Tag Archives: language

Norwegian food: Kebab

Yeah, yeah. It’s really more of a mediterranean or Middle Eastern food. But I don’t think it is possible to drive through a city in Norway – regardless of the size – and not find at least one kebab restaurant. It is like the national fast food of this country.It is also one of the cheaper restaurant options. It’s usually available fairly quickly (prepared to order, but doesn’t take long), and typically at a counter service establishment. It isn’t the healthiest food, but from time to time I find I must indulge! The meat is typically lamb, but many restaurants offer a chicken option, as well as some beef or blend options.

The lamb is often cooked on a large upright spit. In that case, the meat is shaved from the spit. At other restaurants it is chopped.

Daniel prefers kebab i pita: a warm pita filled with lettuce, meat, and other toppings like onions, corn, tomatoes, cucumber and sauce. We all like kebab tallerken as well. It has all the stuff you would find in a pita, but spread over a bed of French fries.

(noun) Kebab.

Used in a sentence
Det er min mening at man ikke har vært i Norge før man har prøvd kebab.
(It is my opinion that you haven’t been to Norway until you’ve tried kebab.)

Related Words
kjøtt – meat
tallerken – plate/platter
salat – lettuce
løk – onion
agurk – cucumber
sterk – spicy

Norwegian food: Gulrot (healthy food #1)

The Five Healthiest Foods in Norway (original post here) – carrots came in at number one.Carrots are fairly inexpensive here. And very common, as are most root vegetables. I often have a big bag of carrots in the fridge. I use them in soups and stir fry, and last week I made carrot apple bread (it was really good! – I found the recipe HERE via Pinterest).

I’ve had a lot of Pinterest success stories lately – I really should start sharing them more often! In the meantime, feel free to visit and follow my Pinterest board “Pinterest Success.”

The NRK article stated that everyone likes carrots, both raw and cooked. I am afraid I must disagree. I can handle them cooked in things, but I have a difficult time eating raw carrots (unless they’re covered in dip or humus!).  I really want to find more ways to prepare them since they are so good for you. So if you have any favorite recipes involving carrots, I would love to hear about them!

(noun) Carrot.

Used in a sentence
Jeg trenger to gulrøtter for suppe.
(I need two carrots for the soup.)

Related Words
grønnsaker – vegetables
fiber – fiber
vitaminer – vitamins
rot grønnsaker – root vegetables

Norwegian food: Makrell i Tomat (healthy food #2)

The Five Healthiest Foods in Norway (original post here) – at number two was mackerel in tomato sauce. (And hooray – Zack is writing today!…)

Would you eat a food if the nickname for it was “plane crash”?  Yeah, me neither.  I grew up seeing my dad eat sardines from time to time when we were fishing or hunting, but I think mostly his reason for doing it was to try and gross me out.  Probably the same reason why he would eat raw chicken liver when we were fishing for catfish.

Anyway.  Plane Crash or mackerel in tomato sauce.  Sounds delightful.  And with a shelf life of just over a decade, why not??

I was not much of a fish eater when we lived in the US.  I ate some fresh water fish that dad caught and then salmon and tuna from time to time.  I had to make some adjustments to my diet when we moved here because people (most people) eat a lot of fish.  Beef and chicken are crazy expensive, and  we found cod and salmon to be quite reasonable.

The day after our first Norwegian constitution day here, we went on a weekend cabin trip with some friends.  We stopped on the way and bought some food to share over the long weekend.  My friend K bought some mackerel in tomato sauce and brought it along.

Let me set the stage.  It was hot by Norwegian standards, probably low 80’s and we had been hiking most of the day.  We are in an awesome cabin that was very rustic in many ways.  It did have a toilet, but the toilet (poop, bæsj, crap- whatever you want to call it) basically went through the floor and into the woods outside.  To help cover the odor, you put bark and soil over the top of it to “flush”.  It worked great and we had no problems at all, IF the rules were followed.

The first – and possibly most important – rule was to keep the door closed.  Well, D and W apparently did not really remember that rule too well and we had just sat down to lunch.  My friend K opened the can of “plane crash” and smeared some on a piece of whole wheat bread.  He offered some to the boys and to Jenn and me as well.  The boys loved it and asked for more.  Jenn declined politely refused, and I took a piece.

Just before I put the piece of bread with the fishy tomato sauce smeared on top, a gentle breeze blew outside, coming up through the toilet and through the door that one of my little guys had left open. It went right up my nose and felt like it punched me in the face.

I went ahead and put the bread in my mouth and took a bite.  My first thought was, I’m gonna hurl!  I silently asked Jesus to help me swallow this food and he did.  I am not very good at hiding what I am feeling or thinking, so they knew I didn’t like it.  After some good natured teasing and ripping, it died down and I was able to finish eating.  K did however send D to shut the bathroom door, for which we were all thankful.

Fast forward about 1.5 years later with some small intervals of teasing from my friends about mackerel in tomato sauce and I am now eating it.  I eat it once or twice a week.  How did this happen?  I will explain.

