viking yogurt

Oh how I wish I had that Viking hat right now. The one with the big horns sticking out of a plastic dome crafted to look like metal. The one that’s somewhere in the Ward cottage in the Northern Canadian town of Gimli where I spent my summers as a chunky-thighed child.

Why? Because I’d put it on right now and take a picture of myself eating this yogurt.

While browsing my unfortunately-big-box-but-nonetheless-endearing Wegman’s last week, this little container jumped out at me from the overpriced-but-delicious dairy case. (OK, I promise, no more hyphenated conjunctions.)

Flirting its paper label adorned with whimsical pomegranate and passion fruit, I simply couldn’t say no. I don’t think I even noticed the $1.99 price tag. (Or was it $2.99?) Yogurt-love is a blinding, reckless force.

Started by Siggi Hilmarsson in 2004, this Icelandic-style yogurt has been steadily increasing in popularity. It’s been featured in Gourmet and O magazines, but I’m feeling proud that I found it on a whim. Siggi’s skyr is made with skim milk from pasture-raised cows in Morrisville NY, close enough to Syracuse that I can still call it “local food.”

Because the milk used in this yogurt comes from cows that eat what they’re supposed to, it has more omega 3’s than corn fed cow’s milk. It’s also free of antibiotics, corn starch, pectin, thickeners, and that enemy of real food, high-fructose corn syrup. If that weren’t enough, this yogurt has 120 calories, 0 grams of fat, and, get this, 16 grams of protein per 6 oz serving. As I trudge towards my October half marathon, this just-sweet creamy lusciousness might almost make me surrender my protein shakes.

Until I’m reunited with that Viking hat, this yogurt is going to have to bring out my inner Icelander on its own. And with all its muscle-building properties, it might help me look the Norse conqueror part all the better.

Yeah, that one.

Spoony Sundays #5: Pluma Moos

Last summer my mom made a batch of pluma moos from one of her good friends’ recipes. One spoonful of the stuff was enough to catapult me into a childhood memory of eating the German fruit soup around a friends’ grandmother’s kitchen table. I don’t remember any details besides loving the smooth sweet slurp over my tongue and burst of cherries between my teeth.

When I finally found a source of large, affordable bags of dried fruit here (where I live a deprived life without regular access to Costco), I couldn’t wait to experiment with this bright, energy-packed breakfast soup. Before I had a chance to however, the whole bag mysteriously disappeared at the hands of a peckish partner.

The next time I bought two bags, and hid them.

When I came across a recipe for dried fruit compote (which is thicker than soup) in Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café, this blogger—always looking for ways to tweak even a near-perfect recipe—just had to give it a try. Maybe one day when I’m busier I’ll have a less “tweaky” kitchen. That’s why I’ve got to get the culinary lab scientist out of me now while I have the time and energy.

Here are two fruit soups that will inevitably take on your own stamp. Kinda like my granola recipe, they are, in the words of Blue Rodeo, never the same way twice. Sort of romantic, no? The first is care of one of my mom’s (and my) good friends, and bears the traditional low German namesake. The second is my own adaptation — perfect for adding to plain yogurt. And I promise you, when it comes to fruit, water, and sugar, errors are pretty much impossible.

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