about drinking in Norway and blueberry coconut wine cake!

Now with our bicycles at hand, we can ride around and enjoy the city’s beauty. And it wasn’t even sunny! The day was grayish and it drizzled, for a change, but yet under a gray sky, it’s still spring, and the city is full of color, including tulips! Soon there will be a post just for them. On the end of the ride and before coming back home we stopped at Dirty Nelly, an Irish Pub with soccer tradition. But ouch!… How expensive it is to drink in Norway!

This is dear husband, with a “130 Norwegian Crowns face” (16 USD), how much it costed his wheat beer.

Sthefano has a nice face, but both his drink – a Belgian beer, and mine – a simple Smirnoff Ice, costed 80 Crowns each (10USD). Here, “going out and having a beer” may not be that unpretentious. Ok In São Paulo some bars also exaggerate some drink prices, and Ditry Nelly is a cozy nice place to be!

But when comparing with São Paulo, a domestic beer here in Ålesund costs (omg!)  473,85% more! Imported beer prices are not so different, since even in Brazil they are expensive. What happens is that here alcoholic drinks are super taxed, for the sake of the population, to limit alcohol consumption. And the social concern does not stop with only taxes: supermarkets, for instance, are only allowed to sell up to 4,75% abv drinks (which means some beers, only), for 18+ years old and with time limitations, also! On weekdays, from 9 to 8, and on Saturdays from 10 to 6. If you have made to the supermarket in time but did’t actually pay for the drink, then you’ll have to try another day.

What about highly alcoholic drinks? There is a retailer called Vinmonopolet (wine monopoly) that is the only one allowed to sell drinks 4,75%+ abv (besides bars and restaurants, of course). They take responsability for not selling to 18- people (yes! we were already asked for our IDs at the checking out!) and to those who are visibly drunk. They also close ate 6pm on weekdays and at 3pm on Saturdays! This kind of alcohol monopoly exists in other countries, mostly European (Finland, Sweden, Iceland and even Canada), and the prices are high! Even so, never tired of leading lists, there stands Norway on the top of the Highest alcohol prices, too, and showing great distance to the second placed, Iceland.
About the bars, they do not open on Christian holidays and on their eves.

But we’re ok, Norway. I have always preferred your 10-Crown blueberry boxes, anyway!

and since grapes and blueberries are close relatives, nothing better than some wine to give this recipe a special taste! Blueberries are strong tasted, and generally combined with lemon, due to their sweet-acidity in common. But several wines also have this characteristic. Use a sweet wine, and it may be red to cause even more visual impact.  On the recipe you can substitute the wine for lemon, but since we’re talking about alcohol, why not? Don’t forget that the alcohol will evaporate during baking and we will be left only with the great taste of wine.

Ingredients:

– 150g fresh blueberries
– 75ml (5 tbsp) red wine
– 50g room temp unsalted butter
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup flour MINUS 2 tbsp
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 cup yogurt
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

0. Preheat the oven to 320F and prepare 2 ovenproof 15cm diameter dishes (or one of 20cm) by covering their bottoms with the blueberries. On them, pour 4 tbsp of the wine (you can also use 4 ramekins here for individual servings. my favorites!). Attention! we’re not unmolding these!

1. On a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or even with a hand mixer) beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat well, until very light and fluffy.

2. Sift flour and baking powder on the egg mixture, and mix by hand until half of the dry ingredients does not show anymore. Add then the yogurt, vanilla, what’s left of the wine and coconut and do not overmix. The mixture will be very dense.

3. Divide the mixture into the baking dishes on the blueberries and wine. Take them to the oven for aprox 25 min, or until a stick leaves out clean.

It makes 4 happy people, even happier if served warm.
If reheat be necessary, just put it back in the oven for some more 5 minutes.

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