A gingerbread neighborhood
Norway House (913 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-871-2211, norwayhouse.org) is once again pulling together a Gingerbread Wonderland and is accepting submissions from all bakers, young and old, and of all skill levels. Contributions can be dropped off through Nov. 15 during business hours (Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.). For submissions at other times, contact Max Stevenson (mstevenson@ norwayhouse.org) or the Norway House. Gingerbread construction of familiar Twin Cities buildings or destinations are encouraged, though all submissions will be accepted. The exhibit runs from Nov. 16 -Jan. 6.; cost is $5 (free to members) and tickets are at the door. If you are looking for a well-tested recipe for gingerbread construction or frosting, go to norwayhouse.org/ gingerbreadwonderland/bake.
Check out your turkey
Do you know where your turkey came from? And, no, we're not talking about which supermarket. Honeysuckle White turkeys, a brand from Cargill, is in its second year of providing a code on more than 200,000 of its fresh turkeys to allow consumers to find out on which farm the bird was raised. Cooks can text the code or enter it at an online site. That's about one-third of its turkeys this year (last year's trial involved 5 percent of its birds).
Jolly Troll encounters
Remember the Jolly Troll restaurant, one of the first (1960s) Swedish smörgåsbord buffets in town? Visit those memories on Nov. 16 as the second annual Troll Encounters of the Jolly Kind is held at Ingebretsen's (1601 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-729-9333, firstname.lastname@example.org) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with talks at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Carole Jean Anderson, daughter of the founders, will be there, too, with stories, music, pictures and recipes. There will also be food samples from Patrice Johnson, author of "Jul' Swedish American Christmas Traditions." One or more of the animated trolls from the restaurant may be there, too. Free.
Party like a Scandinavian
The fifth annual Julefest Gala — a Scandinavian Christmas party — will be held Nov. 29 from 6-9 p.m. at Watson Block in Minneapolis' Warehouse District (256 1st Av. N., Mpls.). The evening includes cocktails, parking, door prizes and buffet dinner. Tickets are $30 (students), $60 (no bar), $70 (open bar) and are available at tinyurl.com/ycrbmqqv. The cocktail party includes Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish traditions.
Ready for a tea party
Have a taste of Peppermint Periwinkle, a "peculiar blend of green tea, black pepper and lavender. Or perhaps Pancakes 'n Bacon with Ceylon and Lapsang black tea and maple extract. Maybe Crimson Harmony, a caffeine-free blend for everyone, will suit, well, everyone. Or create your own with the help of a Qualified Tea Blender. These are among the 100-plus teas available to sample at this gathering of Mrs. Kelly's Tea (Grain Belt Brewery Warehouse, 77 13th Av. NE., Mpls.) on Dec. 1-2 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. And, yes, there will be tea available for purchase, as well as other entrepreneurs with their specialties, including Muddy Paws Cheesecake, Ames Farm Honey and Patti's Granola. The event is free, but there's a suggested donation of $3 or an item of nonperishable food. All donations go to the Southern Anoka County Food Shelf and Perspectives Kids Cafe.
LEE SVITAK DEAN