Thursday, June 25, 2009

Herring Salad, Part II

In a letter dated June 12, 1883, Ibsen revealed that he was "struggling with the draft of a new play in four acts.  As time passes, various odd ideas settle in one's head, and one must find some outlet for them.  Though it won't deal with the High Court, or the absolute veto, or even the 'pure' flag, it is hardly likely to arouse any interest in Norway.  However, I hope it may obtain a hearing in other quarters."*

The play Ibsen was contemplating was "The Wild Duck," but he wouldn't start writing it until Spring of 1884, blaming a preoccupation with the "political complications in Norway" (as he put it in a letter to his publisher*) for his lack of progress.  

Ibsen said he wasn't going to write about the "pure" flag, but he did, sort of.  Gina makes herring salad for her guests. 

I would guess that most modern American readers would miss this interesting reference.  I, for one, knew nothing of the history of Norway's flag.  To be really honest, I didn't really know about the history of Norway's independence either.  So it was a delightful discovery to find herring salad "sandwiched" in Act III of a play that, otherwise, has nothing to do with Norwegian nationalism.  

"Herring salad" (sildesalaten) is the nickname for the Norwegian flag from 1844-1899.  The former Norwegian flag was combined with the Swedish flag to reflect the Norway/Sweden union (1814-1899), making a mish-mash flag which resembled herring salad.  Personally, I don't see it.  I "get" it -- the salad is a mish-mash and so is the combined flag.  But I don't quite see herring salad when I look at the combined flag.  

I understand the red (the beets), but the red was on the previous Norwegian flag.  And there was already blue and white, too.  Maybe the blue is supposed to be the herring, and the white is the onion?  But they didn't call the old Norwegian flag "herring salad."  

So when you add the Swedish flag, all you add, color-wise, is yellow.  I'll guess that the yellow is the egg in the salad.  Or the apple?  

If you're the kind of person who trusts wikipedia, you can read the article on the Flag of Norway here and the union between Norway and Sweden here.  

* Quoted in the Introduction to Michael Meyer's translation (Norton, 1961).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What's He Up To?

I've been wondering what Old Ekdal is doing with the hot water.

I guess I've already established that I'm not a big drinker, so I don't really know much about the rituals of drinking.  

We know that Petterson gives him a bottle of brandy, and he's got big plans to settle in his room for the night and indulge.  He goes into the kitchen for some hot water, but I couldn't figure how that factored in, because I always thought that brandy was drunk in snifters, cupped in the hand,  warmed by body heat.  

A little research reveals that Old Ekdal could be using the water for one of two reasons.  First, he could be using it to warm his cup -- either by putting hot water in the cup and then dumping it out or by putting his brandy in a glass and then setting the glass in a basin of hot water.  It seems that most serious, modern-day brandy drinkers would consider this a travesty, since it overheats the brandy and ruins the bouquet.

If he's all about the ritual of drinking, and is willing to take his time, then this would make sense.  Knowing what we know about him, though, I'm betting he's not the type to lock himself in his room and sip slowly.  And I'm betting he wouldn't much care about the bouquet.

The second reason he could want the hot water is to mix into his brandy.  As far as I can tell, this is for the same purpose, to warm the drink to maximize the flavor.  I don't know what those who appreciate brandy would say about this.  Sure, it cuts the potency of the alcohol, but the advantage is that it seems like a quicker way to get the warming job done, with the added bonus of stretching the  total amount of sips Ekdal gets out of the bottle.  If he's planning to finish the bottle tonight, he can make the bottle last longer this way, without having to wait for body heat to warm his drink.

That's my bet, but I don't know anything about Norwegian brandy/cognac drinking traditions.  Anyone?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Adventure in Herring Salad

Cubed a granny smith apple.
Added a hard-boiled egg.
Added some canned sliced white potatoes.

So far so good.  I've eaten all those things separately, so combined they shouldn't be a problem.

Next come the beets.  I'm not a big fan of beets, but I've had them before.  I bought a jar of sliced beets and stirred in a few.  Everything turned pink.  

Then it was time for herring.  I opened the tin and got my first look at the herring.  Uhh....  Not particularly appealing. 

I tried to scrape off all the black part (skin?), then broke the herring into chunks, added it to the salad with a bit of mayo and a bit of sour cream.  

