Weather Forecast


Church fundraiser celebrates Scandinavian heritage

Betty Johnson displays the rosettes made for the Holiday and Scandinavian Treat Sale. She said 92 dozen were ordered.1 / 4
Siblings Haley (left) and Hunter Doonan cook pizzelles at Trinity Lutheran church. The Doonan siblings were helping prepare for the church's fifth annual Holiday and Scandinavian Treat sale for the first time. There were 40 dozen pizzelles ordered this year.2 / 4
Carissa Ditlefsen flips lefse on a special lefse grill. Ditlefsen said she's grown up with the Scandinavian treat, thanks to Trinity Lutheran's annual treat sale. She said she has been helping cook the holiday treats for the past five years.3 / 4
Alyssa Edison (left) and Sarah Phillips sing popular music while they cook and roll Krumkake into shape. The ice-cream-cone-shaped treats are a traditional Scandinavian recipe the teens say they've made before. The group said they've made their own tradition of singing pop songs as they work.4 / 4

Part of the Trinity Lutheran Church youth group's biggest fundraiser of the year isn't just about raising funds, it's about passing down a tasty piece of Scandinavian Heritage by teaching the youth to make Lefse, Krumkake, Sandbakkels, Rosettes, Pizzelles and Spritz, said Betty Johnson, event coordinator.

The fifth annual Trinity Lutheran Holiday and Scandinavian Treat sale treats were cooked recently. The youth began doing their part on Friday, Dec. 8, after school.

"I enjoy getting to be around all these young kids and helping them," Johnson said.

She said usually around 20 to 25 youth come to help out with the cooking. Some of the young people have never made any of the sale's Scandinavian desserts before.

"I think it's great grandkids come and help me," Johnson said, "so we can kind of keep the tradition going in our own family."

Johnson said some of this year's youth cooks have helped with the cooking all five years that the treat sale has been in existence. Others, she said, have never tried cooking the Scandinavian treats.

Siblings Haley and Hunter Doonan, both first-timers, learned to cook pizzelles Friday evening. Haley Doonan said she and her brother saw the sign-up sheet and decided to try it out. She said they would definitely be back next year to cook more treats.

"I thought they (pizzelles) were kind of cool looking and I never really knew how they were made in this shape until I did it today," Haley Doonan said. "It's pretty easy."

To make the pizzelles, the Doonan siblings simply spooned batter into a special pizzelle-maker, which resembled a specialized waffle-maker, closed it and let the treats cook until they were golden brown.

The best part, the siblings said, was that the pizzelles were tasty.

"The ones that don't turn out very well," Haley Doonan said, "we can eat them."

Carissa Ditlefsen, 15, has been helping with the sale since it began. She was flipping lefse Friday night. She said she makes cookies and such at home, but not lefse or other Scandinavian treats. Although, she said she had grown up eating Scandinavian dishes like lefse and krumkake.

"It's fun to do it (cook Lefse etc.) with church members," Ditlefsen said.

The Holiday and Scandinavian Treat sale is also a fundraiser for Trinity Lutheran's youth group. The time spent working also helps the children earn money for Bible camp as well as other activities, including a planned 2013 trip to Robin's Nest Children's Home in Jamaica.

Amy Edison, who is helping lead the trip, said the group will be cleaning, doing laundry, fixing things and doing odd jobs around the children's home to help out during their time there. Edison said Trinity Lutheran has been sending a mission group to Robin's Nest Children's Home since 2005.

The Holiday and Scandinavian Treat Sale is one of the fundraisers the youth can participate in to help support the mission trip.

All the children asked said they would likely be back to bake again next year.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048