Saturday, December 25, 2010

King Kong's Christmas Kransekake

This requires a bit of explaining.  First, Jerry is heavily into genealogy.  He's 13th-generation Lowell in America.  His 10-greats grandfather arrived in the colonies from Bristol England in 1639; he had four ancestors on the Mayflower; another 9-greats grandfather (George Jacobs) was found guilty of witchcraft and hanged in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.


I had always been very impressed with this fascinating history until Jerry was able to dig even deeper and discovered royal lineage going way back.  Much of this traces through his Norwegian ancestry and I, wanting to know how His Royal Highness King Jerry should be properly addressed, looked up the word "king" in Norwegian.  I was surprised to discover that the Norwegian word for "king" is "kong."  (So, the film title "King Kong" is redundant.)

I have a fondness for nicknames and at the time I learned about kong, I was partnering on some accounts at my then-job with a wonderful woman who also had a fondness for nicknames.  I had become known to her as MK (I'll tell that story another day) and she had become known to me as Peege (and I can't for the life of me remember why except that it evolved from the initials "PG," which are not her initials).

Where was I?  Oh... as soon as I told Peege the Norwegian word for king, Jerry was blessed with a new name:  Kong.  But, I don't call Jerry "Kong" very often — really only when Peege and I are talking about him.  Peege, on the other hand, now only thinks of Jerry as "Kong."

So, that explains Kong and also King in the title of this post.  You have probably figured out the word Christmas entirely on your own.  Now for Kransekake (pronounced "krahn-seh kah-keh").


In Norwegian, kransekake means literally ring (or wreath) cake.  It's served on special occasions, like weddings and baptisms, Christmas and New Year's Eve.  The first time we had it (or heard of it) was during the Christmas we spent with family in Bergen, Norway in 2004.  As you can see in the pictures, kransekake is created from a series of concentric rings that form a steep cone.  We've seen it decorated with little Norwegian flags and Christmas poppers.  But, since we did not plan in advance — last Christmas or this — Jerry's kransekake is more simply adorned.


I'll post photos of Jerry's 2010 kransekake once he's made it.  I'll also post the recipe for the serious bakers out there.  This is not for the novice.  If you believe you can make a vanilla cake by buying a box of chocolate cake mix and just omitting the packet of chocolate powder, this recipe is not for you.  If you see no reason to separate yolks from whites when you discover they're all going to be mixed together at the end anyway, this recipe is not for you.  And if you believe you can cut baking time in half by doubling oven temperature, this recipe is absolutely not for you.  (This recipe is not for me.)

In the meantime, Kong is busy right now kneading the dough for his Bergensk julevørterbrød.  And he bought a really fine bottle of Andalusian sherry to help us get in practice for next year in Seville.

Wishing you god jul; feliz navidad; and merry Christmas.


  1. I haven't been paying attention. Just noticed you're following Reluctant Rebel. Thanks. Oh, Nice Kake, too.

  2. Thanks, FDeF. I'm enjoying your blog. Yep, last year's kake was nice!

  3. I'm so very honored to be part of your first blog entry -- and I had no idea Kong was not always called Kong! I would have posted sooner but have been wracking my brain to recall the origin of "Peege" from "PG." I think it began with "GG" for "Gimp Girl" and limping around after one of my many knee injuries, and the nickname "Gigi" evolved from "GG." After the knees healed, we commiserated how working with our demanding large accounts was like trying to ride huge whales and because I had just seen the movie, "Whale Rider" whose main character's name is Paikea, we tried "Paikea" for a nickname but that was too awkward for a couple of non-tribal linguists, so somehow it morphed into "PG" (for Paikea Gimp?) and then "Peege." Surely, you must be laughing by now at this fascinating tale -- XOXO


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