Friendly winter break with gastronomic delight

We are just home from 5 days in our vacation home in Sweden together with Tor, my colleague (and blog friend!) and his wife Anna. It was a week off due to winter break in Norway and most Norwegians, at least families with children go to various ski resorts or to their cottage. You see we have five weeks vacation in Norway and those over 60 even have six weeks. Another reason was that both Tor and I had to fix something on our cars and the price for auto repair in Sweden is lower (10 to 20%). On top of that: the currency exchange gives the Norwegian krone another 15% off since it is at a higher exchange than the Swedish krone. For the same reason its a pleasure to shop in the grocery and the liqueur store (in Sweden: ‘Systembolaget’ and Norway: ‘Vinmonopolet’ – both governmental run). We took advantage of both and therefore I call this post A Gastronomic Delight and I’ll give you a couple highlights:

On Friday we had Fermented Fish (Rakfisk) as a starter:
Table set with fish Fermented Fish (trout)
Click on the picture if you like to see more details.
You drink beer and Aquavit to that treat (the shot glass is from Hard Rock Café).

Our main course was reindeer steak with potatoes, brussell sprouts, carrots and of course lingon berry. It goes very well with red wine:
Reindeer Steak #1 Reindeer Steak #2

My regular readers have seen the table sat with our china a lot of times. We like a nice setting and to present the food nicely on the platter. It has nothing to do with formality – the atmosphere is very casual and cosy. Its just that sitting around the table and eat, converse and enjoying each others company is balsam for the soul. We are talking about slow food and enjoying soul mates with discussions about politics, travel adventures, geography or even the climate challenge.

The next day was no less enjoyable as we decided for seafood: Shrimp, craw fish and lobster:
Seafood #5
This time we had champagne with the seafood + cloudberry liqueur and brandy to dessert!

So what else did we do in those day you might ask? Well, we just had a jolly good time: I’ve told you about shopping and you can read more about that at Tor’s blog, some trivia competitions in the evening and to give you some more examples (as pictures says more than a thousand words):
Painters Bloggers #1
The ladies are very artistic and the boys take advantage of that wireless broadband is installed – TV is boring and Out – Internet rules :D

For those who hunger for even more pics: you can see a movee (I don’t include it here to prevent heavy download on this post for those who have a slow connection).
For those who want more details from Tor and Anna’s point of view, read his post!

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  1. My dear friend, we did have a blast of a time once again with U 2.
    It’s a great thing that people can go so well together as the 4 of us.
    And our meals and social gatherings – fantastic. I do think our regular readers do sense this fact.

    btw. It’s less than a month until next time. Hurray – something to look forward to like kids.

    Yea, we surely had a great time – a perfect match I would say!
    The food and gathering was excellent due to your charming contributions – I’m sure the readers can tell from the pics.
    Looking forward to the next time too!

  2. The food always looks so good here. I was over at Tor’s earlier and there was just a plate of shells. I guess I missed the big feed. So I’ll stay here for a bit and munch on all the great looking seafood. Yummy. I agree about television is out and the internet is in. We don’t have television here. Have a great day. :)

    Tor’s was a picture from the end, mine is from the very beginning you know – thanks for coming back and check it all out!
    Glad you liked the food and that we can agree to that TV is out :D

  3. Ah how wonderful to see you four happily together! It looks like such fun!Wish I were there to enjoy the feast!

    Glad you liked it too and we all hope one day you can join us!

  4. Fermented fish…that sounds interesting. It seems as if you all had a great time shopping, eating and playing on the internet!

    We’ve had 40 C here during the weekend. Rather hot, but today it’s cooled down but is very humid and raining a little.

    Rakafisk is a Norwegian speciality – hope you’ll have the chance to try one day!
    Thanks for the weather report from down under. We had a windy and cold weekend and are looking forward to the summer time.

  5. What a lavish feast and a fitting way to end a lovely time spent with dear friends.

    You said that right Lisa and one day we hope you can join us too!