After 24 hours in the fridge, hidden in the veggie crisper behind some carrots, I scooped some out onto some rye bread I bought just for this occasion at the local organic food store.

It wasn't bad.  Seeing as how I had 80% things I didn't really mind eating, and 20% herring, it wasn't as hard to eat as it could have been if I'd loaded up on the herring.  But I was trying to do it like they would have in Hjalmar's house, so I made the "stretch" version of the recipe, with more filling than herring.   (Okay, maybe it's because I didn't really want a herring-heavy salad, but I can always say that it was part of my quest to be Ibsen-authentic.)

I ate the sandwich, washed it down with a Diet Pepsi, and then took the rest of it over to my neighbor, a gourmand from Minnesota who was delighted with the surprise, since she hadn't had it since she was a kid, more than 40 years ago.  

Monday, June 8, 2009

Getting Ready for Act III

I'm nervous already.  The herring salad is up next.

Hjalmar informs Gina that he's invited not just their new tenant, Gregers, ("we could hardly avoid it") but also their two downstairs neighbors, Relling and Molvik, for lunch "(just the tiniest little midday snack").  Gina, the steward of the family funds, is unpleasantly surprised.  Hjalmar, oblivious, warns her not to make it too skimpy.  "Good Lord, a couple sandwiches more or less, what's the difference?"

My younger brother and sister and I were best friends with our next door neighbors (Jenny, Mandy and Jay) who, conveniently, were each one year younger than we were.  All summer long, the six of us picnicked outside.  At our house, we'd eat on our back deck; at theirs we'd eat on their kiddie picnic table.  At the time, I was a fan of open-face peanut butter sandwiches, and I can recall bringing a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter outside for everyone to share.  

We had tuna salad sometimes.  Not often, after my little sister got hives from eating it too much.  But tuna salad is a good "stretch meal" if you're having unexpected guests.  Add enough crunchy things (celery, pickles, onion...) and you can feed six kids on one can of tuna.  

I imagine Gina's herring salad is a bit the same.  She and Hedvig clear the table of the photography paraphernalia, bringing out beer and brandy to accompany the meal.  Then she sets about making the herring salad.  

I played Gina today, and made herring salad (sillsalad).  I've never had a herring in my life.  I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to find any, but sure enough, they have them in our local grocery store.  Kippered, in tins, next to the sardines.  I'd checked a bunch of recipes online, and finally found one that didn't sound too bad.  Details later, but for now, the salad is in the fridge, letting the flavors meld, hiding in the vegetable drawer so my unsuspecting family won't mistake it for jello salad.  

Here's a teaser.  It's pink. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Act II

My parents didn't entertain much, but occasionally my mom would have her book club over, or my dad would host his poker group.  Once the house was picked up, we kids were banished upstairs for the night, listening to the grownups laughing and having fun downstairs.  

But the next morning!  Ahhh!  Leftover everything!  Leftover soda, leftover Fritos, and best of all, leftover M&Ms!  How is it that grownups could have leftover M&Ms?  A kid party never would.

Hedvig's almost fourteen, and unsurprisingly, has an appetite for sweets.  Her dad promised to bring back a treat from his fancy dinner at the Werle's. 

In his haste to leave Werle's house, Hjalmar forgets to ask Mrs. Sorby for a treat for Hedvig.  At first, Hedvig thinks her dad's teasing her, trying to keep her in suspense.  But then she learns he really did forget her.  How could she not be disappointed?  It's not about the sweets.  

Hjalmar shows Hedvig a copy of the menu, written in French -- "Dejeuner" -- and offers to describe each dish.  It's not much compensation.  Hjalmar gets defensive (how am I supposed to remember everything?), then later, apologetic.  He can't explain why he didn't bring a treat without admitting that he left the party awkwardly and in haste, embarrassed by his dad and his own failings.  "Remember," Hjalmar says, "I am a man assailed by a host of cares."

Poor Hedvig.  I'll have some M&Ms for her.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Act II

The scene switches from the wealthy Werle house to Hjalmar's home.  It's a big contrast.  Hjalmar's apartment loft is also home to his portrait studio, his father, wife Gina, and daughter Hedvig.  It's cluttered with chemicals and tools.  

