In 1845, the Norwegian writer Mrs. Hanna Winsnes wrote “Textbook in the Different Genres of the Household” (Norwegian: Lærebog I de forskjellige Grene af Huusholdningen) where she presented 618 recipes and guides to good homemaking.
The book covered everything from animal slaughter and baking, to soap and candle making. It was very popular up until the 1940′s with numerous editions, and was regarded as the “Housewife’s Bible”.
Mrs. Winsnes was famous for her work to professionalize homemaking through several books on household, hand crafts and recipes. She was also the first Norwegian female novelist with her 1841 novel “The Count’s Daughter” under the pseudonym Hugo Schwarz.
In her household book “Lærebog I de forskjellige Grene af Huusholdningen” she emphasized the importance of good order, cleanliness and planning, as well as efficient use of surrounding resources.
Mrs. Winsnes was also the first who anchored the traditional Christmas baking tradition in Norway. In a time when the country was at its poorest it was limited access to many products, but industrialization made tools and materials more available and changed cooking methods.
The book introduces, among others “Fattigmann” (Poor Man), “Hjortetakk” (Hartshorn) and “Berlinerkranser” (Berlin Wreath) which even today are traditional Christmas baking.
In 1992, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten undertook a survey of the Norwegian population asking which cakes they regarded as the “seven types” for Christmas. The result was: Smultringer (Donuts), Sandkaker (Sand Cakes), Sirupssnipper (Syrup Cakes), Goro, Krumkaker (Curved Cakes), Fattigmann (Poor Man) and Berlinerkranser (Berlin Wreath).
You will find all the recipes here on ThorNews:
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews