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Two words: Berries and Mushrooms.

Summer time in Norway means heaps of beautiful, sweet and tasty sun ripened wild strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cloudberries, and currants (of both the tangy red and sweet black variety). Almost every weekend at Yngve’s mothers cottage we have a dessert of some sort of berry picked just outside her back door. Her entire back yard is almost nothing but blueberry bushes and in my opinion, there is almost nothing better than standing among them, picking handfuls, having a sweet snack at almost any time. Last weekend we had red currants (called rips in Norwegian- say “reeps”) and served with something called eggedosis, which is basically raw egg whipped to a froth with LOTS of sugar and some vanilla. I balked a little at the idea of eating raw eggs- especially store bought ones, but apparently salmonella is extremely rare in Norway- so, I took my chances. Think eggnog without the milk and no nutmeg, and a bit lighter since its whipped. By itself its tongue curdlingly sweet (thats probably not a word, but it is now. :P), but the rips by themselves are mouth puckering tart, so the two together balance each other out nicely. Today we had vanilla icecream on top of sweet warm handpicked blueberries. It was divine. Earlier I had a little snack of raspberries and blueberries, sweet and warm from the sun!

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Ok foodie friends… two more words…. chanterelle and porcini. Its had been rainy the last week so now was the time to go hunting for some mushrooms! I’ve never been mushroom hunting before as at home I was always told not to because picking the wrong one could mean dire consequences. However, it seems here, at least with the ones we were looking for, its pretty safe to pick mushrooms. The mushrooms we were hunting as mentioned above, were chanterelles and steinsopp (more commonly known as porcinis). We tugged on our rubber boots, grabbed a basket and a knife, and headed into the forrest. We gathered quite a few of both and a number of other mushrooms that looked promising but we werent sure about- so we thought we’d identify them when we got back. Norway is nice in that there are actually something like mushroom identification stations where you can take your gatherings to an expert if you’re unsure, and the person on duty can tell you if what you have is good or not.

We took the mushrooms back and picked through them… unfortunately, everything we picked besides the chanterelles and the porcinis we were really uncertain about, so we chucked them out. Better safe than sorry. I’d rather throw out mushrooms than eat something I’m not 100% certain about.

Here’s our basket after returning from the forrest:

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See those pretty chanterelles and HUGE porcinis?!? So, of course, when I got home I HAD to try some of the porcinis. I cut up one of the big ones, stem and all, and sauteed it in a pan with a little olive oil and butter, a liberal amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. I tossed them around enough to coat them in the oil and butter then I just let them sit, only stirring them about every now and again- I wanted them golden and crispy. Then, I sliced a couple slices of whats left of that homemade sourdough, toasted them, and piled the mushrooms on. Some of the ones that I had sliced very thin had gone crispy, they had taken on a lovely golden color and had soaked up the butter and olive oil. Lovely meaty buttery porcinis piled on toast made a GLORIOUS snack!

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I also have this container of chanterelles which I believe are going in a chanterelle risotto tomorrow… at least thats all I’ve come up with to do with them… any suggestions?

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