I was at a leadership conference in Kristiansand (south of Norway) last year and I saw a guy whom I consider to be in really good health and in good shape eating “plane crash” for breakfast.  Mental note number one.

I heard a commercial on the radio where the mom was talking about healthy food and she was talking about mackerel in tomato sauce, but she had to speak English because she didn’t want the daughter to understand and know that she was eating something so delicious and was so good for her.  She then switches to German when the older son comes in (because he’s school age so he would of course already be learning English!). Mental note number two.

My family has a history of heart problems and strokes.  I know taking care of myself is very important.  Fatty fish is good for your heart, memory, skin and also helps with seasonal affective disorder.  I decided to give it another try.  I bought a can of mackerel in tomato sauce and brought it home.  I opened it up and put it on a slice of bread and it wasn’t bad at all.  I continued to eat it, but just out of the can with no bread and I REALLY liked it.

So now, at least 2-3 times a week I eat a can of makrell i tomat (Norwegian).  I like it a lot and it is great to take with you on a hike, in the car, to a meeting, when your wife has surgery and you are at the hospital all day and just for a snack before going skiing or something when you need some quick energy.

(Here are a few TV commercials about mackerel in tomato sauce, based on a song ‘tre små fisk‘)


Makrell i tomat
(noun) Mackerel in tomato sauce.Related Words
fettsyrer – fatty acids
fisk – fish
sunn/sunt – healthy
tre små fisk – three small fish

Norwegian food: Havregryn (healthy food #3)

The Five Healthiest Foods in Norway (original post here) – at number three was oatmeal.

The nutritionists that participated in the study encouraged the importance of whole grains. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, vitamin B, iron and other important minerals. (I also like the way it leaves you feeling full for quite a while.)We eat quite a bit of oatmeal. I probably cook it an average of three times every week for breakfast. I use it when making multigrain bread. And it is a major component of the granola I make as well. The boys love it, especially with a bit of jam mixed in.

It seems the majority of people eat oatmeal with something sweet added, whether it be fruit, jam, or cinnamon and sugar. I am a bit odd in that I prefer mine with butter, a splash of milk, and a little salt. I blame it on my mom; that’s how she gave it to me when I was growing up. So sweet oatmeal is really weird to me!

(noun) Oatmeal.

Used in a sentence
Vi spiser havregryn omtrent tre ganger hver uke.
(We eat oatmeal about three times each week.)

Related Words
havre – oats
fullkorn – wholegrain
grøt – porridge
jern – iron

Norwegian Food: Blåbær (healthy food #4)

The Five Healthiest Foods in Norway (original post here) – at number four was blueberries.

Homemade blueberry muffins, made
from the berries the boys picked in
the mountains on a hiking trip

Berries are quite popular here. And berry-picking trips are popular in the summertime. Last summer, the boys enjoyed picking lots of blueberries while we were hiking in the mountains.

We all like blueberries. Sometime alone, other times in a fruit salad or smoothie, and occasionally in a treat like muffins.

The NRK article’s nutritionists appreciated the antioxidants in blueberries. They were concerned that people do not eat enough berries, and also focused on the importance of ‘five a day.’ Furthermore, they liked that picking the berries yourself means additional physical activity!

(noun) Blueberry.

Used in a sentence
Guttene plukket blåbær og vi laget muffins.
(The boys picked blueberries and we made muffins.)

Related Words
bær – berry/berries
antioksidanter – antioxidants

Norwegian Food: Melk (healthy food #5)

The Five Healthiest Foods in Norway (original post here) – at number five was milk.The article explained that is the best source of calcium in Norway, and also a good source of iodine. We typically buy Ekstra Lett Melk because it has added Vitamin D – especially important in the dark winter months! (Eskstra Lett also has less saturated fat.)

We really like the milk in Norway. It is refrigerated! Sounds strange to some of you maybe, but in  Ukraine we learned that this is not always the case. Yeah, unrefrigerated milk was kind of strange to me!Price
There are two brands we can choose from: Tine Melk or Q-Melk. Most of the time we buy Tine, mainly because I have better luck finding the kind I prefer in the 1.75 liter carton instead of the 1 liter that seems to vanish as soon as it is opened.

The 1.75 liter costs a minimum of 21.90 Norwegian kroner. Our current conversion rate is quite favorable for us (not for Norwegians traveling to America!), so that is currently around $2.90 for 1.75 liters. That is the equivalent of about $6.24 per gallon (about double the price of a gallon in Georgia!)

We are occasionally able to find it marked down for as much as 50% off due to only a couple of days left on the expiration date. But the boys love milk, and we use it in a lot of recipes, so a short date is no problem!


Tine Easter Milk

Tine changes their packaging at Christmas and Easter. For the majority of the year, the photos on the cartons show scenes from the dairies located in your region. But at Christmas the nisser (the little trolls/elves) show up. And at Easter, Tine pays homage to the Norwegian tradition of Påskekrim – Easter crime novels* – by including mystery-based comic strips on the boxes.

