I love conversation with people (my pets too!). People have the most fascinating stories if we take the time to listen; ask questions and just listen. These stories truly are the fabric of life; weaving us together as a culture.
So I had this amazing Facebook message from a reader in regards to my Ice Cream's Purpose blog post.
I learned much about the history of a certain food: NORWEGIAN ROMMEGROT and this FB message started a conversation with a local person; those threads that weave us together as community with story telling. I think I need to return to the days of evening story telling around the fire!
Here is some of our conversation, the story!
Bryan: I felt compelled to respond to your secret of ice cream as I am a big fan of ice cream...perhaps it is in my blood; my ancestors in Norway loved cows and milk in all of its incarnations but their favorite was rumagrot (poor spelling but Norwegians have a slightly different alphabet). this was a mixture of heavy cream, milk and flour, generously sweetened, with the consistency of thick pudding. At any rate, I feel that ice cream, plain old simple ice cream, has to be a divine gift, necessary to our sustenance, to be indulged in not too infrequently.
But to get back on track, your secret of setting the freezer with an ice cream gauge sounds perfect!
Me: What a great story Bryan! Do you have a recipe for the Norwegian milk and flour thing? I will try and look it up.
Bryan: ROOMEGROT? I don't have a recipe and have never made it...my mother ate it and made it as a young girl, and assured me it was delectable...she grew up on a subsistence farm where wealth was measured by the fat of the land, and fresh cream was a daily companion...later she married my father, who was not a farmer, and lived in a small town where she started buying some of her food (what a change!) cream was too dear and so cream did not make it to the list of priorities...but she did make a version of rumagrot, which she affectionately called "mush", basically a porridge of milk and wheat flour, which is the basic structure or foundation upon which rumagrot is created. After it was cooked she would pour it out on plates where it would take the shape of a giant pancake, and put a pat of butter on top. We would sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top and start eating around the edges where it cooled fastest, spiraling into the center where the butter sugar and cinnamon were concentrated for a very fine finish. Then we would lick our plates clean. We loved it! The day shone gold when we came in from a winter's day to sit down to our favorite supper meal of mas mush! Some years later, as a grown man, I was meandering through various conversations with my mother, and fondly reminiscing the above. I asked my mother why she no longer made mush. She said, "uffda, you liked that stuff?" (She never knew?) "I only made that when there was nothing left to eat." Ahhh...take me back to the realm of childhood!
I just LOVE this story, this conversation, and the magical things I learned as I looked up Norwegian history, Norwegian food history, etc.!
Of course, I had to make some, see below.
The recipe I used:
(I did cut the recipe in 1/4 as the amounts seemed like a really big batch to me. It made the 2 dinner plates worth above with a little bit left for a smaller plate. The next time I make it, I will make 1/2 of the recipe.)
1 qt. milk
1 c. half & half
1 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
Sugar & cinnamon
Heat milk and half and half; do not scorch; set aside.
In large, heavy pan, melt 1 cup butter and add flour, cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in milk, cook, stirring frequently until mixture bubbles and thickens. Stir in sugar. Pour 1/4 cup melted butter on top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm. Makes 1/2 gallon.
NOTE: This may be kept warm and served from a crock pot. Use low heat. Add butter, sugar and cinnamon after mixture is put in crock pot. Rommegrot is traditionally served at Christmas.
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