Life can take us to some pretty unexpected places. Pretty spectacular places. And I find myself in one of those wondrous places right now. The journey of how I came here becomes even more telling looking back, when the pieces and threads wind themselves around in a way that can only lead here. To my new home. My Norway.
Raised in Utah, with family roots across Colorado and a heritage which resembles something of an over mixed-breed, I always had an affinity for being restless – so exploration and adventure was apparent. I was always trying to find a place which felt like home and yet no matter which continent I crossed or how exciting the place was, I only really ever felt at home in the mountains. Perhaps you can take the girl out of the mountains, but not the mountains out of the girl. These are the things you discover when you grow up. And I grew up.
I started to see the years maturing my hopes and desires into an eagerness to be rooted in a community where traditions could be created and a home established. Having a husband and a little boy helps. Because love is a game-changer. And home is about them.
From London to Maputo to Rome and elsewhere in-between, we finally said our goodbyes to the heartbeat of the city. Without any second thoughts, we cast our eyes toward Norway. For one thing, my husband is Norwegian and it just seemed to tick all the boxes. Especially the mountain one. It definitely ticked that one. We had visited family multiple times, but this would be the first time we would live here. Everything in our ten years of being together seemed to merge into this very point in time. We leapt. Eyes and arms wide open, waiting to embrace whatever we could.
We came to an unexpected place. Deep in the belly of Norway, where the mountains tower and a river storms itself through a winding valley. We did something which many young people seem to do these days when they move to the countryside. We bought a farm. A mountain farm. We bought it before I had ever seen it in person. This lovely, old farm which tells the stories of those who came before lies up a mountain slope literally translated as ‘hell of a hill’. Which I suppose could sum up our journey of getting here. It’s a hell of a hill, but the view at the top is worth taking the trek a thousand times over.
My love affair for this place started the moment we arrived. Beauty graces its raw exterior. The splendor of the landscape is overshadowing. Its imperfections adding to its charm. And who would have guessed that deep in the northern wild, lies one of nature’s culinary banquets. Seasonal, forgiving, abundant. Like a land flowing with milk and honey.
And so I picked my first wild blueberry. I salted and hung to dry my first sheep’s leg. I raised 19 chicks to provide a steady flow of fresh, free-range eggs. I picked, canned and froze far too many plums. And the list will only continue to grow as I search to learn, understand and create from the Norwegian table. And that’s what this space is for. It’s about learning from traditional methods, understanding the where and how and why and creating from that. It’s about people. It’s about food. It’s about Norway.
I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. The delicate and laborious lefse. The simple soups and boiled meats. The smoked fish. The rustic farmhouse beer. Those irresistible boller with all their cardamom goodness. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.
It’s about discovering what’s in our backyards and translating that across the table. To inspire and live mindfully. To appreciate not only food, but each other. And of course, to bring a part of my home, my Norway, to you.