Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wild Harvest and Latin Dance Night

With the heavy rain these past few weeks there has been an abundance of mushrooms growing in the forests here in Ås. I have been lucky enough to have a roommate who knows which ones are edible, and we have harvested porcini, pied de mutton (lamb's feet) and chantrelles, among other varieties, but these were the most abundant. JB, short for Jean-Baptiste, is pictured above holding what I think is called a golden chantrelle. Last week we picked the last of the year's good mushrooms, a more brown-looking variety of chantrelle:

I had it in my casserole/stirfry I always make nowadays: chantrelles, carrots, onions, broccoli and garlic with jasmine rice, and salt and pepper. For my choice of protein I like it with egg and/or cheese, or mackerel, or smoked salmon, or deli slices of pork that are so good here. The chantrelles taste great, with the added bonus of higher than average potassium.

My other successful culinary experiment this week was a giant apple pie:

It's an oven pan with higher than normal sides. I did a wheat crust, used "Summer Red" apples that are ripe in Norway now, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Summer Red are some of the best tasting apples I've ever had in my life, no exaggeration. They are tangy enough for pies too, and though I was worried about attempting a pie of this size (9 apples!) it turned out wonderful. I told my roommates, who devoured it, that it was the taste of fall in Minnesota. The apples were from the campus orchard, one of the perks of going to an agricultural school. So I guess not really a "wild" harvest in this case, but a great harvest nonetheless. I also got to learn some spices in Norwegian in the process. For some reason they don't use the English names! Nutmeg is muskatnøtt, ginger is ingefær, and cinnamon is like the French word, kanel.

Last Tuesday was our first Latin dance lesson for the year. I hope it catches on! We had a great showing to start--40 plus people, but you never know if they will all stick with it. I help teach it with 4 other people either form Spain, Mexico or Colombia. Makes me wish I spoke Spanish but they are patient with my American egotistical ways. We have fun anyway.

Look at those smiling faces! We really had a good first lesson, but I was exhausted afterward. As if I had taught everyone by myself or something. I hope that eventually when people get pretty good we can have a Latin dance social event. That's what I'm leading up to in my mind anyway. We will try it out this semester and see how it goes--most of the other teachers except for me and the guy from Columbia are leaving after that anyway since their plan was to be here only one semester. And the class itself is mostly international students, many of whom won't be here that long either. Latin dancing is popular enough that I think it will be sustained by incoming students. Someone already ripped down the poster I put up advertising it, but that's just drunk Norwegian kids. They did that to all the posters. And apparently their wont is to throw their compost garbage off the balcony on the street. I know it's not all Norwegians, but some of them are really giving me a bad impression. And some of them are giving me a wonderful impression, so that shows how much you can really generalize about people.


  1. I love the photo at the top of your blog.

    The apple pie photo made my mouth water.

  2. Those mushrooms look interesting and maybe like they might be tasty. I'd like to try them some day if I could be sure of their identity.

    I'd also like to try Summer Red apples and see if they are as good as the American favorite - honey crisps.

    God luck with the salsa lessons. They should enable the natives to loosen up a bit.

  3. Sounds like a fun time with the salsa dancing. The pie looked very, very scrumptious. We miss you in Michigan. Glad you are safe and things are going well.


  4. Jean-Baptiste just LOOKS French, which I find very amusing.

    That pie is seriously delicious looking. Glad to hear things are going well!