Friday, March 11, 2016

Norway: My friend Hilde

On top of Sjenestølen in Drøna, an island near Austevoll, Norway. 

I'm back in Norway! I met my friend Hilde in Anchorage a few years back. We have a number of mutual friends, and were on a week-long canoe trip back in 2014. We hit it off right away, and so last year, when I was on a European adventure, I decided to stop by. This year, she was my first stop.

Whenever we are together we have loads of fun cooking. Hilde can't eat wheat, but she can eat spelt, and all of our recipes reflect her dietary restrictions. My next few posts will be some of the recipes we've shared.

Hilde's family has sheep. As do, it seems, all of the neighbors. I love sheep a lot. They're amazing animals, and these sheep are for meat. It's some of the best lamb and mutton in the world. The sheep graze on juniper and heather, and have access to the salt of the Norwegian seaside.

The family eats sheep and mutton all sorts of ways, but they seem to usually roast it with rosemary and juniper inside of a roasting bag. The sheep aren't very fatty, and the fat that is there is distinct from the meat, so it's even tasty when it's cold. I had some with my homemade bread and sweet mustard yesterday, and it was really good!

Yesterday we went to feed the sheep some kitchen scraps. We filled their little trough, and went out to call them. The little buggers were nowhere to be found! We climbed up and down granite hills and trudged though soggy ground for an hour and a half. No sheep. Well, they were as elusive as ever! We gave up after we had gone to the far edge of the island and back. We settled in to change out of our wet clothing and watch Midsomer Murders while drinking hard cider. Sometimes your animals outsmart you. Better luck next time. 

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