Welcoming Jul Season with Holmegaard

Jul is perhaps the most special time of year for Danes. It is full of hyggeligt moments: great food, friends, atmosphere, and light. There is something almost magical about grabbing a cozy sweater and warm jacket, your favorite embroidered mittens, warm boots, and heading out to the forest to find the perfect Juletræ. Then you come home and enjoy some special spiced snaps, in front of a roaring fire with your favorite people. Skål!


Imagine my delight at finding these vintage Holmegaard crystal snaps glasses just begging to be filled with Portland’s locally made spiced akvavit made by Rolling River Spirits, Bjørkevoll’s Gamle Holiday Aquavit. The amber hue of MY favorite holiday akvavit is only enhanced by Holmegaard’s stunning crystal.


The mid-century design of Holmegaard’s Kastrup Princess line is both modern and timeless, simultaneously. Designed by Bent Severin and made in Denmark, they are perfectly proportioned, and oh-so-nice in your hand; it’s understandable why Holmegaard is a premier glassmaker in Denmark. Look at how lovely they are; the handblown teardrop is so beautiful!


Holmegaard Label

Though these vintage glasses haven’t been produced since the early 1960’s, I love their new glassware collections; You know what is on my Christmas wishlist, right? Holmegaard’s iconic Klukflaske spirits bottle (“Kluk” in Danish), famed to make the famous “glug-glugging” sound as you pour due to the unique 4-column design. It’s the perfect gift for those special people who made the nice list this year!


What are your favorite Danish or Scandinavian snaps glasses and what do you enjoy drinking from them after an evening of putting up your Christmas tree?

A Rare Glimpse at the Traditional Folk Costume of Northwest Sjælland

Traditional folk costume is a source of pride for Scandinavian countries. Norway has their bunad, strictly regulated folk costumes that represent specific localities or regions, Sweden has both a national folk costume and traditional folk costume representing specific localities. Denmark, like Norway and Sweden has traditional folk costumes, but outside of Denmark, it is not as well known as the Norwegian and Swedish folk costumes. Perhaps it is due to lack of a national costume. Or perhaps, it’s that as Danes, we tend to embrace the most modern of sensibilities and aesthetics. That said, those who have inherited a beloved Danish folkedragt from farmor or are active in the Scandinavian community through folk dancing, heritage, lodge membership, or an affinity for history, many of us eventually seek to find the folk dress representative of where we have called home or where our family has come from.

It is worth noting that these are not simply costumes in the sense they are not worn for Halloween. Traditional folk dress is an homage to our lineage and ancestors. It links past with present and is grounded in tradition. Folkedragter are a labor of love. Very specific materials often woven in specific patterns and colors from silk, wool, linen, and cotton are not easy to come by in an age of petroleum based textiles. Complete with real gold or silver jewelry, buttons, buckles, clips, and bridal crowns, these can be expensive. Though Denmark doesn’t have the strict regulations of Norway’s bunads, Danish folkedragt these days are still made with much care and worn with reverence and pride. It would be appropriate to wear folkedragt for all special occasions, holidays, and milestone events. Of course, folkedragter would be lovingly cared for and preserved to give to future generations to wear.

I’m in love with her knit mitts. Pretty and practical!

There are gaping holes in available resources in the United States. Outside of extant garments, F.C. Lund lithographs from the first Schlesvig War, and folkedragt examples out of Denmark, what’s a girl to do when she can’t find her region/locale represented on the internet or the folk costume books collections from longtime enthusiasts in her area? In my case, years ago when I was attending university, I was able to use WorldCAT book exchange through my university library to borrow a rare book featuring the folk costume from my family’s region of Denmark, Northwest Sjælland. Imagine my delight to find this same rare book, Folkedragter I Nordvestsjælland, by J. S. Miller, deaccessioned from the library and listed on eBay. I snapped it up as quickly as I could pronounce the title! This wonderful book, wholly in Danish, dating from 1926, contains 155 illustrations and 12 colored lithographs as well as some original photos. I’ll share more of this rare book later, but I couldn’t wait to share some sneak peeks!

Danish Cold Soups Perfected with Oregon Berries

What a treat for those that were able to join our lodge meeting in June! With local, legendary Mt. Hood strawberries, aka ‘Hoods’, in season, we were spoiled for our meal with Danish Brotherhood Lodge #167 member Jesper Pedersen making the wonderfully hard-to-pronounce dessert soup, Rødgrød med fløde, and Sisterhood member Ava Hansen making the Koldskål.

