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So, on Thursday, we decided to make pitepalt. This is a traditional Swedish dish that we fell in love with when we lived there: a dumpling-like ball with a core of salt pork that you cut in half and smother in butter and lingonberry sauce. We have low-bush cranberries all over our land, which is closer to lingonberry than it is to the cranberries you find in the store. I started a simmer, which promptly boiled over on the stove and smoked. *sigh*

It would not thicken. The 10 minutes of boiling turned to 40, before we finally declared it close enough. It was, I will admit, delicious, and worth the wait, and we've got a half a quart of it in the fridge now, so the meal wasn't a complete waste.

The pitepalt itself is a mixture of mashed potato and rye flour. We were very excited about this, as we got a flour mill recently, and have enjoyed milling fresh flour. We had some rye berries, and made up some fresh whole flour. We didn't have salt pork for the center, but we've had it with other sausages in the middle before, and pulled out a random sausage from the freezer. They went together well, and patted into beautiful, symmetrical balls. Mmm...

It was about this time we read further in the pitepalt recipe and discovered that it took 45 minutes to cook. We were already hungry, so we had a snack and started the boil.

15 minutes we peeked under the lid... to find 8 sad sausage bits floating in the weakest, nastiest potato soup you ever saw: our balls had completely disintegrated! What little remained on one or two of the sausages was undercooked, goopy and looked a bit like paper mache.

I was very disappointed, and I completely blame the finger monsters:

And, I'll leave you with a fictional story, posted today at Torn World...

A warsailor has to be wary.

He watched the murky depths with his harpoon held ready. The shadow of the monster lurked just out of striking range, circling in the ocean below. It was only the barest of movements, the faintest of phantasms below.

A warsailor has to be canny.

He knew the monsters of these oceans, knew the way they moved and struck. The faint outline might have been a harmless dolphin, or perhaps a soldierfish, which wouldn't attack a ship of this size. But watching the movement of the ghost below, he knew it was a deathfin, and one that was on the prowl.

A warsailor has to be patient.

He shifted sweaty fingers on the handle, and waited. Flinging a harpoon too early was only a waste; it lost power when you thrust it through the thick ocean water. Changing the course of the ship would do no good; there was nothing to do but wait, and watch, and be ready when it came.

A warsailor has to be brave.

When the creature finally surfaced, reaching a head full of dagger-like teeth to harvest the crew from the ship, there was no time for fear, no room for terror, or thinking of the damage it was bent on doing. Warsailors lost their limbs and lives in this fight everyday, and to flinch now meant certain failure. He gave a ringing Duurludirj warcry, and dashed forward with his harpoon.

“What are you doing in that puddle?! You're soaking wet!”

Amanel started, nearly dropping the stick in his hands. “I'm a warsailor,” he said defensively. “I'm protecting the ship!”

“You are a muddy mess,” his mother said in despair. “Get inside this minute and change out of your sopping pants.”

Amanel slunk into her shadow, throwing his stick to the far side of the puddle. It was true that the thunder-whale, with her powers of sound, was the largest and one of the most dangerous sea monsters of the world, and her work had been done here today; the deathfin had fled, and his crew had been shaken into nothing by the thunder-whale.

“A warsailor has to be canny,” he muttered to himself, following her inside. Maybe he could escape again after lessons to hunt the monsters of the puddles.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
Ooohh that looks DELISH.
May. 17th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
Hm, if it's anything like dumplings from chicken and dumplings (which are supposed to basically be biscuits cooked in boiling broth, not the dense pasta like flat things I so frequently see) or matzo balls, then by "boil" they mean "really, seriously boiling, like hot lava, the hottest you can get" and dropped right into the center of the broth. Any time I've had dumplings fall apart it's because the broth wasn't boiling enough, or I lowered the temp too much or left it on too high after they had all been added. Don't give up!! :-D sounds delicious!

Or just bake the darn things, no one will know!! ;) It sounds like you're way more advanced than me at cooking, but I struggled a long time with dumplings before getting it right so I wanted to share.
May. 17th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Huh, interesting! Thanks for the tip, if I ever try cooking boiled dumplings, I will have to remember that.
May. 17th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
I must heartily approve of playing in mud puddles. :)
May. 17th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
45 minutes seem like an awful long time. We don't make these in Denmark, but when we make dumplings, I always go by the "when it floats, it's done"-rule. :p
(Deleted comment)
May. 18th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
Making your own is way cooler, but for simplicity I tend to grab a jar of lingonberry spread from Fred's. And now I must go try that dish because it sounds really interesting.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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