marte_marie_forsberg @marte_marie_forsberg avatarmarte_marie_forsberg

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There was a relieving cool breeze sweeping through the cottage last night. With all the windows open, it felt ever so fresh with temperatures dropping after weeks of heat and blue skies. With the sky draped in a grey layer of clouds, I fired up the old inglenook. The village potter just down the street, had little baskets of black currants from her garden for sale outside her shop. It’s my favorite berry next to it’s red sister, strawberries and cherries, so I filled my basket and returned home to make my mother’s warning black currant compote with chilled cream. It’s simple, so full of aroma, and with an alluring texture of dark purple velvet. My mother would make this dessert on cold summer days. With the short Norwegian summer’s growing up, I found her compote like sweet comfort in each spoonful, however with nostalgic notes of a summer that was too soon coming to an end. #thecottagekitchencookbook #solbær

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I don’t know what prompted me to type in “Houses for rent in England” that cold November night over six years ago. Perhaps it was the unsettling full moon, curiosity or desperation, all I know is that I longed to find my home. I’d never really explored England and knew very little next to nothing about its bucolic countryside, but that night amidst feelings of being a bit lost in this big world, and with a broken heart, I suppose my heart had cracks that could receive inspiration. Twelve pages in on the search page for houses for rent, I saw that fateful hobbit like thatched cottage that was to be my home. Perhaps it was the universe giving me a proper nudge, or perhaps it was something about that wonky little cottage resonated with something within, but my heart skipped and I knew in my heart I needed to follow this nudge, so I did. Within days I’d signed the contract, packed my bags and moved in, leaving no time to overthink my bold move. And perhaps that’s the very reason I dared to leap into the unknown, and build a new life in a part of the world where I knew no one, the fact that my mind had not yet had time to conjure up all the reasons for why this was a silly move. I absolutely love welcoming workshops participants to my neck of the woods, and see their shoulders drop as they enter our part of the shire through the grand arch and gatehouse to the west, pass vineyards, green rolling hills, lakes, truffle hunting woodlands and cozy cottages dotting the the outskirts of our small village. Today I fired up the old AGA to test recipes and to prepare for next weeks private workshops. Isn’t it funny how crazy ideas around midnight can turn into such a glorious dream? I’m forever grateful for the nudge and keep pinching my arm, that this little place in the world found me, and I found my way home... #myenglishcountryside #mmforsbergworkshop

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It finally rained, and our wee walled garden is back to its green jungle self. The wind picked up, and I could smell green. That fresh, cool perfume that only rain can produce. I wish I could bottle it, and spritz a bit of that green breeze on a particularly hot summer’s day. I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful questions you submitted on stories the other day. My apologies for not getting through them all, but I loved connecting with you in this way. I’ll answer the rest of your questions next Wednesday. It really felt ever so lovely to connect and “meet” in a way. I’ve posted a wee personal message to you all on ITV which you can find in my profile next to the highlights. Many of you asked about my workshops, so I thought I’d tell you a bit more here. I’ve run photo and cookery workshops the last five years, beginning humbly so in my very first whitewashed hobbit cottage here in the English countryside, to Ireland, France, Italy, Norway and back to England. They are for anyone who loves food and wine, storytelling and being with likeminded people in beautiful locations in some of my favorite places around Europe. The workshops are as hands on as you want them to be, with sessions in photography, styling, cooking classes, wine and cocktail sessions, and should you desire to dive deep into the technical aspect of things, there’s time for post production, camera setting, social media and editing. No two workshops are alike, but the core remains the same, it’s for anyone who enjoys food, wine and storytelling in unique locations. It’s such a wonderful way to get to know you all and share our common passion for food, and many of you return again and again forging deep friendships. Anyone is welcome and anyone can join. This glass of chilled crisp rose is from our last workshop in Abruzzo at the stunning @sextantio where we cheekily brought in the said wine from our favorite wine merchant back in England @shaftesburywines we even brought with us a bottle or two of excellent English sparkling wine. For those of you who like to plan ahead, we’re running another workshop here in May 2018 that is now open for registration. #mmforsbergworkshop

