Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Buttermilk Express

Today, 17 June, is Icelandic National Day, celebrating the formation of the independent Republic of Iceland in 1944. It's interesting that such an old country only achieved independence so recently. I mean, their language is thousands of years old and so well-preserved that they can read ancient texts. Can U say teh same 4 English, m8?

I'm learning Icelandic. This is why I haven't posted in a while. Homework.

Anyway, a slight deviation from the usual restaurant reviews (of which there are several waiting to be written -- it's just hard to throw one together quickly) to bring you some home-cooked treats. In honour of Þjóðhátiðagurinn.

But my journey is not yet complete. Tonight for dinner is hashed fish with black bread, which is a specialty at Þrir Frakkar in Reykjavik that I tried when I was there last year.
Þrir Frakkar hashed fish with black bread
F.S.I. Sydney hashed fish with black bread
And I still have about 1.5 cups of cultured buttermilk to use up. Open to suggestions. And for this I have to give a huge shout out to Pepe Saya (the guy who makes the cultured butter which is popping up in the nicer restaurants and grocery stores) who gave me 3 litres of the stuff. Extracted fresh while I waited. Incredibly generous. Thanks Pepe!

Read more about Pepe Saya: Grab Your Fork; Bizzy Lizzy; Miss Piggy; Fig & Cherry; Mike Whitney.

Recipe time!

[Note: black bread recipe is pending permission from the author.]

Buttermilk Banana Bread

3 cups flour (experiment with types)
1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoons of bi-carb soda
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
0.5 teaspoons of salt
2 eggs
100g butter (melted or softened)
1.5 cups buttermilk
4 bananas
1.5 cup walnuts (or other nuts or chocolate)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Line 2 medium or 3 small bread tins with baking paper or oil.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, bi-carb, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
3. Mix the eggs, butter, buttermilk and bananas in a medium bowl. (I used a stick mixer to mash the bananas a few at a time into the wet mixture.)
4. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir until everything is wet. Stir in the walnuts.
5. Pour into the bread tins, up to about 2/3 full.
6. Bake at 180˚ for 35-40 minutes. Use a skewer to check that the middle is done.


  1. Richard of Kenthurst NSWJune 17, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Your Icelandic Rye bread recipe has inspired me. But I went to Woollies to buy 2 empty 1 litre milk cartons, and they don't sell them.

    Have just ordered extra IQ points from Amazon, so should find a solution shortly.

  2. I wish my oven had a sun that rotates half way across the earth.
    Awesome post- very funny

  3. I used to think music was the best way to learn languages, but you've got it right: it's the recipes.


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