Showing posts from December, 2011

Diploma for Christmas


O Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree has some hints of Norway!

 [See the flags and ornament?] [Fiskesuppe for Mom's birthday dinner - made with salmon and shrimp]


Gomme was one of my favorite things last Christmas with Marius' family. Marius' mother copied her recipe (all in Norwegian) for me and I translated it. I have had a lot of first attempts with cooking different things this fall: pumpkin pie from scratch with a butternut squash, cranberry wallnut bread, and now gomme and fiskesuppe. It turned out OK, but I know what I did wrong, so we'll have to have another couple of practice rounds before sharing it with the rest of the family. 
Tonight for the rest of Mom's birthday, I will make fiskesuppe for dinner and riskrem for dessert. She probably already guessed it, but Marius sent her a bottle of Aquavit for her birthday too. 
[Preparing the gomme - you boil milk and then add buttermilk to use the møsse (or curds), and add cardemom, raisins, milk]
[Gomme and rolls - the cardemom cost $11!!]

Home for Christmas

Flew into Detroit via Frankfurt on Wednesday. Marius and I woke up at 4:30AM to get to the airport for my 6:30 flight. When we took off from Bergen, a kid was screaming and crying so loud; then 5 minutes into the flight the guy across from me got sick, so the plane turned around back to Bergen to get him medical attention and made us delayed about 45 minutes to refuel. Luckily, I had a 5 hour layover in Frankfurt so by the time we landed I had about 90 minutes to get to my gate.
Customs is always an interesting situation. The officers always say "Norway?! What are you doing in Norway?!" But home now and still kind of on Bergen time. I get exhausted by 9:30 and then wake up at 6. This weekend we will get our tree and put up decorations.

Vår lille Jul

Since I am going home for Christmas this year, Marius and I had our own little Christmas this weekend. We did a mixture of Norwegian and American traditions. Traditional Norwegian Christmas Eve food the night before, and opened presents in the morning. Santa even gave us some goodies in our stockings ;) And we watched Elf and ate gingerbread cookies this morning.
On Wednesday I'm flying home (via Frankfurt) for Christmas! Looking forward to getting back into Diaz Family Christmas traditions!

[My camera really washes everything out! But here is Marius in front of our 'Christmas Eve' dinner - julepølse, medisterkaker, kålrabi, potatoes and carrots] [Marius' camera takes some nicer pictures: (from left to right) decorations, stockings in the window with the typical Norwegian window display, dinner, and our tree with presents] [Gløgg for dessert - basically mulled wine with almonds and raisins]

Yay på snø!

Yay for snow!! Bergen got a bit of snow the past few days and the air has that nice crisp feeling to go with how pretty it is this time of year.
[view of Ulriken from outside our apartment] [Løvstakken - on the way to the tram]


Many Norwegian traditions are distinctly regional. Even recipes are variable by region to go along with dialects that can be different by town separated by just 50 kilometers. This tradition, that both Marius and I were new to trying, was from a town just about an hour and a half east of Bergen called Voss....smalahove, or half of a sheep's head that is cooked in a broth for several hours. Smalahove comes from two Norwegian words: smale = sheep, and hove = head. It is served before Christmas with potatoes, mashed rutabaga, and red cabbage.
Many of my friends were telling me that the cheek is supposed to be the best part, and others were saying that they wouldn't dare eat it. So I can now say that I have done something that many other Norwegians haven't dared try. I actually really enjoyed it! It had a texture like corned beef and had a very nice flavor. Marius went as far as to try the tongue, and thought that eating the eye was a normal thing, so tried that as well...but h…