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They asked me how we really met, I told him over lunch today, referring to a question I got asked on @instagram stories. Mr Whiskey was snoozing in the shade of the fig tree, little Emma was chewing on her favorite toy bunny, and my English gentleman @theo_maxfield and I enjoyed a light lunch in the garden. He’d made my favorite lavender lemonade (I’ll have to share the recipe with you soon) and I looked at him across the table feeling ever so grateful that he chose me, and that I chose him. It’s nothing short of a miracle when two people who love the same way and dream of the same things meet. Was it luck? Was it chance? Was it meant to be and written in the stars? All I know is that when magic strikes like this, it’s my responsibility to be the very best version of me I can be, for the one that dare to choose me. I’m answering all you questions today over on Instagram stories, so pop on over if you have anything you’d like to know, I’m answering as many as I can, and I simply love how diverse your questions are. #myenglishcountryside #QandA

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"I started cooking to reconnect with my roots”, I heard myself say, while gazing out the window of our home in Norway a few weeks back. The lovely Miranda Jane Mills from @mirandasnotebook was recording a new episode of her very charming “Tea and Tattle” podcast, and I’d been invited to share my story of how I found myself cooking in a wonky whitewashed cottage in the English countryside, and how that became a book. I recalled my mother sending me letters with handwritten family recipes by air mail, from our fjord island home to my wee cottage in the English countryside. This is how I began cooking, led by my nose, greedy appetite while longing to reconnect with my Scandinavian culinary roots. It was such a treat to chat with Miranda @mirandasnotebook that day a few weeks ago while my little trio was in Norway visiting family and friends. Put on the kettle and pop on over to @mirandasnotebook to have a listen and let me know what you think. It will be a bit like we’re all having afternoon tea in the garden together, enjoying a slice of the above lemon curd sponge cake with pistachios from my cookbook. Thank you Miranda @mirandasnotebook for having me, it was such a treat sharing my story with you! #thecottagekitchencookbook #teaandtattlepodcast #afternoontea

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Last night we all climbed in to the car and headed east. I ached for the ocean and the sun was just beginning to dip it’s head towards the horizon line, it was time to leave the warm cottage behind for a few hours. The cool afternoon breeze felt ever so refreshing on the skin as we drove towards the coast with all the windows rolled down. Mr Whiskey had his tongue out soaking up on the wind as we made our way through wee villages, small farms and golden fields. My English gentleman @theo_maxfield was dreaming of rain for a change, but my mind was on figs. It was buzzing with ideas, and writing mental notes of how to infuse custard with this subtle earthy coconut aroma, make thick gelato, and steep the leafs in sweet tea. Every now and then all I need is a bit of wind in my hair, rediscover a familiar ingredient and head east at sunset. #figs #englishsummer

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This morning, before the sun turned up the heat, I watered the garden and gathered fig leafs for a dessert I’m making later. It’s wilted demeanor perked up ever so slightly after a bit of water. It’s no secret that I adore the English countryside, but when it’s sporting southern Italian heat on the second week, it was time to switch up the toast, marmalade and tea ritual in the morning for a more Sicilian style start to the day. The warmth kept us in bed longer than usual this Saturday, so I didn’t have time to make my saffron brioche, but the almond granita, that I prepared the night before, was perfectly cold on a hot Saturday morning. Now back to fig leafs, that unsung hero of the fig tree. Full on nutrients and useful to soothe so many illnesses, however I’ll be using it to make Clair @violetcakeslondon genius fig leaf creme brûlée for afternoon tea. Having grown up in Norway, the fact that there’s a fig tree growing and thriving, with a bit of water, in our garden feels ever so exotic. I love making fig marmalade from the dried versions that one can easily get in Norway, but the fact that there’s fresh, plump, purple, and ever so soft fig that one can pick off the tree coming soon in my little walled English garden is beyond exciting. While I wait for them to ripen I’ll be using Its leafs, like I do with the leafs of black and red currants too, way after the last ripe berry has been picked and summer has become autumn. All recipes will be up on my new website soon. Wishing you all a lovely weekend. #figleafs #myenglishgarden #thecottagekitchen