Act II begins with Gina and Hedvig going over the family food budget.  Everything is budgeted.  Money is tight.  A piece of butter, some smoked sausage, cheese, ham.  Beer.  They eat cold food when Hjalmar's not home.  It's a sacrifice we assume Hjalmar knows nothing about, and would probably not fully appreciate if he did.  

Butter, sausage, cheese, ham...  Add eggs from the chickens we learn are in the loft (living happily with the duck, pigeons, and the rabbit), and you've got a fine quiche.  

Did they have quiche in Norway when Ibsen was writing?  I'm not sure.  There weren't quiche recipes in "Norwegian National Recipes."  They did have a ham omelet (skinkeomelett) which included macaroni and was topped with crumbled rusk toast crackers.  The picture looks more like what I'd call an egg casserole.

Anyway, my adventure in herring salad is coming up.  

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Couldn't Resist

Yep, I made the rest of the family wait to pick up our Wally's pizza so I could stop in the state store (a busy place at 5:00 on a Friday night; the coin-counting machine was in constant use while I was there) to get some kirsch and brandy.  Then, after our pizza dinner, I whipped up a little "blackjack" digestif.  Kahlua, kirsch, and brandy, served over crushed ice.  

I didn't measure, so maybe my results are a little "off" but I thought it was kind of strong.  Okay, really strong.  Not the kind of drink where you sip it and aren't even sure if there's any alcohol in it.  (Those are my favorite kind of drinks!  I went out with a friend last week and we had a smoothie-type drink which supposedly had alcohol in it, but neither of us could taste it.  We didn't complain.  Though I suppose we could have saved ourselves some money if we'd just asked for a virgin version.)

I was hoping that maybe I would not have a reaction to this drink, since I generally do better with mixed drinks than wine, but no....  Before I even finished my little glass, my ears were red, my feet were hot, and my face was all itchy.  

Sorry, Ibsen, but I'm going to have to give up trying the alcohol references.  Maybe I can find a proxy drinker.  Any takers?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another Translation Discovery

Back in Act I, in the Fjelde translation, right before Werle notes to Gregers that there were thirteen people at the dinner table, the third gentleman says "I hear we can sample coffee and liqueur in the music room."  In the Meyer version, it's been translated as "I hear the -- er -- mocha and maraschino are to be served in the music room."

Which made me wonder if "mocha and maraschino" is a kind of cocktail, or if it's two separate drinks.  Mocha is another name for a coffee liqueur (like Kahlua), and maraschino is a sour cherry liqueur (like Kirsch).  Evidently, both of them are digestifs.

So, I hopped over to (great site!) and used their search feature to find out that there three possible cocktails that combine coffee/mocha and maraschino/Kirsch: 
  • blackjack: coffee, kirsch, and brandy
  • cafe kirsch: coffee, kirsch, eggwhite, sugar
  • parachute cooler: coffee, kirsch, brandy, egg white
I have Kahlua in my "liquor drysink" and am half tempted to run to the state store and pick up some kirsch to try this out for myself.  Too bad they probably don't have those cute little mini-bottles of kirsch like they do for whiskey and vodka.

Now I'm curious to see how some other translators have adapted this.  Hang on....  

The Google books search came up with Harvard's scanned copy of Mrs. Frances Elizabeth Archer's translation (1890, revised 1905) which has it as "the coffee and maraschino."  The Boni and Liveright, Inc. version (available at the U. of Virginia Electronic Text Center) has the same translation.  

So now I'm really wanting to try out this strange combination.  Off to the store?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Update on Cognac

I mentioned before how in Act I, Mrs. Sorby tells Pettersen to give Old Ekdal a bottle of "something really fine" and is later disappointed to learn that he was "only" given a bottle of cognac.  

I was confused, because when I posted that, I had researched cognac (since I'm not up on such things) and discovered that while all cognac is brandy, not all brandies are cognac.  It didn't make sense to me that Mrs. Sorby wouldn't think cognac was good enough.  Cognac is the good stuff.

So I was pleased to read a different translation (Michael Meyer; Norton, 1961) that translates the beverage Old Ekdal is given as brandy, not cognac.  Which makes a lot more sense.  Now I'm reading through the Meyer translation to see what else might have new light shed upon it.  

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ibsen's Routine

It's almost summer, and I still have a long list of projects I want to finish before school starts back up in August.  I need to work out a good, productive, daily routine so I don't waste the summer.  

