In the greatest reconnection of The North and The South found since peace after the Civil War,
there came along a marriage between a Viking and a Southern Belle. Um, a Real Viking (tm), one who can trace his roots clear back to Rolf (Rollo) the Walker. You know the guy who founded Normandy, was too big for a horse and knocked King Charles on his hind end due to a difficulty in appropriate toe kissing etiquette.
This carries more authenticity than a Viking football fan
or a North Dakotan who doesn’t know the difference between Lutfisk and Lefse
The Southern Belle can trace her ties back to a German who philandered with one too many French ladies and hauled himself and his offspring to West Virginia. Once he had slept off the wheat beer, he realized he had to make a farmer out of himself. Four hundred years later, they still have the land and are still *cough* trying to be farmers.
The merging of Christmas traditions has presented a unique set of challenges. She thinks anything that comes from a sheep, short of a good sweater, should stay on a sheep.
He believes if God wanted any part of a pig to taste sweet, then sows would poop fruit salad.
And what the hell is with the orange potato she keeps trying to feed him every year in a variety of disguises that have yet to cover the fact – that ain’t no tater?
She still searches for the sour cream when faced with the utter plainness of a boring boiled potato that resides on the Norse Christmas plate like a badge of honor to commemorate heartiness.
One thing they do agree on is the age old tradition of mulled wine at Christmas. Norwegians call it Gløgg (GLUG). Like eggnog in the States, it can be found every year pre-made at the grocery store and is equally lacking in Real Taste.
If you are well versed in the tradition of Christmas Cider, then Gløgg is a natural and easy adaptation.
The only thing you CAN’T do to Gløgg is allow it to boil (the goal is to KEEP the alcohol content). Short of that,use your knowledge of spices.
The first thing you need is a couple of bottles or a box of red wine. Any old cheap kind will do as the mulling process will overtake any efforts that a fine French vineyard put into making it taste fancy. If you want to be persnickety in tradition, use port wine.
Add to the large pot/cauldron/slow cooker of your choice and put on low heat. Add a cup of sugar (brown or white) (2.3 dl), more if you want it sweeter. Two cups (5 dl.) of orange juice. To which you add the spices of your choice - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger – let your taste buds and desire for a trip to the store help you decide. Start small, with a rounded teaspoon of this or that and add more along the way. Experiment with pie spice or pumpkin spice should the mood move you as these are often blends of the ingredients listed above. Toss in a handful of almond slices and a couple of boxes of raisins (at least a cup of each or 100grams). Float some slices of citrus (orange, lemon, lime, key lime) on top and even add the zest to the drink for that extra punch. Let that sucker slow cook for a while. Give it a least an hour once it’s reached a warm temperature before tasting and adjusting. As with cider, the longer, the better. The point is to infuse the spices into the wine.
It is also traditional to add more booze. Vodka, brandy, vermouth, rum, etc – just maybe skip the cream based booze or silly things like apple pucker. If your liver speaks to you or if you need to stay in the confines of coherant sentences, you can skip this step. But Real Vikings (tm) don't.
Variants include: (dice and toss in) candied ginger, candied orange, dried figs, dried plums
After a day in the snow or the stress of trying to figure out the credit card debt you just acquired for the holidays, nothing warms the belly or the spirit better than a good mug of Gløgg. Once the mug is drained, the drink keeps on giving in the form of a tasty snack at the bottom.