Scandanavian Christmas

    My wife is Scandinavian. More specially, she is of Norwegian decent. She has introduced me to a whole new world culturally. In the culinary department, she has made for me a delicious dessert called Lefse which are thin cakes of dough, baked and then cut in pieces; flatbread resembling a tortilla. Inside this Lefseis a cold, thick mixture of butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Sounds simple, yes. But simply an amazing culinary experience.

    While the Lefse leaves me begging for more, the Lutefisk leaves me begging, “no more!” And “never again!” Lutefisk is dried stockfish (normally cod or ling) that is brined in lye (lye I tell you!), soaked to remove the resulting causticity, and then steamed until it flakes (however it still looks and feels gelatinous when all is said and done). Let us say NO MORE on the subject. I’ll stick to my Lefse dessert thank you very much.

    Anyways. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and my father in law often refers to me as the Portlander. Well this Portlander has something pretty darn Scandinavian up his sleeve for my wife and in-laws this holiday season! Several spectacular Scandinavian surprises in fact. (try saying that one 7 times fast!)

    Nordic Northwest, originally called the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, hosts an annual event called Scanfair, Oregon’s “largest annual Nordic Christmas market and fair! Featuring food, dozens of vendors, live music, and the crowning of the Oregon Lucia, Queen of Light.” This year it will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Saturday, December 3, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday, December 4, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. I already have our tickets purchased (shhhh… it’s a surprise!)

    If all goes as planned, my wife and her family will be blown away by my surprise. I can’t wait to see their faces!
    But wait, there’s more!

    I also plan on us attending the Portland Scandinavian Chorus a Christmas concert on December 10, 7:30 PM held at the Nordia House. This event is FREE (remember, that’s my favorite word) and open to the public. My understanding of this event is that they will be singing Christmas music from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. As long as anyone is singing but me, it’s sure to be a good time!

    And right about the time my wife’s head will be spinning from my Scandinavian-prowess, I have one last event in store (although Nordic Northwest has many more events going on):

    On December 16, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM my wife and I will be feasting at the Julbord Holiday Buffet. Okay, granted, the tickets weren’t cheap ($55 a pop) but the website described it this way: “Celebrate Christmas-time the Nordic way with expertly prepared holiday cuisine! Swedish-style favorites will be featured in this festive holiday spread. Full menu details will be announced the night of the dinner, but will be drawing from café favorites.
    Complimentary Glögg will be served.”

    Ok. So, I don’t know exactly what’s on the menu, nor do I know what “Glögg” is… but I feel confident it’ll be a very delicious night indeed.

    For more information on holiday (and other) events offered through Nordic Northwest, visit

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