Forberedelse – Preparation

The date has been announced – June 16-18, 2022.

That’s the date our Kringen Lodge welcomes the Sons of Norway, District IV Convention to Fargo. Delegates from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana and North Dakota will gather to renew friendships, hear reports, take action on business, and celebrate our heritage.

Before the convention delegates arrive, our host lodge has a long list of things to get ready. The Norwegian word FORBEREDELSE means to “get ready in advance.” Zone Director, Kay Halverson, and I have been asked to serve as Co-Chairs. We have lined up a large team of committee members and volunteers to prepare for our guests. Responsibilities include inviting delegates, proposing costs and a registration process, planning menus and activities, lining up craft displays and vendors, creating training opportunities and workshops.

As we work together to prepare, we invite your input in the “forberedelse” process. We welcome your involvement and suggestions. Preparing together creates new friendships and lasting memories. Together we can move forward under the convention theme “Call to Action,” a tribute to the heroic summons of Prillar-Guri to call the Norwegian farmers into action in 1612.

Recipe: Bacalao Stew

In a nod to Christian André Pettersen’s bronze award at the 2021 Bocuse d’Or competition, where chefs had to create and execute three courses highlighting the tomato (including a dessert!), here is a tomato-based stew recipe.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 (1/2 kg) pounds salted and dried cod, bacalao

2 pounds (1 kg) potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices

3 large yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 cans tomatoes, chopped, with their juices

1 pound (1/2 kg) canned pimientos, drained and cut into ½-inch (1 cm) slices

4 to 6 garlic cloves, sliced or crushed

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup (1/2 dl) chopped fresh parsley

1 to 2 dried hot red chiles, chopped and seeded

10 black peppercorns

1 1/2 cups (3 1/2 dl) olive oil

 

Directions:

Step 1

Soak the salted cod in a large pot of water for 24 – 36 hours, this will vary depending on how dry the cod is, until the fish is softened. Make sure that you change the water at least twice during the softening process to help remove some of the salt.

 

Step 2

Remove/drain the cod from the pot and cut it into 2-inch chunks.

 

Step 3

Wash and rinse the pot you used for the cod.

 

Step 4

In the large pot, layer the potatoes, onions and chunks of cod. Next add in the garlic, bay leaves, pimientos, tomatoes, chiles, olive oil, peppercorns and two-thirds of the chopped parsley. Place this on the stove to simmer for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 45 minutes. Shake the pot every 10-15 minutes. DO NOT STIR, this will make the fish fall apart in the soup.

 

Step 5

Serve the bacalao stew in bowls, garnish with the rest of the parsley and serve with a nice crusty bread.

Norway Takes Bronze at 2021 Bocuse d’Or

Life in the age of Corona has meant extreme uncertainty for the culinary world. Many restaurants reinvented themselves, beginning to offer curbside or outdoor service, or face the prospect of closing their doors.

These reverberations were also felt at the 2021 Bocuse d’Or international cooking competition. In a nod to lockdown, one of the challenges was preparing a three-course take-out menu. Chefs not only had to create show-stopping dishes, but also produce sustainable to-go containers. The theme ingredient was the humble tomato, which even had to be a component of the dessert.

Christian André Pettersen, a master chef from Bodø, has twice earned gold at Bocuse d’Or Europe and won a bronze medal in the Bocuse world championship in 2019. With his team, Pettersen once again received bronze, behind France and Denmark. Going forward, Pettersen plans to become a coach to support another ambitious chef. This was Norway’s 12th medal on the world podium, making it the most decorated country in the international competition.

World’s Longest Undersea Power Cable is Now Operational

The world’s longest undersea electricity cable between Norway and the U.K. is now operational. The interconnector, known as the North Sea Link, was a joint venture between British company National Grid and Norwegian power operator Statnett. The cable spans 450 miles and connects Kvilldal in Norway with Blyth in Northumberland. At full capacity, 1.4 million homes can be supplied by hydro-power. National Grid Ventures president Cordi O’Hara said it was a “remarkable feat of engineering…we had to go through mountains, fjords and across the North Sea.”

This project will help the U.K. reduce about 23 million tons of carbon emissions by 2030. It is truly beneficial for both parties as extra renewable power will be exported to Norway when wind generation is high in the U.K. but energy demand is low. This will help Norway conserve water in their reservoirs. All in all, this venture is “a great example of two countries working together to maximize renewable energy resources for mutual benefit.”

Nordic Myth Turns Pop Culture Icon

Described in the Icelandic Sagas as lurking off the coasts of Norway and Greenland, the giant, ship-devouring Kraken has recently re-emerged as a darling of popular culture. Sightings of the mythical tentacled beast are everywhere!

  • On ice: The Seattle Kraken are a new NHL hockey team for the 2021 – 2022 season. Their logo is a sea blue ‘S’ with a menacing red eye.
  • At the pub: Kraken Rum was launched in the UK in 2010. Contrary to urban legend, giant squid ink is not among its rich, spicy ingredients.  
  • At the (virtual) bank: Do you have some bitcoin to trade or exchange? Kraken.com is a cryptocurrency exchange based out of San Francisco.
  • On-screen: Starring as Davy Jones’ deadly pet in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, the Kraken continues its reign of watery terror with appearances in several Disney video games and theme park attractions.

As you can see, the Kraken is making quite a stir in popular culture today! Where will it pop up next?

