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Archive for July, 2010

On February 9, 1945 (only a few months before Germany surrendered in Norway) the Dallachy strike wing of the RAF flew a mission over Førde fjord in Norway to attack German shipping along the Norwegian west coast. The ensuing battle was the largest aerial clash over Norway during World War II. While the air battle occurred over a large area, the battle center around the anchorage point of a German convoy in Førdefjord near a farm called Frammarsvik in the community of Naustdal. Several British planes were lost in the battle, crashing into the fjord or on nearby farms.

In 1990 a museum dedicated to the air battle along with a cafe was built in the Frammarsvik area and included artifacts from the battle, a movie and many battle plan maps, photographs and models. Over the past 10 years they have entertained guests from the UK, Canada, Germany and the USA who were involved in the air battle as well as war historians researching material on the battle.

Recently the Luftkampmuseeum (Aerial combat museum) and Håjen Café celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary while unveiling a major renovation of the museum and cafe. The renovation, funded in part by the Sogn og Fjordane fylkeskommune, includes photos recently released from the Norwegian National Archives as well a privately owned photos donated by family members of the pilots, recorded accounts from survivors of the battle, and a published book that was extensively research both in Norway and England.

The Luftkampmuseeum and Håjen Café are located on the Slettehaug family farm in Naustdal kommune in the fylke of Sogn og Fjordane on Norway’s west coast. Håjen Café includes a locally known lefse bakery along with it’s well received cafe and catering service. Chef Else Slettehaug builds her menu around locally produced foods, some grown just outside the cafe window. Håjen specializes in traditional foods made from scratch, including all sorts of lefse, pancakes and other traditional cakes such as “bløtkake”, kransekake, krumkake and many more. Holiday meals at Christmas and Easter may include pinnekjøtt, lutefisk and svineribbe. The café is also know for desserts and ice cream many of them made of raspberries from the farm.

Håjen Café can be followed on Facebook.

Contributing Editor
Ken Nordan

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In articles I have written for the Norwegian-American Weekly and for this blog I have noted some interesting Norway related facts from the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago.

  • I know of only three building left from the 1893 Expo, 1) Art Institute of Chicago building, 2) Museum of Science & Industry building, 3) The Norway Building in Little Norway Wisconsin.
  • A viking ship replica sailed from Bergen Norway to Chicago to prove that a ship of this type could make it to North America and is still around for you to see.
  • Norwegian smoked sardines were introduced to the United States at the World Exhibition in Chicago. Additionally, other world markets were explored.

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor

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“Back in the day”, the Citizens Band (“CB”) radio was all the rage. I had a CB, my friends had CBs, and we all hand “handles”. A handle is the little name that you gave yourself so that people could “call you” on the radio. I also had a license. CB users (at the time) were required by the FCC to have a Class “D” license and you were given a “call sign”. My call sign started with KAPA but I can not remember the rest right now.

Sorry… I am getting a little carried away with my memory recall. I’m sure you are asking yourself “how does this relate to the title of this entry: ‘Young people eat less fish in Norway’. Well, as I said above, I had a CB handle that friends would use to contact me. And this name does relate to this article. I called myself “The Norwegian Sardine”, because in our house we ate those little King Oscar brisling sardines. I never knew what a brisling was but boy I loved those little fish. Dad would pull from the cabinet one of those flat little cans wrapped in red plastic. After tearing open the wrapper he would pry off the skate key like tool and proceed to open the can. Around and around he would turn the key and after what felt like forever, it would eventually open.

We grew up eating sardines, it was part of our culture, every good Norwegian family as well as many other families from a European heritage had sardines for some of their meals. Back then we were not aware of the health benefits associated with eating fish with high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty oils, today we do know but we usually get our “O3” oils from a pill made from sardines.

I was reading an article last week on NRK.com about the fact that young people and especially young women eat less and less fatty fish in Norway. For most of them the reason is that they do not like the taste. Fish, like vegetables, are an acquired taste and if you are not introduced to them early (my wife the dietitian would say “early and often”) children rarely become adults who eat fish and vegetables. In this article one individual interviewed stated “…it is especially important to do something in relation to young women and get them to eat fish so they can transfer the good habits to the next generation when it comes to eating fish.”  The article noted an article by the Norwegian Helsedirektoratet discussing that “Fish consumption is lower than desired, and substantially lower than the consumption of meat.”

This is so true about many of the dietary issues we see here in the USA and now many health-care providers are seeing them in Norway. Whether it is eating balanced meals at home or ordering the right meals at restaurants and fast food establishments, it is the parents (and in many cases the mother) that have control over what families eat. My wife the dietitian reminds me over and over, parents are the prime teachers of good eating habits. Even if the fast food company targets the kids with toys in their fun meals, the parents have the final say, they can as the NRK.com article implies, use eating right as a “teaching moment”.

Mom, I eat my vegetable every day and still have a can of sardines once a week.

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor

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