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Norwegian (not ideas in Norwegion) Themed Graduation Party, complete with quirky Norway-theme napkins

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The remains of the day

The remains of the day

My youngest daughter graduates a week after Syttende Mai or Norwegian Constitution Day, so I thought it appropriate to celebrate with a Norwegian Smörgåsbord. I grew up in Minnesota with such delicacies as lefse and krumkaka and as I near full-fledged cronedom, I would like to think my children appreciate their nutritional heritage!

I must being by rolling and baking kransekaka. This cake to the right has served me well at parties, beginning with my Norwegian sister in law Ingunn's bridal shower and moving through Christmases, occasional birthdays and graduations parties, always well received.

I have been thrilled to find ground almonds at our local health food store, which saves me grinding them myself. Obviously this is a huge time saver!

Finding Norwegian Party Supplies

Norwegian ethnic is not a popular design at paperware shops. I was lucky to purchase some rosemaled invitations a few years back at Tuesday Morning and I am relying on these to put a Scandinavian mindset on guests.

Of course when Ikea moves into the Denver area, I will have plenty of paperwares to peruse, but so will everyone else in the neighborhood. They are not rosemaling designs, they are modern. Scandinavian design tends in that direction. If I can't find anything else I like, I can always send my daughter to the Ikea near Newark Airport. She lives in NYC.

I found a site for beautiful napkins at a site called Plates and Napkins. Seriously, they have a wonderful assortment of ethnic and modern designs which will save me money on gas and aggravation. I like the Jester napkins. They look like cutouts from a jester's costume, all diamonds and color. But my daughter will probably think they are a bit much.

They have an adorable napkin in their Humor section made by Curly Girl that says, "I am fairly certain that, given a cape and a tiara, I could save the world." I am not sure I can afford these, but they are so darn cute. Leigh Stanley designs these napkins. I admit to a propensity for supporting artists, particularly quirky and imaginative artists. And funny napkins always lighten the party.

Maybe I can find them for less. Ha! I found them at amazon for 18cents each. I can buy 120 cocktail napkins for $21.43. I don't need bigger napkins for a smorgaasbord. There isn't much to wipe off the fingers.

(You might ask if I generally take this long planning and picking out my party wares? The answer is sort of. I don't usually do it online, but go to the store and take care of it. This spring blizzard is giving me the luxury of time and frankly saving me gas money so I am on it.)

Most Norwegians I know have a very dry sense of humor. These napkins will go well with the theme, whether the guests get it or not. I never promised that my party choices would make sense. Only that they would develop my theme.

My daughter's favorite color is orange. These napkins suit because they contain orange. They also contain red, which along with white are her school colors.

Okay, so I found some great drinking glasses from "eco products" that are made of corn and recycled. I like that idea! It's also fun that they say Made from Corn on them. That is another party conversation creator. Norwegians tend to be earth-conscious. They have to be, driving through all those windy roads past fjords. I am going to order 150 of these things, too.

There are some cool sites out there for recycled plates and cutlery, including Treecycle. I have to call them on Monday, because I am uncertain as to the thickness of their plates. I don't want those floppy ones that spew stuff all over the floor. But I like the idea of recycled plates and forks!

And of course we need Norwegian music!

Takk for maten Thank you for the food!

I have the main dessert, which is important. And I have an idea of what the color scheme is and where I am going to purchase the support equipment, like napkins, cups, plates and utensils. SO what about filling those empty stomachs with delectable delights?

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Norwegian food can be bland and I am definitely not going to be popular ordering pickled herring. I can visualize my daughter's turned up nose as I type. But a pile of open faced sandwiches is sure to fascinate and satisfy the most picky guest. The party is from 3 to 6 on a Sunday afternoon; it is not a gorge.

Sons of Norway lists the following combinations:

1. Smoked salmon slices on a slice of white bread, with scrambled egg or hard-cooked egg wedges and dill.

2. Shelled shrimp or crab meat on toast, with mayonnaise and lemon.

3. Sardines in tomato sauce on whole wheat bread, with hard-cooked egg slices and fresh dill.

4. Anchovy fillets on whole wheat bread with raw egg yolk placed in an onion ring sprinkled with chopped chives.

5. Roast reindeer meat on whole wheat bread with poached apple wedges and lingonberry preserves.

6. Sautéed minute steak on whole wheat bread with leek rings, tomato, and parsley.

7. Cured ham on whole wheat bread with scrambled eggs.

8. Head cheese on whole wheat bread with pickled beets and pickled cucumbers.

9. Gamalost on whole wheat bread with butter and parsley.

10. Ship's plank with shrimp, eggs, cheese, and boiled ham.

Anchovies, sardines and reindeer are out! (Rudolph!!!) But I like the idea of ham with cheese slices; salmon with cream cheese and onions; gjestost; shrimp... those kinds of things will be consumed by high school kids and adults alike. And cucumbers are a necessity. I remember lots of cucumbers when my college choir toured Norway back in 1975.

Open faced sandwiches are time consuming to make, but happily my eldest daughter will be visiting and she will be thrilled to help! Actually, she will probably clean up the porch and set up the bar. She loves to make Sangria. She will be limited to virgin drinks like lemonade and iced tea, although this Bacardi Limon drink sounds tasty.

And of course a large green salad is required. This Green Salad comes from a site overflowing with Norwegian recipes found at


  • 1 head lettuce, torn and drained
  • 1 cup Chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup Chopped green pepper
  • 1 pkt Frozen Peas
  • 1 pt Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbl Sugar
  • 4 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 8 slc Bacon


  1. Layer lettuce, celery, pepper, then frozen Peas.
  2. Break and crumble over the above another layer of lettuce.
  3. Spread Mayonnaise over top.
  4. Sprinkle Sugar over Mayonnaise, then Cheese, then Bacon.
  5. Do not cover.
  6. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. Do not toss.

I will toss in a few dips, like the yummy artichoke dip a friend of mine served us last week. And with chips, plus plenty of dark European chocolate, the table will be quite full.

Lykkelig eksamen, Lexie!

I am pretty sure that means Happy Graduation!

© 2010 Barbara


Johnd75 on August 30, 2014:

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Barbara (author) from Stepping past clutter on January 31, 2011:

Thank you Tony. Swedes are not Norwegians, but we accept them into our fold, as no one else will. Alas, my step dad is a Swede. He and Mom have signs in their garage stating, "Parking for Norwegians only" and "Parking for Swedes only." Tis wise not to mix too closely, considering... :).

Takk for the read! Barbara

Tony McGregor from South Africa on January 31, 2011:

Takk, Barbara, for a very interesting and entertaining read.

I am very partial to Sweden having visited there and also made a large number of Swedish friends. A lot of what you write about here seems very familiar.

Takk also for the Palle Mikkelborg, whom I love!

Love and peace


Barbara (author) from Stepping past clutter on April 24, 2010:

I hope so, Jaspal! I will let her know she has a graduation greeting in Norwegian that is pronounced funnier than normal because it comes from a well-wishing Indian man, haha. Thank you.

Jaspal from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2010:

Lykkelig Eksamen to Lexie all the way from India too. This party sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun! Have a great time... :-)

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