Friday, December 23, 2011

Norsk Mat - Norwegian Food part deux - totally nasty edition

Being a gigantic fatass I love/will eat just about anything (barring pickles, mustard or American mayo). However, a few Norwegian culinary creations should not be consumed by anybody, ever. Because they are F'ing disgusting and can barely be classified as food. Case in point:

Dish 1: Beef tartare

Raw hamburger meat, topped with a raw egg, and pickles, sweet baby Jesus pickles! It's almost too heinous to comprehend. As I've mentioned before, I'm told that salmonella doesn't exist in Norway so eating raw eggs is no problem. That's awesome for raw cookie dough eating, but really unnecessary for anything else. Raw eggs are not food. They're aborted chickens. Why would you eat that?!

Eating raw hamburger meat just beggars belief. In less than 10 minutes you could whip that up into a lovely taco or sloppy joe. And yet you eat it raw. You disgust me.

Because there is obviously a benevolent god out there I was offered the most delish frozen pizza ever as a meal while the rest of the family "enjoyed" this dish. I tried a teeny tiny mouthful of raw beef and while it didn't taste like much, on principal alone I deemed this Never to be Consumed by Me Again. Eew.

Dish 2: Rakfisk

Fisk in Norwegian means fish (duh) and rak is an old Norse word for soft. "Soft fish" doesn't sound so bad, does it? Except that it really means fermented, raw fish.

Rakfisk is almost as spreadable as butter and smells like a ten-year-old corpse. It is not, by my personal account, food at all but rather a dish so rotten that zombies wouldn't even touch it with a ten foot pole.

In this picture it is shown next to chopped leek, which is served with the heinous fish and plenty of sour cream in a lefse. If you grew up in the Midwest I reckon you know what a lefse is. If not, there's always Wiki to show you the light.

I had a bite of this fish, with sour cream, in the proportion of 1:10. As much as I love sour cream, never again. It tastes like it smells: like death incarnate. That is some Walking Dead shit that does not belong in my mouth.

Dish 3: Lutefisk

As you can see from this photo, this "food" didn't even make it into the house. I was surprised demand is high enough to carry it in mainstream grocery stores. I'd categorize lutefisk as something you should know about if you grew up in the Midwest. Knowing what it tastes like, however, is a whole different ballgame.

Lutefisk is some type of fisk (who cares which) that has been soaked in lye. Lye being "a corrosive alkaline substance" - which will burn the skin straight off you if you touch it. In other words, it's poison.

So poissons + poison = food in Norway.

I had one bite of lutefisk in my youth, but it was so drown in butter that it almost tasted pleasing. But if I wanted to eat poison I'd just go back to America and have my pick of the litter.

I'm getting queasy so that's where I'll end. Looks like it's only Ginger Ale and saltines for me for the rest of the day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

All I want for Christmas... tons and tons of name brand shit. None of this "Tis better to give than receive" malarkey for me. I want stuff. Awesome, awesome stuff. If you plan to buy me stuff in the near future, here's a handy list to guide you through you all the sweet stuff that's sure to please me, or any other female who fits into my narrow demographic:

This is my numero uno. Watch by Michael Kors, style 4227. It's sold out everywhere online, so that just makes me want it all the more. I just love it. I <3 gold.
Staying on the gold theme I want small gold "hoop" earrings. I put hoops in quotes because if it barely covers the lobe I'd hardly consider it a hoop. Either gold is making a comeback or I'm stuck in 1986. I love yellow gold.

My current set of make-up brushes aren't so much a set as a single brush, that is embarrassingly old and overused. I'm pushing 30, it's time to get a real, matching nice set of make-up brushes.

I love this movie, it's one of my all time faves. It's been on my Christmas list since I first saw it a few years ago and I've never seemed to acquire it. I watch it every year on TV and refuse to get into the Christmas spirit until I've seen it. What if the networks decide not to show it one year?! Christmas would be ruined. Ergo, I need this DVD (I ain't fancy enough for Blu-Ray) in my collection.

I am a lotion lover and heavy user, so I really should invest in something a little better than Vaseline Intensive Care. In Asia we got a full size (full size!) bottle of Crabtree & Evelyn lotion at the Millennium Hilton and you better believe that sucker came home with me once we checked out.