  6. It looks like you all had a great time again! I love the food displays! And the Hard Rock Cafe shot glass is cool! That is good that you all get to see each other again soon. :-)

    We had and glad you liked it too and also noticed the shot glass – its one of my clenodiums.
    We’ll be back so stay tuned for more friendly adventures :-)

  7. Boy, that seafood looks delicious! I wish we had better and more seafood. We live so far from the coast that most of our seafood is frozen or has to be flown in, which makes it really expensive.

    Glad you had a good Winter break, Renny and Diane. :-)
    Love and hugs,

    I knew you would like it too Diane and hope one day you can come and visit to taste yourself.
    Thanks for your kind words – bunch of hugs back to you :-)

  8. Sounds like a fun holiday! Lucky you for getting so many days off.

    You eat reindeer there? Who pulls Santa’s sleigh?

    It was great and I know we are lucky.
    There are plenty more in the winter wonder land where the deer comes from you know – don’t you worry!

  9. Wow, your tables are artistic! I thought it was a restaurant at first glance without reading! The food looks awesome too.

    5/6 weeks holidays is what French get too. In Canada, it goes from two weeks to four/ five weeks (rare). And in Canada, liquor stores are government’s as well (well, provincial gov’). In France, you can buy alcohol everywhere! ;-)

    Bon appetit now! ;-)

    Thanks for your compliments and glad you liked what you saw on the table too.
    Yea, it start to get usual in more and more European countries. Good to know Canada is adopting the idea too!
    Didn’t know you had the same system in Canada with governmental run liquor stores, but knew France was much more liberal.

  10. Hey all the good food….I think we are going to need a diet now LOL!! You and Tor sure are two lucky guys! Seriously we did have fun, didn’t we!!

    I do agree, we need a change in the menu during this week :lol: We are the luckiest my dear – thanks for partisipating in doing this weekend unforgettable too!

  11. wow fantastic…a dream to me really…….the food looks amazing….loved that ya shared that,.,cause for me…it is all about the food…hee hee

    Glad I could fulfill your dream then hee hee

  12. Wow! I would love to try all of that food, sounds absolutely delicious. Yum! I hope you are having allot of fun too.

    I have something for you at my site.
    Love and Blessings,

    Yea, it tasted lovely and we had great fun – a blast!
    Thanks for plugging me AngelBaby!

  13. renny,
    of all the food on the photo, I had my eyes set on the lingonberry! I love lingonberry jam and juice. well… the juice especially when mixed with a nice vodka ;)

    Its a must when you eat steaks I would say and I’ve tasted lingonberry liquor – yummy!

  14. I think it is fabulous that you 4 have become such close friends! And you can always count on having wonderful meals! You would not like me as a dinner guest since I don’t eat any fish! You might just have to serve me hot dogs on fancy china! LOL! (I do eat pork chicken and beef!)

    You know both you and your husband would always be welcome around the table with us – whatever you eat and of course you could always have some hot dogs – everything goes on that china. Besides you can also have a glass of champagne which defiantly break the ice (if there ever was any!)

  15. 2 words: I’m fasting.
    Renny, thx so much for sharing this though. I am in awe of your lifestyle. So relaxed. We Americans are stupid…So nice to see you enjoying life – congrats!

    Thx for dropping by. Have a gr8 week, my friend.

    Your welcome and I’m glad you’ve catch the atmosphere. I don’t know about stupid, but maybe you’ve forgotten the joy in gathering around the table.
    Wishing you a gr8 one too!

  16. Beautiful, Renny! I like the way you set the table. Why else have beautiful things if not to enjoy with good friends? They do no good in the closet. Thanks for sharing your vacation.

    I knew you would like it Sandy and well said: lets use the beautiful things when we can and enjoy.

  17. I LOVE the soulmates that come from blogging, Renny. I have found one in Holland that I get with every time I’m over there, at least once a week. So I know exactly what it feels like when the 4 of you can get together! Thanks for sharing.

    I know and remember my saying: ‘Blogging Connecting People’. Good to know you’ve found some too!

