There is no such thing as a road to happiness. Happiness is a state of mind and makes the road more enticing than the goal.
I think one of the most common and simplest desserts in Norway during the summer is fresh strawberries with cream and sugar. So delicious, so fresh and so extremely easy! This time served with a dash of whipped cream (with a bit of vanilla added to it). Remember to rinse the strawberries properly, they do grow very close to the ground!
A bird told me (or I came across it somewhere on the great interwebz) that strawberry and mango compliment one another quite well. It was during my first experiments with jam production this summer that I decided to try them together. It’s so easy, and sooo good, that you really should consider doing the same.
Rinse the strawberries and add them to a pot. Slice and dice the mango, see how here, and add to the same pot. Put a lid on and low heat to slowly warm the fruit and berries. Slowly bring the pot to a boil and watch how the strawberries and mango become one. The mango is so sweet that there’s no need to add sugar, but if the berries are a little sour, or the mango not quite ripe, add a bit, but make sure to taste! Add a squeeze of lemon for preservative reasons. After the jam has boiled for a wee bit (if it has boiled, it is done, but mine is usually left to itself for some minutes because I’m busy doing something else) then mash it gently with a potato masher. The jam is just divine. It’s sweet (with no added sugar) it’s not runny (much like plum jam) and it tastes of summer and long summer nights. Enjoy!
My mother-in-law makes a killer strawberry jam. I have never done so myself, or at least not been aware that I was actually making jam. But this year I wanted to take advantage of the many berries we have every summer, and also to try and reduce the amount of store bought jam Son eats (and thus also the sugar he eats every day). Husband and I tried ourselves, but it was nothing like his mom’s. I was also keen on trying to keep it as natural as possible and did not want to add store bought pectin or acids where I was unsure about the content (I don’t mind either, but the pectin usually found in stores here is rarely simply extracted from fruit…). We ended up with a runny, but still tasty, goo. It was good, but not what we had set out to make…
I read up a bit and found agar. We did some experimenting with that, but were quite disappointed. And the jam we wanted to make was supposed to be quite runny, so we didn’t really need it. We then went directly to the source. Home made, non-cooked, strawberry jam is supposed to be lumpy. It’s supposed to be sweet without being to sweet. And it has to taste like freshly picked strawberries. A normal mixer will make it into smoothie. But mother-in-law showed me the whisker! And that’s all you need to make the jam! Simply dice the strawberries (cut them in half or into four), put them in a bowl and whisk them together with a bit of lemon juice (this will slightly increase the life expectancy of the jam). Find a big spoon and add a little jam to a smaller spoon (the taste-spoon) and taste (this way you don’t have to put your fingers in the jam, nor add your saliva to the mix). Strawberries vary much depending on type, season, weather etc, so you don’t know how much sugar you want to add unless you taste it. You’ll be amazed at how little you need at times.
I freeze my jam in smaller boxes that will easily disappear after a few days, and that are also easily defrosted in the fridge. That way I can whenever I want add a little taste of summer to the table in during the coldest winter days, with all the goodness of freshly picked summer strawberries. Enjoy!
We didn’t have much luck when trying to find berries to pick ourselves this year. It simply has not been a good season for some berries, and some, while, where they were available to us the bushes simply let us down. But luckily for us we have found some good deals. We did find four kilos of raspberries for a decent sum. And the results of the find with recipes will follow soon!
Random.org has helped me pick a winner, and the random, magic number turned out to be 5 and thus ehpem! Congrats! and thank you so much for taking part. Please send me an e-mail with your contact details and I’ll soon have something coming your way
Then, my deepest apologies for vanishing so suddenly and in the middle of a give-away. Life interrupted and quite insistently too, I’m not back to stay just yet either, but I will be soon. Thank you all so much for hanging around
I hope to see you all soon and to catch up again with all of you soon
Just to remind you: I’m having a wee give-away to celebrate having had 10 000 friendly faces visit my blog. We’re not talking a new car or anything in that range, but, well, a book at least would be a good guess. If you are a reader of my blog, I would love to hear from you. And by leaving a small note in THIS POST, you could be picked as the receiver of my wee give-away. Just remember to leave a ‘hullo’ before April 27 in THIS POST.
I have been good and made sure I’ve taken a photo a day. But, I haven’t been good at sharing these with anyone but Husband and Son. Now I have loads to share, and many stories to tell.
Day 2 – Colour
I chose the colour yellow. We were visiting my in-laws and our easter holiday has just begun. In Norway we have so-called ‘red days’. These days everything is closed (or almost everything), the world still functions but you can’t shop. This is the main benefit (maybe the only) of having a state religion. What is in reality is, is almost a full week off for everyone! A spring break, but with a hint of religion, if you like.
Day 3 – Mail
I though this would be a photo showing an empty mailbox (red days are days off also for mail carriers), a screen shot of my e-mail inbox, or, if I was lucky, a bill. Instead I have this photo to show:
Impressed? My fantastic husband has been working in the garden over the past weeks and has built a new decking in the back yard. What was once a dreary and dark place is now wonderful! He has done such a good job! He’s not done yet, so I’ll wait with the photos. But, back to the mail. This is what we received today, and it was delivered, so I guess it does count as mail? What you see here is a load, or in fact two, of stones. Cut stones that will be built into a short wall to hold herbs and flowers. Yes, I am lucky!
Day 4 – Someone who makes me happy
This shows a stranger’s car, and our own car. Our car doesn’t make all too excited, but the photo suddenly appeared on my phone after Son had played with it for a while. Quite regularly photos of motives I’ve never noticed appear on my phone, and they always make me smile.