Thursday, 29 December 2011

Happy New Year

I hope the year to come, and new year's eve, will be as glorious as this picture taken from the Moomins Cookbook (ISBN 978-1906838-16-4) - the source of all our wonderful desserts, some interesting soups and ideas for what to do with leftovers. I haven't tried all the recipes yet, so good surprises to come, it seems.



Ola the guinea pig is sleeping on my stomach. We never had a guinea pig before. It has been the most wonderful experience. Ola makes his cute "I'm content" sounds and likes to sleep on my stomach for hours. It is scary though, Kipling said something about the risk of giving one's heart to an animal. Ola has my heart now.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Oslo Graffiti 24

Rainy, dark day, but I love living in this part of town. It is fairly "un-posh", quiet, green in summer, close to the woods and the air quality is much better than in the center of Oslo. There is also a good mix of people - couples with children, the elderly, working class, artists, professionals, easy access to town and just not a very pretentious atmosphere. A good place to live.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Oslo Graffiti 23

Exam time - it is kind of enjoyable, I get to have cookies with my scribbling, rantings and make a very intellectual looking mess

Monday, 26 December 2011

Obi

A wonderful obi available at Ichiroya (link), I would have loved to get it myself, but impossible when studying.

Pictures from here (ink)


This fukuro obi is made by The First Icchiku Kubota.
It is very rare and incredibly valuable item for the kimono lovers.

We don't have enough words to describe this art work - - - you must already know that tsujigahana dyeing was phantasmal dyeing, before HE revived it.

We can know that this piece was made by the first, from the signature.







This piece is not brand new one, but it is not used and in excellent condition.
It is in the original wooden box.

(*The price tag remains in the #209017(very similar one), which reads 4300,000Yen - approx 55,800.00USD. Unbelievable!)

*Approx background color - HTML code ( 3D695F)
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Sunday, 25 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions



Here in Norway we have what we call our New Year Resolutions. I'm not sure, if this is an international thing, but these are mine:

Enjoy myself with my studies and friends

Exercise even better

Get enough vitamin D, A, iron and calcium - yes, I took blood tests, I know I need my cod liver oil (there are vegan options, I'm a bit in doubt, but have decided on cod liver oil for now after an excellent doctor gave a strong recommendation), more carrots, Ca2+ and iron - one must take blood tests, it is absolutely possible to overdose on fat soluble vitamins and also on minerals, one doesn't take supplements unless one actually needs them, and possibly test myself for celiac disease, as blood levels for vitamins are low

Be happy, take a lot of photographs and play the piano

And last, but not least, let the people I love - and Ola the guinea pig - know that I love them -- getting the message through on a regular basis :D

Friday, 23 December 2011

Old Fashioned Christmas Cakes - Sand Nuts

185 grams of lightly salted gourmet butter
160 grams of sugar
2 tea spoons of vanilla sugar or vanilla seeds from a pod
0.5 tea spoon of hearts horn salt (ammonium carbonate)
250-290 grams of organic, fine wheat flour

Run the butter, vanilla and sugar in a food processor until it is almost white in colour. add hearts horn salt and flour. Mix. Make small balls (should make around 70) and flatten them slightly with a fingertip. Low heat - 150-175C until a very light golden. This is an old family favourite. Enjoy!

A little about hearts horn from Wiki:

Hartshorn salt (ammonium carbonate), also known simply as hartshorn, and baker's ammonia, was used as a leavening agent, in the baking of cookies and other edible treats. It was used mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries as a forerunner of baking powder.[7] ½ teaspoon of hartshorn can substitute for 1 teaspoon of baking powder. It is called for in old German and Scandinavian recipes and, though rarely used in modern times, may still be purchased as a baking ingredient.[8] Hartshorn helps molded cookies such as Springerle to retain their intricate designs during baking. Cookies make with hartshorn can be kept for a long time without hardening. Use of hartshorn may turn some ingredients, such as sunflower seeds, green.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas E-mail from My Boss - she is splendid!

