My darling daughter Sarah reads my blog every day and I read hers. While we were on our walk today with the dogs, we had to stop and wait for Mamma Heidi...she was trying to make it over knee deep snow with her old legs (hey she is like 90 years old in human years), Sarah said, "listen to that silence...isn't it great?" I said yeah it was great and hey, did you read my blog yestrday? She said- you mean the MAGICAL woodland...and said that word magical in such a harrassing way that I gave her a mean look and turned around and kept on walking while she walked behind me laughing at me...TEENAGERS!!!! So as I walked off in protest I decided no more hokey posts.....at least not for awhile...I can't say never because...I'm kinda naturally hokey and writing hokey things just comes naturally without me thinking about it!!!!
So, what to write...what to write? Hmmm....well, the years we lived on the coast were certainly interesting years. I learned a lot about myself and about things I never thought I'd ever care to know about. Take for example fish. Now, before moving to the coast in Norway the closest I ever got to a fish was Long John Silvers fish n' chips and it was mostly the fatty little crumb things that I was most attracted too....the stuff that is really bad for you...yeah...the fish was just something you had to order to get the really good stuff. When we first lived in Norway we lived with my inlaws (that is a whole other post) and my mother in law would make lots of traditional Norwegian foods which were generally really good. Her cooking was a lot like my grandmother's, never a diet product in sight, everything was the real McCoy...butter, whole milk...that kinda stuff. Well, once she made this fried "fish" which I tried and it was WONDERFUL and then my darling hubby tells me it was cod tounge!!!! Did any of you know that cod's had tounges? That any fish had tounges? I just figured they opened their mouthes to a big black hole that went straight to their bellies and anything in the water got swooshed in and down the tube....but no...they have tounges. Now again, the meal itself was wonderful and I LOVED what I ate until I knew what it was and then the mental block kept me from ever considering eating it again. To me tounge was not meant to be eaten...but I know people eat cow tounge and I've seen those things in the butcher shops and they are NASTY. I understand a long long time ago out of neccessity people ate the entire animal...nothing was wasted...but these days there is no need to eat things like tounge!!!!!
There was also a fish Stig caught once which in Norway they call Steinbit and I asked Stig what they call this fish in English and he said they call it catfish or wolffish. I swear it must be one of the ugliest fish I have ever seen. He put it on our kitchen counter and cut it's head off, the head sat there looking at me like something from a horror film and then to demonstrate even more how horrible this fish is, Stig took a big wooden spoon and stuck it in the mouth of this cut off head of this disgustingly UGLY fish and the jaws clamped down together in one giant chomp on top of the wooden spoon and that spoon was STUCK!!!! I had NEVER in my life seen anything like that. I never once in the entire 12 years we lived on the coast, swam in the ocean...not when I knew those things were swimming in there also. I've attached a photo of this fish so you can judge yourself...maybe you've seen an uglier fish?
I know this next thing I'm about to write will piss some people off, but I've tried whale. I got an anonymous comment once from someone who said that the fact that Norway took up whaling again in 1993 was what turned them off to Norway....or something like that. Well, I went onto Wikpedia and found out that there is a specific quota of whales allowed to be caught each year from a breed of whale that is not endangered. Can't recall the name of the whale type but specifically remember it was not endangered. So, I've tried whale meat and I didn't like it. I've been told I obviously didn't get whale prepared properly because I told everyone that it was so dry tasting. Well, I have not been given the opportunity to try it since and quite honestly it's ok. Been there done that and like I said, the taste wasn't enough to make me dream of my next opportunity to have whale so I don't feel like I'm missing anything really.
My mother in law was also famous for her fishballs. Yeah, are you thinking what I thought when I first heard this? BALLS AND TOUNGES???? Geez, what kind of fish do they have here in Norway???!!!!!! Well, calm down folks....there are no big boy fish swimming around with bulging fish skins....hahahahaha....fishballs is like MEATBALLS only made with fish. You grind fish, potatoes, onions and seasonings together and form them in balls and cook them in boiling water. Once cooked you can eventually cut them up and fry them in a pan when using them as leftovers and they are good no matter what! You serve them with cooked new potatoes, crispy bacon and cooked carrots...a traditional and delicious Norwegian meal.
My kids loved to go fishing with their dad from when they were really small. We have photos of Thomas who fell asleep in the boat everytime we would go out, so we started bringing a plastic fish case with us and a Barney sleeping bag we had brought over from America. He would fall asleep and we'd put him in the fish case so we could easily transfer him from boat to land and not wake him when we got back. The kids loved to fish at the dock and then they would of course cut the fish open to examine what was inside...nothing grossed them out, I was grossed out which they loved but they weren't. They thought it was cool.
I have drawn the line on trying some things, like my inlaws love to eat fish heads....apparently there is fish meat on the heads if you know where to look....again this goes back to the olden days when they ate the entire animal...but I'm greatfully living in an age where this is not neccessary-THANK GOODNESS!!!! So until next time folks- Bon Appetit!!