Friday, August 26, 2016

Autumn, again

Due to some unfortunate / unforeseeable circumstances, our summer was cut short. But all hope isn't lost for this year, since autumn has thankfully had a wonderful start.

On the table above: fresh porcini (not the cat, the mushroom!), drying borage flowers, sweet teeth and various chanterelles, white cream sauce and chopped spring onion.

A handful of black trumpets drying. These were just a little bonus and not our main haul. When we picked the main spot, we covered half of our (very large) table in newspaper to dry them!

Some mushrooms cannot be dried just by leaving them out, but fortunately we invested in this dehydrator last year. It took quite a few hours for these porcini (maybe ten, spaced out?) but the smell this little contraption emitted was heavenly. Heavenly.

For all you newbies, do not be frightened of tiny worms in your mushrooms if drying them. Most of them will fall out as they dry; in our dehydrator they collect at the bottom for easy disposal. However, if there are one or two left.. no worries, they're only extra protein.

Remember that white gravy and spring onions on our table? The gravy was leftover from making flesk og duppe, a traditional no-frills Norwegian dish of thick slices of pork (similar to thick bacon but not smoked), white gravy made with the pork fat, and boiled potatoes.

That gravy (subbed for heavy cream) plus that bowl of mushrooms, onion, three eggs, and a package of frozen puff pastry sheets became the pie in the photo above. Let's just say both Rolf and I had some pretty good lunch days this week!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Right now in the garden

Porcini cat and apples.

Red currant, ripe for the pickin'.

 Fava beans.

Our other blackberry bush (we have at least two different cultivars) flowering.

Borage on the brink of flowering. An interesting little plant. Thick, kinda spiny leaves that taste like cucumber. Apparently it was the original garnish to a Pimms' cup and the sweet blue flowers are lovely in ice cubes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pas de Deux

One of our first posts here showed our (now improved) winemaking setup. The wine being racked in those photos was the first one I ever took seriously, a pure raspberry wine, back in 2014. Immediately after, I made what is called a "second wine" by reusing the raspberry mash plus additional fresh fruit (rhubarb) to help kickstart the fermentation.  

Now that wine has really been getting around this summer..

Pictures from a little seaside town in Sweden (care of Jamie) and a meeting at Indre Oslo Matforedling (care of their Instagram).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

On our plates: apricot risotto + friends

Apricot risotto dressed up with parmesean and edible flowers, smoked (on the grill) salmon, steamed brocolini and super delicious turnips.

Pickle bonus: sour peppers (made by my good friend Jamie) and sweet rhubarb with star anise and lemongrass (made from the garden).

Right now in the garden

Peony buds. Rolf believes that ants help open the flowers by eating their sweet dew.

Porcini blissing out in the neighbor's tall grass. We don't know the exact cultivar, but it is very fragrant. The cat is smelling strongly of vanilla all the time time now.

Rolf's herb corner with freshly harvested Norwegian oregano (to the left) with mint behind. Tall and proud lovage to the left. A mix of thyme, sage, witer savory and terragon in the middle.

Gooseberries getting close.

Fava bean plants, flowering. So pretty.

Around the cabin

Red clover destined for kombucha, sweet and full of nectar. Immature ramson (ramsløk) seeds accidentally picked in the garden. At NOMA they pickle them and used them like capers. Since we don't have quite enough to do this, we are eating them raw. Rather spicy and delicious!

My spring loppis project come to fruition: an ode to Norwegian artist Anne Marie Ødegaard.

Loppis are flea markets held at primary schools and are the absolute best. I collected about half of the tiles there, the other half I purchased online from a super kind Trønder. Originally these all came in big gold frames, bulky collectibles produced by a company called Porsgrund in the 1970s. The collectibles themselves have apparently fallen out of favor, but I love her images and now get to see them every summer morning while brushing my teeth.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Back at the cabin

Last fall Rolf felled two of our three ancient apple trees. This little replacement is called Discovery and will hopefully produce as soon as next year. Our "family" plum tree (with three different cultivars so they pollinate each other) planted last year already has several baby plums on it.

Everything about our cabin and garden are a work in progress. Nevertheless, its quite lovely being here. And this summer light! Note the (soon to be occupied) fermentation vessel.

Still baking sourdough bread despite the miniature oven..

Letting some of the second crop of rhubarb grow in darkness to preserve the ruby red color.

Behind the house in a shady bed: the valerian is thriving and even seeded itself (top left) among the flowering ramsons (ramsløk) and wild strawberry.

Black tulips popping up around the blackberry bush after all the other tulips have gone
Last but not least, an ecstatic Porcini frolicking among the flowering Chinese chives.