December 28, 2014


This winter is turning out to be…well…winter!

And it happened just in time for my Dad's visit! Whew. Trondheim without snow is a little anticlimactic. So yes, snow!

Trondheim fjord

With this lucky turn, Vincent and I decided to take my dad on a trip to Røros, an old Norwegian mining town. Rumor has it that it can be cold in the winter, festive for the holiday season, and you can go dogsledding!

It turns out, all these things are true!

We had a lovely time walking around the town center (which is very small) and got some lovely photographs on top of the slag heaps (the leftovers of the copper mining that used to go on in the town).

The next day we were picked up and taken out to Alaskan Husky Tours where we were greeted by more than 40 very excited puppies and dogs. As we prepared our sleds, the dogs were shaking with excitement. Apparently, they looooove running. With about a three minutes' tutorial we were off!

The scenery was lovely as we went along a trail through the surrounding forests. That is, when we had the chance to look up. I for one spent a lot of time watching where the dogs pulling my sled were going and also looking down as I tried to figure out how to balance on one foot while I pushed the "please-slow-down-the-sled-thingamabob."

This trip was an adventure! Even though my dad almost fell off a "cliff," he still didn't let his sled go (which was one of the like three rules we were given)! And then one of the kennel hands was thrown off his sled during a break--the dogs and the sled took off in an instant. Then the main guy had to take my sled and go chase them down (I think he reached them only back at the camp!). So I spent some of the trip riding in someone else's sled…which was scenic, but rather cold.

This is something worth doing! Maybe even more than once!!

You can see some of the photos from our trip here.

December 15, 2014

The best Christmas Beer of 2014 - Part I

Juleøl, or Christmas beer, is an important part of the Norwegian holiday season. The selection is vast, and the beer is varied, so it is a daunting task to know which brand to turn to. This is where science comes in. Lene and I decided to conduct a study in order to identify the best Christmas Beers of 2014.

Your welcome.

October 25, 2014

pumpkins and pale ale.

It's been bit of a rough week. I won't go into details, because the Internet doesn't need to be cluttered with more drama.

Let's just say that I am happy it's Friday.

I decided to unwind with cooking, music, and booze. While Vincent built our new filing cabinet (which is another slice of heaven all in itself--no one tells you how much paperwork goes into an immigrant life!).

Tonight's menu: Stuffed pumpkin and me and Lene's new Belgian Pale Ale.

Feeling better already.

September 23, 2014

Topp7. Trondheim.

Norwegians have a different idea of what "to go for a walk" means. I remember the first day I arrived here--the first day. On the way from the airport, Ellen asked me, "Hey Lindsay. You wanna go for a walk this afternoon?" I said, "Sure, why not."

Three hours later, I got home.

Welcome to Norway.

On another trip last year, me, Alex, and Anna were like 10 miles into the forest and I saw more than one family with very small children trodding along to some distant hytta to have a coffee and a cinnamon bun. I mean, some of these kids were in strollers. What the … ?

Welcome to Norway.

As some you know, I desperately need a Norwegian passport. Mostly because I hate paperwork. Yes, America, you are dumb in so so many ways. But I digress. So, I've been trying to do everything really Norwegian lately, hoping it'll speed things along. Brown cheese? Check? Cross-country skiing to a hytta? Check. Brewing beer? Check. Home-made lapper and knekkerbrød? Check. Knitting? Half-check.

Then I found out there's a race/ hike every year here in Trondheim that goes all over Bymarka, the very huge forest next to city. 30 kilometers, 18.65 miles. So Norwegian.

Easy-peasy (that's a Norwegian expression you know).

Some friends of ours, Ane and Audun, had never done the route before either. Were we in? Why, yes, yes we were. Let's do it.

The fateful day occurred yesterday. And I must repeat, it was a fateful day.

We all had taken the hike very seriously and went out and partied the night before. I personally got home at like 1:30 in the morning--with just enough beer in me to feel it the next morning. Carb-loading you know. It's what the professionals do.

