Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lake Stor Treen

Being in unspoilt nature is such a bliss for an urban dweller. Friday April 19th I left with my friend Terje to stay by the shores of Lake Stor Treen, a large lake in Värmland in Sweden. Stor-Treen and Mången are two small lakes located north of Arvika. Stor-Treen is located 190 meters above sea level and Mången is located 212 meters above sea level.

Lake Stor Treen is located in the Gunnarskog Community in the borough of Arvika. The Arvika borough covers a large area - close to 1300 square kilometres and has a population of 14000 inhabitants.

A large proportion of the population lives in the city of Arvika. The community of Gunnarskog has a population of 280 souls, but during late spring, summer and early fall many tourist visit this community to enjoy the unspoilt nature.

The community of Gunnarskog is located south of Lake Stor Treen. For those of you visiting Gunnarskog you are well advised to do your grocery shopping before driving into the wilderness. A good alternative is to do your shopping at Arvika or Charlottenberg, the centre of the neighbouring borough of Eda. In Gunnarskog you will experience that the distance between shops is long.

What are there to see in the area? Mostly nature, pine, spruce, and birch forests as long as the eye can see. Here foxes, wolves, and badgers rule the forests in the hunt for deer or other prey or the content in the odd waste bin.

You may admire the rune stone at Skramle, found during an archaeological excavations at Skramle in 1993. This farm, left to decay after the Black Death in 1350, was the oldest farm in Gunnarskog. The text is not completely deciphered, but what is, says:

Othawin wrote (these runes), I know of danger.... (Othawin ristade, jag känner til fara....)

Around the Lake Stor Treen there are a few sights to see, and I will rtell you on the following sights later:
  • Fredros Fløttingsrenne (Log Chute at Fredros)
  • Loggers shed, Stor Treen
  • Fredros farm.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Caviar House & Prunier, Copenhagen Airport

You find Caviar House & Prunier in Switzerland, France, UK, Denmark, Germany, Dubai, Austria and Hong Kong. Caviar House & Prunier is one of the best places to enjoy a pre departure snack at Copenhagen Airport. Here you may order first class seafood and champagne to follow. Afterwards you may consider some of the delicious products under offer, but beware - the price is first class as well, so pay up!

In February we did just that. What could be better than a plate of large succulent oysters served on ice with just lemon to squeeze over. So fresh, so natural, no artificial colour, flavour, or additives - 100 % natural!!

Then a plate of Balik Salmon. This product has undergone a smoking process going back to the time of the Russian Tsars After being specially salted and raffia dried to massage the flesh, the salmon is smoked gently for twenty hours in a one-off process. The Salmon is then sliced by the skilled hands of filleting specialists, then sorted and labelled.

Did it meet my expectation of a truly spectacular product? Not really. It was delicious, but I have enjoyed several similar salmon qualities earlier.

And what could be better than a bottle of bubbly. The Caviar House & Prunier had their own label of Champagne, dry and delicious, produced by the Champagne House Lombard & Cie in Epernay.

Caviar House & Prunier
Copenhagen Airport
Terminal 3
DK-2770 Kastrup


Phone: +45 32 31 47 60
Fax: +45 32 31 47 61

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Urban Portraits

If you happen to be in the area around Schwerin in Germany coming week, you may visit an exhibition with a special connection to Enjoy Food & Travel. Paintings made by Malin Kjelsrud and ceramic sculptures by Kristin Rasmussen are displayed at Jagdschloss Gelbensande from April 14th to June 22nd.

On this poster you find a portrait of a man with clear blue eyes holding a wine glass. This is one of two paintings of me, destined for my summer home. Malin Kjelsrud is an extremely gifted artist with an original interpretation of her motives. She is engaged to my good friend and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer composer Dagfinn Koch.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin and Nordic Noble. I was invited to the opening at Jagdschloss Gelbensande but I could not attend. I will, however, be happy to attend when the exhibition reopens in Schwerin in August.

See article on exhibition on the Norwegian Embassy website
See Dagfinn Kochs website here
See Malin Kjelsruds website here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Food for you eyes - only.....?

Eating at Cafe Glyptoteket is a feast for your eyes, an artwork as the rest of what is found in this beautiful art collection in the middle of Copenhagen. An important question is what is pleasing the hungry eye, tastes as good as it looks. I do not think so.

