We celebrated my oldest niece’s confirmation last weekend. She is fifteen and as a Evangelical Lutheran tradition we then celebrate her becoming an adult. Her life doesn’t change much at fifteen, but traditionally this is the age from which you were considered an adult. 18 is the age where you’re legally considered and adult in Norway.
The tradition involves weekly church meeting throughout the school year, although this varies from place to place. There are also non-religious confirmations based on various secular organisations, where obviously the church is not involved. The confirmations has long traditions in Norway, and was introduced during the 16th century, during the 18th century if was made obligatory. The confirmations coincided then with the last year of school and the confirmation became a religious exam, as well as a requirement for getting an apprenticeship. Today it is a matter of getting to know your religion, becoming more reflected, growing up and also the family party.
My niece was two when I met my husband and when I met her for the first time. It has been amazing watching her grow into the young lady she has become today, and it has happened so quickly. She went from a young girl to a young lady in the blink of an eye. She is lucky to have an amazing mother who can take credit for the level of maturity in my niece. She has done a good job in emphasising my niece’s good qualities throughout her upbringing and focused on the positive in life. But my niece is much more than just the result of her upbringing, she is also very clever, she has a brilliant sense of humour, she is well-reflected and mature for her age. She is insanely beautiful and determined. I’m very proud of her and consider myself very lucky to be able to follow her further in life.
I wish to keep my family anonymous and thus leave you with pictures of some of the gorgeous bunads present on that special occasion.
My husband in his brand new Rogaland bunad
A beautiful representative of the nordlandsbunad
The Åmli bunad – the one worn here is actually 60 years old, inherited from her grandmother
The Åmli bunad for men
A blue version of the Rogalandsbunad
One of Norway’s most popular dishes is taco. Yes, very logical and oh so Scandinavian, but we still love it. Many Norwegians eat taco once a week and Friday night seems to be the days where most of us devour our tacos. Well, to be honest, to call it taco might be seriously offensive to those who really know what taco really is, or can be, but it is easily pronounced, easily made, and totally tasty!
Many Norwegians eat the processed versions you find in the store: salsa in a jar, quacamole in a tin, and taco spice mix out of a paper bag. Of course these do not taste like or contain the same as the real deal, but many can’t look past the quick fix. A few years ago I came across a recipe for a mix-yourself-taco-spice-mix, I tried it and have never after gone back to the one-portion bag from the store. This is better in so many ways: it tastes better, it’s cheaper and you control the amount of salt you use. It takes you ten minutes to make the first time, and then your set for several Friday-night-tacos to come.
3 T chilli powder
1,5-2 T sea salt
2 T cumin
2 T powdered paprika
2,5 t garlic powder
2,5 t crushed chilli flakes2,5 t dried oregano
1-2 t cayenne pepper
Norwegians normally use mince meat, and for 400 grams I use one large tablespoon of spice-mix. I also toss in a small teaspoon in salsa and guacamole. The mix is, of course, also perfect for mexican inspired soups or casseroles.
Please let me know if you try!
I think one of the most common and simplest desserts in Norway during the summer is fresh strawberries with cream and sugar. So delicious, so fresh and so extremely easy! This time served with a dash of whipped cream (with a bit of vanilla added to it). Remember to rinse the strawberries properly, they do grow very close to the ground!
Kakemenn is always a favourite among the kids. It’s sweet, very mild in taste and, like the pepperkaker, they are shaped in various recognisable figures. They are very easy to make and the ingredients are items you most likely already have in your cupboards. Kakemenn is to me important come christmas, and I never go a year without making them.
The recipe is very straightforward and easy. Just mix all ingredients together (but do feel free to reduce the recipe – we used about half this year):
- 1 kg of white wheat flour
- 0,5 kg of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of horn salt (“Horn salt (also hartshorn) is used in traditional Norwegian baked goods as a leavening agent. Modern horn salt is ammonium bicarbonate.In the USA it can be purchased at the pharmacy” says this site)
- 85 grams of butter
- 4 dl of milk
As with the pepperkake-dough, the kakemenn-dough must also be cold before it’s easy to work with. The dough doesn’t need to be as thin as the pepperkake dough, I would set the thickness of it to double that of the pepperkaker, see this post. The kakemenn are baked at 200 degrees until they get a wee bit of a tan. They should still be white-ish, so about the colour of a Scandinavian in April would do.
Pictures for the blog are according to Son better if they also show a playmobil pirate, the standard of my photos has thus been raised. You're welcome!
Never stand too close to the oven when opening the oven-door, and never get the horn salt too close to your nose. You have been warned! (sneezing and swearing could occur!)