I am in a car traveling through Sweden

I am in Sweden. Sweden is in Scandinavia. I live in Denmark. A lot of Danes can understand Swedish. I am not a Dane. I speak English in Sweden. It works for me.

I have been on a Ferry from Denmark. Not long after arriving in Sweden, the car broke down. I am from California. Never ever would I have believed you, back then, if  you told me that one day, I would be on vacation in Sweden, stranded or not. Sweden is a nice Country. Nice people and nice scenery. No matter how nice it was, I am not happy, being stranded.

Sweden is filled with trees. As we drive northwards, the Swedish trees fill my memories. We are headed toward Norway. We are now traveling on Europe Highway, E45. That is the same highway that passes through Denmark, Germany and beyond. It is over 4900 kilometers long and finally ends its days in Sicily. We are not going to Southern Europe on this trip. Norway would be fine for me.

We are now traveling on Highway E12 Westwards toward Norway. We reach the border to Norway at 8pm. There is no passport control. There are no guard towers with machine gun wielding soldiers. This is Europe without borders.

June has just become July. The Sun is still high in the sky. To the south are snow-clad mountains. They lie in Norway. The sight makes me think of the Mountains in California. The Sierra Nevada. Something inside of me wants to climb these Mountains, but I am only passing through. I am still allowed to dream of my lost Mountains, far far away.

norway_cut

Photo from video: Looking south from Norway-Sweden Border

I am headed to a city called Mo in Rana in Norway. I arrive at 9pm. The sun is still up in the sky. This is the land of the Midnight Sun. Back in California, the Sun has set at 7:30 pm. Now it would be dark.

I am just a traveler from California, via Denmark and Sweden. I am in Norway at 66 degrees, 19 minutes North, 14 degrees 10 minutes East.

Tomorrow, I will travel to the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees 33 minutes.

I have never in my life been so far away from home in California. Tomorrow awaits….

mo i rana

Morning Soup, when all else fails…

… use salt and pepper as seasoning!

I have a lot of spices in my IKEA spice drawers. I mention that store, not for all of you to rush out and buy these things, but because they too have failed to create a usable spice area.

I have been troubled by Mass Carrot Extinction over the last few days. My Daughter received 9 kilos of Carrots, and I know from experience that one of those puppies (my word for Carrots) will get an idea to have black spots, then the whole lot of them will want the same spots. It’s going to happen, but I’m not going out without a bang.

Today, it is Carrot Soup on the menu. When I started to experiment with cooking, I visited a lot of Internet sites, checked out books at the library and made a notebook of sorts with my favorite recipes. I still have links on my PC with titles like: recipes 2014, 2015, soups, cakes and so on. Well, other than my favorites, I rarely look at those links anymore. Now I generally wing it when I make soup.

Like I said, I have a lot of spices. Some of them are probably of Antique Value, as I can’t remember the last time I’ve used them, and don’t dare open the container, lest they lose their value. Some have labels that aren’t discernible anymore, increasing the mystery about them. I really should toss some of them, because they tend to lose their potency over time. I don’t do so, because then I’d have to re-buy the same unused spices in order to have them ready in case I make an exotic recipe that is not complete without one of those puppies (My word for spices, this time).

Salt and Pepper are those spices, I use the most, and with great success. My stop-the-presses-carrot-extinction-soup has those 2 additives, mainly because I can use them, without having to look up if they were right for my soup.

As I write this blog, my Carrot Soup is bubbling on the induction stove top, just waiting for me to take it with me to work today. I still have a portion of Lentil Chili, and a few German Apples, not to mention my Applesauce Carrot Cake, all of  which comprise my lunch and break food today.

It’s been a great week of Cooking, with at least 4 kilos of Carrots to go. I’m not sure just what I’ll be making with the rest of them, but I’ll be sure to include that in another blog…if you cared about those Puppies (Carrots, that is) at all????

 

 

I am swimming in the Mediterranean Sea

I am in Greece, on the island of Zakynthos. I am staying at a Greek Hotel, populated only by Danes from Denmark.

I have learned how to say Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening in Greek. I have asked the Cleaning Lady how to say those things. She greeted my in English, she greets everyone in English. She is happy having a job.

Most people would be happy having a job. Many would be happier holding 2 jobs. There are not 2 jobs to be had. The woman at the bar has one job. She used to have a nice job, in an office. Now she works mixing drinks. Now she earns ½ of what she earned before. She owns Olive Trees as a sideline. The owner of the Hotel also owns Olive Trees. He sells Olive Oil at the Hotel. Everyone is struggling in Greece. Everyone is striving for a better life.

I am swimming in the Mediterranean. I am surprised at how salty it is. The water is clear, and warm. The waves are few and not large. Something is nibbling at my toes. Small Crabs are biting me. I try to keep my feet moving, so I do not get eaten by mini Greek Crabs.

At night the sky is filled with Stars. They resemble the same Stars as in California. 37 degrees Latitude is where I am now in Greece, 34 degrees Latitude is where I came from in California. In Denmark it is 57 degrees which is about the same as Juneau, Alaska. I can see my Sign of the Zodiac, Scorpio. Scorpio is not visible in Denmark in the Summer. Summers in Denmark are never really dark. Not like in Greece.

I am at home again, in California, in a Greek way.

If I were drinking Champagne to celebrate Life, while swimming in the salty Mediterranean at night when the mini Crabs were sleeping, looking at my California Stars, and cherishing the job, I had back home in Denmark, then I would say, Yamas, or To Your Health. Cheers for the rest of you.