We met at a crisp 10 a.m. I needed time to dilute some of the beer. The sky was ominous and it was windy, and cold. Hm. We embarked in good spirits. Rain, wind, or snow. We would do this. Because we were awesome and it must be done.

Needless to say, the trip took a good nine hours. There was cold. There was rain. There was wind. There was sun. There was clouds. It was like a smorgasbord of weather.

Welcome to Norway.

I was particularly pleased with all the rain gear we had just bought. Already got our money's worth.

The 7 Tops:

1. Våttekammen: oh wait, Vincent didn't take the picture right. Ahem.

2. Geitfjellet
3. Tikneppen (we made our own trail up this one)
4. Gråkallen
5. Storheia. (It poured rain on the way up this one. Welcome to Norway).
6. Henrikåsen

7. Lille Gråkallen
While my knee and the other parts of my legs are taking revenge on me today, the trip was all-in-all just fantastic.

Ane, Audun, and Vincent were great trekking comrades--and they even graciously dealt with my whining and complaining (let's just say, they are WAY more in shape than I will ever be).

Come visit. We can go for a walk!

August 16, 2014

oh. holy. beer.

Oh holy "Sydenturs are for Sissies" American IPA to be exact. A month or so ago, a good friend of mine and her brother involved me in a day of home brewing. Making beer at home, you say? Why, what a fantastic idea!

Especially considering that alcohol in Norway is taxed to high heaven and thus makes drinking it everyday less enjoyable…which is a sin, really. Shame on you Norway.

With that said however, if perhaps circumstances were not so dire we wouldn't have really taken the idea of home brewing to the next level-- i.e., actually doing it. (But of course, maybe we would have…after all, we do have quite a lot of the "for the love of beer" spirit. And we both like making things from scratch.)

Well for whatever reason, we did it. We made beer at home. TWENTY liters of a glorious American India Pale Ale. I've invited this dear friend--her name is Lene--to give us a run down of what went down that day. Get your Google Translate ready people!
Bakke Brygg American IPA (batch #1)
Det første brygget til L&L er ferdig tappa på flasker, og skal snart drikkes. Det eneste som mangler er et par veker med modning på flaske, og nokre etiketter som kan klistres på flaskene. I mellomtiden skal det blogges.

Brygget vårt er ein Bakke Brygg American IPA. Vi fekk kornet malt på Bakke Brygg, som er ein butikk i Trondheim som har spesialisert seg på hjemmebrygging.

På sjølve bryggedagen så fekk vi god ekspert hjelp av en erfaren hjemmebrygger, også kjent som lillebroren til L. Første steg i prosessen er å varme opp vatnet til 70 grader. Deretter festes meskeposen rundt gryta, og ein heller i kornet. Etter at kornet har mesket seg i ein time, så tar ein og løfter ut meskeposen og skyller gjennom med varmt vatn.

Sjefsbrygger Lindsay og bryggereksperten tar ut meskeposen
Meskeposen skylles med varmt vatn
Det neste steget er å få blandinga på kok og ta i humla litt etter litt. TS å er det berre å få kjølt av brygget, før ein tilsetter gjæren. Sidan det var litt ferieavvikling, så ble brygget stående og gjære i tre veker.

Neste steg i prosessen var vasking og tapping av flasker. Dette gikk unna på ein kveld. I tillegg så kunne ein nå estimere alkoholprosenten vår. Etter litt finberegninger fann ein ut at den ligg på 5.6 %. Det vart litt smaking på ølet også, og resultatet var overraskende bra. Vi gleder oss til to veker er omme og vi kan opne flaskene og smake på godsakene.

Fulle flasker som berre venter på å bli opna
So easy, right? Those sweet babies "rested" for a few weeks--and last Monday they were screaming to be opened and drank (well, at least a few were…don't get crazy people). 

Sydenturs Are For Sissies American Pale Ale, Batch #1, July 2014 by Lene and Lindsay.
They are so good. Come over and try one before they are all gone!