Akaka Falls

See the World for Free

The idea here is to TRAVEL THE WORLD regardless of time or budget. It dawned on me one day that even if I had unlimited time and money (which I definitley do not), I still couldn't see everything in the world that I'd like to see--I'm simply not going to live long enough to do it.

But I had a bit of brain wave and soon after the travel envelope was born. This is an actual physical envelope. I typed the name of every country in the world, plus every state in the US on little slips of paper which I then put into the envelope. In the beginning we (myself, my husband, Dave and daugher Catherine) would draw out a slip at random at the beginning of the month and that's where we would go---at least in our minds. We grab some books about the country from the library and put them in our bathroom to look at. We also check out some videos about the country if any. We check it out on googleearth, listen to the music, try the food, maybe even attempt to learn a dance or celebrate a festival.

After the first two years we discovered that even virtual traveling can be tiring, so we travel now whenever I happen to be in the mood.

It's great fun. I especially love it when people I meet have been to the place I'm "visiting" in real life, or get excited and have some virtual adventures of their own. I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will feel welcome to come with us on the trip!

You have a standing reservation to see it all!

Aug 29, 2013

Norwegian dinner

We had our good friend, Carol Vandenakker, over for our Norwegian dinner.  I know, her name's from the wrong country, but we let that slide. We cranked up the German ooompah music---again, best we could do, and I served up the appetizers which consisted of a cucumber salad, brown bread with butter and mustard and this:

It's called a ooodenorkveynterlatzenoqueterdort, or something like that. Those are walnuts spread with a blue cheese with a grape between them. They are stuck into the apple for purely decorative purposes.

The main dish was pure scandinavian high-fat yumminess. Meat patties made with pork and hamburger, dumplings made from shredded potato (I learned that potato oxidizes very quickly) and stuffed with bacon, and a delicious vegetable dish made with rutabaga, leeks and carrots (simmer in chicken bouillion).  The dumplings were something else. Once eaten, they resume their original shape in the stomach where they sit and sit and sit and sit. I have a theory that if I ate four or five dumplings every morning, I wouldn't want to eat for the rest of the day and I'd lose a ton of weight. Of course, that would be horribly unhealthy, but I would lose a lot of weight--even if I fried them up in bacon fat first.

The grand dessert was, of course, the kranselkake.

Sadly, our printer ran out of color ink just then so I couldn't decorate it properly with little Norwegian flags. But considering that I didn't have the proper molds, I think it was a darn fine effort.  I wonder if the real thing tastes anything like mine? It's a shame that Catherine wasn't here for this cake. She loves meringue and royal icing and that's really all this is.  The cakes--which are really more like cookies, are just ground almonds, powdered sugar and water. The molds are supposed to have butter solidified on the bottom, so I just coated the cookie sheets with a thick layer of butter and called it good.  The cookies spread out more than the real thing would have, but we still enjoyed them.