In preparation for this issue, I started thinking about how special it is to live in a great state like Minnesota—where the cultures vary and the traditions are unique. I took a look at my own roots and how my Scandinavian ancestry has impacted family traditions.
Growing up, I always looked forward to going to our great grandmother’s house for an afternoon of baking krumkake and pizzelles (a Norwegian and Italian version of a waffle cookie, both very similar to one another). Later on, when I started celebrating the holidays with my fiancé’s family, I was introduced to lefse—a traditional Norwegian flatbread—and quickly fell in love with the sweet dish. I think it’s best served with butter and brown sugar, though it’s traditionally served as a savoury dish.
And it seems as though this may be a commonality in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, in 2018, over 1.2 million people claimed Scandinavian, including Norwegian and Swedish, heritage. (This marks the largest Scandinavian population in the U.S.) To look toward this common ancestry, writer Hanna McDaniels spoke with Norway House and the American Swedish Institute. On page 45, she shares the culture’s traditions and a few staple holiday recipes.
We’re sharing a plethora of comfort foods this November. On page 20, I break down the menu at I Heart Mac & Cheese, Woodbury’s newest eatery serving up warmth. For a sweeter selection, go to page 24, where writer Zoe Deal talks with The Board Loon’s Kelsey Bassett on building a hot chocolate grazing board. And finally, we’re talking about side hustles—but not the extra job picked up from time to time. Instead, writer Staci Perry Mergenthal gathers a few out-of-the-box dishes to serve alongside the main show this season. Find it on page 26.
From our team to your family, Happy Thanksgiving.