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August 25, 2012 | Business,Iowa,Norway

It’s been a busy year, and I’ve been working on this.

It’s my new business, site, blog, etc. Check it out: http://www.vaersaagod.com.

Posted by Becky @ 4:33 pm | Comments  

Merry, merry!

December 25, 2011 | Books,Family,Forest City,Holidays,Home,Iowa,Norway,Winter

Posted by Becky @ 1:58 pm | Comments  

Sjømannskirken i Miami

November 8, 2011 | Florida,Norway

Congratulations to the new Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Miami! It will have its opening ceremony next weekend. HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit will attend. (The church is named after her.)

We have some good memories of Sjømannskirken i Miami. It’s where our son was baptized by Pastor Synnøve Wiseth during the Christmas Eve service in 2002.

It’s where our daughters were supposed to be baptized by Pastor Lasse Heimdal in September 2004. Because of Hurricane Frances, though, the church had canceled services, and the pastor and his family evacuated to The Norwegian Seaman’s Church in New Orleans. Before leaving Florida, he he baptized the girls in our home on Sept. 3, 2004.

Our coffee table (that we got from Beste Rise) was the altar, covered by a white tablecloth made by Beste Rise. The baptismal font was a Magnor glass bowl from Norway.

Great-great-grandmother Berta (Hestad) Hoem made Beth’s baptism gown (at left) 95 years ago for Ole Hestad, her youngest brother. Many people in the family have worn the gown including the children’s great-grandmother Rise, bestefar Anders and their pappa. Vågøy church in Norway featured the gown for its centennial Sept. 12 with mention of the first baby to wear the gown, Ole Hestad, and the last, our Elisabeth Marie.

Great-grandmother Petra crocheted Katie’s baptism gown (at right) in 1984 for a cousin. It’s the same one Andy wore in 2002.

Four major hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne – hit Florida over six weeks in August and September that year, something that hadn’t happened to one place in 130 years. Charley was a category 4 that hit Aug. 13. Forecasters believed it would come to Tampa, but it hit land just south of us. Frances hit on Sept. 5. We lost power several times for several hours at a time. We lost a large pine tree on one side of our house, even though Frances was “only” a tropical storm by the time it reached Tampa. Forecasters believed Ivan would come to Tampa too, but it stayed in the Gulf and hit Alabama and the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 16. Jeanne hit on Sept. 26. We were without power all day. We were luckier than most and got our power back the same day. We lost an even bigger tree in our back yard.

After that year, one might imagine how truly terrifying it was to see Katrina moving its way up the Gulf. At one point, forecasters put Tampa directly in her path. That was the only time I thought about leaving town even before evacuations started. Turns out, she veered to the west.

We are so glad the Seaman’s Church was there for us — in good weather and bad. We wish them all the best with their new buildings!

Posted by Becky @ 3:34 pm | Comments  

We got to see King Harald and Queen Sonja

October 14, 2011 | Decorah,Iowa,King Harald,Norway,Queen Sonja

We’ve been planning for this royal visit since February. It finally happened!

My son, who wrote a letter to the king 5 1/2 years ago, believes they came to Iowa because he invited them. I’m perfectly OK letting him believe that. Poor thing, though, he’d gotten a fever and a horrible cold the night before we left. He was not at his top condition … but I hope he remembers seeing the king and queen as a special memory.

Here they are, practicing waving their flags and shouting, “Velkommen!” (See the crown?)

And … here’s our favorite queen and king.

Posted by Becky @ 6:11 pm | Comments  

Charming Marie in New Orleans

October 2, 2011 | Blogging,Music,Norway,The Snake Charmers,Twitter

Remember how I took Charming Marie to Norway? Well, I thought I’d take her to New Orleans with me last month. (Yes, that’s a blue cow covered with the Blue Dog.)

But wait! Looky here! There’s Marie … for real! She flew in from Houston for the weekend. I was in NOLA for a journalism conference.

That’s Ricky. He took our picture. Yep, it was game day. The Saints played the Texans.

More pix to come.

Posted by Becky @ 3:32 pm | 2 Comments  

Learning Norwegian

September 14, 2011 | Family,Norway,School

We signed up the kids for online Norwegian lessons with teachers in Norway through Globalskolen. I’m so glad I found out about this. The kids love it!

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Tears for Norway

July 23, 2011 | Norway

Posted by Becky @ 9:55 am | 2 Comments  

Food: Lefse

July 10, 2011 | Family,Food,Marie's recipes,Norway

This is for Lance, whose people are, in part, Norwegian — from what I’ve heard.

Lefse

1 large egg
2 cups kefir*
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons hornsalt**
1 cup melted butter
flour

Makes about 15 lefse. My mother-in-law says the less flour and less cooking time used, the better. After you grill each lefse, cover with a tea towel to keep them from drying out. When done grilling, lay them out and let them cool off. Spread filling on one lefse and cover with another of a similar size. Cut in half. Eat some now; freeze the rest.

Filling

1 1/4 cups butter
1 cup sugar
cinnamon
Prim***

Mix on high speed until smooth and spreadable.

*I find kefir in the organic dairy section of my grocery store. Some people make their own, but I haven’t tried that.

**I usually buy hornsalt when I’m in Norway. Otherwise, I can get it through Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis. It’s a raising agent that smells like ammonia, and it always reminds me of smelling salts (and, wouldn’t you know it … they’re both the same thing). Seems like a smelly thing to use for baking. But, remember, these Norwegians also soak their fish in lye.

***Prim is a spreadable brown cheese. I’ve always gotten it in Norway, but I bet I could check with Ingebretsen’s or Willy’s Products to see if they could get it. It’s not completely necessary, but it adds a nice flavor to the filling.

Related posts
Lefse!
Breaking in the lefse grill

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments  

Food: Potato balls

July 8, 2011 | Family,Food,Norway

A dinner of potato balls is one of my husband’s specialties. I’ve never tried making it, and I’m OK with that. I used to tease him that he was “shredding potatoes so he could glue them back together again.” And, well, that’s kind of how it’s done.

Potato balls

8 or 9 potatoes, peeled and grated
flour
salt

You really have to watch someone do this. Here’s some more information from Norwegian National Recipes:

“Grate or grind potatoes and flour and salt. The exact amount of flour depends on the water content of the potatoes and is impossible to specify. … Too much flour will make the potato balls dry and hard, too little flour will make them sticky or ‘kleimete.'”

That’s the hard part. Well, all of it would be the hard part for me.

Form mixture into balls and drop in water. Cook with sausage, carrots and rutabaga for 45 minutes. Serve with bacon on the side and milk to drink.

They’re really good. I swear.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Back at the airport

July 2, 2011 | Family,Iowa,Norway,Traveling,Vacation

Time to say goodbye. That’s always the worst part of a visit. Next time we see each other, some of us will be taller, some of us grayer. But we’ll always be happy to be together again.

This was still in my folder. It’s from the airport two years ago when we sent them on their way. (Kids are eating Gjende cookies Bestemor had in her bag. We like to call them Gjendem cookies. :)

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  


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