Archives for posts with tag: norge

I’m systematically eating my way through the fridge. The deadline for a clean fridge is 23rd December. I’ll be on a plane the next day.

Late last night I realised my seterrømme (Norwegian sour cream) was past the best before date, so today is rømmegrøt day: for breakfast and dinner.

I wrote a post on it some months back with the recipe, here.

The problem is that I love this too much! I just ate half of my sour cream porridge for the day and I think I am about to explode in slow-motion.

This also means that I’ll be attacking the other half later today. Muuuuch later. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be hungry ever again.

But for now I need to figure out the most comfortable way to roll down the hill to get to the office. And it just started hailing. Yay.

Photo on 2015-12-10 at 8.53 AM

Bad photo of rømmegrøt in a flask (keeps it a little warmer for longer).

November and December in Norway are busy months of feasting!
Every group, workplace or sports club or circle of friends organises a Julebord, i.e. a Christmas table. Dress up smart and be prepared for a great night of food and strong alcohol.

This year I was lucky enough to be invited to friends who were having an evening with saueskolt (sheep’s head) from Sunnfjord. I’m used to it being called smalahove, but I’ve learned that there are differences between the two, apart from just the dialect. (Smalahove is the term used in the Voss and Bergen area.)

My friend said that they always had sheep’s head on Skoltesøndag, or as it is also known, skitne-søndag. Dirty Sunday.

Dirty Sunday is the Sunday before Christmas where you wash everything and prepare your house for Christmas. So you end up wearing your dirty clothes, sparing the clean ones for the next week’s big gathering. (This just made me think that we have it too easy these days. I have enough clothes to get me through a week without needing this kind of Dirty Sunday.)

And so, in your dirty clothes, you eat salted, smoked and boiled sheep’s head for dinner for the last time before the next year’s autumn comes.


Saueskolter på bordet.

It’s not my first time eating Norwegian-style sheep’s head, so I was more excited than grossed out at the prospect. The first time I was a little bit nervous, but I figured my Afrikaans sheep-farmer ancestors would be rolling in their graves, and rolling their eyes, if I didn’t man up and enjoy the meal.

It was awesome. And on that night I learned that a lamb’s eyeball is delicious.

The sheep’s head is smoked and salted, and finally boiled the day that it will be served, giving it a heavy flavour that goes beautifully with whiskey or akevitt. Or a deep red wine.

The only part that creeps me out a little is the inner texture of the cheeks. It’s bumpy. Apparently I have issues with texture sometimes (the same reason why fruit bits in otherwise smooth yoghurt makes my skin crawl).

The rest is fantastic. And the eye! That’s the last part and the best. It’s very similar to bone marrow in both taste and texture. And since bone marrow has been one of my favourite things in the world since I was a baby, I am now an eyeball-lover. Just remember to remove the pupil…

Once you have the eyeball worked and scooped out of the socket, you prod it with your fork, pop into your mouth and wash down with a shot of akevitt.

Dirty Sunday is the best Sunday, even though we had ours on a Saturday evening in November. 🙂



DONE! A plastic surgeon could probably have done a better job, but I tried my best to get every piece!

Fårikål sesong!

Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish in autumn and is literally boiled mutton and cabbage. As simple as that.

Now, I’ve made the real thing and it’s quite okay, but as a South African my soul cries a little at the thought of boiling wonderful meat, especially good lamb or mutton.

Boiled mutton.

Boiled mutton. Good, but not quite as grand as it could be.

That’s when a phone call to Mom is priceless. My mom makes the best lamb ribs in the world. It is not possible to find better food on this planet. I even end up eating the bones, because I can. So who better to ask for advice when you walk into the shop and there is lamb on sale at a ridiculous price! For realsingtons. This is Norway, land of the most expensive everything, and the price seems reasonable by South African standards. TIME TO FEAST!

First, let me show you the spoils from my shopping trip:



Now, my mom says her method of preparing lamb is pretty easy:

  • rub salt and olive oil into the meat,
  • lightly rub whole coriander seeds onto the meat (I love this taste, so I’m not shy to use a whole lot of coriander seeds),
  • bake at 200°C in an open dish for about 20min – this is to brown the meat, and then
  • bake for another 40-ish minutes at 180°C covered.

