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Good Friday Fried Haddock

I am breaking up my Malta Posts to bring you Good Friday dinner 🙂 We are now in the Easter weekend and most of you should have the weekend off now. We are leaving tomorrow for Renny’s home town Porsgrunn for our annual Easter Bunny Egg Hunt, read about it here at RennyBA’s Terella. I spent half the day combing the stores for alternative Easter goodies and food to meet the needs of our 3 family vegetarians. Renny’s niece is a vegetarian, his son is a semi vegetarian and very health concious, and my darling boy Justin is Vegan – which means he don’t eat eggs, milk, honey, or any product coming from animals. So I had to fax the Easter bunny a list of acceptable foods. The Easter bunny is very understanding about this, being a vegetarian himself….

For the traditional Easter eggs we had to avoid milk and gelatin which is used in most of those gummy candies. So this year the Easter bunny will have to find milk free dark chocolate, bannana chips, nuts, lollipops (not containing bees wax) and hard candy (same). For the kids eating regular candy we have some of the usual fare as well. I think everyone will be pleased.

Then for the traditional Easter cookout on the fire. Since the veggi group aren’t big on hotdogs I made grilled vegetables. These are finished here in my oven and will be packed in foil and layed in the fire until they are rewarmed. This actually works out well because the seasonings I added have a day to mix into the potatoes and vegetables.
Here is the recipe. Non vegetarians like it too!

grilledveggies

Vegan Althernative, Grilled Vegetable Medley

Grilled Vegetable Medley
Ingredients:

1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 pound whole button mushrooms sliced
1 lb potato weges
12 whole cherry tomatoes
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 large Spanish onion
2 pieces corn on the cob cut into pieces
1 garlic clove chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
parsley, to taste
oregano, to taste
basil, to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup Italian dressing

Mix together and grill in thoe oven for about an hour.

friedhaddock

Southern Fried Haddock

Then I had the urge to make fried fish just like my mommy used to fix, of course she bought it on her way home from work freshly fried and didn’t actually involve herself in the frying of it but since I don’t have that option I learned to make it myself. And share the recipe with you too!

Southern Fried Fish

Marinated in creamy buttermilk, coated with a crispy cornmeal batter, and then deep friend to a golden brown, flaky fish prepared Southern-style is divine.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound haddock fillets
1 1/2 cups fine cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
seafood seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Directions: In a small bowl, mix buttermilk, water, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into a flat pan large enough to hold the fillets. Spread fish in one layer over bottom of pan, turning to coat each side, and set aside to marinate.
In a resealable plastic bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, and seasoning. Add fish to mixture, a few fillets at a time, and tumble gently to coat evenly. Heat oil in deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry fillets until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Avoid overcrowding so fillets have room to brown properly. Fish should be slightly crisp outside, and moist and flaky inside. Drain on paper towels.

homemadecoleslaw

Homemade coleslaw

Then to add to the American flair of my Good Friday dinner I had the urge for coleslaw. Haven’t eaten that in ages and it really feels like a summery dish, and since the weather has been so good and the skys so blue…I wanted coleslaw with my dinner. The photo isn’t as good as the dish but it does show off my antique english china set hehehe. The red on top is paprika I sprinkled over to decorate it. Tasted wonderful! And again I will give you my recipe!

Diane’s Coleslaw

I head finely shredded cabbage
1 large shreaded carrot
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

Finely shredd cabbage and carrots. Place cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and add minced onions.Mix dressing until smooth. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours before serving.

Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever waited more then 15 min before taste testing this hehehe…but I do make it first so it gets chilled before eating.

Hope you all have a Happy Easter Holiday. Drop in and tell me what you are doing this weekend!!

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Things I love/hate about Norwegian food

I have been tagged by Zhu to post about what I love or hate about Norwegian food. Thanks for the invitation, there is a lot to tell but I have done my best! I have taken my assignment very seriously!

Norwegian and Scandinavian food
I have to say that I really like most of the food in Scandinavia. The cuisine is pretty basic and easy to prepare. There are of course some things I am not too crazy about, like liver, or something called ‘bloodpudding’ believe me its not a dessert. Most of the food is good though.

The ever famous Lutefisk - a Chrsitmas dish which I prepared!

The ever famous Lutefisk - a Chrsitmas dish which I prepared!

