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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Viking taditions and Thursday Brain Teaser!

So we live in the 21st century, right? Well, today at work...I felt I have stepped into an invisible time machine and somebody warped me back to 1910! It all happened when I went to get my dinner. I work at a lovely place and in the evening the staff gets a warm meal. Quite good most times. Today´s evening meal really tested my Icelandic pride. When I looked on my plate, there was a Sheephead! on it. I kid you not, just take the sheep fur away and you can picture what I saw-eyes and all. I looked at the cook, waiting for him to say something like: "I am only kidding", but no such sentence ever left his mouth. I made him stew me some veggies and left SHOCKED, because the woman next in line asked if she could have two and explained to me that in the olden days kids used to play with the bones. YEAH! As I learned later, I can expect many more of these delicious treats in the next few weeks since it is Thorrablot in Iceland. And here is somebody that can describe it so much better than I do!

"Midwinter visitors to Iceland can hardly fail to notice the ancient Viking feast of Thorrablot, now a popular feature at many restaurants. During January and February wander into any town or village and you will be invited to join with the locals in sampling some of their more unusual culinary delicacies.
An iron stomach and a strong constitution are useful - the feast usually comprises of a lot of meat, but you won't be offered a nice slice of rump steak. Instead you'll be faced with the animal's head, complete with eyes to be plucked out and savoured, while the testicles are pleasantly pickled for your enjoyment.

As a side dish try blódmör. Also known as slátur (translated as slaughter), this consists of a lump of congealed sheep's blood held together with lard and wrapped up in the rams' stomach. (Apologies if you're eating your lunch).

Then there are the whale steaks, seal fippers, rotten shark meat, and Black Death or brennivín spirits, a blistering schnapps made from potato and caraway. A large glass or two is highly recommended, if not for taste then for courage.

Congratulate yourself on making it through the meal with some more Black Death and then make like a Viking and throw yourself into the singing, dancing and merriment that follows."

Yeah ain´t that a treat!

But to the point: Our Thursday Trivia...

"A poet and a lawyer, he watched the British attack Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The next day he saw the United States flag still hanging above the fort and was inspired to write a poem called “The Defence of Fort M’Henry.” Later the poem was set to the music of an old drinking song and became the national anthem of the United States in 1931."

You think you got it? Go to the comment section and HINT! at the right answer. This way we all learn something and leave clues along the way for those that are still guessing!

Posted by Minka :: 11:43 pm :: 26 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 01:15, Blogger Doug said...

OK, all of your American readers will know this one, but I'll start by saying the middle name is a homonym of a British nationality.

So, you're nervous with food and bold with my friends. I lean the opposite way :P

At 01:15, Blogger Doug said...

Oh, and you posted on Wednesday again ;)

At 01:18, Blogger Minka said...

Doug, I tried to publish this post just before midnight, so you could have a go at me again :)
I know Patriotism runs high in the country of the free and home of the brave, kinda figured you guys would know the answer...but last Thursday was such a downer that I just had to lower the bar ;) My intend is to tease the brain, not to make it explode!

At 01:26, Blogger Minka said...

Besides, I thought that it is funny to know that the melody of your anthem is from a drinking song :)

At 02:25, Blogger Doug said...

Well, when catering to Americans it helps to lower the bar. A drinking song is about right.

At 03:12, Blogger AP3 said...

Ew.... sheep's head! Gross.

Doug's right... all Americans will know -- or they should! I'll give a hint (or two): The key is that he uses all three names.

At 03:17, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Great scot! I think that you've found the key to sucess in getting all correct answers this time. His first name is a bit like another country.

At 03:18, Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Forgot to say that Niks and I took all the kids to Ft. McHenry. More than once I guess.

At 04:12, Blogger Minka said...

See everybody enjoys knowing the answer. It is so easy to feel good about ourselves. In all honesty: I would have no clue as to who wrote the text to The German national anthem! Yet -for some starnge reason I knew the author of the American one!

At 10:17, Blogger Biene said...

For your question of the week: I don´t have the slightest...
But the food: Monika, it´s delicious! For true and real, I love it. Pickeled testicles are a delicassy and people writing strange things about this just havn´t dared to taste and I don´t have an iron stomach either..
In Afrika they eat fried treeworms, in japan raw fish, for russian fisheggs you pay a fortune...don´t talk bad about my favourit food!

At 12:47, Blogger Minka said...

