I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

Recipe: Non-alcoholic ginger beer

I am a huge fan of ginger beer but have never made it myself before. It doesn't seem to be much of a thing in Norway so I've been consigned to drinking ridiculously over-priced Crabbies in bars where the typical patron uses wax in their 'tache.

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Whilst I was sifting through our mountainous piles of books, I found the New International World in Your Kitchen recipe cards that my wife bought for many, many moons ago. In it was a recipe card for Caribbean ginger beer that I had completely forgotten about.

I tried the recipe out this weekend during our housewarming party and it went down pretty well (pun totally intended). I used the recipe from  World in Your Kitchen as a rough guide. If you follow my recipte bellow, the end result have a fiery tang that will make your eyes water, but in a good way.

I've said this recipe is a concentrate, as I reckon most people will want to dilute it a little, either with iced water, or tonic water for something with a little fizz.

Ingredients

  • 1 large fresh ginger root (around 30g), peeled and finely grated
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 cloves (This was included in the original recipe; I couldn't find any in the supermarket on the day I went shopping and it tastes amazing without it.)
  • 175g sugar (The original recipe calls for 260g grams, but that's just asking for diabetes)
  • Zest and juice of two large unwaxed lemons (or limes, which ever you prefer). You can use the pith too, the whole thing has to be strained once it's cooked anyway.
  • 1l of water
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Instructions

  1. Chuck the grated ginger, cloves (if you're using them),  sugar, lemon juice and zest, and cinnamon sticks in a pan and pour in the water.
  2. Boil for about 10 minutes, stiring all the time.
  3. Strain the liquid into a pitcher or jug. Allow it to cool to room temperature before sticking it in the fridge. This is also the point to give it a little taste and add more lemon for zing or sugar for sweetness.

 

I think it taste great neat, with a little sprig of mint, but, as I said, you can use it as a concentrate if you fancy something a little less fiery.

To turn them into kick-ass Moscow Mules, all you need to do is add a shot of vodka, a slice of lime and plenty of ice to each glass. 

Lots of guff around about ginger's aphrodisiac and healing properties but I don't think you need to have any of  those lame excuses for making and enjoying this.

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