Tag Archives: Cake

Equinox and Cake

Sunrise/sunset: 05:48/ 18:05. Daylength: 12hr17min

It seems that today is the spring equinox, here in the northern hemisphere. We actually hit twelve hours of light a couple of days back, and I expect spring is still a couple of months away, but we are approaching Easter, after which there are lots of bank holidays in Norway.

Covid is still kicking my ass. I returned to work on Monday, but then woke up during the night with my heart racing at double its normal rate. I ended up at the emergency doctors, where they couldn’t find anything specific, but hooked me up to a drip and let me sleep for an hour, before sending me home. It’s been an up and down week since then, but it seems this is not uncommon.

I did manage to get into work for an hour on Thursday, when I had my annual review with Hilde. She’s quite satisfied with my work and I’m quite satisfied with how it’s going, so it’s all good. Next week I need to sit an exam (which she’s not expecting me to pass, thank goodness) and hopefully, on Wednesday, I’ll be flying off to Lillehammer for a veterinary conference, so I’m very much hoping that I’m well enough to go.

John took me out for a drive yesterday, which was lovely. He’s bought his first car – an old Ford Mondeo – which he is naturally, very proud of. Hopefully he’ll pass his test soon, and then he’ll be very much more independent. But yesterday, he took me up and down the E6, and we ended up in a cafĂ© in Setermoen, where we had coffee and cake.

So, this entry is both short and late, but I hope that normal service will be resumed next week! A few photographs from our trip yesterday. It’s been raining for a couple of days, and the big melt is well underway.

The snow has melted from the frozen river, revealing blue ice
Looking downstream to a lake – note the dirt on the ice and snow in the bottom left
The walls of ploughed snow at the sides of the road are dissolving, leaving an alien landscape

A Year of Decadence

Because my birthday was spent travelling back from Seljestad, I didn’t have a cake on the day, so I was delighted when my friend Lynne invited me over for lunch on Friday and made me one. As usual, she listened to me very patiently as I rambled on about writing, she let me cuddle her beautiful baby daughter and we ate some wonderful food including a perfectly baked and tastefully decorated coffee sponge. As she handed me my slice, (we ate it before before the main course… actually we ate it after the main course as well, what could be better than that?) she commented that she had decided that 2014 should be a year of decadence. I can’t help being inspired by that concept, and so, on a dark Winter’s morning, not quite half-way through January, what better way to spend some time than in planning some of this year’s celebrations.

Burns Night – 25th January

A quick recce in the cellar indicates that we still have two haggi, one frozen and one tinned. Better still, I see that Burns night this year falls on a Saturday, so we will be able to toast the haggis with something a little stronger than Irn Bru (which is probably just as well as we don’t have any).

Candlemas – 2nd February

A new one on me this, though if it involves candles it is right up my street. Nothing better on a chilly winter’s day than a warm woodstove and a battalion of candles. In fact, given sufficient candles, you don’t really need the wood stove, as we discovered after Christmas. 38 candles in a room apparently warm it up rather well. Candlemas day marks the mid-point of winter, half way between the shortest night and the spring equinox. I prognosticate a lovely roast dinner in addition to a veritable plethora of candles.

Valentine’s Day – 14th February

Obviously this should be celebrated in the traditional manner… with lots of chocolate. Bring it on!

Shrove Tuesday – 4th March

IMG_0332

Need I say more?

Pancake Recipe.

St Piran’s Day – 5th March

A new one on me this. Apparently St Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall. Surely this must be a great excuse to make and eat Cornish pasties!

Vernal Equinox – around 20th March

There seems to be rather a theme developing here regarding food. I feel that perhaps the Spring Equinox should be celebrated by getting outside: maybe going for a special walk to the top of a hill. Obviously this will be weather dependent, but perhaps I will be able to don a hat and some gloves, and can drag my friend Marian off somewhere and indulge in a picnic and some hot coffee whilst admiring some wonderful vista. Sounds good to me!

N.B. Marian, if you are reading this, it was poetic licence about me dragging you. I know you have Bikje to do that!

Bal!
Bal!

 

Easter Sunday – 31st March

As well as the Easter Egg Hunt, Easter is generally another excellent excuse for another Christmas-style roast dinner. Bring on the honey-roast parsnips! Better still, I made two Christmas puddings this year, (technically last, for all the pedants who are reading this) and I feel that Easter would be the perfect time for consuming the second of these. I understand from Charlie that we may be spending part of the holidays in Seljestad, so if we can spend some time skiing, we will be able to work up an even better appetite for the feast.

17th May – is Norway’s national day

On 17th May each year, Norway celebrates its independence with marching bands and children’s parades. Despite being a national day, 17th May is very inclusive and everyone is welcome to go along and wave a flag. It’s lovely to see all the women dressed up in their Bhunad, but as I look at Charlie every year, proudly dressed in his kilt, I have to say that I prefer Scotland’s national dress for men.

Whitsun – 19th May

I can recall as a child having Season Pudding at Whitsun. Season pudding is made with bread and oats and onions, and is rather like a glorified and crunchy stuffing. Served with plenty of good gravy, it’s definitely one of my favourite meals. We only had it twice a year, the other occasion being Boxing Day and as I love it dearly, I think this is a tradition that I should definitely revive this year.

Anyway, the next big occasion after this will be the Summer Solstice on or about the 21st June, and we will be getting into summer holidays then. I want to look forward to the lighter days of summer, and for the moment not beyond, so I think I will stop there, and perhaps later in the year I can move on to look forward again to the autumn and winter festivals.