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Hope123
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 7:41:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 10,012
Neurons: 57,132
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Star Christmas cartoon for December 24, 2020.

2021 is coming soon and so are the vaccines for all of us who want it. Applause

jcbarros
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2020 10:21:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
Posts: 2,401
Neurons: 11,810
This pandemic has shown the best and the worst of us. *
thar
Posted: Sunday, December 27, 2020 12:10:40 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,388
Neurons: 94,875
This is from early December, and it hasn't gone exactly as hoped - vaccination has started sooner than predicted but is rationed by population so Iceland will only get 3000 per week ongoing, so it will take a while. But it is all looking good right now.


https://youtu.be/zm9pKdsbg0o

Ah, and the meat he mentioned after the covid news part was hangikjöt- salted smoked mutton.


Quote:
Making Hangikjöt:

Any meat can be smoked, like mutton/lamb, horse, pork, game bird breasts, etc., but only lamb/mutton are called hangikjöt. Legs, thighs and sides of lamb are well suited for smoking.

Processing the meat:

Clean the meat well, and pickle in brine for 2-4 days, depending on thickness of the pieces. Allow the brine to drip off the meat before smoking it.

Smoking:

Hang up the meat and start the smoking process. Make sure the fire never dies – the smoking must be constant. Taste check the meat in a week or so – the meat should taste smoky. If the meat is at all slimy to the touch, or has a rancid taste, it is spoiled and must not be eaten. Smoke for another week and taste the meat again. It should be reddish in colour with a pronounced smoky taste. For even smokier taste, give it another week, but no more than that, or it may become too dry.

When the meat is smoked, it should be hung in a cool, dry place. Meat that has been hung for a while is more easily digested than meat that has not been hung.


Not in tacos though.


Hope123
Posted: Monday, December 28, 2020 10:36:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 10,012
Neurons: 57,132
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Thar, do people actually have the facilities nowadays to do the smoking and take the time or is this usually only a commercial product now?

Since smoking of meat is considered to be carcinogenic I would imagine this would be a treat now and again if you like smoked meat (or salmon).

I have lamb chops on my rotary diet. They are very expensive here as mutton is not a big industry. I either grill, broil, or fry them but do not cook them well.
thar
Posted: Monday, December 28, 2020 11:00:38 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,388
Neurons: 94,875
No, its not uncommon to smoke your own meat and fish.

Not a lot of wood to spare, so hangikjöt is traditionally smoked with sheep dung.


Not so much in the city, though. You buy it. But everyone has relatives in the county, who knows someone.


Quote:

Luckily, these early explorers had brought along a renewable fuel source: the sheep they reared to survive. Now, in addition to harvesting sheep’s meat and wool, Icelanders had discovered an essential use for the animal’s dung.

Preserving meat by smoking it over sheep dung became standard fare. To protect livestock from harsh winters, farmers herded their flocks into barns. The animals spent the season eating, tromping on, and excreting hay. In spring, they returned to pasture-grazing and farmers were left to excavate the contents inside the barns. They dried the wads of hay and manure in the sun, then burned these pieces to smoke meats and fish in anticipation of the coming winter. Christmas, in particular, was a time for dung-smoked sheep meat.

Hangikjöt, traditional Icelandic smoked lamb, is still made over a fire fueled by excrement from the very same creature—perhaps not literally, but it’s possible. Cooks begin by dry-salting or brining a cut of leg or shoulder, then roasting the meat until it takes on an optimally savory, slightly ashen character. Locals continue to enjoy the meal as a Christmas dish, often served alongside potatoes, creamy sauce, and canned peas. It’s also a popular lunch food, usually in the form of thin slices set atop Icelandic rye or flat bread.



A custom that was not observed so much the year was eating fermented skate on St Thorlack's day, just before Christmas. People like the tradition but tend not to make it themselves, so it wasn't done much this year. I don't know whether that means next year people will be keener to do it, or it will die out even more. Younger people and city dwellers are losing the tradition.

Quote:
As to why the holiday known as Thorláksmessa centers around the pungent fish? Catholics historically abstained from eating meat leading up to Christmas Eve, and in the dead of Icelandic winter, pickings were slim. Skate, however, was available year-round, due to a unique natural preservative. Like the Greenland shark, which ferments into the dish known as hákarl, skate excretes uric acid through its skin. This helps ferment and preserve the fish, but also leads to a heavy ammonia aroma that permeates wherever it’s prepared. Understandably, modern diners are divided on the merits of eating fermented skate at home. Typically, restaurant chefs prepare it. They ferment the skate in a sealed environment for a few weeks, then steam or boil it before serving.



I don't think any carcinogens from dung outweigh the benefits of good food and communal eatng.!
Quote:
Dung smoked Icelandic lamb and thoughts on life

Many Icelandic farmers smoke their own meat, and use dung to do it. Matthías Sævar Lýðsson and Hafdýs Sturlaugsdóttir are sheep farmers at Húsavík, on Strandir Peninsula in North West Iceland. In the video you can see them prepare and start the process of smoking legs of lamb, sausages and more. They use 16 year old dung that has been collected especially for this.

While waiting for the smoking, they go about doing other work at the farm, wondering about life.

“It’s similar to what one reads about the Native Americans way of life. You use every bit of the animal, it’s a matter of respect. If you kill something, that’s what you do. You do it as cleanly and humanly as possible, and if there’s something you can eat, you use it. Maybe it’s just me that thinks like this,” says farmer Lýðsson.

