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July 25, 2014
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Julenisse; A Christmas phenomenon from Norway

According to Norwegian tradition, Julenisse is a Christmas elf that bestows gifts on those who have led a virtuous lifestyle.
Contributed photo


Nisse wisdom is a prescription for virtuous life, long attributed to the nisse. An eclectic mix of common sense, nonsense and humor, here are some nuggets of nisse advice.
Change underwear at least once a year.
Stay dry behind the ears.
Tell the others a good joke every day.
It’s obligatory to take a ladle of cod liver oil daily.
Don’t tease your neighbor more than once a month.
Even if you’re wrong, don’t give in.
A good laugh extends life.
Don’t overwork when you don’t have to.
Save the pennies and let the dollars go.
Don’t let the neighbors get more hay in their barn than you have in yours.
View change with skepticism.
Stay in shape and lift a horse with one outstretched arm daily.
[Excerpted from “The Norwegian Nisse: Its Amazing Life and History” by Frid Ingulstad]

Recipes for Julenisse’s favorite food and drink are here provided, to safeguard readers from the retribution of a disgruntled Julenisse. Please note that strong beer can be substituted for grog.
Hot Apple Grog with Blackcurrant and Cinnamon
Serves five
3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 dried blackcurrant leaves (can be excluded)
1/3 cup apple liquor
Bring apple cider to a boil with sugar, cinnamon stick and blackcurrant leaves.2
Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Add apple liquor just before serving.
Season to taste with more sugar.
[Adapted from New Scandinavian Cooking www.newscancook.com]
Cream Porridge
1 quart thick soured cream
1¾ cups flour
1 quart milk
1 tsp salt
Boil the soured cream (covered) for two minutes and stir in half the flour. Stir vigorously until the butter separates. Skim off butter and keep warm. Stir in the rest of the flour and mix in milk. Simmer the porridge for five minutes. Season with salt.

[For more information about Sons of Norway, visit www.sonsofnorway.com. New members are always welcome, and Norwegian ancestry is not a requirement; the primary requirement is having a strong interest in, and passion for, Norwegian culture. Visit www.3dsofn.org. Special thanks to Millie Diefenbach, Mikki Ryan and Sverre Aasgaarden.]