Road Trip

 

We went on a road trip the other day.  We started at 6am and were set to go to Jökulsárlón – they wanted copies of the book Iceland Small World – and we decide it would be fun to deliver them ourself.  So an early start, 6 am, we stopped first at Hvergerði where Almars bakery is always open, we had a coffee to go and a Snúður/doughnut, umm they are great!

We had the road nearly to our self, the sun was shining and we took a few photos with my iPhone, you can see them at the top : )
We drove non stop and saw both sunrise and sunset!  A great day for a road trip.

 

Food and Fun in Reykjavik 2014

We at Rent in Reykjavik decide to try the Food and Fun festival in Reykjavik.  We randomly chose a restaurant and went to the Grillmarket.

We chose the menu with wine.

gmGrillmarket kitchen

fordrykkur

We were greeted with a smile and our waiter for the evening, Gréta was very efficient.  First we had

a very delicious cocktail it had Reyka Vodka and grape, cinnamon and something more.

cava

garlic soup with ash salt

 

Next came a platter of  home baked bread, warm and delicious served with Icelandic butter and ash salt, yes ash salt, we had never heard of it before but it tasted like salt and looked pretty on top of the butter : )

The Roasted Garlic soup was, well neither good nor bad, the egg was a nice touch.  With the soup we had a a semi seco cava. You can see the black salt just by the bread!

 

 

 

 

 

salmon

 

This was by far our favourite dish! The salmon was delicious, and the smoked beet was a nice touch with the salmon.  This was served with a crisp white wine.

 

 

 

 

scallops

 

 

Grilled scallops, these we usually like but they were to little cooked to our liking, they were served with a very  nice and buttery and creamy white wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled fillet of lamb 

The lamb was delicious and melted in our mouth and the wine that was selected with it was extremely good it was full and spicy. It´s name is Gnarly Head.

Gnarly head

 

 

 

 

 

panna cotta

 

This was the most disappointment, we had so much been looking forward to a chocolate panna cotta, we love regular panna cotta and were eager to try a chocolaty one.  It was not panna cotta at all, it was SKYR. I mean skyr is fine, usually we have skyr for a quick lunch, but Skyr cakes are known and work fine.  Skyr panna cotta, not so nice, we found it sour and not to our liking. Unfortunately.

It was a great night, tried all kinds of new dishes and new wine.  We will definitely go again next year!!

Thank you for a great experience : )

 

 

 

 

 

The Grill Market:

Menu 2014- Collaborating chef 2014: William Morris – USA

 

Ristuð hvítlaukssúpa / Roasted Garlic Soup
Með soðnu eggi og grilluðum ostrusveppum
Soft poached egg and grilled oyster mushrooms

 Reykt rauðrófa og grafinn lax í salati / Smoked beet and cured salmon salad
Nípumauk og ristuð sesamfræ
 Parsnip puree and toasted sesame

Steiktur hörpudiskur / Roasted scallop
Ristaðar möndlur og brúnað smjör Toasted almond and browned butter

Grillaður lambahryggur / Grilled fillet of lamb
Eggaldinmauk og kjúklingabauna Panissa Eggplant puree and chickpea Panissa

Súkkulaði Panna Cotta / Chocolate panna cotta
Flaueliskaka og kryddaðar pekan hnetur Red velvet cake, spiced pecans

But I am from the West…….

When I was walking to the office to day I met a man that had helped us out once a long time ago.
I had not thought of this for a long time.

 

Once long time ago I was driving with my parents, I was probably only about 13 years old.
It was early spring and we were in the Landmannalaugar/ Hrafntinnusker

Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar

area in the highlands of Iceland. It was still a bit of snow and we got our car stuck in a snow ditch that was frozen over a river, when we opened the door we could see the river running underneath the ice. This was in the evening. We immediately begun to try to get the car loose but after several tries to get the car going we decide to start walking, we walked and walked and fortunately for us we met five Germans in a very well equipped Unimoc, with chains on the wheels and they had shovels as well. They picked us up and we started driving towards our car, but we cant even make it all the way, so the 8 of us continue on food, carrying the chains for the wheels and the shovels.  We get the to the car and we cant put the chains under it and the 8 of us cant even push it, the car just does not move.  At 3 am we give up and the Germans drive us down to Landmannalaugar hut which was full, this being a weekend and all but luckily we got to sleep on the kitchen floor.

