LATVIJA: AIR B’N’FEAST EP. 2 – Cooking rustic soup over fire!

Oh that’s so cold goddamn! So hot off the back of riga, we travelled
across country to a latvian wedding, and they are something you HAVE to experience. If you’ve got any latvian friends, get invited. The party lasted well into the morning, and
we tripping out as much as that kid was. We had to get in the car, drive across rolling
beautiful latvian countryside. To strenci. So way off in the countryside of latvia theres
this amazing oak tree. We’re a town called strenci. This oak tree is protected. It’s been struck been lightning. It almost killed it, as you can see by the
big split up the middle, but on that side, its starting to grow back. It’s become an icon. It’s in the middle of farmland, it’s completely
protected, and you can see that its got a fence all the way around. And it’s smack bang, in the middle of farmland! These wetlands are sort of an indication of
what Latvia is like. Very pristine, but pristine in the sense that
it’s incredibly untouched. It’s beautiful. And we were the only ones there! Going for a little boatride. Human powered boatride. Straight into the reeds apparently. Inese: Oh shit! Oh my god, Greg! Stop stop! Push Back. Right into the reeds. Here we’re going to settle until we’re
ready to head back and make some soup. Taking a cruise through the wetlands, through
the reeds. It’s really quiet here, feels like noone
knows about it, its lovely. See all the lilypads around… Reminds me of the Castle, “ahhhh the serenity”. But after this we’ll be heading back to
the landing over there, and we’ll be cooking up a special secret latvian soup. I’m not being told whats actually in it,
so hopefully I’ll be able to spy something with the camera. So we’ve been for a beautiful boat ride
out in the reeds, and now we’ve goat some coals down here. We’ve got some fresh water, we’ve got
pots, we’ve got chains, and we’re going to make soup. It’s going to be good. Far out! So we’ve got some people prepping ingredients
up top, carrots dill, as you’d expect. We’re gonna lace this sucker up. So what do we do first? Do we put the water in? Do you go for veges for and brown them off
a bit, or? Miks: that’s up to you! Okay, up to me? Well in my opinion, I’d be taking all three
of those onions, chopping them up with the carrots, putting them in there, get them cooking,
get them caramelizing a bit- Miks: fire them up! Fire them up a bit, then add boulloun and
a few other things, reduce it down, salt it, get it just right. Miks: Sounds like a plan. Sounds like a goddamn plan! Nice! Hear that sizzle, goddamn! So that’s not too bad, we’ll keep turning
that, make sure we’re not letting it burn…. WOOOOOO, that’s absolutely scorching goddamn! It’s calmed down a bit, which is good. What we’re trying do is we’re trying to
soften the carrots, soften the onion, get a bit of colour bit of flavour. Guntars: Greg! What’s this? Guntars: Bio eco! Beautiful! We’re going for a latvian spoon here. This is much easier. Guntars: Exotic! Exotic! Paldies! Alright, so we’re going to get a little
bit of pepper in here. Just gonna get it toasty, gonna open up those
flavours a little bit. Don’t fall in the fire! We want beef stew not kid stew. Grind grind grind! Beautiful. Give it a bit of a stir. Nice nice nice! Cool cool cool cool cool, alright, this is
going at a good click, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to get the dill stalks, and
I’m going to mince the dill stalks at this point, I’m going to add them in as well. Dill stalks have gone in. I’m going to give them a bit, little bit of
a boogie. Then, I’m going to put the beans in next. We can just let it sit for a bit and these
beans are going to stew very nicely. Got some nice ah…. That’s pork? I think that’s pork. Is it pork? Either way, there’s a nice big bone in there,
the marrow is going to seep out and it’s fattiness is going to get in, permeate all through that
food, it’s going to be delicious. So if you have a look in there now… we’re
well on our way shortly im going to add beetroot to it, going to get a nice bright, vibrant
hue along with a nice sweetness to it. And then we’ll be getting damn close to where
we need to be. Alright so, halfway mark we’ll see what we
need. Okay, it’s sweet, needs to reduce down, and
we need a big hit of salt but the dill is starting to come through, we’ll add more of
that later. Then, we’ll get the last of the celery, the
celery leaves, mince them up put them in too. Hopefully adding a bit more vibrancy to it. And I’m assuming they bought sour cream because
this is Latvia… It’s amazing what a bit of salt does. “Too much?” Nah nah! of course not! Not too much, just perfect, for now. It’s just started to brighten up all those
flavours and we’ve still just got a little bit of texture as well. But that salt has just made all the flavours
pop. This is the man that made my stirring stick,
and this is his dog. Guntars: bol’shoy dog! (big dog!) So it seems like a, an appropriate way to
end things, doing the Latvian national sport, foraging! Out in the bush looking for mushrooms and
berries, it’s been a bit of a dry season up until now so, the amount of mushrooms that
there is likely to be is going to be low, but if I find one I will take it. Other than that, it’s just very peaceful. Knife and bucket, I will find something! I’d be leading you astray if I didn’t mention
the effect of the Soviet Union on this country. That Iron Curtain came down really hard, and
it suppressed their culture and hid it from the world. But now that Iron Curtain has been lifted,
the culture has sprung forth, its just grown, and they’re still rediscovering everything
they lost over that period. I almost would say, don’t go there, because
there is still so much that they’re trying to discover, but I can’t really actually recommend
that- it was so beautiful, so many things to see, and everyone is so welcoming. It’s one of those parts of the world that
feels like it needs to be rediscovered. And I’m suggesting to you to go there, with
open eyes, and actually discover it. Get out past Riga, see the countryside, and
see what they’re about, you’ll be surprised!

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