20 Degrees Fahrenheit = Read a Cookbook and Bake

One day it’s 50 degrees and the next it 20 degrees. Get out your long underwear and the cookbooks.  Richard bought a raft of cookbooks two days ago at the now defunct Cummings Bookstore in Minneapolis of Dinkytown. The story is they had a bad water leak that damaged many books. They used fans and what have you to dry the place out, but they gave up and sold out with 40% discount on all the books. Richard bought a stack of cookbooks and invited me by to peruse his finds.  I suggested we go to the bookstore, because Richard tempted me with a book called “Life in a Medieval Castle”. “I almost bought it.”  He said wistfully. “Let’s go.” I said.  Alas, It was closed for good. I consoled myself with a hot chocolate at the Café Royale, which was good.  Richard had a double espresso – it was made just right.

We pushed on to the other remaining bookshop on the block and I managed to get past the oversized art books after a brief look see. I thought it such heady stuff to tackle on a Saturday. Moved on and was taken into a wall to ceiling nook of cookery books.  (Now there’s something to wrap my brain around.)  Because it was nicely organized, I landed on just what I had been looking for – a book about herbs.  (It gives some history, a photo and some fun recipes.) While reading some of the recipes I was commenting to Richard when a women nearby engaged me in a conversation related to my comment. She was about 5’ 4”, blond, well dressed and living in Minneapolis and Norway (Bi-Continental). Here accent was not Scandinavian. I politely asked where she was from originally. Poland. But as in all contacts of the cross-cultural kind food is the most accessible. Whereupon I was regaled about a lamb dish that is slow cooked at this time of year in Norway. Simple food. Plain she said. (I like plain and lamb.) As it turned out Andreas Viestad, the Norwegian chef on PBS, had made the recipe.

My instructress took exception to the way Andreas cut the cabbage. “Do not cut it thin, cut it in quarters. You layer cuts of lamb with cabbage and whole black pepper and cook slowly for two hours. Then serve with boiled in the jacket potatoes. Brush off the extra peppercorns to eat it.  It’s called Farikal. It’s a traditional Norwegian stew.”

The recipe is simple. Click the link to connect to the details of this recipe from Scancook. Easy to prepare and serve.

http://www.scandcook.com/default.asp?page=20&recipe=19

After this little excursion, Richard shared his treasure trove of new cookbooks. “It’s enough for the next five years.” He commented. Each book was a travellog in tastes from around the globe. Truth be told, I was salivating. Now I have to make something. Buttermilk biscuits, sweet potatoes and… yikes, I am hungry.

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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