Friday, 23 November 2012

On Apples and Tomatoes

I love tomatoes.  Love them.  They're my favorite fruit, or vegetable if you want to call them that.  I'll sit and eat cherry tomatoes the same way other people might munch on grapes.  One of the worst things about living in the far, far north is that the only tomatoes we can get are underripe, flavorless, hydroponic greenhouse tomatoes.  Like these*:

This is where all of those years studying plant physiology comes in handy.  Apples give off ethylene gas, which is a ripening hormone.  It's why you can't store apples and, say, tulip bulbs in the same place.  The ethylene from the apples kills the shoot inside the bulb.  But it also helps our boring, watery tomatoes get some flavor.  Here are the same tomatoes, after 24 hours in a closed plastic bag with a really ugly, bruised-up apple.

These could have used another 24 hours in the bag, but are now fit for consumption, as pizza sauce.  Which Vidar makes every friday, from scratch.  Yum!

In an unrelated note about apples, Henrik has now added that word to his vocabulary, and can finally tell his kindergarten teachers what sort of fruit he wants for his afternoon snack.  (Apple is "eple" in Norwegian; almost a homophone for the English word.) We didn't even know he liked apples until we went to the kindergarten with him to celebrate his birthday (a few days delayed, no thanks to a stomach virus).  We had tried to give him apple several times before but he never ate them so we gave up. Then we're sitting at the table at snack time and his teacher tells us "Oh yes, Henrik loves apples.  He eats so many slices every day, they're his favorite."  Which is the first of what will be a long list of things we never knew about our own kid.  It's still a bit strange to think that he now has this life apart from us, every day, at kindergarten.

*Apologies for the rotten lighting in these photos.  It's Norway.  I won't have decent lighting again until March.  Maybe April. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Puddle Inspector

Henrik was finally feeling like himself again last weekend, after a long, drawn-out stomach virus.  And on sunday afternoon, it finally stopped raining.  That meant it was time for the Puddle Inspector to get to work.  (Some of these photos were on Facebook earlier, but not all of them.)

Ok, mamma and pappa, I have my high-tech super-sensitive precision puddle measuring apparatus and my protective outer garments on.  Let's go check those puddles!

Here's one!  A bit shallow but definitely splashable.

There's another one!  Let's go!

Whoa, this was a long one!  Nice and deep too!  Now this is what I call splashing.

You mean there are even more puddles to check?  What are we waiting for, let's go!

Let's see here, water a nice grey-brown, hint of road salt and gravel, no trace of oil or contaminants.  Perfect!


I love this job! 

Thursday, 8 November 2012


One way that Henrik copes with being bilingual is to call animals by the noises they make, rather than their names.  Every animal has at least two names, but only one sound.  This idea is reinforced by his two Fisher Price "The Farmer Says" toys; one in English and one in Norwegian, but with identical animal sounds.  So it's not an owl or en ugle, it's a "hee-hee-hee" (Henrik's owls don't hoot so much as giggle).  Panting means a dog, or it means my poppies because he thinks I said for him to look at the puppies in the flowerbed. Cows and kuer are "mmm".  Snakes and slanger are "hisssss". And so on.

Except for foxes.  Foxes are "alala".  The reason for this is the display of stuffed animals near my office.  It's a large case, with rodents, birds, and such, but the highlight of the display for Henrik is the fox.  So when I ask him if he wants to see the animals, what he really wants is to see the fox.  So animals = alala = fox.  

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


I've been meaning to start this blog for a while, but only got to it today.  Henrik is my son.  He's two years old, and bilingual.  So this blog will be about him, and parenting, and knitting, and good food.  At least that is the plan.