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Carrying on Norwegian tradition

By Staff | Dec 5, 2014

Bernice Crandon


GILMAN – Bernice Crandon, soon to be 90, doesn’t let her age get in the way of keeping up a busy lifestyle both in and out of the kitchen.

Crandon lives on her family’s century farm and has for the last 60 years and it is a well-known fact her kitchen is always open.

Crandon is able to throw a meal together in a matter of minutes for anyone that may stop by, especially family members. Whether it is a meal put together from having a packed freezer or by cooking enough ahead of time so she has leftovers, there is always something to serve.

“I thoroughly enjoy having people over,” she said. “I am glad they are comfortable enough to just come on over and eat.”

-Farm News photo by Kriss Nelson Bernice Crandon keeps her Norwegian heritage alive each year through goodies she makes in her rural Gilman home.

Crandon said she really likes to make pies and bars but also casseroles. Casseroles she said are nice to have made up for those that might stop by for a meal.

She said she has some favorites, but enjoys trying new recipes.

Crandon said she learned to cook from her mother, Marie Medhus and she also gives credit to her excellent home-economics teacher, Grayce Reif.

“I always helped in the home,” said Crandon. “My mom did all of the cooking and housework and that’s how I was raised, to do things in the house.”

Crandon has a strong Norwegian heritage and enjoys bringing out those traditional Norwegian meals, especially for holiday gatherings.

Bernice Crandon makes Kringla each year with her grandchildren, great grandchildren and even a great great grandchild.

A lutefisk dinner is a big tradition for the Crandons. In addition to lutefisk, they feast on flatbroe and lefse, boiled potatoes and other home grown vegetables. They finish off the meal with some kringla, krumkake and other Norwegian favorites.

One of the highlights of serving a traditional Norwegian meal is the preparation. Crandon and the four generations below her will gather once a year to help make up the food.

“You can’t imagine how wonderful it is and I am so glad we have such a close family and they want to get together,” she said.


1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

4 eggs separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cups flour

1 cup cornstarch

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Add vanilla. Sift flour and cornstarch and then fold in beaten egg whites.

Cool dough just a bit.

Use a Krumkake iron to bake using one teaspoon of dough. When done, wrap on a wooden cone to shape immediately.

Rice Pudding

Put four cups of milk and one cup of rice in a double broiler and cook until rice is tender (when it can be pinched between two fingers).

Then add half of a cup or more or sugar to taste. Place some butter in the center of rice and sprinkle with cinnamon then serve.

You may add more milk to serve.

Fruit Supa

1/2 cup tapioca

36 prunes

1 1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 sticks of cinnamon

Sugar to taste

Soak prunes over night. Add raisins and the sticks of cinnamon. Cover with water and boil 30 minutes. Add tapioca and cook until tapioca is clear and then add sugar to taste.

Cherries, peaches, apricots, etc. maybe added if desired.


1 small carton sour cream

1 carton whipping cream

1 egg beaten

1 cup sugar

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

Mix together and chill the dough. Take a tablespoon of dough and roll to about the thickness of a pencil and then form into a figure eight. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet eight- to 10-minutes at 400-degrees on the highest rack in the oven.

Depending on size, this should make 36 cookies.


8 large potatoes with jackets on

Cook, peel and mash with a half of a stick of butter.

Let stand overnight.

On the next morning, divide into three equal parts and add half of a cup of cream to each portion.

Add equal parts of white flour and rye graham flour working into the potatoes until you can cut through it in smooth and stiff.

Take portion to roll using white flour on the surface and roll with lefse rolling pin until thin as possible.

Place on the lefse grill set at 500-degrees using a long dowel pin or lefse stick that is shaped to use moving the dough.

Brush with cloth on a short stick an egg wash made of one egg and one pint of milk.

Brown on both sides and then store in a cool pace until serving.

Crandon said she used Flatbra for their Lutefisk dinner or can be made into Lefse. She said they start by wetting each slice, then let it soften and spread with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cutting into triangular serving pieces.


5 cups of potatoes grated

1 teaspoon baking powder to each potato

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

Mix together and spoon into a boiling bone ham and broth.

Boil 20 minutes or until done. Serve with lots of butter and broth.

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