Gleðilegt sumar! Happy summer! You’ve survived the long hard winter once again and now it’s summer according to the Icelandic calendar.
Warm days are tickets to happiness on our mothership móðir jórð (mother earth). As she moves us through this viral time reminiscent of 1876 and 1918 we are humbled and ever hopeful that we will arrive safely and soon.
Along with global communities, we are shifting seasons and seeking balance while facing the waves and storm of a pandemic.
Our Viking immigrant ancestors faced this too from their pioneer pantries with earnest confidence, ambition, resourcefulness and hopefulness even then.
In this time of transition we’re isolated as they were. We’re figuring out what to do individually and globally from the same place they did, at our kitchen tables.
Getting cosy with food is a favourite past time in the so-called quarantine kitchens. Emerging bread makers and home chefs are cooking up the contents of their pandemic pantries. Lots of ideas and techniques are learned from prolific new sources and live events streamed on their mobile devices.
I love to see what the truckloads of flour, sugar, eggs, butter and yeast transported to home kitchens across North America have been transformed into.
How about trying Lovise Beate Augustine Friedel’s Wienertærte recipe from 1795?
L.K. Bertram’s new book ‘Viking Immigrants Icelanders in North America’ shares this early Vinarterta recipe, and more as well as 40 pages on the history of Vinarterta plus, notes and historical references. And it’s more than that.
Laurie brilliantly shares the visible and tangible evolutionary history of Icelandic culture in North America over 150 years. She provides access to the not so visible connecting fibres that have informed how and who we are today through stories of clothing, epidemic, coffee, politics, war, ghost stories and the ‘Icelandic cake fight’ that is Vinarterta.
Timely, grounded and creative storytelling allows access to a way deeper understanding of where we have come from than you ever thought before. The research is excellent and the tales are real and entertaining.
Laurie channels the Icelander in all of us for whom a ticket to happiness is a properly made cup of strong coffee, curling up with a good book and a bit of argumentative cake.
It will be no surprise when ‘The Viking Immigrants’ becomes a NY Times Best Seller because every curious history buff, Viking descendant and Icelandophile will own one. They’ll read it intently and affectionately, while at once critically as they do, with many good cups of coffee and a maybe a slice of Vinarterta.
Warm days and connecting with what’s at the heart of your heart is a sure ticket to happiness too on our mothership móðir jórð (mother earth).
Sending lots and lots of love,
The Viking Immigrants Special Has Arrived! Choose Traditional Plum, Cranberry/Rhubarb or Gluten Free.
(The book is $35.95. No extra shipping when added to your Vinarterta Order!)
P.S. Photo Laurie Bertram on Instagram @thevikingimmigrants
The Viking Immigrants: Icelandic North Americans
By L.K. Bertram © 2020
From 1870 until 1914, almost one-quarter of the population of Iceland migrated to North America. The Viking Immigrants examines how the distinctive culture that emerged in Icelandic North American communities – from food and fashion to ghost stories and Viking parades – sheds light on a century and a half of change and adaptation.
Through an analysis of the history of everyday forms of expression, L.K. Bertram reveals the larger forces that shaped the evolution of an immigrant community. This exploration of the Icelandic North American community draws on rare and fascinating sources of community life, including oral histories, recipes, photographs, and memoirs. By using a multi-sensory approach to the immigrant experience, The Viking Immigrants uses often-overlooked cultural practices such as clothing production, the preservation of recipes, and the telling of ghost stories to understand tension and transformation in an immigrant community.