Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tried and Tested: Sylterull number 2 or Norwegian Pork Roll 2

I am really pleased with the result of this year's pork roll recipe. Here is my other version of how to make it. This version was simple, straight forward, little mess and it is nice and firm.
I got the recipe from MatPrat.No and here is the English version of how I made it:
You need an approx. 1.5 kg slab of pork belly
No bones and preferably not scored, but it doesn't matter too much
You might need to go to a butcher to get a big enough piece
Cover it completely with water and let it simmer for about 2 1/2 hours
In the meantime, mix in a bowl and set aside:
1 1/4 table spoon salt
1 tea spoon ground pepper
1 tea spoon ground clove
1 tea spoon ground all spice
1 tea spoon ginger
3 tea spoons gelatine powder - equivalent of one sachet of gelatine powder from Dr Oetker
(the recipe called for 5, but I put in three and it is ample!)
Take the meat out of the water and let it cool so it can be handled
Take the skin off in as whole pieces as possible
Bring out a bread mould and generously line it with cling film letting the ends hang over the sides so you have enough to cover the meat at the end
Take the skin and put a layer with the outer side down in the bread mould
Sprinkle some of the spice mix on the skin
Cut up the meat - it says to do it in nice slices, but mine crumbled no matter how I cut it and it doesn't seem to matter too much
Put a layer of meat on the spices
Alternative putting the spice mix and the layers of meat
Build it as high as possible in the mould
End with a final layer of the skin, this time the outer side out
Cover it with the clingfilm
Put it in a press (of 2-3 kg) or use a heavy frying pan/books/etc and leave it in the fridge till the next day.
It is now ready!
I decided to divide mine in two and freeze them, but you can also put it in brine to keep it in the fridge.
Bring on the mustard!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Deep Blue Gig

What a weekend!
Starting with a great birthday party on Saturday for another dear friend being introduced to to the "50+ club" and ending last night out on the town supporting a friend's gig! Well done, T!
December is such a busy month with all sorts of lovely, fun activities!
And I even managed to bake Berlinerkranser, Biscotti and Red Onion Marmelade...!
Tonight I am planning to make "ribbesylte" - after a new recipe.
I will let you know if it is better than my old recipe
(which happens to be one of my most viewed blog posts!)
But first off to the last yoga session of the term!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Even in December...

I had to make a quick trip up north to Durham on the weekend and was surprised to see that the amazing rose bushes outside our house are still blooming...
Even in December...
With the low light and the particular glow the sun has this time of year it made me think of the song "In the bleak midwinter". Here is a version sung by the Choir of Kings in Cambridge.
It is rapidly getting colder all over the country - even if there is no sign of snow neither in Durham nor in Cambridge... The cold here is a different 'kind' than I am used to from Scandinavia. It is a 'humid' cold which clings to your skin and you feel much chillier here than at even lower temperatures in a 'dry' cold.
On the plus side, I don't struggle with excessively dry, itchy skin here as I often encounter in a 'drier' cold.
It is important to see the bright side of things..!

Hope you are enjoying the advent season - the anticipation and preparations are almost the best part of Christmas, in my view!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Going to the Theatre: Oklahoma!

illustration borrowed from the web

Last week I went with three friends to see Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma" at the local arts theatre and it was a great night out including a quick bite to eat before!
What a treat!
Even if you are not familiar with the musical (it was also made into a film), you surely are familiar with many of the songs - particularly "Oh, what a beautiful morning" - EVERYBODY must know it... See - I am sure you are singing it in your head as you are reading this...? It was hard not to sing along! (Ok, I 'hummed' a bit..)
"Oklahoma" was the first musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. It is based on a play from 1931 and set in a town called Claremore. It tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. A typical boy-meets-girl-story in other words, but very well sung and played.
We all agreed we should do things like this more often! We are spoiled with accessible and affordable local events like this.
That should be classed as a "New Year's Resolution"!

Do you have any resolutions for 2015...?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

One Year on...

First Sunday in Advent - with PURPLE candles!
Ok, I am back on the blog!
More than a year has passed since my last blogpost...
A lot has happened, but at the same time it is hard to accept that a year could pass by so quickly...!

It has actually been a very good year, when I think about it. Some of the big headlines from this past year have been:
My health has gone from strength to strength and I am doing fine after a very scary 2013. I have made several changes in my life and the most "dramatic" is that I now go to the gym at least 3-4 days a week. Before work. And I LOVE it! Ok, I am a morning bird, so no surprise that this works for me. I truly recommend it (if you are a morning bird, that is). In addition, there is such a lovely group of people coming in most days and they are all so very friendly and supportive. I didn't expect the bonus of finding so many lovely, jolly people gathered at 7 am in the morning! I am not used to meeting other 'morning birds', so it is nice to meet 'fellow birds' with the same disposition of getting up at the crack of dawn!
Of other very good things that happened this past year, is that Our Young Man finished his A-levels  and is now at University studying in London. He is loving his new life. I am not hiding that it feels strange - (almost) empty nest - but I am so happy for him. He is really embracing life in London. He has been home once this fall, but we have seen him several times as we have popped in to London to meet up with other friends passing by this big city. Having him there means that I am getting to know London better as well! About time after living over 15 years in the UK!
This year we also bought a second home - a house in Durham for The Professor and we both spend a lot of time commuting between our two homes. Project managing and redecorating from afar is no mean task, but it is coming together nicely. In some ways it is nice to have two homes - we don't have a holiday home anywhere, instead we have two homes. It just worked out this way for now, but time will tell what will happen in this respect. It was great this summer when we drove over to the Lake District for the first time. It won't be the last time we go to the Lakes. It was simply stunning!

So, I plan to be a bit more active on the blog as I actually miss it. Looking through other years' printouts confirms my intention - it is a fun way of keeping a 'diary' of events in our lives!