It was summertime when Ibsen was making the final version of "The Wild Duck," staying at a resort at Gossensass (in the South Tyrol).  It was 1884, and Ibsen was 56 years old.

He wrote to his wife Suzannah (who was vacationing in Norway with their son Sigurd) that he woke at 6:30 am, had breakfast at 7:00, then left the room while it was cleaned.  He returned and wrote from 9:00 - 1:00, then had a big lunch.  He worked again in the afternoon, had a light evening meal at 7:30, and was in bed by 10:00.  He wrote that he was "not drinking any beer.  But I am drinking milk, and a little -- not much -- white wine, with water."  

I'm not drinking any beer either.  (Yuck.  I just never developed the taste.)  I'm drinking milk -- whole milk these days, after years and years of skim -- and no wine (unless you count my recent itchy disaster with the faux ice-wine).  My summer routine will not be spent in a resort, away from my husband and son, with housekeeping tidying up my room every morning.  

No, my routine will involve gardening, exercising, cooking, folding laundry, drinking caffeine-free diet Pepsi, going to the pool, and writing.  Maybe I'm not as disciplined as Ibsen, and I can just about guarantee I won't be producing anything this summer that scholars will still be discussing 125 years later, but I imagine I'll be having more fun.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Facebook Reunions

I wonder sometimes why I'm reluctant to go to our class reunions.  After all, I am curious about what my friends and former classmates are doing.  It's natural, I suppose, to want to know how people turned out, beyond the blurbs that are published in our alumni magazine.  

In high school, I used to insist I'd never go to a reunion.  I expected that I'd keep in touch with my real friends.  Connecting as adults with people I'd never hung out with in high school didn't make any sense to me.  But what ended up happening was that, like lots of people, I gradually lost contact with my friends.  

I began to wonder what my old friends were doing.  Going to a reunion began to make more sense.  But....  There'd be other people there.  The ones who I always felt judged me.  And why face that again?  Judging me for my hair, my clothes, my size?  

Enter facebook.  Old classmates (from grade school even!) have found me on facebook.  Which is not a bad substitute for a reunion.  They only see the version of me I want them to see.  My good hair photos.  My successes at work.  It's the version of me I'd want them to see if I went to a reunion.  

I know that this keeps everyone at arm's length.  I've never been to a reunion, but I'm guessing it's a lot like my facebook reunions.  Step one: the "you look great!" compliments; Step two: the brief flurry of "what have you been up to?" messages; Step three: the silence.  If it were a real reunion, one of us would realize we needed to refill our glass, or see someone across the room we needed to talk to.  

If I don't go to a reunion, they'll never see the version of me that's just like Hjalmar, in borrowed dinner clothes, feeling out of place and uncomfortable.  

Hjalmar's had the worst possible reunion.  He can handle feeling out of place.  He can deal with the fact that he's got unsophisticated tastes.  He can try to enjoy himself, until his ex-con dad shows up, and like Peter, he denies knowing his own father in front of the party guests.  So no, he doesn't want to recite any poetry, thank you.  It's time to go home.  

Reading "The Wild Duck" again, I wonder if reuniting with old friends comes with a price.  

You're reminded of who you used to be.  

Monday, May 18, 2009


A few years ago, I stopped in a convenience store in my old hometown for a soda.  I went to the cashier to pay and the girl at the register called me by name.  "We graduated from high school together," she said.  I protested, forgetting that I was, indeed, in my hometown.  She didn't look familiar.  She insisted and told me her name was Jackie.  And all of a sudden....  It was like her face transformed.  I could see her.  Her hair was shorter, grayer.  But her eyes were the same.  Jackie!  We hadn't been close friends.  And yet it was such a pleasant surprise to see her after such a long time. 

"How long has it been?" I asked, as she gave me my change.  

Sixteen, seventeen years.  Okay, more like seventeen, eighteen.

Just like Gregers and Hjalmar.  Friends, schoolmates. Equals when Gregers moved away, sixteen years ago.  But now....  Gregers hasn't seen Hjalmar since he's left, hasn't written, hasn't even remembered the post-scripts his dad included in his business letters about Hjalmar's new wife and photography business.  But now he's home, the guest of honor.  And he invited Hjalmar to the feast.  To visit.  To catch up on old times.  To eat good food.  So Hjalmar borrows a dinner jacket and goes, feeling out of place and outclassed.  Out of obligation to the father.  Out of curiosity to see the son.