There are few things that make you more hungry than walking up and down large art collections. There are even fewer places where you may sit down and enjoy such a view than at Cafe Glyptoteket. In a winter cold February it was a great feeling to eat in a subtropical winter garden, under tall date palms towering up towards a large glass dome.

Ketil ordered a Herring plate accompanied by a potato cake. I ordered a club sandwich and two glasses of white wine. We sat down and waited for our food to be served.

I think Ketil felt a little disappointment as the herring was served. One large herring fillet, served with a small glass of chopped red onions and capers. What little was on the plate tasted good, but the amount of herring was certainly according to the spirit of Danish generosity.

My club sandwich looked equally promising. Two toasted slices of rustic bread, decorated with a balsamic vinegar reduction.

Cold, crisp slices of bacon on moist chicken breast on lettuce. It looked great, but did it taste as well as it looked? No such luck, it tasted a little boring.

One good thing was, however, that the lunch at Café Glyptoteket was hardly a rip-off. DKK 95 (€ 12) and the club sandwich DKK 109 (€14) and wine at DKK 38 (€ 4,50) was a reasonable price for a piece of art designed for you eyes only.

Café Glyptoteket
Dantes Plads 7, Copenhagen
Tlf.: 33 41 81 28

Read more stories from Ny Carlsberg Glypotek here

Monday, April 21, 2008

What is the catch of the day - monsieur?

Every early morning at Vieux Port in Marseilles fishermen come in with the catch of the day to sell to those planning today's lunch or dinner. As I am early to rise in the morning, and love food shopping, I was out two mornings to see what the fishermen had caught. The amount and selection of fish were in grim contrast to the abundance of the markets of Barcelona. Here are a few varieties I recognized and that I may have bought and prepared that day.

Gilt-head bream

As this Dorade or Gilt-head bream for sale at € 8 a kilo. It is found throughout the Mediterranean and even at the North Eastern coastal areas of the Atlantic ocean.

It is an excellent fish to prepare for a delicious lunch as you overlook the Vieux Port in Marseilles. Very popular in Portugal, and if you ask for Dourada at any restaurant along the Algarve coast you will served this one.

Mackerel? They certainly look like them!

There are so many varieties of mackerel. From the large tuna fish, to the smallest mackerels that swim in large numbers to the coasts of Scandinavia.

These fish look unmistakably like mackerels. The stripes, the small fins on their backs and the shape of their tails.

I bet they would be delicious, fileted, lightly covered in flour and pan fried, like the freshly caught mackerels where I come from.

The delicious sole

I love sole. I ate sole meuniere at the Restaurant Versailles at the Blue Waters hotel in Durban, that did not do it much honour, but I found a great place to eat plaice at Lizard's Rock in Pietermaritzburg.

The sole meunière, lightly floured, butter fried sole with parsley and lemon - in this dish the fish plays the main character and the delicious flavours do not have to compete too many other tastes.

But it does not come cheap. € 25 for a kilo., but it is definitely worth it!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A view to remember...

I looked through some old photos and I found this blurred photo of a view long gone. This picture of Northern Manhattan was taken from the roof of one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1990 on my first trip to the United States.

It is so strange how old photos revive forgotten memories. Through them I once again remember clearly that day in February 1990 I left with a Pan Am flight from London Heathrow bound for JFK Intl. airport. My trip would take me from JFK to Boston with a US Air flight for a week with my friend Joe Cice. He studied political science at Harvard University and rented a flat in Banks Street in Cambridge. We watched the release of Nelson Mandela live on TV. Sadly my friend died in 2006, 38 years old. I miss him, as he was an important part of my past.

I then spent a week with my aunt Hanne Skuggevik in Stratham Heights Road in Stratham NH, another week with my cousin Ann Eastman in Sebastian Lakes in Florida, before I left for the Big Apple.

It was during the last week in New York, visiting a friend studying at St. Vladimir Orthodox seminary in Crestwood N.Y., that I slipped away and took the lift to the upper deck of one of the two impressive towers on Manhattans southern tip. It is so strange that this view is no more.

I particularly remember this old church just by the Twin Towers. I think it is the Church of Saint Peter, and this was used as shelter during the disaster on September 11th 2001. It is a beautiful Greek revival building, strange in style among the high rise buildings in the middle of the busy metropolis.

When I visited NYC three years ago, I am glad to say that this building looked unharmed, in spite of the dramatic days in September 2001.

It is so strange all the memories old photos bring back. I wished that I already then had the opportunity to share my traveling experiences, as my blog is working as a diary - my window to the world.