Nature children

We live on an age where we're always connected to the internet.

Our children grow up with a smartphone in one hand and a tablet in the other. Back in the old days, most children in Iceland spent a great deal of time outside in the Icelandic nature; either because they grew up on the countryside or because they were sent to work on a farm during the summer time, which without a doubt had a much-needed character shaping effects.

The rise of urbanisation, as well as the arrival of computers and mobile devices, means that many of us are living a life disconnected from nature. In the remote Icelandic Westfjords, the nature still plays an important role in people’s lives and there children can attend the so-called Náttúrubarnaskólinn ('The Nature Child School') where they get acquainted with the magic of the Icelandic nature.

The students spend their days building little houses for birds to nest their eggs, sending bottle messages, collecting plastic from the beach, picking herbs, brewing teas and much, much more.  The school was founded in 2015 by Dagrún Ósk Jónsdóttir, an Anthropology student, who claims to have gotten the idea when she was teaching a course about local folklore and supernatural creatures, such as the Icelandic Huldufólk. "The kids were very interested in learning and seemed to remember surprisingly much of what I told them,” Dagrún says, adding that the kids always go crazy about ghost stories and there needs to be a bit of magic for everyone.

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Icelandic skyr sauce
100 ml skyr
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of ¼ lemon

Mix into a bowl the skyr,lemon juice and zest in and season to taste. Add 2 tbsp dill oil to the sauce just before service.

100 ml rapeseed oil
100 gr fresh dill

Put the oil and dill into a blender, mix a few minutes (until warm), strain through a cloth. The result should be a dark green and flavourful oil.

Pickled fennel & pickled pearl onion
100 ml apple vinegar
100 ml water
100 gr caster sugar
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
6 pearl onions

Peel the perl onions and blanch for 1 minúte in boiling water, strain and put aside in a small bowl. Slice the fennel as thin as possible and put aside into a small bowl. In a pan mix the vinegar, water and caster sugar and bring to a boil. Divide the liquid into the bowls and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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