Sunday, October 17, 2010

The United Nations of Food

It's kind of surreal living in a student house at the age of 25. There are rules to follow here. Quiet hours at 11 pm. Visitors need to be signed in. Any new appliances are to be registered with the residence office. I'm not to keep any candles in my room. Plus the college has chosen to decorate my room with fire safety notices.


Still, I'm in walking distance of school and pretty much all of central London. I have a sweet little view of a garden and a park and the London Eye. I've made a nice little eating area in my room where I can drink tea whilst listening to the radio.

What makes it all worthwhile, though, are the other people who live here.

It's like a mini-UN, with people from Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, the US, China, Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma, India, New Zealand, France, Ireland... It's pretty interesting to  put all of us together with all of our different perspectives and stereotypes and see what comes out of it. What's fantastic, too, is all is all of our different food traditions.

Last week we had our first bi-monthly taster session. We've decided that, every other week, 3 people will cook for the rest of the house, preferably something from their country, and by the end of it all, we'll have tasted the world.

For the first one, I cooked, as did an Italian girl and an Irish guy. The three of us spent the afternoon in the kitchen, commenting on this and that and exchanging tidbits about the food from our respective countries. At night, everyone from the house gathered in the garden with big wool sweaters and wine bottles, ready to fight the London autumn, and indulge in some great food. We all just ate and ate and ate. And talked some too.


My kind of Sunday night.

*****

I made fårikål, a simple, but delicious Norwegian autumn speciality, which literally translates into "lamb in cabbage".

Fårikål

(for about 5 people)
1 1/2 kg lamb stewing meat in bits with bones still attached
1 1/2 kg cabbage
4 ts whole peppercorns
2 ts salt
4 Ts flour
3 dl water

Cut the cabbage into wedges. Put alternate layers of meat and cabbage in a big pot, sprinkling with peppercorn, salt and flour between each layer. Pour water over. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let it all putter away until the meat is tender about 2 hours. Serve with boiled potatoes.

If you can't find the lamb ready in bits, buy a half shoulder and cut it up yourself. Then just put the bone into the stew along with the rest of the meat and take it out before serving.

A cozy autumn treat!


1 comment:

Mariann Klingberg said...

Høres fan-tas-tisk ut. Heldige du!