Friday, February 14, 2014

After all the snow it's Fårikål for me

It is gorgeous outside. Asheville is always beautiful with a few inches of snow.

Buttermilk Creek                                     brigid burns

We seem to get a big snow every few years. My first Asheville blizzard was 20 years ago. The family lived on the Manor grounds. The Manor began as a fin de siecle mountain inn on Charlotte Ave. with cottages (each with a name: Cleo, Dogwood, Possum Trot) that wend up the steep base of Town Mountain. To approach our house, we had to cross a wooden bridge with stone abutments. "Wildfell" had seven floors with one or two small rooms on each level. There was a porch with tree trunks as supporting pillars. The whole neighborhood is a virtual museum of charming, antique architectural styles.

I had Blue Moon Bakery then and had been kept away for a full day by the snow. When I finally got there by walking and sledding, it was a mess. The doughs had overproofed, spilled out of the tubs and was stuck to the floor. It took me a couple of hours to clean up. It was depressing but I took the time to mix a fresh batch of country French bread.

After baking the bread, I filled some cardboard boxes and tied them to the sled. As I hauled the sled home, everyone I passed got a warm loaf. It was a wonderful moment for me. I had become the village baker.

Now, Brigid, Mookie and I live in a west Asheville neighborhood. It was developed in the 1920's as Horney Heights (revisionists want to say hor-nay, but we know better...we are the 'hor-nee haytians.') Mary, who lives across the street, was raised in the area and has seen most of the population turn over. Lots of dogs, children, and grownups with Subarus and kayaks.

repurposed kayak                             brigid burns

Since I was under the weather I spent the storm indoors. Dosed with Dayquil and ginger tea I slept away a good part of two days. I would get up from time to time and peer out at the fun, sad that I couldn't join but feeling the happy vibe.

home                                                     brigid burns

We have developed a tradition with our good friends, Martin and Leah. Whenever there is real snow on the ground we get together to share food and warmth. Last night, as I huddled under

the covers. Brigid and Mookie trudged around the corner for a sweet time. Martin had made a spinach lasagna and there was whiskey. Later I heard voices and looked out to see Martin shoveling a path to our backdoor. They brought me a square of the lasagna and went back to their fire. I helped dry the dog as B described the snow scene.
                                                                                                      brigid burns

A good crowd had gathered at the top of Harris St. to celebrate and sled. Cheryl had built a bonfire and there was every imaginable sliding device; no cars and the dogs ran free. Mookie is pretty small and has to hop to get anywhere in the deep snow. When everyone was warm (and I was full) all three of us went back upstairs to cuddle and watch a good movie on Netflix.

(so what is Fårikål?)

Knowing the snow was on the way I had prepared for the cold by making Fårikål, the Norwegian national dish. Simplicity itself: 4 lbs of lamb chunks layered with three lbs of cabbage wedges, a handful of black peppercorns, salt and water. Put it on the back burner and let it simmer for a few hours, it cannot be overcooked and the flavor is better each time it's reheated. After a couple of days of cooling and warming the meat falls into soft shreds and the cabbage turns into a broth. I expect it to restore me to health in a day or two. Today, we've eaten it twice.



1 comment:

  1. That is the BEST picture of Mookie!!! What a great catch of a moment in time!!!