Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall for Nordic Film

If you like Nordic film—and who doesn’t—you’ll be happy to know that Nordic film season is right around the corner! The Nordic Lights Film Festival takes place in Minneapolis Nov. 19 – 24. Since 2008, the festival has brought contemporary films from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland to the Twin Cities. This year, there’s even one for the kids!

If you don’t live in Minnesota, pull out your August issue of Viking for a list of Nordic film festivals around the U.S., many of which take place in the fall and winter. For example, both Seattle and Los Angeles host festivals in January. Can’t wait that long? As a Sons of Norway member, you don’t have to. You have access to a treasure trove of Norwegian movies and other media any time by taking advantage of Sons of Norway’s Media Lending Library. For more information about the service, log in to the members’ section of

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Havregrynsbrød Recipe Correction

The Viking team recently discovered an error in the Havregrynsbrød (oatmeal bread) recipe in our October issue. The correct amount of rolled oats should be 2¾ cups, not 2¼ cups as printed in the magazine. Here’s a corrected copy of the recipe. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused our readers!

4 cups skimmed milk
½ oz. dry yeast or 2 oz. fresh yeast
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. dark cane syrup
1½ tsp. salt
2¾ cups rolled oats
2¾ cups finely milled whole-wheat flour
2¾ cups white flour (approximately)
Rolled oats for topping

Heat milk to 105 to 115 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk and let stand 5 minutes.

Add vegetable oil, syrup and salt. Stir in rolled oats, whole-wheat flour and most of the white flour. Knead the flour until the dough is firm and pliant, but not tough. As an alternative, beat the dough for about 5 minutes with an electric mixer. Roll into a ball and return the dough to the bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm area for about 40 minutes. Turn out the dough on a floured surface. Divide in two. Knead in a little more flour and shape two oval loaves. Place in well-greased 1½-quart loaf pans.

Cover with a clean dishcloth and allow dough to rise again in a warm location for about 30 minutes.

Brush the surface with a little lukewarm water and sprinkle with rolled oats. Bake at 375 degrees F for about one hour, on the lowest oven rack. Cool loaves on a rack. Let oat bread stand overnight before slicing.

Photo: John Mowers/Unleashed Productions

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eurovision Time Capsule

Today I came across something that’s just plain fun. Concordia’s Norwegian Language Village, Skogfjorden, recently posted a retrospective summary of Norway’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. There’s a short history of the contest (many North Americans are unfamiliar with it but it’s a big deal in Europe, with more than 40 countries participating), a list of Norway’s representatives each year since 1960, and some great video clips of memorable performances over the years.

Alexander Rybak made history for Norway in 2009 when his winning performance received the most votes in Eurovision history. Since Norway was the winner last year, it became the host of the event this year. (You may remember reading about this in the May 2010 issue of Viking.) After all the dust settled and the beans were counted, NRK, Norway’s public broadcasting corporation, lost an estimated NOK 5 million on hosting the event. Ouch! They won’t have to worry about hosting next year’s contest, however, since Norway’s 2010 entry—Didrik Solli-Tangen singing My Heart is Yours—took 20th place.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

New Addition to Sons of Norway Team

For those of you who may not know, there is a new face in the Fraternal Department at Sons of Norway headquarters. His name is Joe Eggers and he will be working with our members and lodges as our new Membership Coordinator.

Since Joe is quickly learning the in’s & out’s of Sons of Norway, let’s take a minute to learn more about him.

Where did you work before joining Sons of Norway?

I worked for two years with the Minnesota Public Interest Resource Group (MPIRG). During my time at MPIRG I worked closely with students at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College to empower and teach students the skills needed to support the causes they were passionate about by utilizing grass roots campaigns, lobbying and working with the media. We also focused heavily on recruitment and retention and giving the students the skills to appeal to others with a common interest.

Where are you from originally?

I am originally from Appleton, Wisconsin. After graduating from college I moved to Minnesota.

(Writer’s note: I have to interject and say that as a fellow proud Wisconsinite I am happy to have another Fraternal department team member who likes green and gold and badger-red.)

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.

So, I have to ask…Are you Norwegian?
No, I am not Norwegian or even Scandinavian. Although, my girlfriend does work for the Danish Institute for Study Abroad so maybe we should complete the Scandinavian trifecta and see if our dog could volunteer at the American Swedish Institute.

As the newest member of the Fraternal team, what are you most looking forward to in working at Sons of Norway?

I am really looking forward to getting out and meeting the members and learning the lodge structure. I’ve never worked in a cubicle before so I really hope to be able to spend some time with lodges, attending meetings and building those relationships. During my time at MPIRG, I worked really closely with young people and was able to hone my skills to fit the challenges that were presented. Now I have the opportunity to broaden those skills and apply all that I have learned to the members at Sons of Norway.

Any hobbies?
I really enjoy traveling. I’ve had the opportunity to go to Europe 3 or 4 times and have been all over the U.S., Mexico and Canada. I also really enjoy the outdoors and like to spend hiking and camping or playing golf and tennis.

Do you have any hidden talents that will be handy at Sons of Norway?

Just this past summer I became a pretty good cook. So I am looking forward to testing out some Norwegian recipes. I also have a completely different talent in that I am very well versed in parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order. I also have a knack for remembering factual information.

Have you ever had any experience with Norwegian food? Lefse or Lutefisk? If so, what did you think of it?
I’ve never had any experiences with Norwegian food. Growing up in North-Eastern Wisconsin I wasn’t really exposed to Norwegian culture and cuisine until I moved to Minnesota. I’ve heard that some of the headquarters staff usually makes lefse at Christmas so I am looking forward to giving it a try!

It is only your first week, but are there any things at Headquarters that you’ve learned or experienced that have surprised you?
As an International Studies major I always had an interest in history and culture but I was surprised how fascinating Norwegian history is. I’ve spent some time this week familiarizing myself with Viking magazine and catching up on a number of the older issues and stories. I’ve especially enjoyed learning more about Norway during WWII.

Any closing thoughts or things you want the members to know about you that we haven’t talked about?
Just that I am really excited to meet them and share ideas!

We at headquarters are all very excited to welcome Joe to the team and look forward to working with him. So if you wish to extend your own words of welcome to Joe or just want to say hi, just leave a comment on the blog or email Joe at

Friday, October 8, 2010

Buy Less ... Knit More!

If you’re a knitter (or want to be), I hope you enjoyed September's issue of Viking. Our cover story, “Knit, Purl, Improvise,” by Denise Logeland, provides plenty of inspiration, resources and even a couple of great patterns to get your needles clicking. On page 9, you’ll find an article about the popularity of Norwegian sweater designs from Oleana. The brand got a boost recently when Michelle Obama bought four sweaters while visiting Norway.

Viking isn’t the only magazine lauding Oleana. In her article, “Wearable Art from Norway,” (which appeared originally in Nordic Reach magazine) writer Eva Stenskär highlights Oleana’s feminist philosophy, its profit-sharing practices and its refusal to outsource its labor. Stenskär quotes Oleana’s founder Signe Aarhus: “Our sweaters aren’t cheap, but we want to teach people that they need [fewer] but more beautiful clothes. It’s better to buy one beautiful item that you can wear for a long, long time than a lot of cheap stuff that you end up not wearing more than once anyway. This is in keeping with the ecological movement, too. We should all buy less.”

Yes to beautiful sweaters. Yes to buying less. And knitting more, I might add.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Oleana photo courtesy of Flickr user lazysaturday.