Fish and shellfish
I am especially fond of the selection of fresh fish. With a coastline which stretches the length of the country, and one of the richest fishing waters in the world, the supply of fresh fish is seemingly endless.

Salmon is of course a classic

Salmon is of course a classic

Norway is of course famous for it’s salmon, which I love and provides us with important omega 3 fat. Then next is its torsk, known to the rest of the world as cod, which is abundant and delicious especially in casseroles. And of course I love all sorts of shellfish which is readily available here by the sea.

Delicous delicacy, Seasonal Crawfish

Delicous delicacy, Seasonal Crawfish

Brown cheese??
Another food which is Norwegian and I love is brunost, or brown goat cheese. This cheese is unlike any other kind of goat cheese I have tasted, it is not strong like Chévre, its usually mild and sweet. Of course it varies with the aging process, so some of it can be stronger but it is typically sweet and contains a lot of iron. Here you see us eating it even on waffles – another typical Scandinavian food I love! And blueberries too! Notice the traditional heart shape.

Brown goat cheese on heart shaped waffles with blueberries and cream

Brown goat cheese on heart shaped waffles with blueberries and cream

We’ve got bread bread and more bread
The bread here is also very good, it is usually not presliced and does not contain preservatives. It is dense compared with most presliced bread, and you are satisfied for a longer time after eating it because it contains a lot of whole grains. White bread here is looked at almost as a dessert or at least a luxury. In Norway they recognise that white bread is stripped of most of its nutritional value. After getting used to the bread I think that whole grain bread has more taste and I don’t much care for white bread anymore, especially the commercial light and fluffy totally empty type like for example Wonder in the USA. My Great Aunt used to joke, you wonder what is in it!!!

Typical lunch or breakfast matpakke

Typical lunch or breakfast "matpakke"

So what don’t I like. Well they do eat quite a lot of that bread here. Normally breakfast consist of a couple slices of bread with meat or cheese on it, and lunch consists of a couple slices of bread with meat or cheese on it, and your middle of the day snack, well that often consists of a couple pieces of wasa cracker bread, with something spread on it….so basically you do get a bit bored of bread. And while I totally support brown bagging it, which is the normal way to have lunch at work (matpakke) I find a couple slices of bread without preservatives spread with your topping the night before or possibly in the morning a bit unappatising sometimes. I do prefer warm lunches and soups like I had in the USA. Of course the made at home lunch often contains more nutrition and less fat and calories.

Children eating their matpakke at the preschool.

Children eating their matpakke at the preschool.

The most important: togetherness
Lastly what I like best about eating here is HOW we eat. We sit together. One does not eat standing and does not leave the table before the others are finished. Also at work, at school, and in daycare. Especially in families it is important that everyone sits down at the same time together and children learn to be patient and polite, and to converse. Couples also have an opportunity to touch base in a busy day, and teenagers get reeled in for at least a half an hour of family time before they disappear – they know their family is there and we see them! Sometimes my children’s friends join us and this gives us an opportunity to get better aquainted with the others in their environment. So we know who our children are running with and what they are like as people.

My son (the 11) and friends eating homemade pizza together

My son (then 11) and friends eating homemade pizza together

This is about culture, and values, and putting togetherness first. It’s not that I didn’t eat with my family in the US, however they make a much bigger point of it in Norway, and it is much more universal. Its not just OUR family values, the entire community practices this habit in pretty much the same way. I feel it keeps us grounded and in touch.

Hotdogs taste best when grilled with family

Hotdogs taste best when grilled with family

To make a good example of this I will show you a better way of eating hotdogs…okay there is no table but we are together and enjoying the family environment. They do taste better that way. Thank you RennyBA for sharing your Norwegian lifestyle with us. Teaching us about your foods, cultures and traditions…and for photographing nearly every dinner I ever made 😉 You’re the best!

Read more about Norwegian food by visiting Renny’s posts:

Christmas Day Smorgasbord

Christmas Tree and Food Traditions in Norway

Scandinavian Delight seafood and fireworks

A Norwegian Fall Dish: Lamb and Cabbage

It’s finished! Breaking away a master thesis on domestic violence

It’s finished! Breaking away! A master thesis on domestic violence

I am happy to announce the finish of my long project which I began working on some time last year, and finally delivered the finished work to Oslo University College this afternoon. That means yes I will also have time to blog again.

domesticviolence

My thesis is made up of two articles based on a qualitative study of domestic violence in association with the women’s shelter where I work. Here for the mildly interested are the summaries for the two articles, if you are very interested you can click here to read the whole darn thing if you like!!

