After a wonderful evening in Stokkseyri we head out further East to the picturesque Seljalandsfoss waterfall that stands at the roots of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Eyjafjallajökul can be shortened to E15 (an E followed by 15 unpronounceable letters!)
Our chef of the day at the beautiful waterfall is local Þorgerður Guðmundsdóttir. Her family lives near the waterfall and she grew up there. For her, cooking is not something that you can plan too much in advance, it is something you just do. Today she is making a meat soup from a recipe belonging to her grandmother.
She prepares the food in her kitchen under the Eyjafjöll mountains at the Volcano. The view outside her kitchen window is stunning. A waterfall called Drífandi plummets down the mountain with grace whilst Þorgerður is inside cutting her veggies. The dog of the house, Garún knows that something is in store. She waggles her tail as the smell of meat soup fills the air. Unfortunately she will not be joining us!
Þorgerður is a farm girl through and through; her parents and grandparents were farmers. This recipe from her grandmother is something that she has learnt by heart and she instinctively knows the right measurements of each ingredient. Cook from the heart- this is the Icelandic way. That´s what my mother does, along with many other Icelandic mothers.
In front of Seljalandsfoss waterfall we found the perfect location for Eldhús and whilst setting up we listened to the soothing sound of the 200 ft. waterfall.
Two of our dinner guests, Horst and Beate Ulich, had already arrived and were waiting in the car park. They had lost count of the number of times they have been to Iceland and in all likelihood they know Iceland better than most Icelanders.
We heard from Sagi Chaitas and his friend Itay from London who were waiting in a gas station in Hvolsvöllur waiting for further instructions. I guided them to the direction of Seljalandsfoss and our beloved Eldhús. As they neared us the other guests and I chatted away. Horst and Beate first visited Iceland twenty years ago and have never looked back- they know the country inside out. This was their second time in Iceland this year and they have a trip planned in September. Talk about big time fans!
As Þorgerður showed up with her meat soup we saw a small car approaching Eldhús. The other half of our guests were here - Sagi and Itay. Now for the meat soup!
Þorgerður served all the guests and Lárus, our surprise guest of the day, started to tell stories. Lárus is a farmer in the area and knows the Icelandic sagas word for word. Or almost. His stories go down well with the crowd, as does the meat soup.
After dinner Þorgerður brings out a surprise dish- fermented shark with Brennivín which is a strong Icelandic spirit. I gave words of warning to the guests but everyone tried it anyway. It went down well with no frowns. Sagi said the shark tastes like blue cheese, which isn't a bad compliment for something that is fermented.
On this note we said goodbye to our new friends and headed on to our next location, which is still a surprise! Until then, ta ta.