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Dear Friends,

“Lycka till i koket!” This Swedish phrase (meaning “Good Luck in the Kitchen!”) was provided to us by our friends at the American Swedish Institute during Penfield’s recent special book signing event at the Institute in Minneapolis for our new book called “Swedish Touches”. ($14.95 retail. This book is available in our Swedish “bookstore” on the web and also from Many of the purchasers of “Swedish Touches” requested an inscription in the books they purchased during the book signing, and this wish for good cooking seemed perfectly appropriate! “Swedish Touches” features the classic tried-and-true recipes that are treasured by all Swedish Americans. This new book also contains history and beautiful color images illustrating the customs, festivities, foodways, and institutions that carry on the best of Sweden’s old world traditions in America.

“Swedish Touches” could not have been completed without the wonderful assistance provided by the American Swedish Institute and its fine staff. The book signing was an enjoyable way to bring the new title to the attention of visitors at the Institute. Many old friends of Penfield attended, and the afternoon was a great success. After the book signing, my husband, Dwayne Bourret, and I presented two framed works of art to the Institute for its permanent collection. One was the Dala painting sampler that was created by the late Helen Blanck, a teacher at the Institute and writer. We also presented a print by Lindsborg, Kansas, artist Birger Sandzon. This is the first lithograph by Sandzon to enter the Institute’s collection. The Institute’s Director, Bruce Karstadt, was particularly pleased by this donation. Growing up in Lindsborg, Bruce feels a special affinity for Sandzon’s work. “Swedish Touches” includes Sandzon’s work in fine color reproductions.

“Swedish Touches” makes a great gift for the Holidays! The book contains some impressive color images of Christmas at the American Swedish Institute, as well as an entire section describing the Lucia Pageant as it is celebrated around the world each year on December 13th. An essay on “Christmas Memories” by Helen Blanck is featured alongside the other holiday stories and photos. We thank Jim Richardson, Lindsborg, who is a photographer contributing to “National Geographic”, for sharing his beautiful photographs of Lindsborg. And don’t miss the color section dedicated to the stunning Dala painted interiors by Karen Jenson, Milan, Minnesota, one of America’s most talented folk artists. Swedish Touches also contains an essay on Swedes in Canada by Mika Roinila, a professor at Bethel College in Indiana, as well as clever contributions by Anders Neumueller, editor of “Swedish Press”, Vancouver, North America’s only monthly Swedish magazine.

For Swedish Americans, Penfield also offers a charming book called “How to Make a Swedish Christmas” and a popular video in VHS entitled “Christmas in Sweden.”

A note for the future: we will not be reprinting our “Proverb” series. The books are almost sold out, except for “Proverbs from the North: Words of Wisdom from the Vikings”. We are almost out of “Scandinavian Proverbs” and “Czech Proverbs.” We still have ample stock of “Swedish”, “Dutch,” and “German Proverbs,” but we urge you to send in your orders now. Penfield can be your secret weapon for holiday shopping. In addition to “Swedish Touches”, don’t forget our series of small cookbooks called “Stocking Stuffers.” These popular small-format cookbooks lay flat in the kitchen, and Penfield is sure to have a stocking stuffer cookbook for your interest there are Danish, Dutch, German, Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Slavic, Finnish, Norwegian, Scottish, Irish, Swedish, and Amish Mennonite titles. Penfield also offers its series of cooking from the various states, in the same stocking stuffer format, as our “License to Cook” series. You can give these popular cookbooks as “License to Cook from Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oregon, Texas” and the “California Wineries.” Stock up on these little books, and your Christmas shopping will be almost finished!

For the important children in your life, order your Jan Brett titles from Penfield. This amazing storyteller and illustrator’s work continues to be among the most popular in the world, and Penfield has several Jan Brett titles of the season, including “Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve?” “Wild Christmas Reindeer,” “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Christmas Trolls” and “Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury.” Penfield also stocks the popular Jan Brett’s “board” books those wonderful beginning story books for readers under age 5. “Gingerbread Baby” is one of the best! This year, let Penfield be your Jan Brett shopping center.

We also offer a nostalgic video, “Christmas in Norway,” in both DVD and VHS formats. For these and all Penfield titles now available, please take a look at our web store and consult our website at We appreciate your purchases throughout the year, and offer you special best wishes for happy holidays!

Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret, publisher