“As a farmer you should leave your land and the environment in better shape than you got it, for your children and grandchildren. Make their welfare more secure for the future”

thar
Posted: Monday, December 28, 2020 4:06:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,388
Neurons: 94,875
Vaccination has started in Iceland. A bit slow because supplies rationed by population, but on the way. Here's to efficacy, safety and progress!


https://youtu.be/bO3vRINarqU
thar
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021 1:43:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,388
Neurons: 94,875
More about the vaccination progress, and a few related deaths, but frankly they sound like as would be expected. And a bit about US politics. From us dangerous communists!

news from Iceland
Hope123
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021 5:13:57 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 10,012
Neurons: 57,132
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
thar wrote:
More about the vaccination progress, and a few related deaths, but frankly they sound like as would be expected. And a bit about US politics. From us dangerous communists!

news from Iceland


Thanks, Thar.

Love how he does the news!

I like his attitude about anti vaxxers - let's not worry about them, let's just get 70% vaccinated. (My attitude too - all the more for the rest of us to get done sooner.) Did I hear correctly only 3 cases now and 17 stopped at the border?

I wish our government would stop all the unnecessary international travel and letting in Canadians who chose to travel for pleasure outside of Canada during a pandemic. They should have to stay where they are until the pandemic is under control. Maybe they would stay home then.

That is a river, right? It looks as if it goes right up to the building on the left but I doubt that???
thar
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021 7:32:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,388
Neurons: 94,875
I hope you are doing OK.

Yes, the lockdown and border controls have kept cases down. Except for a few selfish gits who break it. The recent culprits were the Catholic church. Protestant churches obeyed the restriction of ten people, but the Catholic church had services without masks attended by far more than allowed and had to be told off by the police. Icelandic belief is your first duty (religious or otherwise) is to protect others and not spread a fatal disease! I know other cultures differ on that, but the Catholic Church and its worshippers' total disregard for the rules of their host country (especially when government welfare payments and Church of Iceland social funds are supporting many unemployed migrant workers because of the economic hardship of prolonged lockdown) did not sit well.



There have been 29 deaths total since the start. Now nobody else in a serious condition n hospital as far as I am aware, so with continued vigilance it might stay that way, or close to it.



It is a lake. - well a pond. It is called Tjörnin. English calls it Tjörnin Pond, except "tjörn" means pond, so Tjörnin just means 'The pond'.
It is the same word as tarn in English, which comes from Norse so you only get tarns in Viking-settled areas of Britain. They are mostly small mountain or moorland lakes.

The building is City Hall and the water does go right up to it.

Most of it freezes and is used for skating but a corner is kept open with hot water (free from geothermal) for the birds.




Edit - oops, wrong picture! That was the scary lizards thread!





It is only a few feet deep!

Quote:
The Metropolitan Police received a call from a concerned citizen late last night, alerting Police to the fact that there was a cat stuck on an island in one of the ponds which make up the downtown lake Tjörnin. The cat had somehow made it out onto the island, but was clearly unable to make it back to land. The cat had caught the attention of passers-by with his "out of control whining and loud crying".


The local news site Vísir reports that when officers arrived at the scene they discovered that the cat was indeed stuck and meowing very loudly, indicating he was fully aware of his predicament. An officer decided to wade out into the island, but half-way out became stuck in the mud and returned. The Police officers therefore called for the assistance of the Fire department, which has significant experience in rescuing cats.

Read more: Photos: Reykjavík fire department rescues cat from tree

Four firefighters responded to the call from the Police. Wearing chest waders one of the firefighters tried to get to the island, but he too got stuck in the mud. Since it was clearly impossible to get to the island by foot the firefighters and Police created a bridge to reach the small island with a ladder from the fire engine. The National Broadcasting Service RÚV reports that one of the firefighters managed to help the cat Grímkell back to the mainland.

The person who had called the police took possession of the cat, promising to get him to his home and human keepers.



Yes, on a slow news day in April in Iceland rescuing a cat from a pond does make the national news.
Or it did.
Ah, those were the days!
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 1:01:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 10,012
Neurons: 57,132
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Love the cat story. 😀

Thar, beautiful pix!

I like all the beautiful colours of the roofs of the buildings.

Thanks for the good wishes. My family is all fine so far but Ontario and Canada are much worse off with the number of cases and deaths than they were in the spring.

I looked up what a tarn is - a small lake or pond carved out by a glacier. Moraines may form at the base as a dam. For anyone not familiar with them, a moraine is glacial till or sediment.

We have a lot of moraines or small hills in Ontario's farm lands. The escarpment that we could see from our Burlington condo balcony when we lived there is miles and miles long and glaciers have a part in their formation. You might be interested in it if you haven't already studied about it.

https://www.giantsrib.ca/formation-of-the-escarpment/

https://www.giantsrib.ca/shaping-the-escarpment/

View from the balcony where we lived for 18 years. The escarpment doesn't show up too well in this pic - but it is there just beneath the clouds. The opposite way you could see Lake Ontario and the Skyway bridge to the Niagara Peninsula.
(My brother photoshopped the original and the realtor used it. No hydro lines or cars! )



Edited - Got a better pic realtor took in winter - you can see the escarpment better. It is the line all along the horizon and is actually taller and bigger than it looks in the photos.

That is a water reservoir across the street from the condo.







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