This is a random/generic picture of a small, cross body purse that's perfect for traveling. I would prefer a fancy schmancy label on it, and I'm still unsure of what color I want. Black? Brown? Whatever is the most versatile. I need a pickpocket-proof purse, though, for carrying my hand sanitizer and emergency toilet paper supply on my world travels.

Crock pot! Now here is a tale of love and loss if ever there was one. I had a crock pot once, very recently, but she (yes, she) had to be returned due to an upcoming move where I have to pack light (more on the move coming soon). Once settled into my new locale I hope to acquire another crock pot, hopefully at a fraction of the cost of my old girl - goddamn crock pots are expensive in Norway!

This is very close to the top of my wish list, neck-in-neck with the watch. It's a purse that holds wine! It's sheer brilliance, just imagine the places you could smuggle wine into undetected! Picnics! Concerts! Work! There's even a compartment to put an ice pack, in case you're smuggling white wine. I will own this modern marvel sooner or later, even if I have to pay for it in pennies I begged from a hobo.

Did you know you can subscribe to American magazines even if you live abroad? It costs more than a domestic subscription but isn't overly expensive. This is my favorite magazine in the post-Seventeen, pre-Good Housekeeping demographic. It's intelligent, not The Slut's Handbook (I'm looking at you, Cosmopolitan) and has lots of pretty I-could-never-afford-that fashion for me to look at. No longer will I have to pay €5 a pop for one measly issue at an airport kiosk

Tory Burch flats. Not much I can say beyond classique. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, I'm not particularly picky about which I get. I'm a size 10 US, 41 European, 8 UK. So worldly my feet are!

I don't necessarily want note cards with a Vespa scooter on them, but this is the best picture I could find. I don't know who else besides Vera Wang has a stationary collection, but I want some pretty, blank note cards. They don't even need to be designer, just pretty. Artsy-fartsy, even. When I have note cards I actually send people mail, just because. And that makes me look like an awesome friend. You get mail and I get good karma. It's win-win!

From the picture alone you might be asking yourself: What is this mideval torture device? Well, it's a bra washing ball. For the males out there, this means you put your bra in it, then wash it, so the bra retains it's shape. This want fits squarely in the why-don't-you-just-buy-it-yourself-you-freakshow camp and I agree. My answer to that is because I've never seen one in a store, ever! If I came across one, believe me, I'd snatch it up immediately. I'm not about to pay 100% duty on it by ordering it online, so on my Wish List it goes. Perhaps if I get it I'll wash my bras at the recommended frequency, after every second wear. Ha! Not bloody likely.

This is my favorite (lady) scent ever. I actually looked up the difference between eau de toilette and eau de parfum when researching which one I want. I forget which was "better", but Madomeoiselle comes in both and the parfum bottle is prettier. So parfum it is. Again, a total classic. It's all the flash and luxury of Chanel without smelling like an old lady (ahem, No. 5).

Estimated value of my entire Wish List? I don't know and don't want to know! I don't want to look the reality of my consumerist bourgeois tendencies in the face. Or realize what a tactless label whore I really am.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Paris, France - Favorite Pic

Imagine having to pick just one favorite picture from Paris. The City of Light, Gay Pairee. You just try! It ain't easy, especially when you have tens of pictures to choose from.

So I thought I'd take the road less traveled and choose a picture that brought me the most entertainment. Because that's what this whole charade [earth] is here for, isn't it? My entertainment.

I am about to let you in on a little secret. A secret that isn't intentionally kept under wraps (Da Vinci Code-style), but is a secret more because the truth is simply and sadly overlooked (Tom Selleck almost was Indiana Jones-style):

There is a painting of a midget in the Louvre.

A real painting of a real midget. Oh the JOY it brings me!

There is the reason why this delicious morsel of truth is unknown to the masses:

It's right next to the freaking Mona Lisa.

So everybody is too busy doing this BS:

to turn their head slightly to the right and notice their proximity to a sweet midget painting.

