My neck of the woods

I went for a drive on Friday. There is this place only about half an hour from the city called Hvalfjördur (Whalefjord).  It's a long fjord that used to be the major road to the north, but has now been replaced by an undersea tunnel.  It's a very deep fjord and I remember how tiring it was to drive it on the way home, first all the way into the fjord and then all the way out again.  But it is a really nice place to go to, especially now that there is hardly any traffic there.

I had the idea to just wander about and look at the plants and see what I would find.  This is of course a slightly crazy time to go to the countryside, the plants are dying and all the leaves are turning yellow.  And red.  Glorious reds and oranges and it's just all very pretty.  I'm not much of an autumn person.  It's my least favorite time of year.  But this autumn has been quite nice and we haven't yet has a powerful low pressure system blow away all the leaves.  But it's getting a bit cold and as everyone knows it's always really windy out in the country.  So I dressed in my trusted ski overalls (bright red and easy to find should I get lost and have to be rescued).  I also made myself some sandwiches and took some cookies and something to drink and drove off.

I hadn't planned to pick any berries.  In fact I hadn't even thought about berries at all, and even if I had, I would have been sure that they were all gone.  But I saw so many fat and juicy berries that I had to pick them.  They were Empetrum hermaphroditum, which I understand are called crowberries in English. We call the plants krækiberjalyng and they are the most common berry that grows here. I will make saft from them.  Saft is just the juice with a bit of sugar to sweeten, but I thought using honey would be nice. It will be very healthy with all the antioxidants of the berries and the the antiseptic properties of honey. I like to have berrysaft to take in the morning, one tablespoon a day, with the fish oil.

I also found some lichens. Actually I found a lot of lichens and I collected some. I'm not quite sure what type they are, but suspect one of them is a Parmelia. I need some more lichen dyed wool for my someting-soft-and-warm-around-the-neck-this-winter-project. My mother also gave me an Umbilicaria lichen that she collected for me.  My mom wrote her BS thesis about moss and lichen that grow on the graveyard wall that is a stones throw from where we lived . I'm very excited to try to dye from that. It could give me that elusive purple.

And I wasn't alone in the fjord.  I had the company of the local sheep that still haven't been rounded up for winter.  I love the way they look, so haughty and arrogant.  Like they own the place.  And of course they do. I was just the visitor.  This is where they live all summer long.  I thought it would be nice to post a picture of them in their natural habitat.  So if you see Icelandic lamb in Whole foods, you can be sure that you are buying mountain lamb.  They are almost like goats they climb so high.

When I came home I went to the store and bought some fresh lamb's liver for dinner.  I used to get inards, like liver, hearts and kidneys for dinner very frequently as well as whalemeat and seabirds.  But so many people have stopped eating that although I don't know why.  My husband wasn't used to this type of food, but I've gotten him to like both liver and whalemeat, but he won't eat the kidneys and hearts, but the dogs love those.

Liver is really delicious and very easy to make.  We use lambs liver almost exclusively here, but calf liver is very popular in Italy and I think some nations eat liver from grown cattle.

But I think that if you can make a delicious meal with just salt and pepper as the only seasoning, then that food is the best.  So here is my liver recipe:

Slice one onion and brown it on a pan until it is soft in half olive oil and half butter.
Cut the liver into fairly thin slices and brown them on both side in the pan.
Pour some water over the whole thing and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the liver is no longer pink.  But don't cook it longer than that, check it by cutting into the slices.  Liver gets very tough and unappetizing if over cooked.
Thicken the liquid to a sauce by your preferred method, I use a maizena thingy from the store.  I also add a bit of cream to the sauce if I have some.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with boiled new potatoes, fresh salad greens and red currant jelly.

So now I just have to make the saft, make some Rhubarb syrup from the last of the Rhubarb stalks this year and then make fruit rolls from the left over mash.  I'm also wondering if I could make fruit rolls from the left over mash of berries.  And I'm all out of yoghurt and the sourdough bread is almost gone.  I bought a lot of broccoli at the store since they had them on offer and I've started to eat this delicious Broccoli soup for lunch.  So I'm making a lot of soup and freezing it.  And then there is all the timber that I got for free and plan to use to make raised beds for the allotment garden.  And I'm crocheting that warm thing and also a jacket type ting from the sweater that I unraveled last week.  I really wish I had another weekend coming.

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