FARM STAY IN NORWAY & AMo's HAZELNUT ICE CREAM
A peaceful river flows parallel to the bus. The setting sun shines light through the tall green cedars, creating a pattern of dense wood and sunlight. Beyond the woods, dramatic fjords jut up towards the setting sky. The amazing ride energizes us as we travel from Hønefoss to our farm-stay. We arrive at Andreas and Elisabeth’s farm at midnight. We have a quick tea, chat, and explain our story and Made with Love. Tired from 10 hours of traveling, we go straight to bed after tea with a plan to experience their life on the farm during the next day.
Waking up to the rooster, we follow Andreas to the chicken coop. We feed the chickens their “happy bowl” (the good compost that the chickens love) and collect their warm freshly hatched eggs. We proceed to the old barn where we find a treasure trove of antique skis, a pinball machine, tools and gadgetry from the early 20th century. We feed the 12 sheep, befriend them with branches of willow, and inspect the handmade fence for holes. Andreas refers to the sheep by the numbers tagged on their ears, exclaiming that he has to check the fence often to make sure that number 36, the fattest lamb, hasn't escaped again. He says that he doesn't give them names because they are not pets, they will be consumed and you have to keep that sort of mentality when raising animals to slaughter.
We continue to the rabbit area to search for the pregnant rabbit under their little house while making sure her mate does not hop away as we enter. We enter another smaller barn on the property where woofers and volunteers stay. Andreas invites us inside and opens the door to the first floor where we practically walk into prosciutto hanging from the ceiling! Anthony's eyes light up for the cured meats. Andreas remarks that this room has the perfect temperature to hang cured meats and store cheese. Now its Andreas' turn to get excited as he shows us their beer making room and equipment. Andreas and Elisabeth make their own home-brewed beer.
We venture off to the enormous cellar of the house: They have an old-style clay stone oven, freezers full of lamb meat, and an abundance of empty space that Andreas and Elisabeth are saving for all of the projects that young entrepreneurs so often envision. Their farm and lifestyle is something we had envisioned for ourselves. Happy that we decided to take an hour back track to stay with them and experience their lives, Anthony and I look at each other and smile.
After the morning chores, we enter the house to the aroma of Elisabeth’s freshly baked bread. “Way better than city life,” Anthony exclaims and we all nod in agreement. Talking about everything from politics, to history, to food, the conversation flows as if we had been friends for a long time. Originally, we planned to head to Oslo today but Andreas and Elisabeth invite us for another night as friends, free of charge! They only ask that we move ourselves to another room, as they have 4 Airbnb guests coming for dinner and the night.
On this journey, Anthony filled his backpack with two essentials: clothing and his ice cream maker! Anthony has not only planned to be hunting for traditional recipes but also to be searching for new ice cream flavors. If you didn’t know this about Anthony, he is obsessed, addicted, infatuated, and in love with ice cream (as evidence, see pictures below). Whenever Anthony wants to show his appreciation for someone, he will make that person ice cream. That being said, a little after their invitation, Anthony pulls me to the side and says that he has prepared his ice cream maker by putting it in the freezer the night before and needs some advice on what flavor he should make. I look at him in bewilderment and in response he says "in the words of my former military boss "follow the seven Ps: Proper planning prevents piss poor performance!"
As the Airbnb guests arrive, Anthony is in the kitchen scouring the cupboard for ice cream ingredients. A Binh (Vietnamese-Chinese-American from Seattle), Ange ( a Chinese-Australian), Carmen (Ange’s sister), Q (Carmen’s Chinese-Austrian girlfriend), Nicola (woofer), and Ignacio (woofer) are all eager to join the fun as they circle around Anthony for a lesson on how to make ice cream. Everyone is fully engaged as Anthony gives his speech on emulsion and perfect texture. He smiles from ear-to-ear from their yearning to learn. The teaching, learning, and emphasis on good quality food continue throughout the meal preparation. Andreas slow-roasts his lamb using a thermometer gun to regulate the temperature (so neat) and I balance a mixture of chickpeas, garlic, salt, tahini, and lemon in a food processor for some authentic lebanese hummus (recipe forthcoming).
Now eager to eat after all this brain activity, Elisabeth sets the large dining room table and dinner is served! The room is filled with laughter as Binh tells us a story of using Airbnb solely based on price and wound up in a ghetto. Andreas’ serves homemade beer to wash down the delicious fresh veggies, the hummus, and meat. We share various travel stories, receive advice about traveling to Asia, and tell everyone about our plan for Made with Love. It feels like a family meal!
Just as everyone talks about how stuffed they are from the delicious meal, Anthony sneaks out of the room and winks at me. He comes back with a tray of coffee ice cream in espresso cups. He had shown the guests how to make ice cream but now they must try it! The little spoons dive into the creamy, milky scoops of velvety ice cream. Thirty seconds later all you can hear is the clinging of the spoons as everyone tries to get the last drop of the frozen coffee cream. Anthony sits with a childish grin on his face. The only time Anthony shares his ice cream is if he makes it. Aside from making it for his family, Anthony makes it for people when he feels their positive energy. That energy will have Anthony up at 3 am whipping batches and serving his special dessert to the joy of others, a joy that is found in his favorite Hazelnut Ice Cream Recipe, Frozen with Love.
Join The Recipe Hunters in their next adventure to a Dairy Farm in Bamble, Norway!