People often wonder why I moved to England, seeing as I´m born in Norway.
With eyes wide open they cannot seem to understand the words coming out of my mouth when I say I fell in love with the green rolling hills, the fog and the rain...
They utter completely bewildered.
Precisely, I say with a wry smile...
You see, that is mostly right, I do with all my heart adore the sound of rain, the smell after it has poured down for hours, the feeling of coolness in the air as it gently drizzles from the sky, and the wet mist that like beautiful Egyptian cotton softly rests on the green landscape below.
I grew up in Norway, spent my teenage years travelling and living in Switzerland, France and Tokyo. Studied fashion design in Milano, then spent some time in Stockholm before spreading my wings and moving to the Dominican Republic in the caribbean. I studied Middle eastern studies, arabic hebrew and international relations in Malta and in the Us, before ending my "world tour" in San Francisco before returning to Norway, and wondering where I would fit in in this wonderfully big and beautiful world.
And so, while thinking of all the places I´d lived, I one day saw this little whitewashed cottage safely tucked inside a white picket fence, with a thatched roof and a hobbit entrance... and I knew this was my home...
I simply fell in love...
Have you ever had that very same feeling, that you just "know", and when you do there´s no need to ask any more questions, so you simply act... you sign the contract, get the keys and move in, trusting that time will answer all the why´s...
As the rain falls from the english sky, from gentle drizzle to wild storms that threaten to pull up by the root the ancient trees around my cottage, I feel more and more at home in this wet and foggy part of the world.
It´s like it just fits, like a fine glove in the perfect size for your hands, or a shoe that doesn't knead your feet into a sore lump by the end of a wander in the woods, but rather hugs them and brings warmth and comfort with every step.
Theres also something to be said about the utter bliss of snuggling up inside when the clouds turn bleak and grey.
To simply sit there with a cup of tea or rather in the evening, a little glass of wine, waiting for the clouds to deliver as promised the refreshing rain, that encourages every garden to become a jungle in a matter of days.
I often celebrate these evening, and always feel like a treat is in order.
I´m partial to a cake with my afternoon tea, however with that glass of wine in the evening, it´s savoury treat I crave.
At 15 and 16 years of age, I spent my summers in Switzerland working on my german, where at every breakfast I would wander down to a table set for one with jams, honey, bread, tea and cheeses, one of the cheese was the classic Boursin with garlic and herbs.
The first few days I stuck to my bread with butter and honey, but then one day I reached across the table and had my very first encounter with the savoury cheese that instantly brought back memories of my beloved mother´s garden in Norway filled to the brim with her love for herbs.
Perhaps it was my young impressionable soul, or perhaps it was love at first bite, the very same way, I fell in love with my cottage, but ever since, when feeling like a treat, I reach for that Boursin cheese in the store and carry it home the way one would with something a wee bit precious.
These days, ever since the wild garlic blossomed and filled the forest with that distinctive fragrance of garlic, I´ve cooked with it like there was no tomorrow, and in a moment of decadence, I reached for the cheese, a handful of wild garlic, created a savoury treat to go with that very glass of white cooling in the fridge.
It´s a savoury madeleine of sorts, with hints of the forest that goes perfectly well with a white wine with some sweet notes and on the not too dry side of things.
So when it rains, theres no need to go blue, just get baking, light the fire and lean back with that glass of wine.
And now that I´ve found my home in the green english countryside, if you pass by on a particularly grey evening, my thatched cottage will be the one with little smoke puffs coming out of the chimney, like smoke from the old steam trains, and with a warm glow from the fireplace beaming from its windows.
Savory wild garlic Madeleines
45g of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
50g freshly grated Gruyere
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh wild garlic (or chives)
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
A tiny bit of milk if the dough is too dry.
Preheat your oven to 425℉.
Butter your madeleine pan even if it's already labeled as nonstick.
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients, keeping the Gruyere and wild garlic till it´s all blended well, then add and combine till you have a smooth and creamy dough.
With two spoons, spoon the batter onto the madeleine molds and bake in the center rack of your oven for about 10-12 minutes or until firm and golden.
Beware they go from light golden, which is what you want, to dark brown in seconds, so keep an eye out.
Remove from oven when done, and cool them for a few minutes before serving on a rack.
Serve warm with a glass of wine.