Thursday, May 22, 2014

Imaginative Cookery: Potting The Quack

Since my latest diagnosis, of returning CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), I have been unable to work quite so much as I had previously. This has meant that my manageably tight budget, has tightened. So when we were lucky enough to have a duck, we weren’t going to waste it, not even the quack!

Two Meals, One Bird

Following the ideology of Save With Jamie my darling hubby slow roasted the IMG_1077[1]delicious bird smothered in butter, honey and garlic and we had a gut busting meal with a friend, at the weekend. Then Monday last we had leftover duck with noodles, peas, sweet corn, and lentils with sweet chilli sauce, the cheapest meal I’ve ever eaten in Norway! It only cost us 50kr and there was enough for seconds.

Then I made stock, with the leftover carcase and giblets, excluding the liver and kidneys because I have plans for them. After all of that, when I had drained the stock through a sieve, and poured it into ice cube trays to freeze I realised that there was some meat still left on the bones (I know, I was stunned I’d missed it!)

Getting The Quack

So what to do with that nourishment? I wasn’t about to throw it away, that would have gone against all that we had done before. Heck! I saved the fat from the roast duck! Then I remembered Wartime Farm, and I remembered Ruth Goodman making potted pork and I was inspired!

I stood at my work surface and I picked those bones bare, until I had duck fat and meat under each of my fairly short fingernails!

Mrs Egeland’s Note: This isn’t Ruth’s recipe, because I’m using duck. This recipe is inspired by hers and a combination of her recipe and others I’ve looked at online. I hope you’re not disappointed.

Let’s Get Quacking

This is what you will need:IMG_1091

  • Duck meat, whatever you have left over, or whatever you managed to pick off the carcase.
  • 3tbsp Duck fat
  • 6tbsp Butter. It won’t work with margarine!
  • 1 small Onion
  • 4 inch piece of fresh ginger, or 3tsp of ground ginger.
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • Salt and Pepper

Melt the butter and duck fat together in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger (unless you are using ground ginger). Fry them all until the onion is translucent or almost, you don’t want the onion to brown too much. IMG_1092

In a blender add the fat and onion mixture and the duck meat. Blitz until its a coarse kind of paste, or a pate. I found it to be quite sloppy so I didn’t add any more fat. Now if you have a stir option on your blender then you won’t need to take it out of the blender, otherwise put the mixture in a bowl. Add your spices and salt and pepper to taste and stir it in. IMG_1094

Taste to see its seasoned enough and then put it into a jar. I managed to get a jar and a half out of this, although it would have probably just filled one large jar. Then leave put it in the fridge.IMG_1095IMG_1096






I have to say I really liked the way it came out. Although it wasn’t exactly how I expected it to look. I think I should have drained some of the cooking fat off before I blended the meat and onions together so that after I put it in the jar I could have topped it off with the fat. Then it would have looked more like Ruth’s.

However, its delicious and I can’t wait to eat it with some pickled gherkins on wholemeal bread. Maybe with a piece of cheddar and a glass of beer!

Did I Squeeze In The Quack?

So what do you think? Will you try this yourself? Will you take a trip down through time, back to the war years?

By the way, I made a few aesthetical changes to my blog. Please subscribe, and comment below. I’d love to hear about your recipes for leftovers, or what you think of the change of look.

Until next time!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Inspiring Crafts From History: The Norwegian National Dress

This last weekend was Norwegian Independence Day, 17th of May. This year commemorated 200 years of the Norwegian Constitution. It was a big deal for Norway, and that meant that the usual Norwegian Independence Day celebrations were especially grand this year.

Perhaps you are thinking that my blog-versation today isn’t the usual post of tutorials or ideas. You’d be right. Don’t worry though, I am not going to bore you with the ins and out of the Norwegian Independence Day.  However I thought that looking at the past might give inspiration for the present.

A Little Bit Of History

During 17th of May, National dress is worn and children are allowed to eat as much ice cream as they want. People parade the streets in their national dress, the “Bunad”, and in Bergen it inevitably rains some of the day. People fly the flag with pride from their flagstaff's and balconies. I personally don’t do any of this, except maybe eat ice cream, because who needs an excuse to eat ice cream. The Bunad, or Norwegian national dress hasn’t really changed much in the last two hundred years.

It all started as folk dress or farmer’s wear. It was different in different parts of Norway, each province having their own dress. In or around the 1800’s, Norway was griped with a national romanticism, suddenly it was important to have a national dress to go with their newly found national identity. 

Above you can see examples of Bunad’s from all over Norway. People tend to wear the bunad from the area they were born, raised or where their grandparents come from.

The Bunad was a status symbol, it indicated marital status, wealth and status in society. Even today, a Bunad can easily cost 30,000kr (about £3,000, 3,700 euro or $5,000), they are usually a conformation gift to teens, and its usual that they can be taken out at the sides so that they last a lifetime.

The Inspirational Folk Art

They are artisanal pieces of clothing. They are usually highly embroidered and the silver pins, and decoration are what make these outfits so expensive.

Above is an older piece showing the incredibly impressive embroidery from a bunad. Below is edging on a bunad skirt. Its this craftmanship that is so inspiring.

The silver jewellery, clasps and embellishment pieces are also highly decorative. Like other folk art of the middle ages from other countries, craftmanship was highly prized. Women embroidered their clothing during their free time, taking pride in embellishing things. Its a shame that we can’t say the same today, but we live such a fast paced life that taking time to embroider, knit or make clothes has become just hobbies for those inclined to do so.

I am one of those inclined to do so, I love trying to bring that embroidery and handcrafted feeling to my home. I suppose in that way I am more old-fashioned even than the 1950’s, when modern fabrics, mass produced clothing, home decor and machinery was all the rage. IMG_0719 (800x577)

Here is one such item, the pillow I made with the word Home embroidered on it. Its not a difficult thing to do, so long as you can sew then you can embroider.

I hope that this post has inspired you to embroider, to make something for generations to come to enjoy like the Norwegian national dress, or in fact any countries national dress. Take pride in your handiwork and make everything to the best of your ability.

Please subscribe and comment below, tell me about your handcrafts or embroidery projects. I’d love to hear about them.

Until next time,