Fireweed Juice (Geitramssaft)

August 24, 2019
Fireweed Juice (Geitramssaft)
Fireweed Juice (Geitramssaft)
Fireweed Juice (Geitramssaft)

Rows of purple-pink geitrams, also known as fireweed, rosebay willowherb, and great willowherb, line the landscape at this time of year. Their shoots emerge in the spring and by late summer they blossom. By the autumn, they become tall, wooly-looking stalks of seeds with silky hairs to be spread by the wind before the winter arrives.

Fireweed is one of those incredible wild plants that is both beautiful and edible, but might not get a second glance as it is generally referred to as a weed. Yet, like a phoenix, fireweed rises from the ashes. After a forest fire, they are one of the first plants to return, hence the name fireweed. They are able to quickly colonize an open area; their buried seeds able to germinate after a fire or disturbance in the land. Thus, making them an important part of managing the land and encouraging regrowth and revitalisation.  

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The Island of Ona & Crab Fishing

August 3, 2019
Ona, Norway and Crab Fishing
Ona, Norway and Crab Fishing
Ona, Norway and Crab Fishing

Peering out into the horizon and under the pale grey sky, amongst groups of small jutting islands, I could spot the red lighthouse in the distance. Firmly situated above a cluster of tightly-packed, colorful wooden houses, this particular lighthouse garners the attention it deserves, but not in a towering and obtrusive way. In a way that subtly states its important role as the guiding light of this once bustling traditional fishing village. You can’t miss it. It’s the iconic symbol of Ona’s story, written by those who have carved their names in the land and the sea that surrounds and sustains it.

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Cured Trout with Spruce Tips (gravet ørret med granskudd)

June 12, 2019
Cured Trout with Spruce Tiips (Gravet Orret med Grandskudd)
Cured Trout with Spruce Tiips (Gravet Orret med Grandskudd)
Cured Trout with Spruce Tiips (Gravet Orret med Grandskudd)

By late spring, my watchful eyes are on full alert as I wait for the slightest sign of small buds emerging from the silent company of spruce trees spread thickly across the terrain. Speckles of light green dotted across spanning arms.

The first buds can sneak by unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention and, before you know it, in a few short weeks their season is all but gone. There’s a slight urgency to gather what is necessary and begin making a myriad of savory and sweet things like delectable syrups, salads, ice cream, and pickled tips.

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Pavlova Cheesecake (Ostekake) with Fresh Berries

May 12, 2019
Pavlova Cheesecake (Ostekake) with Fresh Berries
Pavlova Cheesecake (Ostekake) with Fresh Berries

In moments of indecisiveness, inspiration can come unexpectedly. Sometimes, it just takes a good friend and a simple conversation to provide a little clarity that sparks an idea. That is how this cake – a combination of pavlova and cheesecake – came to be.

You see, the month of May is prime cake table ´kakebord´ time in Norway. With confirmations, weddings, celebratory parties, and, of course, 17 Mai (Norway’s Constitution Day), there’s no reason not to bake or at least indulge in the dessert conversation. There are traditional cakes, like kvæfjordkake, bløtkake, marzipan cake, kransekake. There are also newer favorites such as pavlova and brownies. One thing for is for sure, whether it’s chocolate, vanilla, meringue, marzipan, simple, extravagant, old or new, the most important thing is the love that is poured out and shared during the occasion and the cake is just a sweet indulgent that adds to memory.

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