For old-timers and 1st generation Danes, these are both well-loved dishes and usually seasonal favorites. Koldskål med kammerjunker lends itself perfectly to the late spring and summer months when it is too hot to cook in one’s kitchen, and berries are at their peak. We are so blessed in Portland area, in the Willamette Valley, to have some of the most fertile soil and bountiful agricultural lands that we can enjoy some amazing seasonal harvests here. It is no wonder that Scandinavians settled here!

Jesper, being from Denmark made the Rødgrød med fløde without hesitation. Jesper states, ” I got a wonderful request to make the old and traditional spring-summer delight, Rødgrød med fløde, for the Danish Sisters of Portland. The 20 Lbs of berries are a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, boiled and broken down, then sieved to discard seeds and then thickened to be served when cooled down, with heavy cream.” Jesper notes that it’s a favorite pastime for Danes to ask non-Danish speaking friends to pronounce it; it’s notoriously difficult- and a great way to fill the atmosphere with giggles while enjoying this fresh dessert. A big thank you from the Danish Sisters of Mt. Hood Lodge to Jesper for this special treat!

Ava, a third-generation Dane, on the other hand relied on two of her favorite Danish foodie blogs to make the cold buttermilk soup and vanilla cardamom biscuits. The blog run by Dane, Kim, Nordic Food & Living, featured the recipe that appeared to be the most most traditional by all accounts, that could be easily prepared for a large crowd. The only adaptations made for our meal was to use fresh lemon juice, and choosing a heavy fat Bulgarian style buttermilk. All the Danes that grew up eating this in Denmark summers stated that this recipe was spot on. For the kammerjunker, Ava relied on My Danish Kitchen. The kammerjunker perfectly complimented the tartness of the cold buttermilk soup. Following the recipe provided on the My Danish Kitchen blog, you’ll find no changes necessary – perfection as is! To serve, ladle the Koldskål into individual serving bowls, top with hand crumbled kammerjunker, and then garnish with ‘Hoods’ if you have them, or other in-season berry of your choice.

Lodge Fundraiser Helps Local Campers


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Our 5th Annual Himmelbjerget Fundraiser went off without a hitch. Again we hosted a traditional Dansk Store Kolde Bord. Why do we do this year after year? To ensure kids in our community get the chance to explore Danish Culture in a supportive and fun environment at the premier Danish Camp held at the Menucha Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon every summer. The camp is a program of the Northwest Danish Association, and as most camps are, it is expensive to send their child to this full week, away-from-home camp. Campers who attend always want to go back, year after year, and as they age, campers often volunteer to become counselors. This is the tradition our lodge supports.


Quilt Raffle Winner with the Quilter who made it, Betty McKinney


We are really grateful for the supporters of this fundraiser and are pleased to report a gross income of $4,446.25 in funds that after expenses can go towards deserving children who will be able to make memories and friendships that can last a lifetime. This year, Mt. Hood Lodge awarded $4,300 in camp scholarships ($2,900 was from our general camp grant fund and $1,400 was from our Zoey Frontella camp grand fund). This enabled 12 children to attend Himmelbjerget Danish Camp. Thank you also to Hanne Wagner and Kaja Voldbaek, the amazing mother-daughter duo who coordinated and planned the 2017 fundraiser; we raise our glasses to you for a job well done. Skål!

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Vancouver, B.C. or Bust!

“Downtown Vancouver Sunset” – Wikipedia

Our lodge is one of many Danish Sisterhood Lodges in the Pacific Northwest, and we convene annually for fun, comraderie, great Danish food, and memories in a different lodge host city. Every lodge and town is unique and as fellow Sisters, each lodge proves to be gracious hosts! This year, road trip with us up to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for a great time in a beautiful city. This year, the convention is hosted by Danish Sisterhood, Dogwood Lodge #179 and Danish Brotherhood Lodge #328.

Representing Mt. Hood Lodge in 2011, from left to right: Marian, Grete, Christina, and Melissa

2011 Silent Auction

Dogwood Lodge was the first lodge organized in Canada and they just celebrated their 45th anniversary in 2016. We look forward to visiting you, Dogwood lodge! They’ve arranged for the convention to take place at the Sandman Hotel, right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Download the registration form here.

Vikings know how to have a good time!