Ikke glemme at juleferien er en tid for å slappe av, gjøre andre ting og samle krefter til ny giv på nyåret!!!! J Må bare minne deg på at du må ta hensyn til deg selv i fall du selv skulle glemme det! ;-)

TJ

Do not forget that the holidays are a time for relaxation, to do other tings than work and to find new energy!!!! I just Have to remind you to take care of yourself, in case you forget! ;-)

--------

If that's not the best Christmas e-mail ever ...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Kate Bush Weekend - dinner and dancing

It has been the best weekend ever - my partner and my mother coming for dinner - pinnekjøtt - a western Norwegian specialty of smoked and dried lamb ribs that are watered over night and then steam boiled. Not really my thing, but once a year for the benefit of the meat eaters in the family. The meat is served with mashed beetroots and what we call almond potatoes. Almond potatoes are simply almond shaped, very delicately tasting gourmet potatoes. It is a traditional Christmas fare.

The guinea pig seems more comfortable now as he gets used to our scents. And then - Kate Bush, my partner's favorite singer/songwriter. The guinea pig got a little guinea pig twirl. Sitting on my arm while I was  gently dancing to Kate Bush, Julie London and some other music. He did make his cute "I'm content" sounds, so I guess we twirled slowly enough.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Privacy

I'm working on setting up my blog page with a more professional e-mail that is more easily accessible for me - no extra log on among other things. My here, there&everywhere and the extra log on tend to make me a little slow from time to time.

My real dilemma though, is the usage of my full name. It has figured in one of the postings, but I don't want my pupils, school mates or employers to find the blog too easily. This is a quite private me, and I'm not ready in a way. I also try to shelter the people I sometimes write about a little extra that way, even if I try to be very careful when it comes to using names. Any input? What are your experiences when it comes to using your name?

From the Nutcracker with Baryshnikov and Kirkland

Monday, 5 December 2011

Fly Me to the Moon

Just Fine!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas card, artwork by R. Briggs from Victoria & Albert Museum's webshop

And then my mother called from the hospital, telling that she is just fine, the doctor not sure why she was sent for additional examinations in the first place. It may be a very good Christmas:)))))))))

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Life!

In South, Southeast, and East Asian art and religion, a mandala is an abstract design symbolic of the universe. Sam Francis's mandala consists of four concentric square bands. The bands are mottled with spontaneous washes of radiant colors, while the entire composition, which includes the squared shape of the paper, is streaked with dripped and flung paint. If it is a true mandala, how does the artist's pattern represent the cosmos? Does it offer a commentary on its nature?

The four bands suggest the four legendary corners of the world, both earthly and celestial. The geometric composition of the design, signifying order, is offset by random splashes of color that are uncalculated. Francis captures in his abstract style—suited to the conceptual nature of mandala diagrams—both the structures and spontaneous rhythms of nature. The artist's prominent use of yellows and reds unifies this symbolic and visual dualism, which in its brilliance suffuses all elements of Francis's mandala with light. (text&picture from this page - link)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tofu Burgers for Shannon

Long time no recipe, but this is a good one even if not vegan:

500 grams of cotton tofu

60 grams of walnut kernels

approx. 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds

spring onions

I used three cloves of garlic and about a fistful of gluten free oatmeal, but bread crumbs or ordinary oatmeal will do

2 eggs

5 smallish tasty mushrooms

salt to taste

Run all ingredients in a blender until you have a nice consistency

Fry in rapeseed oil until brown on medium heat

Serve with a salad, possibly some ketchup and bread

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Friday, 18 November 2011

Myrull

Little Myrull, our beyond perfect pet, went on his journey to the stars yesterday. He was old, tired and ill, so it was not unexpected. We had a lot of fun together and were very lucky to get to know him.

