Born 1789 in Drummen, Norway, Hanna Winsnes wrote what is considered to be the first Norwegian cook book. Her book was named Lærebog i de forskjellige Grene af Husholdningen which roughly translates to ‘Teaching book in the different sections of the household’. It was published in 1845 and included everything from cooking and slaughtering to animal care and gardening. She later published a book roughly titled ‘The Household Book for Poor Families in Cities and Rural Areas’ in 1862. Being a priests wife, it would seem that she was invested in the poor and unfortunate, however, she was accused of being ignorant about the conditions of poor people as her books suggested there was always enough sugar and butter in the stores to bake and cook. She published stroies in her own name as well as the alias Hugo Schwartz. Winsnes died in 1872 with a relatively large collection of works for a woman of her time.
This season we will be bringing you selections of her recipes and cooking tips. Some are bizarre, others are hilarious, some are considered forgotten works of genius, and others have become standard festival meals in Norway.
Her untranslated book can be found as part of the Documentation Project at the University of Oslo.
For those who are interested in Norwegian nostalgia:
The nineth edititon of Lærebog i de forskjellige Grene af Husholdningen printed in 1872 (the year Winsnes died) was put up on auction at QXL.no (a Norwegian auction site) in ‘used condition’. It was close in September 2011 as unsold. The final bid was kr45.