Talk to present Scandinavian food traditions June 23

Jun 12, 2018

Vinalhaven — The Vinalhaven Historical Society is holding its second in a series of events that focus on Scandinavians in Maine June 23. Food and food traditions among Finns, Norwegians and Swedes will be the topic, includeing the sharing of food traditions like the Swedish FIKA and recipes like Christmas head cheese and rice pudding, among others.

Jacqueline Harjula, president of The Finnish Heritage House in South Thomaston, will be guest presenter and baker of Finnish nissua (coffee bread) and Pannukakku (oven pancakes) from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the American Legion Hall on Main Street.

As Harjula recalls, “My Finnish grandparents, Ida and Erick Harjula, came to this country at the turn of the century. They settled on River Road in South Thomaston and established a dairy farm. Of their 13 children, the six boys milked the cows and delivered the milk before school. The girls were kept busy with cleaning, cooking and tending the gardens and the chickens.“ Family traditions embedded in her memory include going from her family home to the grandparents' farm, a mile away, “every Friday with my parents for some fresh chocolate milk and a refreshing sauna.”

Harjula returned to her childhood surroundings in Maine in 2003 and to groups interested in cultural traditions such as the Finnish-American Society of Midcoast Maine, the Finnish Congregational Church in South Thomaston and the Finnish Heritage House in the former parsonage, which sponsors Finnish musicians, lecturers, exhibits, language lessons, a kantele (music) group, and a Saturday “store” where each season, hundreds of loaves of pulla/nissua are available for sale to the public.

The Vinalhaven Historical Society opens its museum at 41 High St. for the season June 18 with the feature summer exhibit:" Swedes, Norwegians and Finns Work and Settle on Vinalhaven 1850-1940." Open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturdays in July and August).

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.