Week 4 and we are back in Sweden but this time far up north in a little town called Slussfors. We are staying in a cabin on a lake owned by Petter and Angela Karlson. The family owns a dog sledging company and over 100 Hereford Cattle. We went to visit the farm and meet some of the huskies who Petter takes out daily for a 25km training run and over the winter this goes up to 60km a day. Judging by the photos in the cabin, weather conditions in these parts can be very harsh and I suspect that I would not last long.
The weather turned and we were met by grey skies which seemed to be set for days, a shame as we are heading up even further north in search of the Northern Lights, which our app is showing, very annoyingly, high activity. We decided to have another go at fishing but this time from the shores of the lake.
I decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies to keep our spirits up. This recipe is very easy and needs no equipment (recipe to follow shortly). I decided my skills are better put to work by foraging some Lingonberries and blueberries, thankfully Angela showed me what to look for as they grow on small shrubs no higher than you feet. I was excited at our little harvest.
Alas, the fish did not bite but luckily the prospect of a moose fillet shot by Petter’s father kept our dinner plans exciting. Angela delivered the beautiful 1.3kg piece of meat and we started working on our plan with what to serve the meat with. Next to the cottage is a field of potatoes waiting to be harvested by two very eager girls. I thought gnocchi would be appropriate and I need to redeem myself after my final chef exam where I attempted to make soft pillowy gnocchi but only managed heavy stodgy ones as all culinary skills went out of the window. Again while foraging we saw the most wonderful mushrooms and decided some sort of indulgent mushrooms sauce would go well. Sadly a trip to the small supermarket (at the petrol station) only had frozen mushrooms, I decided to roll with it, after all I have been cooking with frozen herbs for about a week now, as fresh herbs is clearly a luxury in these parts. I was happy that we spotted the fresh cream correctly after buying yogurt instead of milk too many times to remember.
I made the gnocchi which I then gently fried off in some butter just before serving (oh how I missed a few sprigs of sage). I made some Lingonberry jam quite successfully the result of very high pectin levels I suspect. The mushroom concoction was indulgent and I was surprised that one could actually taste mushrooms although I found the texture of frozen mushrooms best not described. My well trained sous-chef trimmed the fillet to a roasting joint which I seared well on all sides and popped into the oven for 12minutes. The end result was one for the memory books, I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to have moose again?