Blog Archive


Make a new tradition…

My name is Carstens Smith, and I coordinate classes  at  Ingebretsen’s.  I also teach at a small private college in the Cities.  Sometimes these dual lives intersect as happened recently when I was chatting with one of my students after class. She told me about a major upset in her family.  They had thought that, as a teenager, Grandmother had brought her beloved Swedish pancake recipe to America clutched tightly in her hands when she arrived.  Much to their dismay, they just discovered the recipe was not from a treasured scrap of paper with an ancestor’s cryptic directions.  All these years, Grandmother had been using a recipe she found in a Betty Crocker cookbook.

While family members were pointing fingers at one another for creating a mythology around the recipe, the student was sad.  She thought that without the recipe her family had no authentic traditions. I disagreed. They did have a tradition, gathering together regularly to eat Swedish pancakes made from a Betty Crocker recipe.  Really, did they need more back story behind the ritual than that?  In addition, the tradition now had another layer of narrative, the supposed vs. the real history.  They could add this humorous assumption into the story to tell future generations while they enjoy the pancakes.

At Ingebretsen’s we are dedicated to keeping tradition and heritage alive.  We also believe that each generation contributes its own meaning and signature to those traditions. We are all free to add new activities and rituals and to modify those that we inherit.  We encourage you to add a new food to the Christmas Eve dinner simply because you like it, or, if you are from a family that does not have a special Christmas Eve dinner, have one this year. If your family hasn’t sat around the dining table and made ornaments together, you can do that with your children. Choose the tradition you want to follow and make it yours.

Discover wonderful Christmas craft and cookbooks at Ingebretsen’s to guide you in creating your own traditions.  You can find many of the foods and materials that you will need, too.  Whether your Christmas traditions involve brewing a Christmas ale from a recipe handed down in the family since 1532 or a second annual sledding party followed by Swedish pancakes from a (gasp!) mix, enjoy.  (Scroll down to find the recipe.)

Start a tradition this year with our first annual Stockholm Festival of Lights this Saturday, December 21.  Bring your family to the Village Hall and create a luminary.  Come any time from noon on.  We will be placing these luminaries around the village during the afternoon.  Meet St. Lucia who will be strolling around Stockholm wearing her  winter white dress and electric candle crown.  Stop by Gelly’s Pub for saffron and cardamom buns in the afternoon and enjoy the Sue Orfield Band from 3 - 5.  Attend the lighting of the wheel of fire after dark at the Sidespot. 

God Jul!

We’d love to see you again,
Carstens, Diane, and Cindy