Coffee, Butter and Bitcoin

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My morning cup of coffee with grassfed butter in Amsterdam. This is such a luxury as there is not one single brand of grassfed butter in Norway (where I was born and still temporarily live). I guess I could find a way to mail order a box of Kerrygold, but places like amazon don’t ship edibles to Norway, and the customs system is a bureaucratic mess of high taxes … *le sigh*. Time to get out … anyway, I’m in Amsterdam for the bitcoin convention this weekend. Never heard of bitcoin? Ok, let me give you a quick introduction! 

Bitcoin allows you to pay with your smartphone instantly, with a few seconds delay, to anywhere on the globe completely without transaction fees. It is safer, faster and cheaper than anything like PayPal, Visa or Mastercard. Visa and Mastercard weren’t designed for the internet. Bitcoin is. Its security is based on cryptography rather than a third party like a bank or credit card company. Let’s not go into the detail, but you had to leave the fastest existing computer working practically eternally to guess the astoundingly large numbers protecting bitcoin.

Bitcoin

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If desired, bitcoin is anonymous. Bitcoin will make it possible to donate to charity so that 100% of the money will go to those who need it – because the donations happen without all the third parties who always need their share. Crowdfunding will be super easy. Sending money to loved ones in a distant country will be instant and free. WordPress (this web hosting service) actually accepts bitcoin as subscription payment. See bitcoin.org for more information (and a cool introduction video).

So back to the butter: it is both with unbearable delight and frustrated despair that I consume this golden, caffeinated brew. Imagine living in a dark cellar for most of your life – you know there is something called “the sun” up there, and that it is beautiful; yet you’ve never seen it. Then you’re let out for a few hours into dashing sunlight, but knowing it is only for a short time you appreciate it bittersweetly. That’s how I feel eating grassfed butter. See you guys!

Garden Update: First Harvest

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Look what I made! This is just a little taste though – there’s more comin’! In here are: spaghetti squash, carrot, fennel, arugula, strawberries and onion (and some nettles also picked in the garden).

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I’m saving the exhilaration of my virgin trip with spaghetti squash for later, but today’s gathering resulted in a skillet of damped nettles, fennel (grass & bulb), onion, carrotgrass, arugula with butter, pepper, Himalaya salt and local olive oil from Provence. Served with salmon and baked potatoes, sweet potatoes and onion.

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A Taste of Provence

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French cuisine always had a special place in my heart. No, it’s not all about baguettes – it’s much, much more. Ingredients are mostly local: fish from the Mediterranean Sea; tomatoes, squash and salad from local farms; olive oil from centuries old mills; local wine and cheese; high quality meat etc. I love the fact that they don’t seem to save the good stuff in restaurants – whenever you get a salad, even just a couple of leaves next to the main course, it’s always sprinkled with a homemade vinaigrette. France is actually quite paleo friendly as long as you refrain from eating all the bread they keep throwing at you during restaurant visits. And the croissants. And the pain-au-chocolats. And the crêpes. But yes yes; very paleo friendly.

Here are some of the highlights from my very recent (in fact I am still there) gastronomic tour of southern France. Bon appétit!

Roasted, locally farmed chicken w/ratatouille:

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Selection of grilled mediterranean seafood w/salad and mashed potatoes w/olive oil:

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Salad of tuna and celery sprinkled w/olive oil and balsamic vinegar:
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Salad w/grilled squid:

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Omelet w/bacon and emmetal cheese, salad and a beautifully viscous vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil:

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Salmon mousse w/cream:

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Lamb w/herbs, mushrooms, vegetables and carrot purée:

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Chicken w/vegetables and a chive cream sauce:

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Salad of cured duck, fried duck, foie gras and roasted potatoes:

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… and the obligatory glass of rosé wine.

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I use Trip Advisor and instantly find the best restaurants nearby. I have been in the area before: see this delicious recipe for quail in raspberry vinegar that I made as a participant of a five day cooking school the last time I was in France.

Not paleo, but just I want to show you our breakfast table at the guest house. Isn’t it cozy?

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Scrambled Eggs w/Arctic Wild Chives

2013-08-08 11.29.35… or Allium sibirica, “siberian onion”; larger and milder than regular chives. We picked these right outside our rental cottage in Honningsvåg, Norway! The eggs were whisked up with ham, cheese, chopped cherry tomatoes, black pepper and a generous load of these chives. I used them as I would scallions.

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