After great debate, here is our Top Five list for the Bunad Giveaway. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story. Moose and I waited until tonight to read them all at once. It was a fun read but challenging to pick the Top Five. Now it’s over to our readers to choose which Norwegian food experience will win the free Children’s Bunad. Just add a comment below telling us which story is your favourite. (One comment per reader ;D) Good luck to our Top Five!
(In no particular order)
Story 1: La Rêveuse says:
Oh, be still my heart. Those are adorable, and my second daughter is due May 15. If you have a link to where others could be purchased (I also have a nearly 3 year old), I would love to find one for her.
OK, so here is my story. It was often told to me by my mother.
I grew up in north central North Dakota, USA. North Dakota is a state that was mainly settled by Norwegians and Germans, so much so that the current demographic of the state is 49% of Norwegian descent, 50% of German, and 1% Other. (My husband says that’s him.) I am 3/4 Norwegian, 1/4 German, so I fit in well. Since we are a long distance from the nearest ocean and situated in very fertile land, the foods that have become very popular in that area are naturally ones that are easily grown there, like wheat, potatoes, beef, dairy, etc. Meatballs with gravy and lefse (served with butter and sugar) are two of the big ones, and we still make them regularly, especially for holidays or special events. I admit, I make very good meatballs and lefse.
My mother went to college in the nearest bigger town to the family farm, and had a wonderful roommate named Kathy. She introduced him to her brother, and Jim was smitten. They began dating, and one day my grandparents invited Kathy to come over for dinner at the farm. Kathy was German and Catholic, and had come from a town about an hour away where most of the settlers had also been German.
She sat down to dinner, and saw the lefse plate sitting on the table. She asked my uncle Jim what it was, and (being a big practical joker) he told her “a napkin”.
She put it on her lap.
My grandparents laughed until they cried.
Thankfully, she forgave him the embarrassment, and they’ve been married for over 40 years. She remembers being very flattered by his compliment that she had “eyes as lovely as a Brown Swiss”. She later found out that was a cow (but he was sincere.)
Story 2: Samantha says:
Haha, that reminds me of the Braathens Safe ad where the guy mistakes the lefse for a hot towel and wipes his face with it
I’ll have to think about this some more, cos the only story coming to me right now isn’t so much a case of lost-in-translation as it is just poor cooking skills.
My boyfriend Andreas moved here (Australia) a year ago and I decided I wanted to make him feel more at home, so I attempted the bolle recipe from this site.
I excitedly went about getting the ingredients, throwing it all together and even attempted the bolle-dance L-Jay describes. The dance wasn’t entirely successful but I was happy with how the buns looked, so I sprayed the pan and threw them in the oven.
15 mins later they sat cooling on their trays, beautiful and golden brown. I felt very proud and ‘Norwegian’ and couldn’t wait to give Andreas a taste. However, upon trying to take one from the pan I ran into a problem… it wouldn’t budge.
I couldn’t understand it, as I had sprayed the pan with non-stick stuff so this shouldn’t be happening. I struggled to scrape off one after the other and my heart sank as I realised they were all burnt black on the bottoms.
As I cleaned up the kitchen I went over the cooking process in my head to figure out what went wrong. Was the oven too high? Did they stay in too long? Then, as I went to replace the lid on the non-stick spray, it was all suddenly clear:
I had sprayed the pan with insect spray.
Needless to say, that batch went in the bin. Andreas thought it was hilarious, and now only takes a bite of my boller after checking what spray I used.
Story 3: LittleL says:
My husband and I had been dating in Australia for around one year when his brother was to be wed. We both thought that this would be a great opportunity for us to travel to Norway (my very first time!) and introduce me to his family, friends and homeland.
For lunch one day, the bride’s family hosted a smorgasbord for the two families – the bride’s family and the groom’s. All the family members were there (siblings and their partners, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents) and all of the bride’s family too.
The smorgasboard was delicious! There was plenty of new yummy things for me to try, and I was enjoying them all. My brother-in-law suggested I should try a particular cheese… as it was a Norwegian specialty. “What’s it called?” I asked. The answer: “Brunost”
At this point, I had no idea that Brunost is a sweet cheese to be eaten with waffles or together with jam!
Righteo, I thought. The cheese looked interesting and I’m not a fussy eater. I will give almost anything a go. So I loaded up my brødskiver with the cheese – and then continued to add a bit more pålegg. I chose salami, gobbled it down and (being the polite person I am) told everyone how delicious it was.
My brother-in-law thought it was hilarious! (Along with the rest of the family). 8 years later and I am still pretending that brunost and salami is a good combination =/
Story 4: Torunn dushane says:
It was summer of 1966. My father took his two daughters
ages 14 and 11 to meet their Norwegian family in Stavanger Norway. Being from the United States it was a thrill to experience our heritage first hand.
After a month our dear aunt Astrid invited us to her home for lunch to have an “American hamburger ” which she imagined we must be missing so much by now. Walking up the roadway to her home we began to anticipate the burgers. Not that we had missed them or given one iota of a thought to American food while having so many wonderful new experiences and enjoying authentic home cooked Norwegian food. But now we did look forward to burgers that would be waiting for us.
Dear Auntie Astrid set us down at the table and proudly presented a beautiful little tiny meatball on a piece of bread. “There American Hamburger enjoy” It was not the big Mac we were expecting and we were disappointed. Of course we thanked her and did not let her know that was not an American hamburger.
I remember that meal fondly and thought it funny. My sister and I can still smile about it.
Story 5: Beth Johnsen Donahue says:
I am 100% Norwegian and am quite proud of it. Both sets of grandparents have roots in Norway. One set is from Bergen area and the other from Hamar. My parents and particularly my father’s parents have given me my love for my heritage by teaching me the traditions of the family along with speaking some Norwegian words. I have two children, Jeff and Emily, who are now 27 and 25. Every Christmas we would have a traditional dinner of pork roast, riced potatoes, korv, lefse, rice pudding, goat cheese and pickled herring. Present at the table were my parents, my two brothers, Curt and Pete, and my husband and kids. Emily was about 6 years old when this took place. I do not like pickled herring. She probably learned that from me as I would not touch it! This particular year, her uncle Curt decided to ask her to try it. She was making a fuss, turning up her nose, saying, “NO!” Then, he said, “I’ll give you a dollar if you take a bite.” Wow! A whole dollar sounded quite exciting to her. We all watched and waited for her reply. She decided to go for it. At age 6, who could pass up a dollar? Curt carefully placed a piece of herring on her fork for her. She slowly put the herring to her mouth and took a decent sized bite of it. Her face was priceless! You should have seen her mouth and the expression! She did NOT like it at all but she swallowed it and swore she would never touch it again. Curt pulled out the dollar and handed it to her! Emily was thrilled and that little bite of herring was worth it. The best part of the story is that she NEVER spent that dollar and it still remains in a little cardboard box in my bedroom labeled, “Emily’s dollar from Uncle Curt for trying her first bite of pickled herring.” I think it is about time I hand over her much deserved dollar. Just think if we would have put it in the bank it might be worth $2.00 by now!