Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Things are different here

I'm sweaty. It's been in the low to mid 90's and humid and I forgot what that feels like. I helped Mom pick peas in the garden and it was like standing in a sauna, I was sweat through within minutes, and had a nice sunburn on the back of my neck within 15 minutes. I can report my farmer's tan is coming along nicely. 

Dad is ok. He's got some frustration with some motor skill issues (he can't type and his extremities aren't quite reacting to his wishes as fast as he would wish.) I am a bit worried about it, but he had a really hard knock and a harrowing experience, so I hope that time will get him back to normal (normal being a relative term in my family.) I'm very glad I'm here, I can help out Mom and do the driving and some other stuff and take some of the pressure off both of them. 

Today I helped Dad take a lawnmower to a guy to be fixed, we took his ancient rustbucket chevy that is the epitome of the farm truck. Wow, there's a rough way to travel. Later Dad wants me to learn to drive the tractor. Eek! I've had fun with driving things while here, I never get to drive in Norway, and the roads here are good and my brother and Dad have fast cars, so weeha! Fun for Karla. I've never driven a tractor, though. 

I'm pretty sure I am not a farm person, I am definitely a city slicker. And, sad to say, I've been Europeanized, too. Like, today, I stopped by the Walmart (only game in town, I'm afraid) for some mushrooms to make a nice mushroom risotto tonight. I thought I'd get some balsamic glaze to drizzle on the plates before I serve, but I was a bit incensed to discover that the Walmart does not have balsamic glaze. Oh the horror. (This is also the first time I have not found something in the US that I can easily get in Norway. I feel the pendulum swinging....)  Also, Walmart carries something called "Sweet White Wine". Like, a wine, for drinking, that is Sweet White Wine. Um, EWWWW!!! I couldn't find a crisp dry wine for my risotto, it's all sweet! 

And, much as I complain about the crap Norwegian grocery stores, and they ARE crap, I also have to say....it's harder than I thought to find basics here. I'm so used to cooking from scratch now. Here? It's all pre packaged, pre flavored, pre sweetened, full of HFCS and trans fats and flavorings and colorings. Dudes, I just want RICE. Not rice-a-roni, not minute rice, but rice. And I want chopped canned tomatoes, not Italian flavored chopped tomatoes or whatever, but plain old chopped tomatoes. But I think I am set for making the risotto tonight (they had arborio!) so we'll see how it goes. Oh for a Central Market or a Whole Foods. 

The Fudgesicles taste good, though, just as good as I remember. I've missed Fudgesicles. 

I'll post some pictures while I'm here of farm trucks, 7 foot tall lilies, Mom's gorgeous gardens, and so on. 

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