I received a box of goodies today from my pen pal in Norway.
John and I were high school classmates, at Loma Linda Academy. Forty years later, he’s now a museum curator in Kristiansund, Norway.
I’m still toughing it out here in the Inland Empire.
We write to each other at least every month, and now and then we surprise each other with a package. I’ve sent him American magazines, packaged snacks, candy, stuff like that. Last time I sent him a baseball mitt and a couple baseballs. He still had his old mitt from boyhood, but he had no way to play catch with his son. I was happy to help him out.
He has sent me Norwegian food delicacies, Scandinavian novels and comic books, even a Santa troll! This time he sent me snack items. A LOT of snack items.
I’ve already started in on them.
I opened a package of “Notter & Frukt,” which is nuts with candied fruit. Obviously, my friend remembers that California is the frukt & notter state!
There also are packages of notter & baer. Nuts with dried sweetened berries.
And there are candied nuts, and chocolates and lots of other goodies. Obviously, I now am well-prepared for holiday binge eating.
One of the delicacies in the box is a packaged wedge of “Torrfisk,” which is dried fish. It looks like jerky. John warns me that it is an acquired taste. I’m very brave, though.
The box also includes the makings of “polse med lompe,” which is a common fast food item in Norway, my friend tells me. You take a lompe, which is a sort of tortilla made of potato and barley flours, lay a stripe of mustard and a stripe of ketchup down the middle, add a steamed hot dog, pile on some dehydrated onions (sprostekt lok), fold it up and eat it.
It’s good!
You could create this dish, approximately, with American ingredients. Use a brown, whole-wheat tortilla and French’s Fried Onions with your plump, juicy, steamed hot dog. Don’t forget your ketchup and mustard.
Close your eyes and pretend you just bought it from a sidewalk vendor in Oslo.
Let me tell you about one last thing in the box from Norway. There are several bags of “Laban Seig Damer,” which are colorful jelly candies shaped like little humans. Little humans with boobies.
The English version of the candy’s name, which appears on the back of the package, is “Soft Jelly Ladies Rolled in Sugar.”
Isn’t having a pen pal in Norway fun?
Let me tell you, I definitely have decided on the title for my next novel:
“Soft Jelly Ladies Rolled in Sugar.”