There was a line behind me, full of people paying for their gas and chips and coffees, so I couldn't chat for long.  She showed me a picture of her son.  We had a reunion coming up, she reminded me.  Our twenty year reunion.  I'd never been to one, I said, but I'd go if she went. We agreed.

Our reunion was two years ago.  Neither of us went.  The reunion organizer told me Jackie was unreachable.  I hadn't gotten her phone number.  I called the convenience store, but she no longer worked there.  No forwarding address.  She'd moved on.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stay Tuned

An adventure in Herring Salad is on deck.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What Was I Thinking??

I already said, I'm not much of a drinker. So I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to have a glass of faux ice wine as a digestif while I pondered friends who haven't seen each other in a long time.

Bad idea. The thing of it is, I'm kinda allergic. Half a glass (delicious!) and I realize I'm very, very sleepy. And my face is all red and itchy. My eyes are puffy. My feet are hot and itchy. How is it that I forget this always happens? So.... More on Gregers and Hjalmar and Facebook later, once I stop itching.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Takk For Maten -- Act I

The play starts with a feast the audience doesn't get to see.  Well, it starts with the end of a feast the audience doesn't get to see.  The feast is winding down, and as is the custom in Norway, a toast ("Takk for maten") is being given (offstage) to the host/ess to thank them for the good food.  Pettersen explains: "Now the old boy's up on his feet, proposing a long toast to Mrs. Sorby."*  

The guests file out, with promises of coffee in the music room.  Mrs. Sorby tells the guests that "if anyone wants a glass of punch, he must take the trouble to come in here" to Werle's study.  

If you've been reading this blog from the beginning, you know that my plan is to read, eat, digest, and discuss.  But I guess I forgot about all the drinking in Ibsen.  I'm not a big drinker.  If I were, I'd probably be excited about mixing up a delicious batch of this punch marquise (sweet wine, sugar, cognac, lemon and cloves).  Anyone feel inspired to try it out?

The men are accustomed to smoking after the meal, but we learn that Mrs. Sorby has recently banned smoking in the study.   The guys all start discussing after-dinner wines.  The Fat Guest asks for Werle's opinion of the Tokay they drank earlier, saying that it had a "remarkable delicate flavor."

I had never heard of Tokay before, but after a quick trip to google, I found out that it's an exclusive (read: expensive) Hungarian dessert wine.   King Louis XIV called it "the wine of kings and the king of wine."

According to this website, Tokay Wine (also spelled "tokaji") is excellent as either an aperitif (before the meal) or as a digestif (after the meal) with cigars and petit fours.  A 500 ml bottle (red label 2003 vintage) will set you back $35.  Or if you can persuade someone to play Werle for you, get them to spring for the Essencia (2000 vintage, a bargain at $469), so you can enjoy one of the "very, very finest of years."  
Mrs. Sorby instructs Pettersen to give Old Ekdal a bottle of "something really fine."   Later, she learns Ekdal only received a bottle of cognac.  "Oh, you could have found something better."  Pettersen replies: "Not at all, Mrs. Sorby.  He knows nothing better than cognac."

In the dry sink that serves as my liquor cabinet, I have a 2005 Mazza Crystals of Steuben faux ice wine my brother gave me for my birthday.  (Faux ice wine means they pick the grapes, then freeze them.  True ice wine means the grapes are frozen naturally on the vine.  I've had "true" ice wine before.  But I doubt I'll be able to tell the difference.  As Werle says to Hjalmar: "It certainly doesn't pay to offer you a noble wine.")  

I'm going to pull it out tonight and have a few sips after supper while I think about Hjalmar, Gregers, and Facebook. 


*I'm using Rolf Fjelde's translation (Signet Classic; "Ibsen Four Major Plays" vol. 1).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One Step Closer

I'm excited! 

The doorbell rang this morning, and it was the mailman bringing a package from Amazon.  "Norwegian National Recipes" by Arne Brimi and Ardis Kaspersen.  It's a giant, beautiful book: 352 pages (8 1/2 by 11 1/2) in padded hardcover.  Just holding it is a pleasure.  I've only been able to spend an hour or so with it, but I'm already drooling over the gorgeous pictures of food and magnificent photos of Norway.  

