Henningsvaer Fish Soup

Henningsvaer Fish Soup 

According to Sophie Grigson, Henningsvaer is "a picturesque little port right up north in Norway's Lofoten Islands" and this soup (my thirty-eighth) is "the speciality of a small restaurant there." Searching briefly on the internet for Henningsvaer has confirmed in me my desire to visit those more remote parts of the Nordic countries (we holidayed in the Baltic earlier this year and I really liked what I saw of Finland).
Back to the fish soup, which I made yesterday evening, the ingredients include fish stock, cod fillet, butter, onion, carrot, leek, caster sugar, white wine vinegar and creme fraiche.  I prepared the vegetables in advance, then started cooking around 5pm. It was fairly straightforward and we were ready to go just before 6pm. The creme fraiche and the fish (the fish is cooked separately) were the last ingredients to be added. The soup was really delicious and is on my notional list of recipes to be used again.
Last week I estimated that at the rate I am going, it will take me nearly five years to get through all the recipes in The Soup Book. Can I stick with it? This Christmas I might try to work through a few recipes. Several of them involve mussels. The spouse thinks it's possible to get frozen mussels and now that we've ascertained that the younger offspring will eat mussels, I plan to trawl through the fish section of The Soup Book.

Sunday afternoon in the Phoenix Park

Well, the snow has gone and the ice is thawing on the footpaths, but there is more cold weather on the way.  The Christmas fair at the younger offspring's school has been postponed twice and is now due to take place, in a slightly restricted format, just three days before Christmas. Not good news for the school as the fair is a much relied on source of revenue. 
I had been wondering what bee- or honey-related information or incident I was going to write about this weekend. Nothing jumped out at me, but as luck would have it the spouse had suggested going to the Christmas market at Farmleigh in Dublin's Phoenix Park.  So just before 1pm today, we marched the younger offspring out to the car and headed into town, the plan being to get a snack at the market. As we made our way through the car park, I said, "I'm not buying anything." But as I spoke those words, a little voice in my head said, "Now that you've said that, you will be buying something." We went up the path past the donkeys and wound our way through the courtyard, out past the gallery and into the area where the market is held.  The very first stall we came to was the Meadowsweet Farm Shop stall and what was on display? Honey, beeswax skincare products and wax candles! What did I do? I bought two candles, of course, shaped like skeps. The stall-holder agreed to let me take a photo of the stall for this blog. As we moved away, the spouse pointed out how quickly my resolve had crumbled. Yes, but it was in aid of a worthy cause.
Skep candles made from beeswax

The Meadowsweet Farm Shop Stall at Farmleigh

Before leaving the market, we paid a visit to the Irish Craft Portfolio 2010 display in the gallery building. This was definitely worth braving the scowls of the younger offspring to see. There was one particular picture ("Buttercups", a print by Deirdre McCrory) which made me think of summer. The spouse and I were both quite taken with Cormac Boydell's ceramic plates. Time to start saving up again.

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