May 25, 2013

(Summer 2011 - Part III) 
"Down Time"

 Our days are SO full during the summer on the farm that our time for relaxing can often seem like it is almost nil.
But we understand that everyone needs some "down time"
and we try to watch for opportunities, small or great, to provide them
 for those who come to work with us.

They are so willing and give so much of themselves.

Last summer, one of the activities they loved was to cook.
We have a world of cookbooks to be scanned providing no end of options for the potential gourmet.

Maxie loved to lay on the kitchen sofa, looking at the
"All Sweden Comfort Food Cookbook"
(a heavy favorite with everyone),
and choose what we should try that night for our evening meal.
In the picture above it was a cold salmon salad plate with fresh pasta and greens.
We made it together and it was delicious!

 Or sometimes they just wanted to try their own specialties that they were already familiar with.
 Not only did Gustav fry his eggs swimming in pure butter, he also felt the need to fry the bread in even more butter as well,
and Blanca did herself proud with cinnamon twists that melted the minute they hit your tongue.

Marien made us a three generation favorite from his French family.  His grandfather, his father, and now Marien himself, always cooked for the family on Saturdays and they always made the same menu:
The rarest steak we ever saw, fried in butter until it was barely warm inside
(we said "they just carried it by the stove"),
 topped with a  50-50 bleu cheese/crème fraiche sauce,
and a side of seasoned cubed potatoes, (also fried in butter).
Lastly, an apple tart with flaky leaf pastry and we added a scoop of our own homemade ice cream from the dairy on the farm.

So great!

On his night Romain made succulent ribeye steaks and a
 "crunch-a-riffic" salad
 to die for,

then the next night, he kindly assumed the role of "sous-chef"  for Blanca when she made her citrus-laced salmon filet topped with pesto potatoes. Served with asparagus spears and thick slices of oven-baked herb bread, it was superb.

How good does THAT look?

We all agreed with Romain.....
10 Thumbs UP!!!

Pappa made us a barbeque out of on old oil drum and Marien did the honors building the fire, putting on the potatoes,

and the steaks of course.

It was chilly that day and even rained a bit, but that didn't stop anyone.
Here's Romain carrying in the finished product.

But, it wasn't only about food.....

We went on several day-trips,
 this time to the Myckelgensjö Historical Farm

which has been maintained in it's original 1600's style so that all the

aspects of daily life and farming methods from that time period will be preserved.
(Notice that the buildings aren't painted?)

And another day Maxie, Blanca and I went to the ancient stone carvings at Näsåker where our english-speaking  guide was from Northern Ireland (his father had sought political asylum in Sweden during the IRA trouble-times in Belfast in the 60's). 

And rain or no rain...

we all went to the 
Junsele Market/Fair.

I love these pictures....

Blanca with her bird textbook...

Marien on the picnic bench...

 Gustav and Romain stretched out on the grass.

This was a scene repeated many times that summer.  
It always  came following the late afternoon meal,
while Pappa and I cleaned up the dishes inside.
It was a time of peace,  contentment,  and rest, after the day's main  work.

When we were finished with the kitchen, 
 we would come out and wake them
 and all of us would go to the evening barn chores and milking.

We gave them down times, 
but with their great goodness and their hard work, 

...they lifted US up.