I don't know who painted it, I don't know who the people in the painting are. Nor do I know who the artist pissed off to get such a highly trafficked yet still-totally-crappy location. What I do know is this:

Midgets in ancient (Ok maybe not ancient) artworks are hilarious, and have resulted in my favorite picture from my weekend in Paris. Enjoy:

Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend any "little people" with this post. I know you have it hard enough with Matt Roloff's hair brained scheming ass being your de facto spokesperson. P.S. If you ever run into him at one of your conventions tell him to get his shit together and get a job.

Norsk Mat - Norwegian Food

Norwegians enjoy some....interesting....culinary creations. Some are legitimately tasty while others I would maturely classify as "barf-tacular". Word on the street (mostly in-flight magazines, so take that for what it's worth) is that Scandinavian food is the haute cuisine du jour.

Immediately upon returning to Norway from a year spent in Scotland we went on a quest to enjoy the Norwegian-est of Norwegian food, to cleanse our palate of that haggis taste and make up for lost time. Here is a collection of our culinary adventures, with a description (and link to a recipe if you speak Norwegian and/or have Google Translate) for those who want to try these dishes for themselves.

Disclaimer: I am a sucky photographer in the best of circumstances, but when there's food in front of me waiting to be eaten I care even less about the quality of my photographs, so don't expect food blog-quality photos here.

Dish 1: Salmon, potato and cucumber salad

While salmon isn't exclusively a Norwegian dish (those Scots sure claimed their fair share of the world's supply) I would say that one of the accoutrements is. Agurksalat, cucumber salad, is a simple side dish that is mainly thinly sliced cucumbers and white vinegar. Being a lifelong hater of all things vinegar, I don't particularly care for this salad, but the pinch of sugar in it does make it more palatable.

Somewhere I heard that there are daily flights from Norway to Japan, to supply them with the freshest, most awesome fish available to use for sushi. Even if that's not true, Norwegian salmon, served cooked or raw, is awesome. This ubiquitous Norwegian fish dish gets a big thumbs up from me (as long as I don't have to eat too much of the salad to be polite).

Dish 2: Lapskaus stew

This dish is called lapskaus, which Google Translate tells me means "stew". I would consider "stew" a classification that encompasses different types, but lapskaus is one specific dish. It includes the cheapest beef money can buy, along with bits of potatoes, carrots and rutabaga. My mother-in-law is about as picky of an eater as a 2-year-old (Lord help me if she ever actually reads this) so this version contained only beef and potatoes. It's plain, it's cheap, it's filling. Everything that Norwegian cuisine, invented before Cindarella went to the ball, is destined to be.

You might be asking yourself: What is that gelatenous, blood clot-looking red blob on the plate next to the lapskaus? If I were more clever I'd throw in an abortion joke here, but alas I am not that bright so you will be spared. That is tyttebærsyltetøy, or lingonberry jam. I love tyttebærsyltetøy, and eat it with pretty much all Norwegian dishes. It adds a sweet little kick to food, like a little dessert with each bite.

I would like to point out an epic Google Translate fail here. It translates tyttebær as cranberries.

Lingonberries =/= cranberries

These are lingonberries:

And these are cranberries:

Ok, that really doesn't help my case much but they are different. Cranberries are bigger, I believe. And more bitter. The Norwegian word for cranberries is tranebær. Norwegian doesn't have many words (literally - only 1/3 the number of words as the English language), so trust me, they wouldn't waste 2 separate words on a single thing. Tranebær are cranberries and tyttebær are lingonberries, and lingonberry jam is the shit.

No Norwegian meal is complete without it. Them. Whatever. You buy it in a jar next to all the other jams so no oppskrift (recipe) will be provided. If you make your own you've got way too much time on your hands, and nobody makes their own. End 'o story.

I'll wrap this up now since my old heart can't take much more berry related stress. Plus I just enabled the new Facebook timeline, or what I like to call How To Stalk Yourself, so I can't possibly keep away from my new favorite thing ever one second longer.

Stay tuned for more featured Norwegian dishes in the future, once I tire of my new Facebook toy. Next time the dishes won't be so kindly looked upon by me. Yes, I'm talking about barf-tacular food!