Meeting other lodge delegates from all over the Pacific Northwest is one of the highlights… many lasting friendships are formed at District Conventions.

Fastelavn Comes to Mt. Hood Lodge


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2017 Kattedronning “The Cat Queen”

Our lodge hosted our first annual Fastelavn party yesterday for our families and friends in the community and it was a resounding success. We had just over 50 people attend to make the party magical for the children. We enjoyed seeing the children really work hard to “beat the cat” out of the barrel, make fastelavnsris, run the relay race, and enjoy our Carnival themed Photo Booth.

Relay Race

Relay Race


“Beating the Cat” out of the barrel in the Slå katten af Tønden game.

2017 Kattekonge "King of Cats"

2017 Kattekonge “The Cat King”

Thank you to all who came to our party and to those those who volunteered to make it a lot of fun for everyone –including those without little ones.


Adult Costume Contest

Adult Costume Contest

There is really nothing better than Danish pastries and there is pastry for every Danish occasion, including Fastelavn. There are many kinds of Fastelavnsboller and many different kinds of filling. I made several batches prior to Fastlavn to determine which would be best for our party. First, I made the traditional boller made from yeasted pastry dough and filled with vanilla bean crème patisserie and almond remonce, all made made from scratch. It was stuffed, baked, glazed, and oh, so delicious! It was also quite labor intensive since the yeasted dough had to rise, and be perfectly sealed so that the filling wouldn’t leak whilst baking. The result were these luscious little boller, pictured here. I think these are best suited to making small batches for friends and family.



With such a large attendance for our party, I made the version that uses a choux pastry dough instead of a yeasted pastry dough… there are many recipes for this type of fastelavnsboller that can be found, but I use my tried and true choux pastry recipe for this version. Choux pastry dough comes together relatively quick and it’s simple to make in double batches, or in this case to make a quintuple batch for a large event.


Instead of filling the dough before it bakes, you halve the baked bun after it finishes baking, and then assemble the fastelavnsboller with fancy fillings just before serving. I decided on two options to serve at our party: fastelavnsboller med flødeskum og marcipan (boller with whipped cream and marzipan) and fastelavnsboller med flødeskum og chokolade glasur (boller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze). My personal favorite is just the simple marzipan filling and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, but children inevitably like the chocolate glazed boller with sprinkles the best.

Fastelavnsboller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze.

Fastelavnsboller with whipped cream and chocolate glaze.

It’s so simple and cost effective to make marzipan at home in large batches for the purposes of Danish baking, I don’t know why anyone would bother buying prepackaged. I mean, if you need marzipan for baking, you probably need a lot of it. And if you like Danish baking, or Scandinavian baking in general, you’re going to go through marzipan like nobody’s business! Here is my recipe for marzipan. You can find others out there and they are all pretty good too, but here is my version that I think tastes best in my Danish baked goods.

Marzipan Recipe

I received Trine Hahnemann’s cookbook, Scandinavian Bakingfor Christmas, and I just love it. I’ve made 5 recipes already from her cookbook, and it’s proving a household favorite. Marzipan can be expensive if needed in great quantities. A good quality marzipan should have the majority proportion ingredients from almonds, but most store-bought brands offer only 1/3 to 1/4 almond ratio. You can make a large quantity, of really excellent quality marzipan, very economically. It’s perfect for Fastelavnsboller, Othellokage, Tebirkes, and more! This recipe is adapted from Trine Hahnemann’s cookbook. I like the portion here, as I can use it for 2-3 different baking projects on average. I like to make a large batch of marzipan and then freeze any unused portion.


1 1/8 Lb. (500 g) raw almonds

7/8 Cup ( 100 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more to dust

1-3 Tbsp pure almond extract (or to taste)*

1 splash food grade rosewater

3 ¼ Tbsp (50 ml) water


In a medium saucepan, bring enough water to boil to cover almonds. Once at a full boil, add almonds and blanch for several minutes. Drain the hot water from the almonds and rinse with cool water. Keep the almonds moist as you remove the almond skins.

Put the almonds in a food processor, and using a blade attachment, process until it becomes a paste. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and blend again until completely incorporated and smooth. Then add the almond extract, rosewater, and water and blend well in the food processor for a final time. *I prefer a strong almond flavor in my marzipan (especially if it will be made into remonce or frangipane), so I typically add more almond extract, but 1 Tbsp is a good baseline.