It's subtitle is "an inspiring journey in the culinary history of Norway."  The book is organized by region, and the "inspiring journey" starts with several recipes for reindeer: stuffed reindeer hearts, reindeer fillet on a bed of creamed green onions and mushrooms, reindeer stew, reindeer steak, reindeer patties.  Fingers crossed that Ibsen doesn't mention any Rudolph-based meals in any of his plays.

Since I only had an hour, I started skipping (past the blood pancakes, ugh!), stopping at every tantalizing dessert.  I now have a little list of things to look up.  The two on the top of my list?  Cloudberries and lingonberries.  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The rabbit

The rabbit, on the other hand, gets skinned by old Ekdal off-stage.  

Hjalmar:  You went ahead and skinned it without waiting for me!
Ekdal:  Salted it, too.  It's nice tender meat, this rabbit meat.  And it's so sweet.  Tastes like sugar.

For those of you who are curious about such things, Game for Everything chef Mark Gilchrist will explain how to gut, skin, and boil a rabbit.

I waited for the video to load and then skipped the first two minutes.  I know, I know.  I'm too suburban.  I eat meat, but I like it best when it comes in those styrofoam containers with plastic over top.  

For starters, they don't eat the duck

Because it's not dead at the end of the play.  Hedvig is.  

Which gets me to thinking.  Do they keep the duck, or kill it?  I could see it making sense either way.  

If they kill it, here's a video from Chef Keem, explaining how to marinade and cook wild duck.  

Are all the good projects taken?

I need a big project, I tell myself.  A big book-deal of a project.

Someone's already lived like the Bible told him to.
Mastered French cooking, courtesy of Julia Child.
Done everything Oprah says to do on her show.

What's left?

Ummm....  Ibsen?

I'm a member of the Ibsen Society of America.  Have been for several years.  I'm not an Ibsenist.  I enjoy getting the Ibsen News and Comment, but I've never written an academic paper on Ibsen.  Never presented at a conference on Ibsen.  

Just last night I asked my husband if he remembered why I joined the Ibsen Society.  He didn't.  Neither do I.  But the dues are only $15 a year.  And it feels like a kinda exclusive club.

I just got the most recent issue of the Ibsen News and Comment, and was happily reading Joan Templeton's annual summary of articles on Ibsen when it occurred to me.  I could write an article on Ibsen.  

Except I'm not really an Ibsenist.  

But Henrik and I have something in common.  We both like food.  And I love it when playwrights have food onstage.  Even when characters talk about food onstage.  Best yet, when actors get to make food onstage.  Eating onstage puts the real in realism.  

When I teach A Doll's House, I always bring my college students some macaroons to nibble while we discuss the play.  

Well, I always try.  But evidently macaroons are seasonal.  Sometimes when I teach it in the spring semester, there are no macaroons to be found, not even for ready money.  And then, since I'm perpetually running late, I don't have time to make macaroons from scratch.  So sometimes my spring classes miss out on the macaroons.  And sometimes they get three-month old macaroons, if I've remembered to buy some at Christmas and save them.  You'd be surprised, but three-month old macaroons are not always stale.  I know, because more often than not, my students don't like coconut, and I get left with a lot of macaroons.  And that's how I like it.  

So what if I wrote an article about Ibsen and his food?  Well, maybe not an article.  

And thus is born my blog: Eating Ibsen.  

It's a simple plan.  Read Ibsen.  Eat.  Digest.  Discuss.  Repeat.  

But I'm a little afraid.  
  • First off, I'm not Norwegian.  And I don't read Norwegian, which means I can't rely on recipes from vintage Norwegian cookbooks.  
  • And I'm no gastronome.  I'm already worried about what I might have to eat.  (Pickled pork??)
  • And I live 70 miles away from the nearest big city/speciality food store, so I'm not sure what kind of limits that will impose.  
  • Oh, and there's already a book, Dining With Ibsen, by food historian Henry Notaker, but as far as I can tell, it's in Norwegian.  And it's not, as far as I can tell, a play-by-play culinary journey though Ibsen's works with thoughtful discussion, as I plan envision this blog will be.  
But I'm game if you are.  Heck, you can even play along at home, if you're inspired.

Where to start?  How about "The Wild Duck?"  

I know, it's not the beginning of the Ibsen canon.  But why not start with the play that has food in the title?

Monday, April 27, 2009


Welcome to Eating Ibsen!