CategoryFood

Happy New Year with Fireworks and Seafood

Happy New Year 2014 from NorwayCelebrating the New Year’s Eve in Scandinavia is traditionally a blast of a feast. No wonder as it is the darkest and often the coldest time of the year and since ten thousand years back there was a good reason to celebrate the return of the sun – Winter Solstice festivals is a part of it of course. All this sets the scene for enthusiasm and cheer and welcoming a new year.

Preparing the evening’s celebration starts days before and the most exciting part is buying the fireworks. Shooting up your own is much more fun and you’re welcome to read the story in my last post: Buy and shoot up your own New Years Fireworks. Then of course shopping what’s needed for our traditional seafood dinner; Shrimp, lobster (and sometimes crawfish) served with champagne. You’re all welcome to join us shopping and then sit in and enjoy the firework show this year – all included in this video:

Actually, this is one of the habits and seasonal traditions I’ve posted the most about on this blog, so let me share some of the others by reposting some of the pics in the video with link to these posts:
Snowy Winter Day in Norway #3 The Magic of extreme cold and snow at Oslo Fjord #1

From all of me to All of You: Godt Nytt År!

 

New Orleans Cajun-Creole dinner in Oslo

New Orleans in Oslo #C2Restaurant New Orleans reflects colonial elegance, with high ceilings, large arched windows, crystal chandeliers and classic furniture and is the only place to get real Cajun-Creole in Oslo. It’s a casual and popular establishment – with mostly Cajun, jazz, blues, zydeco and ragtime music on the menu. This is the place to go if you love classics such as jambalaya, gumbo and ceviche plus other Creole inspired meat and fish dishes. You are also welcome to invite friends to a Crawfish Boil Party: a Creole tradition consisting of steamed freshwater crayfish served in large portions to share with accessories.
My lovely wife invited me to a surprise date on Saturday and since she is an American, she said it was about time – both to have a date and to dine out : -) You’re welcome to join and sit in while I tell you about our quality time. Let’s start with the described interior, inspired by the American colonial period in Louisiana with crystal chandeliers, dark wood and brocade upholstered chairs:
New Orleans in Oslo #1 New Orleans in Oslo #2

So it was in these surroundings with long roots and traditions of the New Orleans area we enjoyed our meal. We love food and especially with a local connection and then it’s a bit special to eat Cajun-Creole in the capital of Norway. I have noted what they have to offer and from the rich menu we chose our respective main course:
New Orleans in Oslo #4 New Orleans in Oslo #3
Left: Cajun Popcorn – Right: Po´mans Jambalaya Louisianans

Everything was pleasingly served and delicious – a really nice staff provided good service in a nice atmosphere. My dear wife felt almost like home and had the following suggestions for dessert:
New Orleans in Oslo #6
Pecan Pie with vanilla ice cream

All in all, this was a positive food experience that can be recommended for those who want to try something different in Oslo. The New Orleans restaurant is located right in the center, just a stone throw from the main street Karl Johan. If you are a jazz lover, I recommend that you check their web site when you book, so you can simultaneously check the live music events – bon appétit!
I had some fun using PS Touch for image editing on my iPad for the time being. Of all the pictures we took, I made this summary:
New Orleans in Oslo #C1

All this resulted in a pleasant and interesting dining experience. I recommend you to check it out if you are in the area.

Outdoor Easter Bunny Eggs Hunt

Outdoors Easter Bunny Egg Hunt #C2Our family tradition, hunting for Easter Bunny Eggs, is one of my dearest and may be one of the best examples of recreational outdoor activity in the Norwegian woods. Every year the feeling of anticipation and excitement takes me down the memory lane. You may say I’m a bit childish, but I’m just fine with that and it’s important to get into the right spirit – and of course: you have to love being outdoors too.
The Easter Egg and Bunny or Hare thing dates back to pagan times and is more about fertility and a celebration of spring than recent Christian Easter traditions. Honored in many rite-of-Spring festivals, during the span of history, eggs represented mystery, magic, medicine, food and omen. So it represented the rebirth of the earth – the long, hard winter was over – the earth burst forth and was reborn just as the egg miraculously burst forth with life.

But lets get back to the outdoors hunt and you are welcome to join us around the bonfire as I go on with the story and show some photos:
Outdoors Easter Bunny Egg Hunt #1
Of shore, resting after the Egg hunt at the bonfire.

The hunting is of course the most exciting part and you may wonder how the eggs get there and how we find them. Well, when I was young my dad did it – but since this is something of important passing on to generations: nowadays my sister and I walk a bit ahead, to see if we can find some bunny footprints.
Outdoors Easter Bunny Egg Hunt #4
When we were children, my parents told me they did, so then it had to be true, and it has never been questioned in the family. It’s just the same as Santa brings the gifts of course. People who don’t believe in this have missed out on something important from their childhood I think.
Also I hope you see why this should be an outdoor activity: You have to find the eggs in the Bunny’s natural surroundings! And tell me; what can be more recreational than sitting around a bonfire, smelling spring is in the air, listening to the sounds of birds and eating hotdogs grilled on the bonfire:
Outdoors Easter Bunny Egg Hunt #2

So now I hope you understand the excitement in my Easter anticipation and why it’s so important to me to hold on to this childish, family tradition of believing it is the Easter Bunny who laid the eggs. To sum it up in one collage photo:
Outdoors Easter Bunny Egg Hunt #C1

So here it is – from me to you: A new Easter Egg hunt family tradition for free!

