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Published December 13 2012

Benshoof: Making a new holiday tradition?

MOORHEAD - Whether it’s making (or failing at making, in my case) gingerbread houses or getting impatient with your dad when he takes forever to snap Christmas photos, the weeks leading up to the holidays are built on our family history.

Perhaps the longest-lasting traditions around the holidays are the food. My family – like many in these parts – has Scandinavian roots, and so two foods we have every year are lefse and julekage, a Christmas cake my dad makes from scratch.

But every family has its own.

Along those lines, on Saturday the Moorhead Public Library is hosting a demonstration of two other traditional Scandinavian foods – rommegrot and krumkake.

Krumkake in particular caught my eye, as it’s a holiday cookie I haven’t tried for years. That and it’s also fun to say out loud.

To find out a little bit more about krumkake, I called up Megan Krueger, the library’s public services supervisor who will lead the demonstration, to find out a little bit more.

Krumkake, Krueger told me, takes about an hour to prepare from scratch and is made from basic ingredients such as sugar, butter, eggs, milk and flour.

After mixing the batter, put it into a special krumkake iron (which online can cost anywhere from $40-$60) that imprints designs on the cookie. After cooking both sides for about 30 seconds, roll the cookie around a special wooden pin, slide it off and let it cool, Krueger said.

The cookie doesn’t have a very distinctive taste, Krueger says (does lefse, for that matter?), but like many family traditions, it has a different sort of appeal that’s built on comfort.

“(Krumkake) is definitely something that I’ve had since I was a kid,” Krueger says. “I think the fact that it’s been around since then is definitely part of the appeal.”

But even if you haven’t grown up with krumkake in your family, it’s never too late to start. What better time than the holidays to begin a new family tradition that’ll last through the years?

If nothing else, making krumkake can help Norwegians meet an important traditional holiday quota: having seven different types of holiday cookies available for friends and family.

Now that’s one tradition that’s stricter than the rest.

If You Go

WHAT: Krumkake and rommegrot demonstration and holiday treats exchange

WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday

where: Moorhead Public Library, 118 5th St. S.

INFO: Admission is free, and participants are encouraged to bring their own favorite holiday treats to exchange. Call (218) 233-7594 for more information.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535