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Becky Olafsen reads Elisabeth Koren essay in Christmas in the at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. She is wearing attire similar to the dress of the 1850s, supplied by the drama department of Luther College in Decorah.
We wish all a happy holiday season. We begin our festivities with a visit to Vesterheim, the Norwegian-American Museum, Decorah, Iowa, to their Christmas party in early December. This year we released a third printing of Clarence Andrews’ Christmas in the Midwest ($16.95 retail) in time for Becky Olafsen of Iowa, to ready the essay, Christmas in a New Land by Elizabeth Koren at Vesterheim.
Elisabeth came to America in the 1850s on her honeymoon. Her husband served as pastor there at a Washington Prairie Lutheran Church for over 50 years. En route from Norway to Decorah, the Korens stayed at the America House, a hotel in McGregor, Iowa. This facility is now a bed and bath run by our good friends Bill and Pat Eckhardt.
Other authors featured in the book include Hamlin Garland, Susan Glaspell, Phil Stong, Ruth Suckow, Susan Allen Toth, James Whitcom Riley, Paul Engle and Hartzell Spence. When Clarence Andrews retired to move to Oregon, he arranged for Penfield to keep this title in print.
We are very proud to feature the Fjord horses of woodcarvers Phil Odden and his wife Elsa Bigton on the front cover of Christmas in the Midwest. Phil’s essay about Christmas at their Wisconsin farm ends the book 172 page book. The back cover features Eric Olesen of O & H Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin, holding a kringle. Every year we order this pastry for all our Penfield people, family and friends. The kringle recipe and others from O & H Bakery are included in the book with many Christmas cookie recipes for Scandinavian, Czech, Polish, German, Italian, Scottish, and Moravian traditions.
May 2011 bless you and yours.
—Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, publisher of Penfield Books