It’s best to use a large dish with a lid for this, but I only have access to a smaller, deep dish with a lid, so my meat was packed on top of each other. Not perfect, but that’ll do, sheep.

Rubbed in and ready to go. Coriander is more than worth its weight gold.

Rubbed in and ready to go. Coriander is more than worth its weight gold.

After about an hour of tantalising smells, you have great meat with crispy pieces of fat. And now I have food for the next week… I cannot believe I’m lucky enough to have a piece of lamb every night for dinner in Norwegia! This is better than eating out.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

But wait, there’s more…

Since it’s no longer necessary to fear the fat, I don’t throw it away! I poured the left over juices from the baking dish into an empty jar and refrigerated it overnight. Now I have broth and fat that I can use!


Freshly poured fat…

I’ve been making omelettes with the lamb fat. It’s delicious and I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this forever.

Solidified fat floating on top. Yum yum yum!

Solidified fat floating on top. Scoop it off and save in a separate jar.

So, plan your next trip to Norway during the autumn! It’s beautiful and the meat is phenomenal. You can also be sure that the sheep lived a happy life, especially when they get to roam free in the mountains during the summer months.

Rømmegrøt is beautiful. It is thick and creamy and heavy.

It’s a Norwegian sour cream porridge that is made on special occasions, with many local communities having their own unique twist on the porridge. There were even versions of the porridge made especially for women who had recently given birth, with neighbours bringing barselgrøt (‘childbirth porridge’) for the new mother to help her strengthen and heal. Incidentally, one area’s local take on barselgrøt was to take the usual rømmegrøt and add slices of boiled eggs on top. LCHF’s perfect food?

Rømmegrøt goodness. With cinnamon, butter and sukrin.

Rømmegrøt goodness. With cinnamon, butter and sukrin.

I have had rømmegrøt a few times in the past, but I always considered it a very guilty pleasure, what with almost all of it being made of pure cream. I used to rather choose risgrøt, a similar porridge made with rice, because I thought, hey, maybe this one is healthier. So now is the time for vengeance! I wanted to make my own rømmegrøt and literally eat back all the silly times I chose the rice porridge instead!

As luck would have it, rømmegrøt is almost the easiest meal in world to make. (Nature’s take-away, avocado, is hard to beat.)

Seterrømme, sour cream, in the pot and heating up slowly. It becomes very smooth once warm.

Seterrømme, sour cream, in the pot and heating up slowly. It becomes very smooth once warm.

I used this recipe (in Norwegian) and made it in ten minutes while Skyping home. I will add the translated recipe at the bottom.

This was my first time using Johannesbrødkjernemel (locust bean gum) and was surprised at what an effective thickening agent it proved to be. Rather play it safe and use too little than too much! Especially considering how pricey it is…

It was also my first time having sukrin. I was scared that the sweetness would set me off on a sweet-toothed binge, but I think I may finally have beaten that beast! I will still be using sukrin and other sugar alternatives with caution, though.

Melting butter!

Melting butter!

The result was absolutely delicious! A word of caution though: the above recipe with 300ml of sour cream is very filling. I couldn’t finish it and I’m a champion over-eater! The leftovers are in the fridge to be had for breakfast with some spekeskinke (dried, salted ham). 🙂

Rømmegrøt is also very similar to it’s South African cousin, melkkos (milk food). Melkkos is made using full cream milk instead of sour cream, but is also topped off with cinnamon, sugar and butter. It’s the loveliest comfort food when the world is dark and cold and wet outside, and goes very well with a good kaggel (logfire) crackling in the background and a movie queued up for the evening.

Morning-after update: hmmm warmed up rømmegrøt is okay, but decidedly more… snot-like in texture. I’d rather make less and finish it all in one go.


300ml sour cream 

200ml water

1,5 teaspoons of locust bean gum powder (thickening agent)

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon powder, butter and sukrin/alternative sweetener to taste.


Heat sour cream in a pot on low heat.

While the sour cream is heating, mix water and locust bean gum. Easiest way is to shake it up in a little tub. The mixture should thicken up nicely. Mine had a pinkish tinge to it after a while.

Once the sour cream is boiling and bubbling a bit, add the water mixture.

Bring to a slow boil again while mixing or whisking every now and then to prevent any clumps from forming. (I was lazy and just stirred strongly with a fork.)

Add a pinch of salt and mix.


Scoop into a bowl and add the toppings.