A Norwegian American Christmas unfolds each and every year for me and my family. For all intents and purposes, I’m fresh off the boat on one side. And on the other, my blood dates back to the Mayflower. Two worlds collide, and I’m reminded every December of all that was sacrificed for me to exist.
For the Love of Mead
My Norsk heritage runs deep within my DNA. I am Viking, hear me roar! Okay, had to get that out. But, nope, I’ve not watched Game of Thrones. Although, I have watched the show called Vikings. And I don’t wear a helmet with horns either (I know: Shocker!). What do I like? I love some mead, Krumkake, and enjoy traditional Norwegian culture and traditions throughout the year. Yes, I’ve even got Norwegian flags around my house (Can’t forget my Christmas tree either!), and I get giddy over the bunads. Don’t know what those are? Then you’re missing out!
Anyway, my childhood rendered a profound love for all things Norwegian (American, too!). As I’ve grown older, the blood calls me “home” louder still. Weird to say? Naw! I’m reminded of that song, “Can’t fight this feeling anymore…” Can’t help it. Blame it on the DNA, but what wonderful DNA I’ve got. Sure, I’m proud of my Norwegian heritage. Ever seen this meme (or something like it)???
Despite the fact that I’m waaaaaay more than 1% Viking, I agree. Lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon of feeling Viking. But what does that really mean?
Some, I dare say a ton, think being Viking is all about the pillaging of villages, or the vast quantities of mead/alcohol. And how could I possibly forget the blond haired and blue eyed gods and goddesses that people equate with being Viking. However, there’s a $h!t ton more that’s unfortunately left out about the Scandinavian culture and heritage.
For instance, Christmas!!! Above is a gorgeous photo of a traditional Norwegian rice pudding. Give it a try! It’s creamy, sweet, and all things yummy. This tantalizes the taste buds every Christmas Eve lunch in most Norwegian households, and some Norwegian American households, too. Did you know that back in the 1300s it was only eaten by the wealthy?Please visit North Wild Kitchen for a fantastic recipe! (She’s got loads of great Norwegian recipes and fun facts about Norway, too.)
Also, let’s not forget Krumkake! I mentioned it in my last blog post, and I couldn’t go another year without it. I remember as a child when my dad pulled out our old iron specifically for making krumkake, and we baked until our fingers burned. (They actually burn if you don’t have a good way of getting the sweet, crunchy treat off the iron! But I’m Viking, remember? It’s all in a day’s work;-)) We fill them with whipped cream, berries, or anything your heart desires. For this recipe, please click here!
The American Part
In addition to all the Norwegian traditions of mine, I can’t forget the American! What would a Norwegian American Christmas be without the American after all. When I think of Christmas, I remember the smells of dressing stuffed with onions, and green bean casserole with the creamy mushroom soap and French’s Fried Onions, turkey, rolls, and please, PLEASE, don’t forget the ambrosia. It is the magical fruit of the Greek gods if you’re into that sort of thing. (Odin, Thor, and Freya are better in my opinion. Just sayin’.)
If ambrosia’s good enough to keep the Greek gods immortal, then why shouldn’t we all partake of the deliciousness with the added benefit of a vitamin C filled treat.
Ambrosia for the Win
What’s in it??? Happy you asked. I assumed that most people had heard of ambrosia until that skidded to a halt upon marrying my hubby eons ago. Silly me!
Anyway, it’s a concoction of marshmallows, mandarin oranges, cream cheese, pineapples, and coconut, and if you like nuts, then toss them in for added measure. For a recipe, here is one that I found online, but I’ve got my own family secret. Maybe one day I’ll publish it. For now, I’ll tuck it away and use it when the feeling hits me for a reminder of memories long ago.
Don’t Forget the Pies!
And what would an American Christmas be without the pie?!
We’ve got pumpkin pie, apple pie, mince meat pie, cherry pie… I could go on, but I think I’ve just gained 10 pounds.
What a wonderful time it is! I had to include some Norwegian traditions because the country’s population tops the scale at a mere 5 million. How could I not spread the glorious traditions of my ancestral home than to blog about it?
What about you? What traditions do you include in your holiday season? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for all those celebrating this season, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year, too! Until next time…