Friday, September 26, 2014

Creative Cookery: Warming Up With a Hot Drink

It’s the 26th of September and autumn has officially arrived in Norway. With it comes, the beautiful golden leaves falling, foggy mornings, and copious amounts of rain. Now when I say rain, I do not mean the heavy rain of the UK. No. Before I moved to Bergen I thought I knew rain, I was merely an interested amateur until I’d lived through a Bergen Autumn/Winter. Rain here comes in walls, like waterfalls from clouds, my husband occasionally describes it as “it’s raining elephants” and he is so right!

With the weather turning, everyone’s thought in the Northern hemisphere turns to warm drinks, hearty meals and woollen underwear.

So when, after asking my followers on Facebook for inspiration, I was asked for a recipe for a warm drink that was neither coffee or tea, I thought it was very apropos.

Three Hot Drinks

I started looking through my recipe books, and researching online for some candidates. The following three are what I found.

Pineapple and Ginger Punch

This recipe came from the reader’s digest page.

You will need:

  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup sliced fresh ginger (no need to peel)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick, split lengthwise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, ginger, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Strain and serve warm.

Hot Butter Beer

I have never made this drink outside of the UK, and as you can probably guess it is a nod to the famous “Harry Potter”, even if you’ve never read the books, or seen the films this is a delicious if a decidedly sweet drink. Not for diabetics!

You will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 litre of cream soda fizzy drink
  • 2-3 tbsps butter
  • 2-3 tbsps brown sugar
  • 200ml single cream
  • 4-5 wether’s original butterscotch sweets.

Put the cream soda in a pan and boil. In a separate pan melt the sugar and butter together, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Then making sure that the cream soda is still boiling, pour the sugar and butter mixture into the soda. Add the cream and the sweets, stirring constantly until the sweets have melted. Serve hot.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: For a night-cap add butterscotch schnappps.

And last but by no means least…

Chilli Hot Chocolate

It is a winter warmer, I promise, in spite of its name.

You will need for 4 servings:

  • 1 liter of milk
  • 40z of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper.

In a saucepan warm the milk gently with the cinnamon and chilli pepper, until its almost boiling. Stir in the dark chocolate, over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate has completely melted. You can throw it into the blender and whizz it up now, if you want it to be frothy. Otherwise pour into cups and serve.

Mrs Egeland’s Note: The chilli should be barely tasted, and only leave a warm tingling in the back of the throat.

Keep warm and enjoy. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to subscribe.

Until next time

Davita

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mrs Egeland Is Inspired

But unfortunately not to write a blog post.

9960_women-fantasy-art-elves-artwork-sakimichan-1920x1080-wallpaper_2560x1600You see I am a writer, an unpublished author and my novel is waiting to be published via Amazon e-books. You can read the “blurb” on the “Mrs Egeland’s Other Projects” page which you will find on the right.

I am so devoted to my characters that I had decided that I would write at least two more novels, one about the characters parents and another about the characters 1o years on. Except that getting my novel published has taken such a lot out of me, with drafts and the simple pressures of getting things done, that there has been no time or basically any inspiration to write.

I think as well that by deciding to write two more novels about the same set of people, or at least the same setting has stifled my inspiration.

Not so long ago I met a young woman, a sprite of creative spark, she’s a graphic artist who writes her own graphic novels. She’s young and full of vigour, she has her own style and generally a wonderful person. She is the sister-in-law of my friend, one of my best friends, a woman who has raw talent, seemingly unlimited patience and four beautiful children. This friend and her husband live in beautiful Kvinnherad, which is quite a distance from the city of Bergen and thankfully my husband and her husband are good friends. So we occasionally take a weekend and go visit, and that’s when this little sprite shows me all her drawings.

This time, on my way home, I tried to picture my little sprite as one of my characters, and I was inspired. Suddenly I could see her, her hair streaming out behind her, her arms outstretched with a piercing light shining behind her. I don’t know what this character is, or who, or even if she’s going to be in one of the books, but I know that she needs a story. She can’t just inhabit my mind, even if she is based on my friend, she must live in fiction.

As I said, I’m inspired, but not really to write blog posts.

I hope that I will soon be able to tell you where you can acquire my first novel, so that you can all read it and tell me what you think. I’d love to know, its nothing like this blog! However its the facets of a personality that makes it interesting. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, domestic and otherwise.

Until next time

Remember to subscribe and comment! Don’t forget you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Davita

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mrs Egeland’s Latest Read Vol.II

It’s been a while since I last posted anything of this series, mostly because I haven’t read any book that I felt would be of interest to you all.

However, my mother was kind enough to send me a book that I think you will all be interested in. This might get deep and insightful, be warned.

HUNGRY by Crystal Renn

A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves.

What the Blurb Says: Hungry charts the rise, fall and rise of Crystal Renn, offering a behind the scenes peek into the modelling industry, as well as a trenchant look at our weight obsessed culture. In this testament to the power of authenticity, Renn illustrates the ways in which the fashion industry is slowly changing and exposes the cold truths about size and sizeism. An inspiring and cautionary tale, Hungry will resonate with anyone who has battled society’s small-minded definitions of beauty.

I live in a country where I feel overweight, judged by others for not conforming to their national identity and surrounded by obsessive exercisers. That is my personal feelings on the matter! Part of that is my own feelings of insecurity, and nothing to do with the place I live.

This book is also about a woman’s insecurity, that rightly or wrongly, intentionally or not was exploited so that she became an anorexic, exercise bulimic. She was told that she was beautiful but too fat, she had to lose weight and that coupled with her own obsessive personality sent her down a road of starvation and unhappiness. Thankfully she found the strength to eat, to learn to love her natural shape and to stop caring about thigh gap or no thigh gap. 

Its a tale of success, of the perils of the fashion industry and Crystal Renn’s journey from emaciated anorexic to a healthy and successful plus-sized model.

Lessons I Took From It

I think it teaches what we’ve really always known that natural is beautiful and if you are naturally thin then good for you and if you are naturally curvy then good for you too. No one should be forced to being something they’re not even if its themselves doing the forcing. Sometimes we forget that.

It also shows that the beauty industry can be ruthless and extremist.

I can identify with her story because although I have never been anorexic, I am not naturally thin and I have been pressured into thinking that that was wrong, that I should look like everyone else, that I should strive to have tiny thighs with a gap between them. That somehow, because I wasn’t skinny, because I enjoy eating and I don’t go on punishing workouts five days a week I was bad, unhealthy, unattractive. This world is full of judgements and that can get inside your head, even when you have been raised to love yourself and your body, and without diligent hard work to get those extreme ideals out of your head its hard to feel good about who you are, and what you look like.

Everyone should love who they are and what they look like! Its not a privilege of the beautiful, its a right of all mankind!

Well that’s my two pence worth.

Until next time,

Don’t forget to follow and subscribe.

Davita