Myrull!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Beauty Plus Pity

Beauty plus pity - that is the closest we can get to a definition of art

V. Nobokov

Sunday, 30 October 2011

London Squirrel

My partner just sent this picture. He is traveling for work. Being squirrel crazed, it is a certain to make my day. The hardhat is gone too. I've cleaned out the basement, painted the stairs and some doors, washed, will screw on a few doorknobs today and do a little this&that, but now most of the basement and my flat is finished. Somebody will come and paint the staircase I hope, but that's a little bit into the future.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Beautiful

Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya's newsletter arrives once a week. This week's edition features some interesting Uchikake.




This uchikake came from one dyer's house from Kyoto. Our frined has been contacted with the family and he bought the uchikake from the family and offered in the auction and we have won in that auction.
This is quite rare that we could know the background of items offered in auction, actually.

The family made the set tailored for the daughter in around 1965, and there are photos of her wearing these uchikake. We can see the shrine pillar in the back in the photos. Color print was not popular yet, one of the photos is monochrome. 

When I heard about the uchikake before seeing them yet, I was not expecting them being good ones(I preferred uchikake from earlier age). Actually the accessories came along with the uchikake were not very expensive kind but the dye work of uchikake was wonderful to my surprise! The dye work reminded us of the ones from before WWII, it had very similar characteristics, we would have thought the set was from WWII if we did not know how the set came from. The set has very good dye work! 
 
 
 
The family must have been VERY RICH, tailoring one uchikake is already so costly but they have made three uchikake, with Sho-chiku-bai motif(three most auspicioius motifs, which are used as a set very often, they are pine tree, bamboo and plum trees)on each uchikake.

The uchikake with the pine tree is just like Suiboku-ga (Ink painting), and has vigorous and strong touch. The uchikake with bamboo grove has been painted with blazing vermilion. The uchikake with plum trees is reddish orange, the blossoms are embroidered partially, and this seems most decorative of all three uchikake.

Uchikake are wedding gowns, and they cannot be worn at the same time(I mean only one uchikake at a time), so we assume two of the uchikake were made for taking photos and one of them(we assume the one with blomblossoms) have been worn in the wedding reception. 
 
 
 
Each uchikake has a big signatre of the dyer-the size of the signaure is quite big. It can tell the work is very special one with big effort.
My parents got married a few years before the age of the uchikake but their wedding costume was far more simple, but I think majority of people was that way. There must have been very few families who could afford such wedding preparation. 
 
 
 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Bjørnson's Beauty Soup

This is a variation on Bjørnson's Beauty Soup - pureed vegetables in stock, with a dash of (soy) cream. Sorry for not posting recipes more often, Shannon. Bjørnson was one of Norway's most famous poets, by the way.

Start with frying onions and (plenty of) garlic in olive oil, add vegetables, anything will do, but I like orange ones like sweet potato and carrots for taste and colour. I always add some pear, which brings out the taste in the rest of the vegetables and some squash. Add vegetable stock. Cook until tender, puree in blender and add soy cream or just cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

More Autumn IV

The camera on my cell phone seems to have improved after the phone bathed in oat milk - hmmmm

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Icy Air

From the Brevik bridge on my way home. The air is as icy as the light is blue.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

I Have Decided to Trust Nina

When I was little, one of the highlights in life was to walk through the woods around the cottage with my mother to fetch the newspaper. Occasionally we stopped at Mrs. Nygård's place. She was the kindest lady, not used to great comfort, but generous and kindly talkative. We sat in her garden by the sea and talked of all the important things like life, nature and animals. I got to admire her garden and she served bread with jam, cake and coffee. She saw life with kind eyes.

Today Nina told me there still are people like that left - kind, content with their life without having to have every comfort. I've decided to believe her.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

More Autumn II

The hard hat's off. I washed the stairs, made the bed and collapsed. Tomorrow it is tidying up and painting. Then, in a couple of days, it is all my own time.Time is the greatest commodity.

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