Favorites New Year’s Day 2014

January 1st, 2014 1 Comment

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Recently a friend lent to me the cookbook Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson from Phaidon press.  I thought it was a sweet gesture to pass along this book but I didn’t understand why she thought of me until I began reading it.  Holy mama, it’s a gem after my own heart.

 

Fäviken Magasinet is a 14-seat restaurant in what had been a small remote agricultural hamlet of northern Sweden, surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness and bogs.  Run by Magnus Nilsson and a small team, they source only foods that are raised, farmed, gathered or hunted in the vicinity.  Bon Appetit calls it “the most daring restaurant in the world”.  Magnus is deeply inspired by the methods of our ancestors, practicing “archeological gastronomy”… but he is in no way stuck in the past.  I find this utterly fascinating and inspiring.

 

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This is titled: A tiny slice of top blade from a retired dairy cow, dry aged for nine months, crispy reindeer lichen, fermented green gooseberries, fennel salt. 

 

Other tidbits in the book: linseed crisps; cured meats; pickling and lacto-fermentation; vegetables cooked with autumn leaves; vinegars fermented in the trunk of a burnt out spruce tree; fermented juice of mushrooms and oats.

 

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What is moving me most are his writings about the foods and methods and his approach to everything, to life, and to his understanding of the complexity of Simple.  He skis on the property in the morning to clear his head and brings rifle in case a bird comes across his path, and in less snowy seasons he picks berries and mushrooms in the woods for the evening service.  They butcher and cure all of their own meats, as you can see in the book’s photo.

 

Stunning wild flowers and greens of Jämtland

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The intensity of serving local cuisine year-round in the wilderness of a near-arctic latitude with its unforgivingly short growing season—when I really try to grasp this it stops me in my tracks and my mind explodes.  His work reminds me that down here in the rest of the world our creativity in this realm has barely scratched the surface, we can do more.  If he can serve cake made from pine-bark at Fäviken, we too can look more closely at what is around us.

 

This is an excerpt from Magnus’ introduction:  “How to use these Recipes”

 

The recipes in this book are not like those in many other cookbooks, and there are a few things to keep in mind….they are not as precise as most other recipes and the quantities are there to act as guidelines, rather than exact instructions  These guidelines will show you the right direction to take, and help you understand what our cooking is all about: intuition, passion and happiness.

The techniques described very rarely include cooking times or temperatures…..a detailed recipe that won’t come out exactly the same in any case, because we are not the same person, we do not live in the same part of the world and the possibilities and limitations of our respective situations are probably very different in terms of the produce we have available and the kind of kitchens we work in….

 

…If you read the recipes with an open mind and make an effort to follow the principles, the results will be delicious.  They won’t be the same as if I made them, or as if anyone else made them either: every cook is unique, and every product too.

When cooking the way I describe, it doesn’t matter whether a spoon contains 8 or 14 millilitres, just pick a spoon that seems right and go for it….If it tastes good, it is right, and if it doesn’t taste good, try again….learn to trust yourself, it will be so much more fun, and will produce a great result.

 

 

I couldn’t have said it better:

 

“Cooking is about intuition, passion and happiness… 

Learn to trust yourself—it will be so much more fun…”

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

 

Favorites December 2013 

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Firework flowers

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Bus Living!!  And a tour of the bus

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I want to live in this too!

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Take care of your cutting boards and wooden spoons with this recipe from 101 Cookbooks

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Incredible wallpaper and prints

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Awesome Platters

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120 videos of how-to-cook…from Martha

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Entropy is beautiful  (click on ‘continue to page’)

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There has to be something with bikes!

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And lastly….wrap your mind around putting time in perspective

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Alice says:

    Great post!

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