  18. Hello. I saw you at my widget from blogcatalog. Thanks for visiting my site. I’m just hitting you back. By the look of the spread on those tables, you can’t call your post anything else but a gastranomic delight. I live in a country composed of 7,100+ islands (Philippines) and seafood here is in abudance as well. We have a dish similar to your fermented fish. We even have fermented crab. Interesting, huh. Although I know what brussel sprouts look like, they are not really grown here in our country so I don’t know what they taste like. The thing about blogging is it introduces me to people like you who writes about your country thus enabling us to see a bit of Norway without having to go there physically. Will drop by again soon, if you don’t mind.

  19. Drooling…drooling…… :( I hate myself for not being now.

    I enjoyed the colourful sight and I just wanna know, do you steam the shrimp? They certainly looked very very fresh.

    How about the sprouts? We always seem to over-cook it over here ;(

  20. the food looks so delicious Renny !!!
    reindeer steak…..wow…that would be different and here I was thinking Kangaroo steak was unusual (I have never tried it !)…so I can’t tell you what it tastes like :)
    sounds like you had a wonderful time….and I do hope that you and Diane won’t have to diet after all that wonderful cuisine :)

  21. You sure know how to have a good time and enjoy life, that’s wonderful!! :) I didn’t have to wait to be 60 yo to have 6 weeks vacation in Germany, I had them when I worked there and I was 30!!

  22. OMG!!!!!!!!what a delightful vacation with Tor and Anna??thats great!!why are you guys so far away from me??

    gee,i really love those sea food and now,im drooling here!!in the middle of the night!LOL!

    howve you been Renny?Sorry I am so busy recently and cant log in much.But I dont forget you,a matter of fact,I have a great tag for you. :)

    Pls click here


  23. I thought I had commented days ago …but I must have read about all this wonderful food and champagne…and then had to rush to the kitchen for something to eat :-)

    Quite wonderful. Are Lingonberries anything like Cloudberries? I had some cloudberry liqueur once and it was SO delicious, but I have never seen it since. I think mine was brought back from Finland…

  24. There is nothing like a friendly winter break! It sounds like a wonderful occasion, wonderful food, wonderful company. And the champagne provides the froth on top!! :)

    I do envy the artistic skills of Diane and Anna – I so wish I could do that!

  25. hi renny! it’s been quite some time since i visited you. glad to know you’re enjoying the winter break! :D

    as usual, you treated all of us readers to a gastronomic feast even just through pictures. the food looks really great and that reindeer steak does sound interesting. what does it taste like? :) is reindeer meat readily available in the markets there just like beef, pork and chicken?

    have a great weekend ahead! :)

  26. Delicious candy for my eyes that are feeling so burnt out today from a heavy workload. The reindeer meat caught my attention too, but perhaps it’s no different to something like kangaroo & crocodile over here or something like eating a zebra in another country! :D

  27. Hey — I just read a whole article in “Elle à Table” about Norway and Norwegian cuisine and thought about you! They talked about reindeer steak and fermented fish. Of course I know you were in Sweden but I do think there are some similarities.

    I agree about TV. We haven’t had TV in our home since 1994. (We do have screens for videos and DVDs.) We thought that our kids might want it now that they are teenagers, but in fact Internet is much more interesting to them and they never even talk about TV. They can catch up with a few TV related things via the web, and do so much more too…

    Must have been an interesting read and I’m flattered you thought about me then! Reindeer is very Scandinavian, but fermented fish is a Norwegian tradition.
    Thanks for sharing your ‘TV is out’ experience. Our children hardly see TV any more – they’re on the net.

  28. This was a very nice break in Mariestad. Yes begin to know the famous and beautiful China. I love seafood. It makes a long time since i haven’t eat a so marvelous seafood dinner. In fact since I was in Bretagne in France. Seafood here is so expensive. Fishes are more expensive than meat even if we live at Mediterrane! So you make me very hungry and as spring is here now I think we will take the time soon to go fishing with pierre if he gets better after a moto accident 2 weeks ago. I enjoy you had good time all together. Have a beautiful sunday!

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