Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mortensen? Mikkelsen? Sorensen? Olsen?

Now that Plain But Wholesome is pretty much wrapped up, I've been wondering what to write next. I've been thinking about a little foodways book that focuses on Utah's Scandinavian food traditions over the generations since the original emigrants. This would not be a history like PBW, but more of a look at folklore and family ties, and how foodways evolve over time.

This would require that I find people with Scandinavian roots and interview them about their foodways. I was in Ephraim, Utah a year ago (an historic stronghold of Scandinavian settlement) and ran into a woman whose last name was Christensen. She didn't know her husband came from this long line of Scandinavian settlers. So I guess she wouldn't be one of my potential informants. On the other hand, I was in Manila, Utah last winter and I met a family who still included tradition lutefisk in their Christmas dinner.

I think there are such people out there. I've met a few. But I need about 40 of such folks. Are there 40? Are there ten? Are you one of these? Is there a Scandinavian food tradition in your family? PLEASE CLICK HERE if you'd like to participate in a survey about your family's Scandinavian food traditions.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Well folks, it's official. The fine folks at University of Utah Press have delivered a cover design for the book. I also got a typeset copy of the book via Dropbox last week. There are a few typos to correct, and the formatting needs a bit of work, but it looks pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself. Through the editing process I got a little worried that all of my personality and humor would be stripped out of the text, but it looks like it came through intact. The cover design you see here is basically how it will appear, except that (thankfully) they removed the little green sticky circle with my name, and put the author credit down by the subtitle. This will appear in the Fall 2012 Catalog which you can find online starting in about October. But lucky me! I got an advance copy of the catalog! My book is right up front, pages 4-5 (a two page spread! with photos! and quotes!), very flattering. The catalog says it will be 6" by 9" and 240 pages. It must be an estimate because the index hasn't been done yet. But all in all... HOORAY!!!!