Tromsø Skyrace

Tromso SkyRace 2015 from TromsoSkyrace on Vimeo.

Tromso SkyRace is a Trail running race located in Tromso, Norway. With a incredible technical run between the fjords the race joins the 2 highest summits of the area, Tromsdalstind and Hamperokken. For the 2015 edition we are part of the Skyrunning world series on Ultra distance and Vertical Kilometer. the 3 races (Hamperokken SkyRace with 45km, Tromsdalstind SkyRace 21 and Blamann Vertical a Vertical km) will be on the 31 july and 2nd August.
registration and informations about the races in

North Norwegian Lefse


21st of December is the traditional day for making lefse in preparation for Christmas, according to the primstav. A typical lefse is a flat bread baked on a griddle. It can be made with flour or potato and generally has a neutral flavor, making it siutable both as a savory snack with cured ham or smoked salmon, or as a dessert filled with butter, sugar and cinnamon, cream or fruit. Almost every part of Norway has their own lefse variety, so there are plenty of recipes to choose from.

This year we decided to go for a North Norwegian variety, more specifically a mørlefse (soft lefse) from the island of Senja. This is a sweet lefse, more like a cake than the traditional flat ones, and it’s very easy to make for those who don’t have a griddle as this one is baked in the oven.

Mørlefse from Senja:
(makes 6 patties)

1 cup sour cream
1 cup sour milk (or cultured buttermilk)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2 tsp hartshorn salt (ammonium bicarbonate)
about 1lb flour


Beat the sour milk, sour cream, sugar and syrup together in a bowl. Add a little of the flour and the hartshorn salt. Stir gently and add the flour a little at a time until the dough is no longer runny but still sticky to the touch. Refrigretate the dough for one hour.


Heat oven to 210 C (400 F). Divide the dough into six pieces and roll them into flat “pizzas”, about 1/4″ thick. Transfer the patties to a baking sheet and prick them with a fork. Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Baking for too long will make them dry and crumbly.

Let the patties cool. Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon and spread generously on the underside, then sandwich two and two patties together.


Cut the lefse into diamond shapes and serve. This lefse will keep for several weeks in a sealed box, and it’s also suitable for freezing.


Cold Oven Grøt


The Norwegian grøt that our family enjoys eating needs a lot of loving to make it come out all creamy.  This is because we carefully make sure each grain has soaked up all the milk it can without burning any on the bottom.  It is similar to making risotto where your labour of love makes the flavour that much better.  However, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in a day to stir grain around a pot for an hour or so.  Hence, risengrynsgrøt kokt i kald ovn or cold oven grøt.

This grøt is first prepared on the stove and then left in a cold oven to do the work on its own.  As the recipe uses some water instead of all milk, we find the creamy flavour isn’t as strong as our regular risgrøt, but the texture turns out wonderfully soft and delicate.

3.5 dl of grøt/pudding rice
8 dl of water
1.5 L of whole milk
1 teasp. of salt
Vanilla essence for flavour

Mix the rice and water in a non-stick pot on the stove.  Bring to boil and then simmer for about 20mins, stirring a little now and then to make sure the rice stays separated.  Warm the milk and mix into the rice and water.  Cover with the lid and let cook for about 1 minute, but don’t let it over boil or burn on the bottom.  (However, if some does burn or some sticks to the bottom of the pot, don’t scrap it off.  Let it stay there because otherwise the burnt stuff will flavour the rice and you don’t want that.  And, don’t worry if some does get stuck on the bottom – that is absolutely normal!)   Don’t take the lid off, but put the pot with lid into a cold oven.  Leave for about 3-4 hours, or more.  Warm the grøt before serving.  Add salt and vanilla to taste.


Serve with sugar and powdered cinnamon, almonds, raisins, clementines, stewed apples or just a nob of butter.

We served ours with a mix-in of dark chocolate and raisins, and a topping of sugar and cinnamon.

The pot is easy to clean afterwards (even if you have lightly burnt the bottom).  Just let it sit overnight or until cooled and then you can easily peel off the layer.




Julebukk has a long tradition in Norway and even though its form and meaning has changed over time, the symbol of julebukk remains to this day – bringing the community together at Christmas.

In old Norse tradition the julebukk (yule goat) was originally the goat that was slaughtered during romjul, the time between Christmas and New Years.

The julebukk became the symbol of the pagan julebukk ritual.  It was a spiritual being that dwelled in the house during Christmas, overlooking the preparations and celebrations.  It later became personified and during the darkest nights of the year, a man or men from the community dressed in a goat mask and fur cape to represent the ghosts of winter night.  They travelled from door-to-door receiving gifts from the towns folk to thank them for protection and keeping the winter ghosts at bay.  They also gave warnings, especially to children, to be nice.


When Christianity appeared the pagan rituals of julebukk were replaced by the children’s activity, also called, julebukk, which is very similar to Halloween.  Children walked from house-to-house singing carols at the doorsteps of friends and neighbours.  They wore costumes, particularly masks to hide their identity, and often gave gifts as well as receiving them.  Afterwards the tradition progressed onto serving the poor children in the community.  They dressed in costumes and visited the wealthy, singing carols and receiving food or money, so they could also have a happy Christmas.

Some of the elements of today’s Santa Claus seem to come from the traditions of the julebukk such as giving presents, receiving sweet treats, picking out who is naughty and nice and, of course, magic.


Today in Norway:

The figure of the julebukk is used as a Christmas ornament.  It is often made out of straw with braided horns and a red ribbon around its neck.  Julebukk straw figures are usually placed under the Christmas tree.  A popular prank is to smuggle the julebukk into the house of a friend or neighbour and place it somewhere to surprise.  Once found, the neighbour must do the same to the next family;  and so the julebukk travels from house to house.

In some places in Norway children still dress up and travel door to door singing, but often they are the ones who give out gifts and sweets.  Their costumes are usually made of old woolen clothes, likely to symbolize the charitable giving to the poor children in the nordmenn times.

In the west of Norway, it is popular in some small communities for adults to dress up, go door to door and drink to Christmas.  The masked julebukk tell funny stories about themselves and the hosts must try to guess who they are.  When a julebukk is correctly identified they must take their mask off.


A few facts about julebukk:

It is thought outside of Norway that the activity of going from door to door is called ‘julebukking’, however, in Norway it is called gå julebukk, ‘to go julebukk’.
The treats or sweets given/taken are not lollies and sugary things but baked goods, clementines and nuts.  In older times it was usual to share leftovers of Christmas dinner.
You ‘go julebukk’ in old clothes, not expensive costumes and party attire.  Christmas in Norway is a time of decadence, however, the julebukk is a charitable act of visiting, giving, singing and being thoughtful of each other.

Sadly, julebukk is slowly fading away because this community tradition is not suited to big city environments.  Parents and small children feel more confident going to places where they know the people and in big cities it is less common for neighbours to know each other.  The tradition is more common in smaller communities where friends and family live close together, and where communities still socialize with each other.

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