If you’re in the F-M Metro tonight, you should raise a glass of akvavit and party with my favorite Norwegian.
If not, you can at least check out some delicious Scandinavian Christmas desserts — just scroll down to view.
There are lots of Norwegian-Americans in these parts and even those without a drop of Scandinavian blood may find lefse on their holiday table. But it took a Norwegian to take a Christmas party to the next level.
Frode Tilden started the Traditional Norsk Christmas Event to show Americans how his friends and family celebrate the holiday back in Fagernes, Norway.
“The whole idea for the Julebord (spread of food on table) is that I wanted to give back to coworkers the tradition I was missing from Norway,” said Frode. “Now, over 9 years it has grown, so it’s open for the public and it’s one of the biggest events at the Sons of Norway Lodge — about 230 people last year. Who knows how many people are coming this year!”
Kransekake (wreath cake), a tower of marzipan served on special occasions. You don’t find it often, so eat it when you see it. It’s a little chewy inside and delicious.
The event is one of the most unique events in Fargo-Moorhead and that’s 100% due to Frode’s uncanny ability to bring unlikely people together.
He’s a gregarious guy who came to North Dakota for school a few years back and basically made himself Norway’s unofficial ambassador. He now bridges the gap between aging members of the Sons of Norway and the next generation.
It’s a rare party where you can find gray haired grandmas sitting and chatting with the guys from Rock City Riot Men’s Roller Derby team, but that’s exactly what I found when I checked out the party a few years back.
If you go, you’ll probably meet Frode. I could show you a photo, but you won’t need it — he’ll be the one circulating through the crowd in his traditional Norwegian garb, laughing, lending a hand, introducing people to each other, suggesting food and emceeing the event.
Krumkake, a yummy, crumbly cookie made in a griddle that’s similar to a waffle iron.
Entertainment this year features a silent auction and music by Mary and Charley Johnson and The Front Fenders. All proceeds benefit the Skogfjorden program at Concordia Language Villages, where students can be immersed in Norwegian culture and language.
When you go, don’t forget to save room for the food. The spread is impressive — you’ll find kransekake, meatballs, salmon, rømmegrøt, flatbread, julekake, glogg, krumkake, Norwegian heart-shaped waffles, lefse and more.
Lefse — the classic potato flatbread. Opinions (passionately) vary on how to serve it — with butter, with white or brown sugar, jelly, cheese, as a substitute for bread or as a dessert are all popular options.
“I love people gatherings and to see people having a good time and dancing to great tunes,” said Frode. “My favorite part is to see everyone happy and to kick off the Christmas season right.”
These are Rosettes, an amazing deep-fried cookie coated with tons of sugar. These are fabulous and rich and sugar and cookie pieces usually fly all over when you eat them. You’ve been forewarned.
Traditional Norsk Christmas Event
Friday, December 6
7 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Sons of Norway
722 2nd Avenue North
Bus: Route 13, 13U, 17, 33
$25 in advance, $30 at the door
All photos courtesy of Frode Tilden