A warm, delicious grøtmiddag
Risengrynsgrøt is a perfect after-ski meal
By Kelsey Larson
In Telemark, Norway, January and February are cold, snowy months in which everyone has something in common: cross-country skis strapped to their feet.
At the school I attended, Telemark University College in Bø, I was part of a skiing class made up of mostly international students and led by a tough Norwegian instructor, Tone. Schooled in the art of friluftsliv (outdoor living), she led us on intense ski trips every Friday, with the goal of teaching us to love the wintery outdoors as much as the Norwegians do.
Often we skied straight from the backyard of the school into the farmer’s fields beyond, bisecting great open plains of fresh white snow, but occasionally we got on the bus and discovered other nearby trails. We visited Morgedal, “the birthplace of modern skisport” and Rauland, with its miles of sunny mountain trails.
As a Minnesotan, I was accustomed to flatness and was not always prepared for the Norwegian trails that seemed to wrap right around mountains. My herringbone definitely improved during my time in Norway! Other students from Kyrgyzstan, France and Romania didn’t have a cross-country ski tradition in their country and were in worse shape than I was.
However, despite our difficulties out on the trail, my classmates and I knew that when we got back to school the studentkantine (student cafeteria) would be faithfully serving delicious bowls of risengrynsgrøt with butter and cinnamon, along with refreshing glasses of saft. It was the perfect food to eat after a long ski: warm, sweet and satisfying after a day out on the snowy trails.
Try this recipe after a day of winter activities and savor your very own grøtmiddag (porridge-dinner). The kids will love it!
Norwegian Rice Pudding
6 cups milk
4 oz. (1/2 cup) white rice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
Rinse rice several times, boil up milk, sprinkle rice into it slowly, and allow porridge to simmer for an hour. Add sugar and salt. Serve with a pat of butter in the middle, sugar, and cinnamon, and a glass of saft, Norwegian fruit juice from concentrate. You can find this at your local Scandinavian shop, but whatever type of fruit juice you have on hand works just as well! Rice porridge is a traditional Christmas Eve dish in Norway, but it is enjoyed throughout the winter. Serves four.
Recipe adapted from “Norway’s Delights” by Elise Sverdrup
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 3, 2012 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.