Tuesday, July 11th, Flåm, Norway. I slept in that day then went on a hike with Nato (Professor Nathan Parker), Kyle, Donovan, Foster, and Chris. The Hike was over 18,000 steps. Most of it was on a bike path, then it became an incline zig-zag. At the last of the ‘zags’ I paused to catch my breath and noticed a meadow leading to the final zig straight away into the village of Otternes Bydgetun. The meadow was far steeper than the zigs or zags, but also far shorter. I figured I could push for 30 seconds at a time and make it up the meadow rather than try to hoof it up for a few minutes and make it over the zigs and zags. So I did. In the first 30 seconds, I made it halfway to a rock with a gorgeous view. In the second halfway I got up to the fence that separated the road from the meadow. I ducked under and journeyed into the village. 

Me standing on the halfway point of the meadow, looking over the Fjord below

While in the village of Otternes Bydgetun, we walked around and found a meadow of goats. I walked up to the fence to say hi and instinctually set my hand on the top wire. Turns out it was an electric fence and I was in for a momentary shock.

After the hike, I sent out the poll to the class group me for dinner. Salmon (when in Norway) vs Chicken.

Some of my best meals are with the worst food. Like the cold cookout corn dog that got me through a breakup. The microwave ramen that became one of my favorite moments in a relationship that has since ended. The simple cherry tomato salad with too-vinegary dressing that accompanied a perfect afternoon in Switzerland. The perfect Blenz fruit bowl that helped me realize first, the extent of my dairy intolerance, and second how much I love Tuscaloosa. The cold brew (accidentally straight concentrate) and French onion soup I shared with my best friend before she went off to college. I’ve eaten at Michelin-Star restaurants, I’ve had food from famous chefs, from highly recommended places and from restaurants on top food lists around the world. Yet these are not my favorite meals.

Cooking is an amalgamation of love languages. I cook to relieve stress, I cook to be creative, I cook to decompress. When abroad and the world is full of stress, stifling, and compression, cooking seems the remedy for all of these things.

Salmon won out against chicken. Citrus Salmon is actually the first recipe I had ever made. I started being interested in cooking at the age 6 and my neighbor offered the Citrus Salmon as an easy recipe to make. Since then it’s been a staple in my household. In Norway, I made it in the Flåm hostel with Emma and Kyle as my sous chefs and side-makers. I got to share it and, therefore, share some love with those I take this journey with.