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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

The end of our Summer in Mariestad

Today is the last day of our official summer vacation in Mariestad. It is always a bit of a sad day when we pack up and go back to Oslo. Not that we don’t enjoy Oslo of course but this place is our holiday place, where the days are free and we relax in what we think of as our summer paradise. Although the locals may protest that the past couple weeks have been neither summer nor paradise (lets just say the flowers aren’t going to dry up while we are gone) we have made the best of it and have been out and about in the city and on the beach every day and all in all had a very lovely summer.

SunsetMariestadBryg

Beautiful Harbour Sunset taken with Nokia X6

We were lucky to have relatively good weather when Dad and Teri were here, and enjoyed a boat trip on Lake Vänern. That day was unbelievably gorgeous, a perfect day to fill up Dad’s photo album. (We helped him a bit too!) Here you can see Mariestad approached from the water. RennyBA is blogging about this boat trip as we speak – or rather write – so you can get all the details over at his place!

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Approaching Mariestad from the Lake

In fact we visited the lake as much as possible. This is our peaceful place, our photo place and our romantic place. The beautiful nature is part of what makes Mariestad called Vänern’s Pearl, and a part of the reason our summer home is located here too.

Vanern

A windy wonderful day

And regardless of the weather we enjoyed good food, here I have a larger kitchen and more time then I do at home so we are always cooking up something good in the kitchen. In short this summer we ate.

restaurantsteak

Steak with onions, grilled veggies, and fries

And ate.

homecookedshrimp

Grilled Shrimp with Artichoke, and grilled veggies

And ate.

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Homemade Pizza is best!

But not it is time to pack up our summer things and return to Oslo.

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RennyBA and his new little Fabia

We have to be home on Thursday to meet some other blog friends who could not join us for OsloBG but were in the area now instead, and then we have some last minute planning and arrangements to make, plus a personal engagement on Saturday. The clock is ticking now my friends. In just over a week the grand event begins! Stay tuned……

Shining start to Midsummer in Sweden

Midsummer is a great celebration in Sweden, where one celebrates the light of this year’s longest day and the flowering vegetation. In Norway we celebrate St. Hans which is basically the same but set on a regular date of June 24. Midsummer festival in Sweden is always on the weekend closest to the 24 June – with a midsummer evening on Friday and midsummer day on Saturday.

Perfect Midsummer Weather

Perfect Midsummer Weather

We were of course in Norway for St. Hans and this was the last day of my trip to the mountains which you can read about in my last post. We have in recent years traveled to our summer home in Sweden for midsummer celebration because we think it is such a lovely time. We rolled into Sweden yesterday afternoon in time to celebrate midsummer eve with good company and a bit of cold beer and wine as is the custom hehehe at least for us.

Today was midsummer day and I have never experienced a more beautiful one. The weather was absolutely perfect. We started the day with coffee on the balcony where I soaked in the sun and tried to get a bit more color.

Guest Harbor in Mariestad

Guest Harbor in Mariestad

A short time later we took a trip into the town. Most shops and businesses are closed but thankfully the ice cream kiosk was open so we took an ice cream on the docks and watched the pretty boats sailing in and out of the guest harbor. Mariestad is a bit of a touristy town in the summer and there are always many nice pleasure boats visiting the harbor.

A trip to the beach is popular

A trip to the beach is popular

The weather was so fine that a trip to the beach was in order. I was obviously not the only one who had that idea because the beach was full of happy families who also felt this was a good way to celebrate the day. This is a great beach because the water warms up fairly quickly. I would guess the water temp was around 20 degrees Celsius – 70 Fahrenheit.

Gilled Salmon with Hollandaise

Gilled Salmon with Hollandaise

To finish off a perfect midsummer day we need to have an appropriate dinner. Fish is of course summer food, especially when it is grilled and eaten on the balcony of our summer home. What a lovely way to spend the day. If you want to experience summer in Scandinavia, remember it’s not too late to join Oslo Blog Gathering 2010!

Summer parties and trips galore

Ah summer has come to Norway, a busy season for us here. We have to get in all the activities and parties we can while the nice warm weather lasts. Okay some might discuss how warm it actually is, everything is relative you know!

A crown of flowers for the child statue

A crown of flowers for the child statue

My calendar is getting full of summer parties and activities before more than half the nation disappears on vacation – off to their summer cottages, or maybe a little trip outside the country. Lets see, on Friday I am going to Tusenfryd with some kids from the center. In the evening our work is having its Summer Party at the home of one of my coworkers.

The Loop at Tusenfryd

The Loop at Tusenfryd

On Saturday <a href="“>RennyBA and I are invited to a BBQ mixer at long time blog friend A….since it is a bit outside of the city we will be staying the night and drive home again the next day.

