• Sandkaker / Sandbakkelse

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Sandkaker / Sandbakkelse

    I never tire of seeing the variety of cakes and cookies in the Scandinavian tradition. With little more than butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, and often a scattering of spices, we can create an extensive assortment of treats. Sometimes elegant…

  • Berlinerkranser

    Norwegian Christmas Cookies: Berlinerkranser

    I grew up knowing the tradition by taste rather than by name. Syv slags kaker–or seven sorts of cookies. The way it goes, you wouldn’t be a proper Norwegian if you didn’t serve at least seven types of cookies at Christmastime. I…

  • Krumkaker

    Norwegian Christmas Baking: Krumkaker

    I still remember what it was like, cupping my hand under my mouth to catch the crumbs. Biting into a krumkake at my grandparents’ house at Christmastime, I knew that the cookie would inevitably shatter. I just had to be…

  • Rømmegrøt

    Norwegian Rømmegrøt (Sour Cream Porridge)

    My bookshelves sag with stories—literature in the form of recipes, memories formed between batter-spattered handwritten lines. I’ve said for a long time that I care so much about Scandinavian food because of the people. My grandparents loved me with medisterkaker…

  • Lussekatter

    St. Lucia Saffron Buns (Lussekatter)

    “Who made these?” she asked, sitting across from me at the dinner table the other night, a golden swirled saffron bun in her hand. “I did.” “They’re good,” she replied, her face in a slight grimace of satisfaction. It’s been nearly…

  • Norwegian Waffles

    Great-Grandma Josephine’s Norwegian Waffles (Vaffler)

    As I sat next to her yesterday on the aubergine leather sofa, the water of Puget Sound placid outside the window behind her, I studied how the afternoon light fell across her profile and how the shadows formed where age has…

  • New Potatoes and Chanterelles with Lemon and Dill

    As a Seattle-born Norwegian-American, a woman once removed from the country of her father, my way back to my heritage has been through its food. I’ve always loved being Norwegian. Dressing up in a child-sized bunad for Syttende Mai parades…

  • Syttende Mai with Grandparents 1980s

    Syttende Mai: Seattle, 1980s

    Old Ballard was about as Scandinavian as you could get. Though far from the Nordic countries, the little neighborhood north of downtown Seattle had drawn immigrants by the thousands over the years. It used to be as easy to find lefse as it was…