Mom, I love hangikjöt and the dried fish thingies. I´ll get on board with the rofusteppu and peas...but the rest just seems babaric to me. A sheep´s head on your plate with skin and eyes seems pushing my limits.
The name we are looking for: two parts of his name have been in almost every comment of the Americans above. His first name is almost the same as the author of Angela´s Ashes! Wanna try again?

At 15:50, Blogger cube said...

Poor thing. Sheep's head would turn me into a vegetarian for sure.

BTW I'm from the US, so I know the answer to your question. Too easy for us ;-)

At 16:28, Blogger Doug said...

Ah, Monika, but you know who wrote the European Anthem, that's something.

At 16:47, Blogger Biene said...

The name ofthe fort?

At 19:27, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

I am a vegetarian... I am gagging... I am hyperventilating... I can't breathe! Aaaahhhhhhh!

At 20:42, Blogger Fred said...

I'm going to have a salad tonight.

This could be an interesting question to ask my students. I would, but I'm afraid that even with these clever clues, they wouldn't get it right.

At 20:43, Blogger Keith said...

A sheeps head? Your kidding us! Now, how about a nice 'budgie-on-a-bun'? Or even 'Rib-of-Rover' (dog)? Or 'Rat-au-vin"?

No wonder the Vikings died out!

At 21:33, Blogger Sar said...

"...with eyes to be plucked out and savoured, while the testicles are pleasantly pickled for your enjoyment." *wretch!*

Lordamercy, I read your post and couldn't help but think about poor AP3 & MizB's reactions upon reading it. (MizB - I shall never again say blech when referring to your tea again.)

Okay, now my hint for the teaser. Mr. Copola, the man behind The Godfather, shares the same first name.

At 21:34, Blogger Sar said...

(No offense Icelandic Mom!)

At 22:01, Blogger Heather Smith said...

Well, his last name is used to turn locks! I would totally not eat anything on that list, so though I want to see Iceland someday, I'm making a mental note not to visit in the winter!

At 23:23, Blogger Minka said...

Wow, ten comments while I was at work...thanks you guys! makes coming home even sweeter.
Ok, here it goes...
Cube, thank you for stopping by! Yeah, I know now that it was too easy for my blogger buddies. You are all the smarter version of Americans. I am sure this question would have been a toughie for the Jay Walking-audience though.

Doug, yes indeed...all 35 verses of it! By heart, I pledge my allegiance to the European Flag every day, right after lunch :)

MOM, you have to try again: First name sounds a little like France and is the first name of the director Coppola. Second name: Britain is made up of: England,..., Wales and Northern Ireland! Just leave the land at the end. And as pointed out so aptly: his third names turns locks! If you are not getting it now, we are gonna get you one of those cards that allows you to travel by bus for free ;)

Miz Bohemia...I am so sorry...I knew this might upset you guys. I decided against posting a picture of the whole thing, having the welfare of my audience at heart!!!

Fred, don´t do it...they might actually live up to your expectation :)

keith, I thought they died out as well...but going downtown on a Friday night here in Reykjavik...I am not that sure!

Sar...wretch indeed!

Heather, Hi again! Iceland can be so much fun in winter! You can go swin in warm water outside, while snowflakes tickle your chin...and the water is so warm that you don´t get the tiniest bit cold. Skiing is so inexpensive and you can sledge down a mountain. Not to bad. Just say "No thank you" when invited to dinner by strangers.

At 03:04, Blogger Ricardo said...

thanks for all and your visit, lady! you're welcome. nice blog!

At 03:10, Blogger Minka said...

Hi Ricardo and say hi to sunny Brazil for me :)

At 17:46, Blogger Sar said...

Just saying hi so you'll have another comment waiting for you when you come home from work today. Obviously, I have no clue the time difference between Eastern Standard Time in America and Iclandic time, so you could be sleeping for all I know. In that case, good morning! :)

At 20:14, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Aw! That is sweet Sar! No bleching the tea makes this bohemian happy! I swear it tastes good! Come on over and try it and if you don't like it I will make you one mean coffe, black tea or whatever your chic heart desires!

Monika! Sweet lady! Thought I would join the welcome home club! Sit down, put up those tired feet, here's your margarita and here is Eduardo... enjoy!

At 21:12, Blogger Minka said...

Ladies...exactly what I needed. Some alcohola nd a handsome stud. I am pleased now :)
And your comments awaited me when I came from work *Monika applauds profusely*. I needed that, slept two hours between my shifts and was crnaky when I arrived home...but not anymore:)


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