Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unique Food Experience: 1st/3rd Tuesdays - Taste of Norway at Sons of Norway Lodge

First and third Tuesday, 11am to 1pm, Sons of Norway Lodge, 549 NW Harmon Blvd Bend, OR. Call 541-382-4333 to confirm schedule.

My grandfather, Olaf Skjersaa, immigrated directly from Norway, arriving in Bend, Oregon as a teenager unable to speak a word of English. Like many of our country's earlier immigrant generations, he was determined to learning English as quickly as possible to "fit in" here. As a consequence, my family lost the ability to speak Norwegian in a single generation. My mother, Greta, and her siblings know only a few words of their father's native tongue.

But also like many immigrant communities, food became a connection to the Old World, and I grew up surrounded by the tastes and smells of the Norwegian cooking my Grandmother Grace Skjersaa, Great Aunt Edna Skjersaa and my mother would serve at family gatherings.

Now, the holidays are the time of year that me and my children join my mother in re-creating baked treats like the delicious potato flat-bead lefsa and delicately crisp, ornate cone cookies, kramakake.

When my mother invited me to join her this week at the Sons of Norway Lodge for the Taste of Norway lunches member Barbara has been preparing on Tuesdays, I jumped at the chance.

If you've never experienced Norwegian cuisine, you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover that it's far more diverse and tasty than the notorious lutefisk. I recommend getting the "Some of Everything" sampler. My "smorbrod" open-faced bay shrimp sandwich on rye bread, Swedish yellow-pea soup, lefsa and cucumber-dill salad were fresh and light, and the baked treats are some of the best from any any cooking tradition.

Get your Norsk on! -Harold Olaf (Skjersaa) Cecil

1 comment:

Barb Overen Smith said...

Tusen Takk (thousand thanks) for the great blog about my "Taste of Norway" lunch; I appreciate your help in getting the word out about this experience of our great heritage. Anyone who would like to try this experience, come to Sons of Norway Hall on Harmon Blvd. in Bend, OR, on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 11 AM to 1 PM.
My dad was Norwegian, my mom Swedish; both first generation American born. It was from my mom that I developed my love for these heritage foods, especially the baked goods. My sister and I began making the cookies, i.e. krumkake, fattigman, and others about 50 years ago. I have also been making lefse for that long and leading mass production as fundraisers for my church and Sons of Norway Roald Lodge in Klamath Falls for about 25 years; and now for Sons of Norway Fjeldheim Lodge since moving here five years ago.
Again, thanks for your help; I'm very proud of my heritage which my son lovingly calls being a "Norwedish-Swedgian".