Greetings everybody and happy new year!
I love this time of year. It may sound corny, but it really is a time to start fresh and plan for the new year. It is time to look ahead to dreams and make plans for this year and years to come.
This year brings an especially exciting travel opportunity. In June, I’ll be hosting a trip to Norway with Fox World Travel. Can you believe it? Norway!
Why is a French Pastry chef going to Norway? Let me tell you a bit more about it and why this trip is special to me.
Remember the TV commercial where the father and son were on a journey and went to Scotland—I believe—only to find out they were Irish? Well, in a way this happened to me. I always thought my maternal grandfather was Swedish. And, my grandma, German. A few years ago, I was looking through ancestry.com and other family documents only to discover everyone had come from Norway.
Then, on my dad’s side, I knew my paternal grandfather was English and never knew my grandma. Ta-da! After more research, more Norwegian. If I’ve calculated correctly, I am a generous 1/2 Norwegian. For those of you who have met me, it won’t come as any surprise. Tall, blond, blue eyes—you got it, Norwegian.
Looking back, this explains a lot. Radishes, herring, krumkake, dill, rye bread with sardines—doesn’t everyone eat food like this?
So, ja (yes), let’s go to Norway and meet my people!
We’ll start off in Amsterdam for two days before we board the ship. The Kimpton Hotel is hip and will be a fantastic start to our journey. We’ll spend time in the city, have a great meal, tour the canals and set sail to Norway.Did you know there are more bikes in Amsterdam than people? Don’t quote me, but it’s about 900,000 bikes! Parking ramps are filled with only bikes. It’s so beautiful to see moms with babies, kids, commuters all—on bikes. There are even special traffic signals for the bikes.
On my last trip to Amsterdam, I found a knitting shop on my list to visit again. If you’ve never been there, the city is stunning. We’ll also visit windmills. Often, there is a mist over the water early in the morning that makes the windmills even more beautiful.
Any photographers out there? In 2013/2014 I wrote a cookbook, The Little French Bakery Cookbook and as part of the book, I photographed the food for the recipes. Since then, I’ve been behind the camera a bit. In Amsterdam and Norway, I’m planning to bring my gear and take time for photography. It will be fun to share tips and tricks both while we’re shooting and after. I have some tips for post-processing I’m happy to share.
Once we’re on the ship—luxurious, I might add—we can spend time in several cities of Norway. Plus, we’ll be cruising the fjords. We’ll taste local foods and take in as many culinary excursions as we can find. I do hope you’ll join me, and my husband, Gary, for this wonderful journey. We’ll have a great time and make many fun memories.
No blog post would be complete without a recipe to share. Here’s a simple and delicious appetizer with a favorite—radishes!
Tusen takk—Thank you very much!
Susan Holding founded The Little French Bakery in 1999 in rural North Freedom, Wisconsin. The studio is home to hands-on style cooking classes and Susan’s commercial kitchen, where she prepares special-order items. She enjoys cooking, baking, and exploring the world of food, travel and life in general.