Take the marzipan out of the food processor and knead by hand on a clean work surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Let the marzipan rest a least 1 hour before using and store in the refrigerator. It keeps for up to 3 weeks, sealed in plastic wrap in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It may be frozen for up to 3 months.

Makes 1 1/3 Lb. (600 G)

Enjoy! – Ava
Danish Language Lesson

almonds = mandler

sugar = sukker

almond extract = mandel ekstrakt

water = vand

confectioner’s sugar = konditor sukker

Quilting for Campers


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Himmelbjerget Quilt Raffle

Every year, Mt. Hood Lodge is proud to support Himmelbjerget, the Danish language and culture camp for youth ages 10-18 at the Menucha Retreat in Corbett, Oregon. This beautiful camp overlooks the stunning Columbia River Gorge, a truly unique setting for one of the few Danish camps in the United States. One of the ways we support the camp is by fundraising for scholarships for local youth to attend the camp. In 2016, we were able to help 12 children attend Himmelbjerget! This year, one of our members, Betty McKinney, donated this stunning basket motif quilt to raffle for Himmelbjerget camp scholarships. Isn’t it lovely in a classic blue and white palette?! (The lighting in the pictures show a creamy off-white, but it’s really a crisp bright white).

Himmelbjerget Quilt RaffleHimmelbjerget Quilt Raffle

We are selling raffle tickets for this heirloom quilt that just covers the surface of a queen size bed. It even comes with a matching cover for stylish storage! Tickets will be for sale at our lodge meetings and events and the winner will be drawn at the Himmelbjerget fundraiser dinner on April 29, 2017 at the Condolea Terrace Clubhouse. The raffle tickets are a good deal as quilts of this caliber are worth well over a thousand dollars. Tickets are sold at $3 each or 4/$10. Alternatively, raffle tickets can be purchased by mail, postmarked no later than April 15th, 2017, checks payable to Mt. Hood Lodge #81, (along with a SASE for tickets) can be mailed to Christina Sallee, at 16116 SW Deline Court, Beaverton, OR 97007. You need not be present at the fundraiser dinner to win. Good luck!


Boller: A Bun for All Occasions


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With the Christmas season decidedly over and all the beautiful Danish Jul ornaments tucked away for another year, our lodge is in great anticipation of our next Danish holiday, Fastelavn, celebrated in Denmark in February. We are just over a month away from our lodge’s Fastelavn celebration and perhaps most excitingly, that much closer to sinking our teeth into the much favored Fastelavnsboller (Shrovetide Bun or Lenten Bun). Fastelavn is a celebration similar to Carnival or Mardi Gras, but a decidely Danish way to celebrate right before Lent.

In looking through my Danish cookbook and recipe collection for the perfect Fastelavnsboller to make for our party next month, I realized the great variety of boller (buns) there are that are enjoyed other times during the year. There are boller for birthdays, boller for tea and coffee, savory boller that can be used for sandwiches, chocolate boller, and Kings Boller, to name a few. Basically, think of a reason to eat boller, and you can probably find one. They are not always the sweet little cream and marzipan filled dessert we like to think of at Fastelavn. With that, I want to share one of my vintage recipes for boller from my personal collection: teboller (tea buns). I highly suggest for any kind of baking, but especially Danish baking, to obtain a small digital scale for best results.

Vintage Teboller Recipe Card

Vintage Teboller Recipe and Photo Card courtesy of Det gode Køkken, København.

Teboller (Danish Tea Buns) 

This vintage recipe probably dates back to the 1960s and states that these cardamom flavored buns are so easy to prepare that even kids can help. Try this and let me know what you think! Please pardon any translation errors.


500 g wheat flour

70 g yeast

100 g unsalted butter

1 Tbsp cardamom

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 dl lukewarm water

1 beaten egg

pearl sugar


Put the wheat flour into a mixing bowl, cut in the yeast and butter. Add the cardamom, sugar, salt and lukewarm water and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Shape the dough into 16-18 uniform buns and place them on a lined baking sheet. Leave to rise in a warm place, covered with a clean cloth, for about 15 minutes. Brush the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle them with pearl sugar. Bake the buns in the center of the oven at 220°C (428°F) for about 15 minutes. Serve warm, split and spread with butter and enjoy with your faborite tea or cup of strong coffee. These will store for a couple of days in an airtight storage container.

Hilsen, Ava