sauce is a traditional dish here in Norway. Not the tastiest food there is you might say, but it depends on the sauce, and from time to time I love to make it. And to eat it.

Fishballs in white sauce
the sauce:
melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the pan. add 3 tablespoons of white flour and stir well. add milk, a little at a time and keep on to stir well, till you have a smooth sauce. add salt and white pepper, and as I did this time, thin cut fennel. add the fishballs and warm it all. Serve with potatos and vegetables, we often use raw grinded (wrong word, or?) carrots with a little bit of sugar and lemon juice.

I should really give you some traditional Scandinavian music today, but we are doing a caotic redecoration in the music corner in our livingroom and all my cds are stored away in huge baskets. So the fishballs will have to be eaten in silence. or may be some food talk? Do you have a traditional recipe to share?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fastelavnsboller, pastries before Lent

It is the carnival time, or the last days before Lent starts. A period which is filled with traditions, and often the strongest traditions, those which survive, are the traditions concerning food. On facebook this week-end alot of my friends have written about the baking of "fastelavnsboller" or semlor as Sewdish Ilva call them. I see from what Ilva has written that in Sweden they are typical for Fat Tuesday, and this differes a little from the Norwegian traditions. here they are for Sunday before lent, "fastelavnssøndag".

Traditions are important, and in The Blue Café I try to follow the traditions as best as I can. During the period of carnival the food is rich, you are supposed to fill up before Lent starts. I don't say totally no to meat during Lent, but still I try to make our menues simpler, with less meat, less sweets. Then it is nice to feast with food now, these last days before Lent starts, and the cream filled pastries which we call fastelavnsboller, are perfect for that.


300g butter

1 liter milk or water

100g fresh yeast

1 teaspoon baking powder

a little salt

2dl sugar

white flour

Melt the butter, add milk/water and warm till fingerwarm. Add the fresh yeast. Mix flour, suger and salt and add the fluid. Mix/knead well. Let the dough raise for almost an hour. Bake round pastries and let them raise for at least 30 minutes. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 220C.

Eat them cold, filled with whiped cream. At "fastelavnssøndag" we always hide a miniature Venezian ceramic mask in one of the fastelavndsboller. The one who finds the mask gets a little gift.


Music for the fastelavnsboller? It can't be anything else than Saint Saëns and Le Carneval des Animaux, can it :-)