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With heaps of pears left over from last weekend’s workshop, I poached some in sweet dessert wine while reading your comments of my last post. It’s moving when so many share such warming words of support, and encouragement. Thank you all ever so much! I have so many dreams, goals and plans, and it feels so good to be able to share them all with my English gentleman @theo_maxfield But first things first, a scoop of elderflower and vanilla ice cream with a couple of these pears, then off to the garden to listen to the birds and water the thirsty roses next to our fig tree. It’s been a bit slow on the recipe front from my cottage to yours, but I’m working on a new website that will hopefully launch within the month, and there I’ll share recipes both to the above mentioned dessert and more. It’s exciting, and I’m eager to hear what you think when I launches. In the meantime, if you have my cookbook “The Cottage Kitchen, there’s a delicious recipe for ‘Saffron and vanilla poached pears’ that is one of the loveliest summer desserts I can think of paired with a scoop of ice cream. #thecottagekitchencookbook #poachedpears #summerdessert

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When two became three, and one quit his job. You may have noticed that I’ve began saying we, we’re excited, we’re launching, and we welcomed. A few years ago, I met a man, who was going to change my life, and before I knew it he had. We bought a cottage, welcomed our little baby girl Emma, and bought a new tag for Mr Whiskey’s dog collar, spelling out both our last names, Forsberg Maxfield. The bromance between my cheeky English Pointer and my English gentleman blossomed. Just after the very first Spring flowers stretched their necks up through the cold ground, my Englishman and I stood in the kitchen one night after he came home late from work. We were freshly baked parents, exhausted, our cottage was mid renovations and the warmth of Spring had yet to reach our part of the countryside. What if I quit my job, he began, and we joined forces in working with your workshops together? We’d get to be together every day, raise Emma together, travel, and work together, and go on adventures together. It’s always a bit scary opening up the door to uncharted territory, especially when staring out as partners and parents all at the same time. So we threw caution to the wind and leapt. This is why I say we, because ever since April, my English gentleman @theo_maxfield and I have worked together on running the workshop I used to host around Europe, here in England and for our private clients. Little did I know, that the very best decision I’ve ever made was to replace I with we, and even if we both have our own projects separately, running these workshops with him as a team has been better than my wildest imaginings. In the next few months we’re launching some exciting changes and workshop collaborations, and I can’t wait to share the with you. In the meantime, pop over to @theo_maxfield freshly launched website on all things drinks and cocktail making. ( Photo by the clever @her_dark_materials )

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It hasn’t been foggy for weeks, but tonight a wild thunderstorm is forecast, and I’ve got plans. The mezzanine in the creative room, where mood boards cover the walls and inspirational coffee table books are piled high, is located overlooking the garden. After summer in the garden this evening, we’ll climb up the steep ladder, and curl up right underneath the old cottage ceiling beams, open the windows wide, and soak up on a good summer storm. After weeks of beautiful but harsh heat, I can’t wait for softer hues of blues and greens to dress the landscape, and for cool wild winds to give the cottage a good sweep through. #summerstorm #myenglishcountryside #visitbritain

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Mamas little helper in the kitchen. I wrote this long post about a dear friend of mine and her magically wonky cakes @hevdawg , that simply wouldn’t post and is currently located at the top of my feed with a big X next to it, stating that it will post when the connection is better. It’s way to warm outside to be patient about it, so I’m posting a sweet little photo of my darling little Emma, as we’re all trying to survive another day of unprecedented heat here in the English countryside. Happy Monday! ( For those of you wondering, Emma’s high chair is a Norwegian classic that I grew up with. You can take a Norwegian out of Norway, but you can take Norway out of a Norwegian;) @stokkebaby

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On the last day of this weekend’s workshop it all came together. The no knead bread fresh out of the oven, met the salty homemade butter, and the sweet pear and vanilla marmalade, with a hint of rosemary, met warm baked rye and anis bread cakes, and all was just like it was supposed to be. Outside the warm cottage the clouds gathered and made it perfectly inviting to have our long farewell lunch in the garden. After two days of baking, butter making and jamming, we toasted with chilled bubbles, slathered on more butter, cut a another generous chunk of smoked cheddar and washed it all down with drinks with ice. It may have looked ever so autumnal as we styled our hearts out on our last day inside, but in the garden, summer was enjoyed to the fullest. #mmforsbergworkshop #pearmarmelade #autumninsummer

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