Vaer saa god: Come and
A Collection of
Recipes, Food Memories and Traditions
"Vaer saa god"* is the polite way of saying.......
Come and eat!
You're invited to the table!
This recipe book includes not only
recipes from family and friends, but information on various topics: Growing Up Foods, Christmas Foods,
Feeding Threshers, Jam, Jelly, and Sauce, The Chicken-Egg Saga,
Bread, the Staff of Life, Everything's Better with Butter, Coffee Time, Old
Time Butchering, and All About Lefse.
Also included is a section on Norwegian Foods. This cookbook would be of interest to many,
as it contains the history of cooking, especially in rural areas during the
Depression, and to those looking for both old and new recipes.
Excerpt from vaer saa god:
Back in the days of
the big black cookstove, the saying "the coffee pot is always on" was
definitely true. Grandpa was up first in
the morning and started a fire in the cookstove, making the first pot of coffee
for the day. What was not consumed at
breakfast was kept hot on the back of the stove until Grandma emptied the
grounds and made a fresh pot. The coffee
pot was a very important utensil in those days as it set boiling or simmering
on the old cookstove from morning to night.
Coffee time came between three
and four o'clock in the afternoon. If
the men were working in the fields at that time, Grandma would send coffee and
lunch out to them. But if Grandpa was working around the
barnyard, he would come in and pour himself a cup of coffee, sit down at the
kitchen table and enjoy it. He would
fill his saucer with the hot coffee and then slowly sip it. The sukkerbits
(sugar cubes) were a necessary part of this routine. The process was to dip the cube into the cup,
let it absorb the coffee, and then quickly get it into the mouth before it
disintegrated. On those happy days,
Grandpa would let us grandchildren each dip a sugar cube into his coffee
cup. It would be the highlight of our
day. And Grandma would come with a plate
of cookies for us all. She had a large
tin container where she kept her cookies.
White rolled out sugar and oatmeal raisin drop cookies were her
standbys. This was in the days before
CHICKEN - EGG SAGA
Before homes had freezers, it wasn't often
that fresh meat was on the menu. Unless
you had made a trip to the butcher shop, only canned meat or side pork was
served. But the chicken would come to
the rescue. On the farm, the chicken was
available whenever you wanted fresh meat.
And on the farm, the chicken came before
the egg. In March, Grandma brought these
tiny chicks to her warm brooder house in large cardboard boxes. She daily fed and cared for them and in the
late summer the young roosters or broilers would be ready for the frying
pan. The majority of the farm women did
the butchering themselves. With an ax and
a tree stomp, they got the job done. And
then they had to pluck the feathers off.
Pouring boiling water over the feathers made the job easier. When the meat was cut into serving pieces, it
was ready for the pan. Later, when the
roosters were larger, they could be roasted whole, and the cavity filled with
dressing. In fact, I never ate turkey
and dressing until in the sixties. When
you had chicken available, you didn't need turkey.
In late August every year, the Fall
Festival was usually held in Grandpa's grove.
Besides a platform for the program and a pop stand, a large tent was set
up where the ladies from the three churches served a fried chicken supper. The ladies brought prepared fried chicken
from their flocks. Also during the fall,
many Ladies Aids served fried chicken suppers.
These were delicious meals.
In early fall, the young hens (pullets)
began laying eggs. However, these first
eggs were quite small and could not be put in the egg crate to sell. At that time Grandma would do a lot of baking
and serve scrambled eggs and omelets to use these up. Later in the winter, many of the hens would
go into a molt and quit laying and the egg supply would go down, but when
spring came, most began laying again.
At some time the end would come for each
rooster, or for each hen that had quit laying.
Now their meat wasn't as tender, so they ended up in the chicken soup or
as creamed chicken.
There were always a few roosters that
remained. These were the farmers' alarm
clocks. Their cheery
"cock-a-doodle-doos" came at the break of day, and also off and on during the
day. There were times that we had a
belligerent rooster. One especially
enjoyed attacking only females. It was a
scary thing to have it run toward us and fly at our faces. That rooster soon ended up in the soup.
When we have visited Norway, we have been
fortunate to have hit the strawberry season.
The strawberries there are delicious - large, red, sweet and juicy. Their weather must be just right for
strawberries. The berries are usually
served plain with cream and sugar, and are often the ending to a delicious
Strawberries are also used in Norway's
most popular dessert - blotkake, a layer cake, filled and topped
with whipped cream and fresh fruit - usually strawberries. Often at a get-together, two or three ladies
will arrive with a blotkake in hand. It is baked in a large 10 or 12 inch
springform pan, and when it is cool, it is cut into 2 or 3 layers. Often a custard filling is used between one
layer and whipped cream mixed with berries or fruit between one layer and the
whole cake covered with whipped cream and decorated with strawberries or other
fruit (multebaer, bananas, pineapple, peaches or
apricots) or finely chopped walnuts. The
cake is served whole and each guest must cut their own piece.
In Norway, Blotkake is served at the table, where each piece is cut
and placed on the plate. If the cake
remains standing and you are single, you are soon to be married.
BLOTKAKE - CREAM CAKE
Norwegian "o" in blotkake has a slash through it.)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy - 6 or 8
minutes at high speed with the electric mixer.
Add 1 tablespoon water. Mix some
more. Sift dry ingredients together and
gently fold into egg mixture. Mix
carefully. Pour into 10" to 12"
springform pan, the bottom greased and floured.
Bake in the center of the oven at 325 degrees about 40 minutes, or until
center is firm. When cool, remove from
pan. Cut cake in two or three layers,
using a long, thin knife.
to 2 cups berries or fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapple or apricots,
fresh, canned or frozen)
3 cups whipping cream
½ tsp. vanilla
1 or more tablespoon powdered sugar
Whip the cream, add powdered sugar and
vanilla. Mix cut up fruit with half of whipped cream and spread between
layers. Put remaining whipped cream on
top and sides of cake. Extra berries and
fruit can also be added for decoration.
Vanilla pudding or vanilla cream filling
can be used between the layers. Decorate
One Norwegian recipe that I make every year
is rommegrot. It is served with our lunches at our
bazaar and I usually make a double or triple batch.....and it all goes. Rommegrot is
a kind of pudding, which was originally made from cream. When they cooked it,
the butter came to the top. In Norway
in the past, it was made and brought along to new mothers when they visited
them. It is a sweet and tasty pudding. I don't make it of cream as in the olden
days, but use the recipe which the Decorah
Norwegian Museum serves at its special
events. It isn't as rich. It is served warm. A mixture of sugar and cinnamon is sprinkled
on each serving.
Heat 1 quart milk
and 1 cup half and half, being careful not to scorch. In a heavy pan, melt
butter and add gradually 3/4
cup flour. Cook about 5 minutes,
stirring constantly. Pour in hot milk
gradually, stirring frequently until mixture
bubbles and thickens. Stir in ½ cup
and cook a little
longer. Stir till you have a smooth
texture. This may be kept warm, and
a crock-pot. Use low heat.
Serve with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled over.
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