I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.  READ MORE...

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a seat at my Table

8

June 2016

June 8, 2016

Found in |

My second visit to Uvdasleieven is underway and as I draw nearer to the bakery, I pass the Uvdal Byggdetun & Stave church, a reminder of the days past and the history of this place. The horses have come to graze nearby and I stop for a moment to take in the surroundings. There’s a peacefulness in Numedal, in the towns which lay throughout. Enriched by gentle people, the structures of their labor and their heritage amidst a landscape of pure, unadulterated nature. I’m reminded how food has shaped and been shaped by the culture, and how certain delicacies remain as pure as the landscape. One such iconic product, which is so commonplace and at the same time ensues such nostalgia and longing for, is Kling. Hanne and Hanne K greet me with smiles as they carry on mixing, rolling and baking. Their day started at 5.30 this morning, and I’m only now joining them as they carry on working until the work is done. No clock to follow, only the work of their hands counting down the minutes. Today, they are making kling. You and I might call it lefse, but to anyone from these parts, it is kling. Whether with a smear of butter and sugar or served plain, this is kling from Uvdal. Hanne’s recipe has won over many fans, boasting a light and delicate kling, with my favorite being sugar and butter sandwiched between two kling and cut into large triangles. Rolling each kling by hand is a practice not suitable to the demands of production. These days, a machine aids in the rolling, but in no way is an indication of the process being easy. Each dough must go through the machine a total of 14 times, and each time through, the ladies must flour, turn, adjust and observe. There is an unspoken synchronization at work. It is second nature to them, but I can see it clearly. One makes the dough, the other rolls the prepared dough and when enough kling has been rolled out, one will make their way toward the takke. If cooking one at a time isn’t hard enough, they cook two simultaneously. Alternating and flipping. And this method carries on, with each task being traded off between the two of them so there is a balance. For both body and mind. The recipe is from her grandmother. And as each one begins to bubble and brown, they are placed on top of each other and wrapped in a blanket of plastic and fabric. Stored overnight, they will be prepared the following day. Some will be given a coating of butter and sugar, while the rest will be left plain. Hanne tells me that the plain kling goes well with warm beta soup, or topped with some butter and eaten with rakfisk. She reveals that her custom is to eat it with a bowl of risengrot (rice porridge), although this is not common practice. A habit she indulges in at home on the rare occasion. There’s a quietness today. Hanne is quick to explain that on kling days they generally keep conversation to a minimum. They work in auto-mode and move to the beat of the radio playing in the background until it’s time for a short break. Coffee, served black and taken on the front steps. We reminisce over the area and the history of the place. We discuss kling and markets. We agree that tradition is strong in these parts and that everyone is proud of their heritage, their recipes and the hard work that goes into every morsel. I’m not from here. I’m only a guest, but I feel closer to this valley and the people, because of these conversations and people like Hanne and Hanne Karine. Hanne is a great example of the labor and love that goes into maintaining tradition and running a business. Her products speak for themselves in quality and flavor. And in an area where everyone makes their own version of her products and swears by their family recipe, she certainly has to work even harder to standout. And she does so gracefully. She is a great advocate for Uvdal and the traditions of the community. She’s not the only one, but she is a voice and her products carry a certain weight of importance as they tell the stories of the area’s food culture to those passing through and they can also inspire others to see the value in local products.

Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

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