Giddy for Gammelgården

Yes I am giddy, and yes I keep chanting "I told you so I told you so!" with every story about the popularity of modern Nordic foodways. Scandinavian fare is finally getting the attention it deserves! About time. The latest? Minneapolis stars The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar are noted in the Hot Ten in Bon Appétit's 2012 Best New Restaurants in America.

Yeah yeah I predicted this trend years ago. I studied it. I wrote a overly long thesis on the subject. And now I feel sort of braggy. To celebrate this awesome Nordic achievement with other Scandinavian enthusiasts, how about heading out to one of the best museums you've never heard of?

A tiny rural version of Stockholm's Gamla stan, Gammelgården (Old Farm) stands on several acres of farmland in Scandia, Minnesota where buildings with names like Präst Hus (Priest or Clergy House), Gammel Kyrkan (Old Church), and Ladugård (Barn) are carefully preserved representations of immigrant farm culture one hundred years past. Gammelgården hosts Swedish heritage events all year long (sausage making and Swedish language classes, St. Lucia festivities, lutfisk dinners) but the drive and the tour are perfect one-day getaways during summer months, especially as 2012 is the museum's 40th Anniversary (Next month is Gammelgården's 2nd Annual Running of the Meatballs!).

We spent one Saturday last month on what I like to call the Swedish Immigrant Tour. We hiked through Taylors Falls, admired Karl Oskar and Kristina in Lindstrom, and explored Gammelgården on a self-guided tour (unfortunately we missed the tour guide by a few minutes, but guests are able to wander the grounds on our own).  Load the kids and grandparents in the car, pack a picnic of herring and rye crispbread, read a few chapters from Moberg while you drive, and you've got yourself for a cheap (and educational) mini holiday.


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