Next morning when everybody has left, we were trying to reach town, trying to get someone to come and tow the car away,  through the radio but with out any luck. No cell phones then.  In the kitchen we see a man sitting and eating.  He had long hair and a big beard, he had his hair braided like Pipi Longstocking and it even stood out like hers did : ) He was eating breakfast, and what he had was skyr and some Lýsi and a beer. He kept taken one bite of skyr, then some lýsi followed by a swig of beer.  I remember it made my mom a bit queasy. We greeted him and introduced us and he told us his name was Siggi. We started talking and we told him about our car problem. We asked if he had a good car, “nah not really” Siggi says, I got a Toyota High-Lux. But lets go see if we can get the car going he’s says.055

So we go with him, we were a bit worried and sceptical but there was nothing else we could do. Siggi kept drinking something out of a flask in a brown paper bag… When we arrive to our car the curiosity finally got the better of us and we asked him what it was that he was drinking out of the flask in the brown paper bag. Oh thats my Cod liver oil, Siggi says.  (uakk I say)  Siggi walks over to the car, walks around it a bit, nods thoughtfully and strokes his beard and then after a while he says to my dad: Give me the keys.  My dad says: but the car is completely stuck, 8 of us could not even move it an inch.  Siggi just looks at him and says:
ah, but I am from the West.

We give him the car keys, and guess what, he drives the car out of the ditch!!!

 

So I guess it DOES matter where you are from  : )

 

Hrafntinnusker

Hrafntinnusker Landmannalaugar area

 

 

 

 

 

The Weather in Iceland

Weather in Iceland.

 

If you don´t like the weather in Iceland just wait a minute : )

This is a very common saying in Iceland and most often true. In one day you can experience sunshine, rain, snow, wind and drizzle. It is impossible to know how to dress as the weather constantly changes.

The weather has been Icelanders favourite  topic for a long time!

It can always be discussed and you can often hear people say that it will rain soon because their left elbow is hurting or that it will be colder because their joints are aching.

Here are some common believes regarding the weather:  If the “teeth” of a rake are facing up that means rain, if there are a lot of berries in the fall we will have heavy snow during the winter, a foggy window indicates good weather. If winter and summer freeze together i.e last day of winter freezes together with the first day of summer, we will definitely have a great summer.

It is fair to say the we love to speculate how the weather will be.  But what is it really like, the weather in Iceland?

Due to the warm gulf stream the climate in Iceland is much warmer than in other regions of the same degree of latitude. Winter in Iceland is rather mild and summertime more cool.

In the summer we have the long days when the sun never goes down, I really love the long summer days. July and August are the warmest months and the average temperature in Reykjavik this year was 12.2°C / 54°F and going highest up-to 20°C/68°F . Total hours of sunshine in Reykjavik last July were 184 and that is 12.6 hours above average, and in  Akureyri it was 197 hours and 38 hours above average.

I think the winter temperature is what most surprises people, with a name like Iceland people expect snow and frost. What defines our winter is not the cold but the long hours of darkness. This is a great time to light the fire in the living room, open a good bottle of wine and read a long good book : )

In real time the temperature last January was is 1.6°C/34.88°F and December 0.7°C/33,26°F. Total sunshine hours in December in Reykjavik were 31.8 that is 19 hours above average and the most sunshine hours in December that we have ever measured. Luck us!!

 

Abundant House

Ghost house

Ghost house

Ljótiklettur

Ljótiklettur

People often wonder if it is getting warmer in Iceland, and if it is the global warming or something else.  All I can say is that the temperature has been fluctuating since the settlement of Iceland and that 2011 was 2°C/35,6°F warmer then 1949.