All posts filed under: Norway

Nordic Around the World Lunch

Ava’s Nordic Lunch

Ah, winter. This week I took inspiration from the chill in the air and went Nordic with Ava’s Around the World Lunch (Nordic simply means the cultural part of Northern Europe that includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic menu is quite simple and can be assembled in about five minutes. For Ava’s main meal, I went Danish: A few slices of dark rye bread smeared with a bit of butter are topped with a translucent slice of smoked salmon. Two smaller slices of bread were topped with cheese – use any mild cheese you like, especially Jalsberg which comes from Norway. Essentially simple Smørrebrød, these open-faced sandwiches include other common toppers such as sliced cucumbers and radishes – which she can eat on their own or turn them into toppers – finger food like this is perfect my kindergartner. Dessert was a few raspberries and a squeezable tube of blueberry skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt known for being super low in sugar and high in protein (a.k.a. my five-year old won’t have a post-lunch energy crash). Ava was SO excited about the Siggi’s – I have a feeling they’re going into the …

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Swedish girl wearing a Midsummer crown. Photo by Bengt Nyman.

22 Campfire & Scandinavian Recipes to celebrate Midsummer’s Night

Midsummer’s Eve – the longest day of the year – is celebrated in dozens of countries with huge bonfires, maypole dancing, and glorious food. In Scandinavia, the sun never fully sets. But even if night falls where you live, you can still celebrate. To get into the spirit, simply drop out of big city chaos and into nature. This is a time to make flower crowns, swim in clear streams, sing hymns, and laugh more than is wise. Some say Midsummer is also a time for love. After long, dark winter the cheerful sun naturally warms hearts. One famous Swedish proverb states: “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” It is also said that, if a woman is to pick seven flowers in silence and places them under her pillow on Midsummer Night, she will dream about her one true love. For me – already fully in love and married with a child – the main purpose of Midsummer is to enjoy the light with my family. Camping is a fantastic way to do …

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Monday Meal Review: Norway

I walk out of the kitchen and the steam immediately slides off my face like a mask. The worst is behind me; one pound of large pink shrimp plucked from the bubbling boil now recline in a cool bowl of ice water. I’m on my way to the dining room with an armful of unlikely friends. First, the mayonnaise. This thick, white creamy spread is never on our table unless guests are present. I grimace, thinking of Ava and Mr. Picky. Oh, how they’ll balk when they see it. Then the capers, a personal favorite. I get lost in their grassy brine, each bite like a prize, bursting in my mouth like a carnival. Despite Keith’s aversion, Ava and I will be happy, this much I know. I also carry a lemon, heavy with juice and canary yellow despite the season. A few fresh sprigs of dill are the finishing touch, their delicate stems like a feather in a hat or a weeping willow, grazing the table with grace. Something I rarely think to use …

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Norwegian Summer Shrimp Party | Shrimp Canapes

When longtime reader Mette suggested a Norwegian-style shrimp party for this week’s Global Table, I knew I was in luck. What could be more summery than cracking and assembling DIY shrimp canapes? Here’s what she said: In summer, people also enjoy a lot of fresh shrimps, eaten cold and very simply with white bread, butter, mayonnaise and a squish of lemon. The shrimps with their shells and heads on are set on the table in a big bowl, and everyone peels their own as they load their sandwiches – it’s slow and messy eating and very sociable, since the mouths are free to talk until the hands are done with the peeling. I couldn’t find any head-on shrimp, but I did find these beauties which I boiled and chilled… Instead of using traditional white bread, I used slices of soft wheat bread cut into dainty circles with cutters (I used the scraps to make baked French toast the next morning). I loaded my canapes up with the salty capers, a splash of lemon juice and …

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Dill & Lemon Pepper Gravlax | Gravlaks

I can be so wimpy. Sometimes I need a little push. A little motivation. Like that time I wanted to dive off the tall board at the pool. It was seventh grade and I was so scared my heart was in my ears. Thump, thump, thump. I could hardly see. Even my knees were woozy. I held hands with a friend and, after a thirty-minute long giggle-hesitation, I actually jumped in. Unfortunately, the force of jumping 15 feet did things to my bathing suit I still don’t want to talk about. I never did jump off that board again, although I’ll always be glad I did. Today is much the same. Gravlax, our second Norwegian dish for our Global Table. The very idea of eating made me weak in the knees. (Tip: Invite a Scandinavian friend over to help get you over those giggle-hesitations). Gravlax is cured salmon, a.k.a. raw salmon that sits in a bed of sugar and salt for three days or until firm and ready to eat. The flavor is typically enhanced with …

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Scandinavian Ring Cake

Scandinavian Ring Cake | Kransekake

When I woke up yesterday I had no intention of losing my wedding rings. In the morning I hugged Malky the cat  and Ava, my daughter. In the afternoon, I did a silly dance with the curtains wide open, daring my neighbors to judge me. Around five o’clock I indulged in a green bottle of bubbly water while sitting by a glittering summer-filled window. I felt the heat (110F in the shade) radiate on my face and I smiled, happy to be inside. I fidgeted with my rings, as I often do whenever happy thoughts cross my mind. Two hours later, Ava’s bedtime arrived. I carefully placed my rings on the coffee table to lotion up my hands. Ava singsonged across the room, her entire body full of giggles, and asked if she could try the rings on.  I nodded with a smile and she tossed them on her tiny fingers. She said, while dangling her bejeweled hand out in front of her, “I’m mama. What you want? I cook you something.” I remember laughing and I remember …

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Menu: Norway (& Giveaway)

I watch the Olympics on the televisions at the gym. Synchronized divers catch my eye as I rappel down a climbing wall from two stories up. (Really, it’s more of an awkward fall since I’m new to rock climbing). I watch gymnasts flip while pedaling with my heartbeat at 150 bpm. Since I don’t have a television, this is my only option. Here’s what I’ve learned: put five golden rings on a wet noodle and my eyes will well up with tears. I love the Olympics. The very logo has seeped into my subconscious. Just look at our Norwegian menu for this week’s Global Table. I didn’t realize it, but I filled our plates with circles, rings, and even the littlest bit of gold (in the form of lemon zest on the gravlaks). Sure, the cake needed to be made of rings, but the bread didn’t have to be cut in circles. Consider it my fun, accidental homage to all the beautiful athletes in the Olympics. Norwegian Summer Shrimp Party [Recipe] Experience summer like a Norwegian – load up the table with …

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A view of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier. Photo Alchemist-hp.

About the food of Norway

Oh Norway, land of the midnight sun. This is the place to go when the world’s drudgery stifles you… when the world just… sticks to your skin. In Norway, the sky feels a million miles away. The air is crisper, cleaner. Sparkling. I spent a weekend in Stavanger, Norway in 1998, where I pitched our way to first place in our softball championship. I remember just breathing, breathing, breathing as deeply as possible. That air – I will always remember it. The fjords seemed to know what I was experiencing; these bohemouth rock walls scraped up into the sky as if they wanted to stretch into the beauty themselves – to become a part of the crystalline air. And it worked. This was a high school trip so there was also the standard curious experience. Like the odd coincidence that we arrived in late spring when the whole town (or so it seemed) was tipsy. Stumbling, bumbling, tipsy. If I remember correctly, we were told this was a standard part of graduation festivities. I do believe I …

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