Oct 25 4 Comments

Pig’s heads and balsamic vinegar

At the moment live in a small community here in Norway. To say that it is remote is an understatement. The road ends here. If you have come this far, you have come far. Here people have lived for generations, growing their potatoes, herding their cows and hunting for moose. They have watched the seasons change and the weather take it’s toll. Big events are events such as birthdays and 4H graduations. They cut wood for the fires that will get them through the winter. I think it sounds so romantic and simple. It feels safe and wholesome. People who make a living growing cucumbers must have good values. There is therapy in looking over potato fields ready for harvest, not to mention wheat and barley. Where I go running there are cabbage fields and carrots. My community is like a big vegetable soup.

This is how pretty it is. No need for balsamic vinegar.


Some days though, I feel a little claustrophobic. Like today.

All the people at the office where Partners rents a room had lunch together. And when we have lunch, the conversation will take us far. We explore new ideas. And usually the new ideas come with me. Like the day Steve and I brought an avocado. The poor avocado got passed around and smelled and touched by all. Some said they had seen one before, but none had never tasted one. Today I brought salad dressing consisting of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. A radical thing to eat for a people group who mostly stick to Thousand Island. We passed the dressing around and everybody tasted a little. It was not too spicy, was the verdict. Several said they would consider eating it again.

Somehow, from the dressing the conversation turned to pork. And this is an area where there is a lot to say. Ribs is a great topic. We talk about ribs a lot. Some get sick when they eat them, but they eat it anyway because it is yummy. But from the ribs it went to the pig’s head. And now there was talk about how you get the meat out from the head. And that with some patience, as long as you dig through the veins, the webs and the mess in the head, you will actually end up with well over a plate full of the best meat you can imagine. Many came with input on this, and by the end of lunch my balsamic vinegar was forgotten and all we were left with was the idea of a desecrated pig’s head.

Apparently the best meat is here

I like this place and it’s people. I like the beauty and the fresh smell of cow dung. I like that the kids can go camping alone in the forest and that I can go running after dark. I like that people know my name at the grocery store, and that I can get vegetables straight from the farmer. But I wish that I would not have to be the one who introduced balsamic vinegar and other radical ideas. Imagine what it will be like the day I bring sushi.


  • Mary Ann says:

    Wow, what an amazing place to live. My great great grandparents immigrated from Norway. I would LOVE to go there someday!

  • Rick Granger says:

    Oddny, I want to live in Norway some day – your Christmas photos were absolutely breathtaking. The family before the lens, heading home from church, they took me away to a place in my imagination.
    Norway is on my list.
    If you have an out building we can rent, some day, let me know!

  • lynnie says:

    Just bring it on!
    Hw about carmeled apples?????

    • Jildou says:

      That’s just the village where I come from! When I left it to go to Amsterdam they were confused because why would you? What’s wrong where you are and it’s so far and the city nearby is just great…
      Now many years later and some countries later they still think it’s strange that I leave my parents by themselves. (Most people of my age live with their family a street away from their old family home.)
      The new generation is interested that we now live in Thailand since they might have heard about some great holiday place in Thailand like Phuket… =)
      l than get passionate to explain about Burma and for a few minutes they sort of have interest but than you get the unavoidable question about that island and if you can snorkel…..
      But you know, we all have a small part of the big wide world we focus on. I don’t know the latest regulations about the milk quota in Holland or the latest news from most African countries. It’s such a big world to keep up with!

      ps: I sooo feel like Sushi…. I should start a suchi bar in Fang!