2011 Midwest Independent Publishers Association Midwest Book AwardsPraise
Finalist in the Cookbook Category
Jon M. Grinde, President, Idun Lodge, Sons of Norway
"'Gudrun's Kitchen' is a heartwarming recollection that will remind many of their own upbringings in Norwegian American households. Gudrun's personality, her foods, what she values, and her love of family are all captured for generations to enjoy in this wonderful book. Tusen takk!"
Joanne Raetz Stuttgen, folklorist and author of "Cafe Wisconsin" and "Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook"
"This is a delicious family album filled with snapshots of the many chapters of an ordinary woman's life — Norwegian immigrant, independent working woman, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, friend — expressed through the recipes and food for which she is lovingly remembered. It is as much Gudrun's personal history as it is a cultural history of America."
Joan Sanstadt, "Agri-View"
"Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a friend of Norwegian descent, or whether you want to try out some luscious new recipes, do take a look at 'Gudrun's Kitchen.' I can almost promise you’ll be hooked!"
"If you've never known a gifted old world cook, one who cooked just for the joy of it, then pick up a copy of 'Gudrun's Kitchen.' ... It's charming. It's enlightening. And the recipes are wonderful. I read every word and felt teary when Gudrun's story ended, but perked up as I went over each recipe. They're real treasures."
This review by Joan Sanstadt appeared in "Agri-View" on November 14, 2011
The first sentence in the Preface of this book tells it all: "This is the story of a life in food and family." History can be told in many different ways-perhaps through a person's travels, their medical history or through their literary interests. Two of Gudrun Thue Sandvold's children and two grandchildren put their heads together to come up with the book called "Gudrun's Kitchen: Recipes from a Norwgian Family." Together and with the help of as many relatives as they could find (both here and in Norway), Gudrun's recipes (her cooking was the stuff of legend) are now ready to be shared with readers of the book.
The family, whose history is here in the Midwest and also on the western coast of Norway, is well-told. It encompasses two Wolrd Wars, German occupation of Norway, and many tidbits of information that are interesting to all. Who knew there was a Norwegian newspaper in Chicago, for instance?
The book has its lighter moments. When Gudrun first heard people talking about "speakeasies" her immediate thought was, "Perfect. I don't speak English very well."
Gudrun and her husband, Irving, lived for 20 years in big cities. It was after they moved to a seven-acre farmette near Fort Atkinson, where Irving raised chickens and eggs, that Gudrun's fame as a cook really beagn to spread far and wide.
Grandchildren loved to visit knowing they'd enjoy a "hullabaloo" at grandma's house. The hullaballo was simply a huge platter of snacks that included cookies, pinwheels of peaches and oranges, carrot curls, ice cream and something good to drink. (Those pinwheels reminded me of the thinly-sliced oranges my granmother used to prepare for her grandchildren, only she called them wagon wheels.)
The recipes range from Norwegian Coffee Waffles, to all the traditional Norwegian dishes (yes, Lutefisk and Lefse are included), as well as Chinese recipes and soups. When I saw there were TWO Pea Soup recipes I was sure one of them had to be for the French-Canadian Pea Soup my cousin in Minnesota still makes. (Her recipe is best made with whole, yellow peas; hoever, they are nearly impossible to find.) However, one of Gudrun's pea soup recipes was blended and could be frozen and the other used either yellow or green split peas.
Gudrun must have had an especially patient butcher because her recipe for Norwegian Meatballs mentions how she'd ask the butcher "to grind the meat five or six times to get the best texture."
Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a friend of Norwegian descent, or whether you want to try out some luscious new recipes, do take a look at "Gudrun's Kitchen." I can almost promise you'll be hooked. The book is published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.
This review by Grace Edquist appeared in the January 2012 issue of "Madison Magazine."
"Gudrun's Kitchen" (2011, Wisconsin Historical Society Press) weaves the story of Norwegian immigrant Gudrun Sandvold, who settled in For Atkinson after arriving in the U.S. in 1923. Sandvold brought her traditional recipes to the states, and the elder's love for cooking inspired her children, Irene and Eddie, and grandchildren, Irene's daughter Ingeborg Hydle Baugh and Eddie's son Quinn Sandvold, to write the book. The result is a charming depiction of the impact food can have on families for generations.
With almost two hundred recipes, "Gudrun's Kitchen" gives familial and cultural context to traditional Nordic dishes like homemade meatballs, pickled watermelon rinds and rosette cookies. Although the food in this book is more traditional than the contemporary dishes of the New Nordic movement, it gives the reader insight into its roots.
The book contains a glossary of terms to clarify some of the foreign food lingo. One of the more familiar dishes in the world of Nordic cuisine is the smorgasboard, which translates to "bread and butter table." The smorgasbord is a traditional Nordic buffet of both hot and cold foods, such as meats, cheeses, salads, bread and fish.