 

Beer and food at Cafe Christiania in Oslo

Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #1Beer in a class of its own aligned with tasteful food is what Christiania Café offers for a gourmet evening with friends or collages. It’s called a Beer Banquet = a gourmet meal with appropriate beers, designed especially for pre-booked guests. The menu is put together by the chef and beer waiter with different types of beer from all over Europe for each dish. There are also opportunities to pour your own beer from their special beer taps in the ceiling.
The menu is a surprise menu and put together from seasonal produce. They select raw materials of the best quality and preferably local Norwegian food. The servings are also based on different beers, be it in marinades, sauces, beer sorbet, beer yeast in bread and more. The beer waiter then sets the appropriate beer to the menu and the waiter tells you all about both the food and drink before each servings. A lecture in matching food and beer from all over Europe – how about that? : -)

These tables take up to 16 people – we were 6 from a work group of the Norwegian Computer Society. You see: at the end of every season of intense teamwork to provide our members with a variety of cutting edge subjects, we believe we deserve a social gathering. What’s better than a culinary feast and trying a new restaurant in Oslo then? ………. and of course you are welcome to join us:
Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #2 Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #3
So then, finally: let’s enjoy the menu – this surprise put together by the chef and the beer waiter:
Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #5 Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #4
Left: Crawfish and Mussels with Erdinger Beer (German brewed on wheat)
Right: Breast of forest dove with Trappsites Rochefort 10 (Belgian: a sweet and alcoholic aroma that pours a thick muddy brown soothing on the throat)

Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #6 Cafe Christiania Beer Dinner #7
Left: Pig Fillet with Leffe Brune (Belgian: a delicate taste of vanilla and clove, and the full aroma of toffee and caramel)
Right: Mature Brie Cheese with Chimay Rouge (Belgian: topped with a creamy head it gives off a light, fruity apricot aroma produced by the fermentation)

We had a splendid evening with good servings, tasty food and great beer. If you happen to be in Oslo and want to give it a try – which I do recommend – here is their website.

The outcome of our interesting discussions on “Does IT Matter?” for the members of our work group is to be presented during the coming months – I’m sure they’ll like it too : -)

Celebrating New Year with Seafood and Fireworks

Happy New Year 2013It’s time to open a new book with blank pages. The book – or blog in my case – I will call it “Opportunity”, and the first chapter is devoted to a Happy New Year Greeting. I could write about New Year’s Resolutions, New Year Greeting Cards, New Year’s Day Messages etc., but have decided to concentrate on a look at our New Year’s Eve traditions.
Still at the darkest and often coldest time of the year this sets the scene for enthusiasm and cheer so the celebrations are traditionally a blast of a feast. These traditions are all based on folklore and myths since the return of the sun has an important influence on our daily life and calls for special celebrations. In this post I’ll concentrate on our seafood delight dinner and the fact that we send up our own fireworks:

New Year’s Eve Dinner:
New Years Seafood delight dinner #AWe have followed the same procedure as for many years this Holiday – the best season of the year – Christmas Eve dinner with our children and visiting family the 1st day of Christmas (for the Yule Smorgasbord, click to read my post about the feast of traditional food: Norwegian Christmas Day Smorgasbord). Next stop is our vacation home in Sweden to celebrate New Year’s Eve. There are three important ingredients in this celebration; a week off, seafood dinner with champagne and of course setting off our own fireworks. Let’s start with the dinner:
My regular readers know we love seafood and no wonder since we have such a long coastline and Norwegians are known as fishermen. Only the best is on the table this evening: lobster, crab, crawfish and shrimp – all naturel – and the whole topped with a bottle of champagne. To make it short: click the photo to bigify, sit in and enjoy!

Setting off our own fireworks:
Happy New Year 2013Ever since my childhood, I remember we were allowed to stay up until pass midnight to see the fireworks. I also remember passing this tradition on to my children and the day before we would build a big ramp to shoot them off with snow and ice holding bottles for the rockets. These days for convenience and safety, I’ve changed from rockets to a box of fireworks with only one fuse.
Part of the anticipation is to buy it the day before. They demonstrate all the kinds they have on a video and we bought one which lasted for a bit more than a minute. Everyone goes out to see and the children have fun with sparklers : -). How we buy it and do it is to be read in my post: .

Happy New Year:
A new year has just begun and from all of me to all of you dear readers I wish you all the best and:
Happy New Year – Godt Nytt År – Gelukkig nieuwjaar – Bonne année – Gutes Neues Jahr – Buon Capo d’Anno – Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu – Szczesliwego Nowego roku – Feliz ano novo – Feliz Año Nuevo !