Nordic Fest is always fun because there's lots of good food and we ate our way through downtown: rommegrot (it's actually just a thick, sweetened white sauce to which you add more melted butter and cinnamon and eat it hot, with a spoon), lingonberry ice cream, potato sausages rolled up in lefse, krumkakke, rosettes, and the best thing--lefse, hot off the grill (again, lots of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to put inside, roll up and eat).
For those of you who don't know what lefse is, the best way to describe it is that it looks a lot like a tortilla, only it's made with potatoes. I usually make only 1 batch at Christmas time, because it's rather labor-intensive. To make a batch of lefse, you cook up about 5 lbs. of potatoes, then rice them, add salt, butter and cream, mash them again and let the whole batch cool. After cooling, you add flour and roll the dough into little balls (about the size of a small apple). You roll each ball out really thin on a special cloth-covered "lefse board" with your special cloth-covered "lefse rolling pin" and then use your special "lefse stick" to lift the piece of lefse onto your special, round "lefse griddle." You cook it till it starts to get just a little bit brown and then use your "lefse stick" to flip the entire piece over and cook the other side. For me to make 1 batch from start to finish takes between 6 and 7 hours.
Here's one of the three ladies who were cooking lefse today. You can see all of the "special" lefse utensils she's using (2 sticks in the foreground, the big round griddle, and the rolling pin).
Here's the table where we added butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sugar to our hot-off-the-grill piece of lefse. Everyone makes theirs different. My spousal unit just puts butter on, but I like it with brown sugar and cinnamon in addition to butter.
Nordic Fest is always fun because there are plenty of interesting people and things to watch. There are usually some people from Norway there and it's fun to hear their accents. We saw this guy who would have made a good Viking.
And we saw this lady wearing a hat that seemed to serve no purpose whatsoever--it didn't keep the sun out of her eyes and obviously doesn't fit her head very well (but it gave me something to laugh about & aren't telephoto lenses great?)
Down at the Vesterheim (Norwegian for Western Home) Norwegian-American Museum they always have some heritage displays set up. Here a man was doing some sort of wood carving and the woman was spinning flax into yarn on a spinning wheel.
Here was the Viking encampment.
And here was a bunch of guys doing what Viking guys probably also did on a Saturday afternoon--leaning up against the boat and talking about boating. (The guy second from the right with the salmon-colored shirt is the "Viking" who owned the boat.)
Here's some information about Decorah, Iowa that I found on Wikipedia:
Originally settled by people of English descent in 1849, Decorah has become popular as a center for Norwegian-American culture originating from a high number of Norwegian settlements beginning in the 1850s. Since 1862 it has been the home of Luther College, a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Each July Decorah is also the host of Nordic Fest, a celebration of Norwegian culture with ethnic dancing, food, and music. Decorah is also the home of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, the largest museum in the country devoted to one single immigrant group. Until 1972, one of the largest Norwegian language newspapers in the nation was published in Decorah, the Decorah Posten.