Friday, 27 March 2009

Taxes, continued

In my politics lecture this morning my professor, Frank Aarebrot (the picture), told us what we should say if we ever met an American who couldn’t understand how we could pay the high amount of taxes we pay. Funny, I thought, my friend Shane asked this question last year on the blog I don’t think neither me nor Sofie had great answers. So I will rephrase his words:

Imagine that Norway and USA has the same currency, called “money”. Both the Norwegian and the American earns 100 money a month. The Norwegian pays 44 money to the state each month while the American pays only 20 money to the state. But the American also pays the health insurance company 15 money and puts away 5 money for his or her children’s college fund. So in the end about the same proportion of money is spent on the same things. The difference is that in USA you have the freedom to be irresponsible and the freedom not to send your kids to college. The so-called Free Society based on value choices made by the citizens.

Just a little anecdote before the weekend. Now I’m about to make a “Mediterranean pie” before we have a guest arriving this evening. Thank you both so much for the post cards, they filled my with great joy. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A Fortuitously Delicious Dinner

Now, I don't fancy myself a food blogger or anything, but my dinner last night [note: I wrote this in my journal weeks ago!] was so good I just have to tell the whole internet about it. It was also incredibly accidental in its composition. This is what was in the fridge and why:

1) Half a hummus container of orzo with mushrooms, onions, and cilantro, left over from a breakfast quite similar to this.

2) One hummus container of orzo carbonara which was quite accidental in its own composition: I had bought on a whim some halal turkey bacon the week before, and we were slowly working our way through it -- or rather, Brett was. Desperate to do something with the last couple of pieces, I typed turkey bacon into (best website EVER) and happened upon a recipe for carbonara sauce, which I thought I'd try my hand at. It worked out pretty well, though a little too meat-ish for me :).

3) Marinated feta with roasted red peppers, garlic, herbs, and balsalmic vinegar. I am pretty sure that last Friday was Seniors' Day at Trade Fair, my friendly neighborhood grocery store. Waiting in line at the deli counter, the woman in front of me gestured to her desired cheese with a swing of her cane, and teh woman behind me, walker in grocery cart, complained loudly in an old New York accent about the crowds, the deafness of the other Trade Fair patrons, and her leg. Just as I made it to the front to ask for my half-pound of feta, a babushka-wearing grandmother walked laboriously by in the opposite direction, a traffic jam of three impatient shoppers behind her. I guess my request got mixed up in the kerfuffle, and I ended up with a pound of feta instead of a half (isn't life hard?). Remembering the deliciousness of the rather expensive Apetina feta, I cut up some of the excess feta into cubes, roasted myself a red pepper, found some herbs and black peppercorns, and dropped them all into a jar with oil and a splash of balsalmic vinegar. Every day it gets yummier!

4) A bunch of spinach just days away from going bad.

5) Half a little jar of Newman's Own tomato sauce -- after reading this article, I decided to stop buying fresh tomatoes in winter to make my own sauce. Don't know if Newman's Own is much better, but I'm hopeful.

And this is what I did with it:

I put all of the mushroom/cilantro orzo and a couple of spounfuls of the carbonara orzo into a container with the washed and torn up spinach. Then, I fished many pieces of feta and roasted red pepper out of my jar of yumminess and threw them in as well. Finally, I added a couple of spoonfuls of tomato and mixed the whole thing up. Then I ate it and was very very happy :).