[Sorry these entries aren't better. Editing hundreds of photos with my new camera can become kind of a bitch. And...I am on vacation after all. The good thing about taking a gazillion photos is that I can refer to them when I inevitably forget what I did less than 24 hours ago.]
On Sunday evening after the hike of a million wheezes (in all honesty, it wasn't thaaaat horrible; I emphasized the pain to make it more comical), Morten brought Diana and me to his family's house for homemade food that didn't consist of open-faced sandwiches. His father made a bacalao (dried codfish) dish that included tomatoes, onions, peppers, and potatoes. And maybe something else. Altogether, you end up with a satisfying saucy stew that doesn't require any extras, although in this case we had the choice of bread, bread, and...oh, I can't put my finger on it. [scratches head] Oh my god, I think it was bread! YES! And don't forget the vat of softened butter.
For dessert we had homegrown rhubart tart (the rhubarb part, that is...because the last time I checked, tart didn't grow on stuff) and vanilla ice cream. Morten's father also gave Diana and me shots of...something. To aid our digestion. And by "aid our digestion" I mean "make small fires in our digestive tracts". Of course, the tart tasted slightly tart, and the ice cream was cold (who would've thought!), while the alcohol...well. After knocking that back, I felt like I had swallowed a chunk of Satan's soul that started writhing madly in my belly. And then two seconds later, it died. I dampened the churning of my Satan-filled stomach with more ice cream.
So. That was an awesome dinner. Many thanks to Morten's family for treating us random Internet friends with yummy food...and shots.
On Monday, Morten made us more open faced sandwiches of lettuce and fish combined in tasty harmony. These things are a hit with the weegies ("weegies" is my new favorite word for "Norwegians" as taken from Jenny Blake). He also gave us bowls of blueberries from his father's home (frozen from last year's batch, as this year's blueberries haven't appeared yet) mixed with milk for something that was like cereal in milk topped with fruit, but without the cereal. So I guess it's not like that. But. Um. ...Yeah. It's yummy, you should try it! ALL THE WEEGIES ARE DOIN' IT.
We went to the aquarium and saw PENGUINS! HEEHEE, SEE THE PENGUINS?! AREN'T THEY SO CUTE AND FAT AND STUFF?!?!?! YESSS! HEHEHEHE, HEHEHE, HEHE...yeah, I really like penguins.
We also saw fish and other things that aren't as cute as penguins. Our primary comments about the fish were, "That tastes good," and "Mm...that also tastes good." Methinks that the point of the aquarium isn't to pick out your dinner, but they did promote the idea that the ocean is the foodbowl of the future, so...maybe that is the point.
This parking garage was in a mountain. ISN'T THAT COOL? Kinda? Compared to just about all other parking garages I've been in, this on was especially neat and un-smelly. Who would think that vents could be so useful? Another cool thing they have in Norway that is really useful are heated floors in the bathroom so that you're not shocked into consciousness first thing in the morning by floors that have seemingly been replaced by ice. Feel toasty while you poop!
Morten brought us to Torggatens Konditori for some cakey goodness. Bergen's cake specialty that is supposedly a part of every one of their holidays is the White Lady (top left photo), a multi-tiered sponge and berry cream cake on a macaroon base blanketed with a thin layer of marzipan. My cake also had an orange blobby fruit on it whose name I didn't know.
While I liked the cake overall (how couldn't I?), my favorite part was actually the macaroon base. The marzipan layer isn't the easiest thing to smush through with a fork compared to the cake and cream parts, which may squish out as you try to cut off a piece. If you don't live in Bergen, I guess the only way to get this cake is to make it yourself. If I tried, my version wouldn't be nearly as beautiful as this one. It'd be like the mutated cousin twice-removed, banished to the upstairs attic away from the prying eyes of neighbors and...any other lifeforms. Even the squirrels.
Later in the day after checking out Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, we went boating! For hours! To catch fish! And kill the fish! And eat the fish! And pee in the woods!
Morten, Giso, Diana and I went on Captain K�re's boat around...well, I don't really know where we were, but as you can see it was very pretty. While boating around wherever it was that we were, we passed a bunch of summer houses of questionable accessibility from civilization owned by people who probably had too much money. But hey, we have a boat! We're awesome!
At some point Morten passed me the fishing line and told me to fish. I looked at him like he was crazy (which, admittedly, is usually how I look at him); "I do wuh?" My only meager experience with fishing involved a pole, while here we just had a thick fishing line wrapped around a...thingy. Morten unraveled the line and told me to let the line reach the bottom and then bop the line up and down to entice the dumb fish. Surprisingly, one latched on really quickly; he must've been pretty stupid. I declared victory.
The fish was less victorious. I don't think Morten really expected me to impale the fish with the knife, but he did offer the task to me. Thanks, but no thanks. As I do find them quite tasty, maybe I'll try to kill a fish someday. In the future. The far off future when I've already died and don't have to skillfully shove sharp metal objects into tiny fish brains and watch their eyes bleed. Some time after the fish was beheaded, gutted and beyond dead, its remains spasmed for a disturbingly long period due to some leftover muscular...thingy thingy. You know what I mean, right? Either that or it was possessed by some angry fish demons. Giso also caught a fish, but when Diana tried she ended up catching the floor of the sea. :'( Twice.
We eventually docked in a beautiful secluded camping area (equipped with a water pump, campfire, and outhouse) to feast on corn and the freshest fish that I'll ever eat. AWESOME.
But making the food more palatable takes some work. First, ye gotta find some wood. And making a fire helps. (Morten took the easy way out and used a lighter.) And then ye gotta find more wood. And throw it into the burning pile of wood to make a fire that Satan would be proud of. After that's all taken care of and you've wrapped your food in a protective layer of aluminum foil, toss those suckers (or carefully lower them with sticks) into the fire and watch em buuurn!....but ye know, take them out before they've completely transformed into atomic number 6.
The corn was plump, juicy, and—this is for Morten—luscious.
...Nah, it wasn't luscious, but it was the best corn I've had in a long time. The fish, simply seasoned in salt and lemon juice, seeped with delicious...um, fish liquids. [scratches head] It was perfectly cooked, as far as I could tell.
The experience of cooking and eating so close to nature without excessive culinary accoutrements in the company of people who fit in the top 5% of the worldwide awesome population is a much more enjoyable and memorable experience than most others involving food. Screw restaurants, let's just kill our own fish and toss it into a fire! As long as there are other competant people around, at least.
Afer 10 PM, the sky was still bright with the light from the semi-setting sun. Few settings are as relaxing as this.
On that note, I have one full day left here. Crap.
I actually have bought two tubes of tubed bacon cheese and a block of brown cheese for those who want it (not sure how serious you guys were). Methinks that stuff won't ship very well. Also, thanks for leaving comments on my entries, even if they're not the most fun to read. I've become too lazy to reply to all the comments (hell, I'm also too lazy to write the entries!), but hopefully that'll continue when I get back home. It's sad to think that I've been here for a week already! Nooo!!!