Ørlandet in the 40's.
My father grew up at Ørlandet, a peninsula north of Trondheim. His family had a small farm called Myråkran, with cows, pigs and chicken. For generations they harvested the vegetables that were possible to grow in that climate, mostly potatoes and turnips. They went fishing and my grandfather lived of being a carpenter. It was a hard life, specially the winters could be a struggle.
After my father had been confirmed in church as a 14 year old, he had to leave his home and work on ships all over the world. It was a matter of surviving for the family.
I grew up visiting Ørlandet every summer. I loved helping my grandparents on the farm, and was taught how to have the deepest respect for the animals that are providing you with milk, meat and eggs.
During the summers at Ørlandet we went fishing. The fish were different in the fjords of Trondheim. They were bigger and, for me, stranger. It was monkfish, stingray, angler, skate and lumpsucker. We picked mussels, big, fat mussels, called oskjell or horsemussels. I remember we made a fireplace at the seaside, put a kettle on with boiling seawater and we would just eat them fresh.
My grandmother told me about one bush with rose hips close to her farm. She went in the late summer to pick this fruit, dried the skin, and used it for tea, soups and jam. The rose hips was their most important resource of vitamin C during the winter. It is difficult to understand how much that has changed according to the access of food since my father grew up. At that time they could live through the winter mainly of herring, potatoes and dried rose hips.
My cooking is all about remembering where I come from. I love to make food of simple ingredients and what I have by my hand.