Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scandinavian Overload

Do you recognize what these children are doing?

They're making sandbakkeler!  A sandbakkel is a type of Scandinavian cookie that I had all the time while growing up but that Susan first made last year (remember?).  Tomorrow is the annual Northern Plains Ethnic Festival, and our local lodge of the Sons of Norway will have a booth at which we will sell Norwegian baked goods.  So Susan was a baking fiend yesterday and put the children to work helping her . . . and that includes our neighbors Madeline and Jack (in the photo above), who were over to play.  Here's what they made:

sandbakkeler ["sand tarts"], like shortbread cookies made in a tin mold

kokosmakroner ["coconut macaroons"]

krumkaker ["crumble cookies"], made by pouring a batter into something similar to a waffle iron and rolling the cookies around a dowel before they cool and set

This was our second Northern Plains Ethnic Festival (remember?); and just like last year, our family served as flag bearers (for the Scandinavian countries) for the opening ceremony at the start of the day.

All that baking was snatched up in no time this morning at the Sons of Norway booth.  Here are Abigail, Hillary, and Suzanna encouraging the purchase of cookies along with Lynette and Cathy, two lodge officers.

Before leaving the Prairie Outpost Park (the site of the festival), we sampled some nudlová polévka ["noodle soup"] and rohliky ["rolls"] from the Czechs and some varenyky [perogies or stuffed dumplings (we had some filled with potato and some filled with cheese)] from the Ukrainians.  Then we headed home so that Hillary and I could get started on another Scandinavian Saturday supper for the family.

What do you think?  Does it look enticing?  Here's what we made:

grytestek med grønnsaker ["pot roast with vegetables"]

stekte poteter med grønnsaker ["roasted potatoes with vegetables"]

saus ["gravy"] -- Those flecks are dill weed.

sylteagurk og oliven ["pickles and olives"]

Thanks to Trina Hahnemann (again), we found a tasty recipe for what was supposed to be kalvekød spidsbryst [Danish: "veal brisket"].  We could not find veal, so we substituted a beef roast and simmered it on the stove top for 2.5 hours in white wine with carrots, shallots, leeks, garlic, thyme sprigs, dill sprigs, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.  We removed the cooking vegetables and their seasonings and mixed them with some potatoes that we had boiled and then roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  From the cooking liquid, we made a gravy.  Meanwhile, we sautéed fresh mushrooms and garlic in olive oil and then added broccoli and diced tomatoes to simmer.  We sliced the meat and covered it with this vegetable mix and dotted the top with horseradish.

The wine, shallots, leeks, garlic, thyme, and dill combined to make a heavenly aroma in the kitchen throughout the afternoon, and the gravy had the same wonderful mix of flavors.  The roast was fall-apart tender, and the whole combination was a terrific variation on the roast/potatoes/gravy/vegetables meal that I ate regularly while growing up.

After supper, we sent the family away so that we could finish making the dessert.  We had chosen a recipe for pannekaker med stikkelsbær kompott ["crêpes with goosberry compote"] because I had seen gooseberries in the grocery store a few weeks back.  Of course, gooseberries were nowhere to be found today!  So instead, Hillary and I made kompott med tre typer av plommer ["compote with three kinds of plums"] before supper and let it chill in the fridge in the afternoon.  We also made the batter for the crêpes (buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, sugar, salt, and whole milk) before supper so that it could rest before use.

For the kompott med tre typer av plommer, we used black plums, red plums, and prune plums with vanilla extract, white wine, sugar, and fresh mint leaves.

After supper, Hillary and I fried up the crêpes and had much better luck than the other time that I tried to make them.  We fried up the whole batch and stacked them with wax paper in between the crêpes.  They were still warm and easy to separate from one another when it was time to call the family back and serve them.  And it was a delicious dessert!

The crêpes had the right texture, and the compote was a mix of sweet and tart with the vanilla and the mint coming through distinctly.

With our desserts, Susan and I each had a glass of wild chokecherry mead from Hidden Legend Winery in MT.  It wasn't as sweet as we expected a mead to be, but it was danged tasty nevertheless.  And when one drinks mead, one feels a bit like a Viking, which is a perfectly suitable way to end two days of so much Scandinavian food and activity!


  1. A fun day -- and a DELICIOUS meal! Thank you, Kevin & Hillary :-)

  2. Lots of goodies in one huge meal! Yummy!