Tine Christmas Milk

Like in the states, there are plenty of varieties: whole milk, low fat, lower fat (with the added Vitamin D), skim milk, as well as chocolate milk, culture milks, and kefir.

[Okay, I just have to say that this may be the most boring post I’ve ever written!]

(noun) Milk.Used in a sentence
Kan du kjøpe inn en melk for meg?
(Will you buy a carton of milk for me?)

Related Words
hel melk – whole milk

lett melk – low fat milkekstra lett melk – lower fat milk
skummet melk – skim milk
sjokolademelk – chocolate milk
geit melk – goat milk
økologisk melk – organic milk
laktosefri melk – lactose free milk
kulturmelk – culture milk/soured milk (similar to buttermilk)


*You read that correctly – Easter crime novels – I should probably revisit this in a couple of months!

I survived surgery in another country!

Disclaimer: I blame all typos on medication!It’s just after 20.00/8:00 PM and it has been a long day. Long, but successful.

I arrived at the hospital around 6:45 this morning. By 7:30 they were taking me back for surgery. And just after 11:30, they wheeled me into recovery. Everything went really well, despite being a bit more complex than expected. I will have a bit longer recovery period, but I can manage! And thankfully, they only removed my uterus. (Yeah, that was probably more info than you needed, but get over it!)
For those who have asked, I managed about 95% of everything in Norwegian. The last couple of minutes before the anesthesia really kicked in, I explained that I was having a hard time putting sentences together, and the nurse assured me it was fine to switch to Englsh. The recovery nurse (who was amazing, by the way) and I communicated in Norwegian, but she asked the doctor’s assistant to speak English when she came in afterwards, so I could be sure I understood all the details of the operation.
Now I’m just resting at the hospital. I had a couple of handsome visitors earlier (and one other handsome guy behind the camera) – I think it was important for them to see that I’m okay! Now they are home and I’m settling in for what I pray will be an uneventful night.
Thanks for so many emails and text messages that were sent to check on me. I hope to report tomorrow that I am home!

Daniel at work

The chime sounded on my phone a couple of days ago. As I checked it, I discovered a text from one of Daniel’s teachers. No message, just a photo.

How happy it made me to see him working so diligently during Norwegian class!
For those who have recently asked, our boys attend an International Baccalaureate School. The majority of the teaching is in English, but they have about 5 hours of Norwegian class each week.

Surgery Next Week

Apparently my last post about surgery was confusing. I have not had my surgery yet. It is scheduled for this Monday, January 19.For those that aren’t caught up, I’m the lucky 39 year old that gets to have a hysterectomy (more on that HERE). Not the most exciting thing to deal with, but I’ve had some health issues that necessitate it. And I am totally ready to get it behind me. In fact, I was totally ready back on December 3 when I was originally scheduled for surgery. But as most of you now know, that didn’t happen (read about that HERE).

I could write a book about that whole experience. About the difficulty in understanding language if it involves medical terminology (WAY outside my limited Norwegian vocabulary), or when I have already been given strong medication. Or about the importance of bedside manner when delivering the news that you’ve sat in a hospital bed for seven hours, but the surgery will not take place (two different people delivered the news, in two very different ways). Or about how much it meant for friends to check on me, and especially those who heard the postponement news and replied with simple messages like “I am so sorry. That really stinks.” Because it did. Plain and simple. Or about how my mom worked so hard to get here to help out, getting bumped from flights and waiting in Minnesota and Amsterdam for hours on end, only to arrive to the news that surgery wasn’t happening.

Yeah, I could write a lot. But the fact is, it didn’t happen. And maybe it was God’s plan that it didn’t happen, or maybe it just didn’t happen because life doesn’t go the way you planned.

But I am hopeful that Monday will end this part of the story! They have me placed earlier on the schedule, so it is less likely for me to get bumped this time. And while we don’t have a family member to help out this time around, I’m certain that my amazing husband will manage just fine!

I’ll try to keep you posted…

Passion: about William

William loves football (soccer). The boy is borderline obsessed. He watches it. He plays, with a local club and every day at school. He reads about it. He talks about it. I imagine he dreams about it.
And while he can make your head spin as he quotes statistics and records, it is a joy to watch him play.He has one or two games a week with his club. Last week he scored his first regular season goal (he had only scored in a weekend tournament before that). Then on Saturday, he joined six of his classmates and played in the local Skolecup tournament. He scored two goals, including one on a header. He also played keeper in one game. He did well in that position, too, though it totally stressed me out!

We are thankful that he has found something he really enjoys. It is a great way for him to stay active, to make friends, and to learn some language

It’s amazing to think back to his first season, when he was that tiny 5 year old that had only been with us in America for about two months. Speaking no English and understanding very little, he surprised us with his ability to follow and play appropriately so quickly. Six years later, he is still playing the game he loves, while learning yet another language.

My prayer is that he will always pursue his dreams with passion, that he will live for Jesus with passion, and that he will find the passion and desire to learn this newest language.