Fresh Shrimp Sandwich

Fresh Shrimp Sandwich

Then on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week we will be taking women and children up to a cottage in the mountains.

Outdoor fun

Outdoor fun

Summer vacation is coming full steam into our lives at this time of the year. My oldest son finished his 2nd year of University last week, and my youngest son has just a few days left of his Junior year in High School. They are of course deliriously happy (well when they aren’t sleeping…which is a lot with teenage boys).

Good and Green

Good and Green

Our summer vacation will be starting late this year at least by Norwegian standards. We have lots of interesting things planned this summer. My Dad and step mom are coming to visit the last week in July and staying a couple weeks, the week after he goes home we have a wedding in the family to attend to, and the yes yes you know what I am going to say, it’s the week of OSLO BLOG GATHERING 2010!! So just you stick around I am sure I will have plenty to post about this summer.

Folk Dance and living history at Norwegian Folk Museum

On Sunday the Norwegian Folk Museum held a rural folk dance this weekend so of course we had to be there. It is a lot of fun to watch Norwegian folk dance, and the traditional costumes called Bunad are very special indeed. Sewn after exact and traditional patterns they are quite expensive and valued for their tradition and connection to the owner’s local roots.

Bunad clad girls at the Folk Museum

Bunad clad girls at the Folk Museum

The Norwegian Folk Museum is a living museum with a collection of 150 buildings representing the different regions of Norway. The buildings are original carefully relocated to this one collection site. My entire family loves this museum. I remember so well how my children loved to join the Sunday activities, pet the horses, eat traditional lefse and most of all to explore the buildings which were open.

Regional costumes in traditional setting

Regional costumes in traditional setting

There were dancers on the main stage, and smaller groups scattered around the areas which represented their home communities. To see a video of the dancing and get a closer look visit RennyBA’s blog and check out his take on the day.

Telemark dance in full swing

Telemark dance in full swing

The children also loved the occasion, and it is good to see the tradition is carried down the line.

Children showing their skills

Children showing their skills

In addition to the dancing there was of course food. Many brought food to grill as all the local dance clubs were invited and admitted free. Some also had samples of local foods for us to try different tastes from different regions of the country.

Trying traditional delicacies

Trying traditional delicacies

If you would like to wander back into time with us, remember you are welcome to join us at the Oslo Blog gathering. The more the merrier, and if there isn’t dance at the Folk Museum when we are there we will happily dance with joy because you were able to join us!

Chinese Hot Pot 火锅 party in Oslo, Norway

Delicous hotpot on my table

Delicous hotpot on my table

This must be the funnest dinner I have had in a long long time. My friend and I made chinese hot pot and gathered the family around the table for an oriental delight with seafood, meat, dumplings, fish-tofo and fresh vegetables…all going in to the pot of course a little bit at a time!

My good friend Patricia called me yesterday and asked if we had any plans. My friend and her husband play bridge with RennyBA and I, and it has been ages since we got together. She wondered if we wanted to eat together, and of course I said yes. It was just like the good old days. You see Patricia and I met at our Norwegian class. We are both married to Norwegian men and arrived in this strange land less than a month apart. We hit it off quickly in our Norwegian class back in 1999, and have been friends ever since. In the “old days” we would go shopping in the district of town where there is the most asian food, Torggata in Oslo Center (those coming to the Blog Gathering can also visit here) and we would buy some good asian food to make for dinner. I for one love Chinese food, and missed the good food from New York. I always argue we have the best Chinese food outside of China, but of course I may be predjudice. To me at least it tasted like home and I always wanted to learn how to make these great tastes. Patricia lived with her family until she moved to Norway, so she actually hadn’t cooked that much herself but she knew a lot from her mother. So we experimented together and we learned a lot, and had lots of fun too.

Adeptly slicing the salmon

Adeptly slicing the salmon

Now it is some years later and Patricia has gotten quite good. However you need not be a master cook to make hot pot. Patricia and I went on a shopping trip in the Asian supermarkets and bought lots of delicacies to have in our hot pot. Chinese hot pot is made with a simmering metal pot of spiced stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot either set in to cook for a short time or in small basket spoons (so they don’t sink) and are cooked at the table. Our hot pot dishes were shrimp, scallops, salmon, cod tongue, pork, beef, leafy greens, bitter melon, asian cucumber, fishtofu, tofu, butter beans, several types of mushrooms, tofu, wontons, chinese meat balls and fish patties. The cooked food is then eaten with a dipping sauce. As you can see in the picture it was quite a lot of food. Good thing my two sons joined us for dinner, and I can assure you everyone was stuffed, and no we did not manage to eat it all.

Hot pot ingredients

Hot pot ingredients

But we sure did have a fun time trying!! Today we were at Holmenkollen Ski Jump and will soon be posting about that, so stop back soon and visit RennyBA for more culinary adventures!