Rory and I went to our local coffee shop-like venue, Taste of Scandinavia, for lunch this beautiful Valentine’s Day. Nothing like a gaggle of elderly Lutherans in red sweaters to really festive up a place. For Rory, white-haired people eating mostly white food is a culture shock. For me, it is a return to my roots where all food was suitably demure. A good Scandinavian cook–and we had many in the family: Hulda, Goodrun, Solveig, Lillian–understood the importance of monochromatic presentation. Foods that stubbornly insisted on announcing themselves color-wise could always be tamed by a coating of whipped cream or white sauce.
There is a very funny foreign-language film that addresses Scandinavian culinary culture called Babette’s Feast. If dried, salted cod is not your thing, you may not fully appreciate the film, but if you grew up thinking that lefse was one of the four food groups, it will be right up your alley.
ATTN SCANDINAVIANS: Avert your eyes from the greenish glow of the plate. It is an unfortunate color artifact and is not meant to represent an actual lefse feast which would, naturally, be color-less.
*Scandinavian for ‘oy vey’