Learn more Nordic myths and legends here: https://www.sofn.com/blog/mythical-creatures-of-scandinavia/

New Year’s Resolutions

January is that time of year when we make New Year’s resolutions. Some attainable and some not. Every year I make a few and break a few. One that I make every single year is to set
a reading goal. I love to read, one of those things my mother made me do and it grew into a habit that is impossible to break. As I decide on that number of books to read I also become mindful of the types of literature I want on my reading list. Involvement in Lesering (book club) at Kringen has been a rich adventure into Nordic and regional fiction and nonfiction offerings. Our library is full of great books, I challenge you to make a goal to read (lots) and check out what is available here at Kringen.

Let me tell you about some of our library’s newer selections!

Skiing Into the Bright Open: My Solo Journey to the South Pole by Liv Arnesen. The story of the first woman to ski solo to the South Pole. Norway has a long rich history of exploration and adventure, this is a nonfiction addition to this history.

Stringing Rosaries: The History, the Unforgivable , and the Healing of Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors by Denise Lajimodiere. This book gives a history of the American Indian boarding schools (also termed American Indian Residential Schools), interviews with survivors, and the author and her family’s own healing journey. Dr. Lajimodiere is an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and a graduate of UND.

The Seeds of Change by Lauraine Snelling. Books by Lauraine Snelling have been popular in our library for years. We have many of her past books including the entire Blessing Series available. This is the first book in a new series.

Lars Mytting is presently one of the most popular authors in Norway. His books have become international bestsellers and translated into numerous languages. He was recently highlighted in the Viking. Norwegian Wood Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way is certainly a nonfiction work but is also a unique look into Nordic culture. The Bell in the Lake (the first in a trilogy) is historical fiction dealing with ‘the intersection of religion, superstition, and duty’.

Sigrid Undset (1882-1946) has written extensively and some of her best known and most highly acclaimed works deal with medieval times. Her two epic multi-volume works are Kristin Lavransdatter and The Master of Hestviken. For the first time in over a hundred years, The Master of Hestviken is being re-translated to English and presented under its original title Olav Audunsson. The translator is Tiina Nunnally, one of the best! The first two volumes, Vows and Providence are now in the Kringen library.

When you make those 2022 resolutions, think about including a reading resolution too. It is enjoyable and not difficult, you may be surprised how much you learn and how easy that resolution is to keep.

Have a happy and safe New Year’s and stop in to pick up a good book.

A New Year!

A new year and soon a new look at the Kringen Klub as we anticipate the start of an update in the Troll Lounge and dining room that will help accommodate our growing business. We appreciate the support of our members and guests and look forward to serving you better in 2022.

All of us atKringen Klub wish you the best in the year ahead!

Happy New Year!

Our last board meeting of the year included elections. President – Kyle Handegard; Vice President – John Jorgensen; Secretary – Chris Carlson; and Treasurer — Bill Martinson. Chris Carlson returns as a trustee and Deb Ankeney is new to the board. Welcome, Deb!

The updated fireplace in the dining room at the Kringen Klub.

The Klub has had cosmetic upgrades including the reworking of the fireplace in the dining room that brings a warm and cozy ambiance to the room. We are proud of these changes as we work to improve our welcoming atmosphere. The board kindly asks that we all work together to keep the Klub looking sharp. If you or your group share our space by rearranging tables and chairs, please return them to their original placement. We and our volunteer staff greatly appreciate your being here but also leaving things as they originally were.

It has been our pleasure to serve you, and we look forward to a New Year full of good health and good fortune! Have a safe and prosperous new year!

Ready for “Slankekurset?”

During this Christmas season, the Julebord has been filled to overflowing with the finest foods. I suspect the homemade desserts have not been lacking in calories. For many of us, it is a lot
easier to pull our chair up to the table than it is to push ourselves away, or at least to say “no thanks” to second helpings.

Looking back at the julekake, rosettes, lefse, fattigman, sotsuppe, and perhaps even lutefisk, we try to correct our course for the year ahead with New Year’s Resolutions. A common confession is that we have indulged too often and really ought to cut back on our calories.

The Norwegian vocabulary has a choice phrase for slimming down after a season of eating. As if they are taking it seriously and going to enroll in a class of self-discipline, they say they are going to take a “slankekurs,” meaning a course in slimming down. In English, we say, “I am going on a diet!”

The Norwegians are about as serious as we are. It lasts until the next meal of delicious leftovers.

Happy New Year!

Norway’s Focus on Becoming the World’s Most Sustainable Data Center Nation

As the coronavirus pandemic has shown us, the need for computer power is extremely evident. In part due to this, Norway has been focusing on their data center strategy. Minister of Regional Development and Digitalization, Linda Hofstad Helleland, stated, “Norway has a unique foundation for becoming the world’s most attractive data center nation. We have a surplus of renewable energy, low electricity prices, good digital infrastructure, and a cool climate.”

The other added benefit is the creation of jobs that will result from strengthening their data center industry. The industry currently contributes to 2,000 jobs but could grow to 11,000 jobs in 2025. In the past year, several new data center locations have been established.

Helleland believes it is very important that Norway is successful in facilitating sustainable business development throughout the country; “We must use Norwegian power resources to develop new green industries in rural areas and attract international investment.” Fortunately, there is great cooperation between the data center industry and the Norwegian government which will help spur further growth.