Thanks to all my friends for sticking by me through the whole process and not giving up visiting my blog. And a really BIG thanks to RennyBA for putting up with all my moods, stress, tears, and sharing my joy as well. You are the best!

Discourses of survival: A study of the discourses domestic violence survivors reveal in talking about coping and reestablishment
Summary:

In this article, Discourses of survival: A study of the discourses domestic violence survivors reveal in talking about coping and reestablishment, the focus is placed on prevailing discourses identified in interviews with female domestic violence survivors.

The article is founded in a qualitative study of women who stayed at a local women’s shelter in the fall of 2008. Through discourse analysis of the interviews the article will lift up the users own voices as they share their experiences regarding receiving help from a local women’s shelter and re-establishing themselves in a home free from violence.

The results of the article identify four discourses which are present in all of the women’s interviews. These discourses are called 1) collective solutions discourse, 2) others-are-worse-off discourse, 3) violent experience discourse, and 4) Norwegian normative discourse. Through the use of Faucault’s definitions of discourse, power, and knowledge coupled with Butler’s theory of performative gender the article will show how these discourses both empower and challenge these survivors.

Valuable help: identifying best practice in social work with abused women

Summary
The theoretical perspective of the article is known as best practice. This concept as used in the article is based on Ferguson’s (2007) method which places the focus on where social work has had a positive outcome, or is considered to be a success. Although best practice is most commonly used when the worker identifies a situation where he or she perceives the work as successful, in this study it is the user who is in focus. The participants described situations where they felt successful, supported, or strengthened and identified best practice based on their own experiences.

The results showed that all of the women mentioned the safety aspect of the shelter as being significant. Physical refuge and having an alternative to returning home was rated as important to the users. Next is the category of guidance, sorting and planning which all of the users mentioned as being a necessary part of regaining control over a chaotic situation. Further help in setting appropriate goals was seen as useful. The starting point for the users varied, so setting appropriate goals required patience, flexibility, and individual focus on the part of the social workers. All of the participants also worked on their network in some way. The majority relied on their existing network for help, but some of the participants also found the shelters opportunities for creating new network connections as valuable. Lastly practical help was considered important by the participants. Although the need for help varied based on the individual all of the users reported relying on the shelter for some form of practical help.

Clearing our minds in 2009

Every New Year I must admit that I reflect over how quickly time is passing and I feel a bit sad realizing how much of my life I have already used up. Our lives, on this planet anyway, are not endless states, and it is important to think about ourselves, our needs, our health and what is important to us.

Generally health conscious people know how to take care of themselves and their families. All of us probably realize that what you put IN your body is very important. So hopefully you are eating a healthy diet. Here in the Amundsen family we have a 20 year old vegetarian, and a Mom (me) with food allergies so we are very conscious of what we eat these days. I think it is especially important to avoid junk food and manufactured food-like substances, also known as processed foods.

Fresh air and fresh minds in the mountains in Norway

Fresh air and fresh minds in the mountains in Norway


However one area of toxicity which we may be overlooking is what you put in your ears, eyes and mind. I am talking about what you ingest mentally; through the tv and the radio, the news, newspapers, movies!

Sadly, the news and media these days overpowering us with negative, anxiety and fear-producing stories. While I absolutely believe we should know what is happening in the world, I would strongly suggest being careful about taking in too much of that fear and negativity. It can be bad for your health. I normally try to limit myself to one or two rounds of news per day. Usually I get the evening news, and possibly also a news report in the morning on the radio. Believe me, if there is anything important going on you will get it through these two sources, nobody is going to miss the big story.

Just as you wouldn’t mindlessly slather on toxins in your skin care or eat nasty chemicals in your food, it is just as important to be careful about what your mind ingests. Look for positive, inspiring stories, movies and music to lift your mind and heart. Two current recommendations, Mamma Mia and Sex in the City both out on video now. If you go to the cinema I suggest seeing Yes Man!! Take joy in the blessings of health, family and friends. And if it is getting you down, turn off the news.

I wish you a happy and healthy 2009. I strongly believe that in making conscious choices and efforts to improve our state of mind, we make the world a better place for ourselves and each other. Tell me what you are doing to take care of your mind in 2009???

Remember to drop in and visit Renny’s blog, read his latest post on War and Peace and most of all VOTE!!!