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December 16, 2004


Cathy Kooy

I want some now! Ahh, tradition. It makes us crazy.

David Stephen Ball-Romney

Today and tomorrow are the 2 least auspicious days ("9 Bad Omens") on the Tibetan calendar. Therefore, while hiding in my home and avoiding the commencement of new activities, I did not anticipate the possibility of posting on your blog. To break with this tradition would terrify many Buddhists and would require an extreme circumstance.

Your break with tradition is one of the most extreme exceptions; in fact, it takes the cake!

And if I hear that you've given up the traditional holday gifts and started to buy those electric Furrbie dolls, I'll puke!

That said, I'll admit that I made a break with the family tradition (Mormonism) years ago. Though my reasons for doing this abound, I do still value some of the trappings, albeit not the dogma.

Grandmother Romney made the best fruit coctail I ever expect to taste in this lifetime. It was a family heirloom too, not in the sense that her recipe was handed down to us, but in a more literal sense, in the secret to her recipe:
She let the jars sit in her basement for over twenty years before serving them to us. Given that amount of time, the juices mixed in ways that no health department North of the Rio Grande would allow, nor should they! But some would argue that it was a delight well worth the risk. Maybe they were right, but please do not try this at home!

Gil Jensen

Sorry, I am a traditionalist. I just made today my yearly batch of krumkake, this time with the help of my youngest daughter. We used my grandmother's stove top iron, brought from Norway about 100 years ago (handles are a bit weird and do get hot). The only tradition that I skipped, is that in the depression, my dad got the assignment of grinding the cardomon by using a pie tin and a hammer - I use a mortar and pestle instead. Merry Christmas!


A dear colleague and I discovered the joy of baking krumkake together in my kitchen last year. Her aging mother watched us as she sipped on a lovely fluted glass of juice she thought was wine. Before her dementia she and her girls made these cookies. Tears of tenderness welled in all our eyes as we spent the afternoon enjoying a tradition we long yearned to share with those who could appreciate in our joy. I delivered tins of these blonde treasures to neighbors who later shared recipes, stories and tender memories. I wonder which was the sweetest . . . practicing our shared tradition, indulging friends, eating
a lions share of this delicate lace, or the pride we share in our Nordic heritage. Thank you Nordic Ware for your
wonderful electric krumekake iron. I hope to have one of
my own someday so I can make them more often and
twice as fast with the two of us in our traditional kitchen.


I, too, have my Grandmother's cast iron Krum Kager iron (Kockums, from Sweeden). I don't think I could break tradition of standing over the stove for about 2 hours per batch. I'm still working on the correct amount of batter and remembering to disconnect the smoke alarms. I now know why my Mom always insisted on using the same odd spoon to ladle the batter. I didn't get that spoon when she passed. I use the same recipe from a Scandinavian cook book dated 1941, and give them out to friends in a shoe box, which was always a tradition.

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