Yamas….

I was in Canada, once

Were you really? Where about?

I was in Victoria, B.C.

How was it, what do you remember?

Ah, I was only 5 or so, but I do remember, we were there. That’s what my Parents said, anyway.


I was in New Mexico, once

Really? What did you see?

Carlsbad Caverns. And we stopped off in Texas, and into Mexico at Juarez.

What do you remember about that trip?

The Caverns, and my Parents arguing.


I once visited 4 Corners National Monument. I stood on 4 States at one time.

What do you remember about that trip?

An asphalt road in the middle of the desert leading to nowhere. I felt terrible, all teenagerish, having to stand on that marker, while others looked at me, and my Father taking my picture.


I was at the airport in Iceland, once.

Where were you going, where did you come from, what do you remember?

I was traveling from Baltimore to Copenhagen. It was dark, being the middle of the night. I remember being very thirsty and a Coke costed $8. For 1 Coke. $8!


Memories are not all they are cracked up to be. Those were my less memorable ones, how about yours?

I am reading a book, in German

I grew up in the United States. My Parents spoke English. I learned English in school. My friends and family spoke English.

My Grandparents spoke Russian and English. My Mother didn’t want us to learn Russian, we were after all, Americans.

I had Spanish in school. I was not good at learning Spanish. I convinced myself, I would never be able to learn another language.

I am reading a book in German. It is called, “Das erste Buch der Träume” by Kerstin Gier. It is a book for young people. I have not been young for many decades.

I am reading a book in German. I have read Harry Potter. Actually, all the Harry Potter books in German. I live in Denmark. I speak English to my Family, and Danish to everyone else.

I used to read books, many books in English. English is my native language. It is easy reading in English. If I read another language, then in English, it is a great relief, how easy it really is. English that is.

I don’t read German because it is easy. I don’t understand all of the words, as if they were in English. I don’t always understand the Idioms, or other articles of speech, which other Germans would understand. A lot of German is lost in my translation.

I read books in German, living in Denmark. No one seems to understand me. I also listen to French Music, without being able to understand French. As yet, not much that is.

I am reading a book in German. Sometimes in Danish. Hopefully in French.

I am writing this blog in English,

and that is all, I thought that I could do, once upon a time…….

Carrot, Carrot, Carrot

Carrots are purchased by the kilo in Denmark. Usually 1 or 2 kilos.

A friend of ours needed to buy carrots for her horses. 6 bags of carrots. She knows how much my daughter loves carrots, so one of those bags now belongs to us. 9 kilos of carrots. 9 kilos.

When carrots start to get old, some develop black spots, or perhaps they start to get weak in the knees. Soft, you know? There is nothing worse than weak in the knees, Carrot style!

I started thinking about how to use them, before they go bad. Carrot soup? There are really not that many carrots in Carrot Soup.

I’ve also made Carrot Cake. The recipe, I just found on the Internet, uses 4 cups, which is about 1 liter of Carrots. 1 Liter is about 1 kilo.

Now there are just 8 kilos to go.

The Internet has lots of recipes and ideas, but those are usually mixed with other vegetables. I now should invest in equal amounts of cabbage, broccoli, peas and the like. I might just have to rent more storage space for the additional items.

The next thing to do is to inform the family that we need to cut down on Christmas Presents, unless of course they will be willing to accept Carrots  as currency, and barter them away. This plan will probably backfire leaving me with more Carrots than I now possess!

I could donate them, but the time taken looking for the right charity, which will accept Carrots, is probably rather time-consuming and expensive as well.

My time is certainly better spent, standing along the major thoroughfare, handing out Carrots  to the motorists, stopped in traffic. Although, I’m afraid the Tax People, or Police would frown upon my good intentions, and demand a paid permit allowing me to give Carrots away to others. They, the Carrots, probably need to be certified, and laboratory-tested for pesticides, and other nasty things, which again would cut into my already reduced Christmas Budget.

Here are the Carrots in question:

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The meager 1 kilo bag on the left, and the troublesome 9 kilo bag on the right. (explanation for those who couldn’t see the difference).

My Dog and I will have to continue these thoughts after the completion of this blog. 2 heads are better than 1, and I’m sure he will come up with some usable ideas, seeing as how he doesn’t have any conflict of interest in the matter at hand.

I’d better look up that recipe for Carrot Cake, Sheet Pan Size once again, and think thick, thick, thick ………

 

 

Lentils are not for Wusses

Lentil Chili is tough. I ought to have a Lentil tattooed on my arm, to show where my allegiance lies.

I stumbled upon a blog, written by an obvious Wuss, crying about Onion Depression, or some other Balderdash!

I had 2 Onions, one was bad – Bad to the Bone! The other one would do, think about that one, you Onion-Wuss!

I didn’t have the time or the need to cry the blues. Think about it, crying the Wuss-Onion Blues in 3 separate Blogs! My, oh My.

Get a Life!

No one dared to ask me about my Lentil Chili at work today. No time for closet Wusses, no time for Omega-3, good for your Karma, low-fat, 5/2 eating diet, no time for low fat Greek Yogurt…

Save it for Sunday!

If you are heading for tough, think Lentil Chili. Don’t do the recipe with lots of colors, step-by-step instructions, steaming hot delights.

Wake up and smell the Chilies!

A simple description will do. Don’t sugar-coat it. Tell it like it is, don’t beat around the bush.

Remember, Lentils are not for Wusses.

Period.