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Wednesday November 22nd 2017

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Ingebretsen’s Celebrates Nine Decades for Nine Weeks

By Carsten Smith

Every birthday is worth celebrating, but some birthdays are worth an extra special effort. For Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts, that birthday is the ninetieth, which will be celebrated this October. “My grandfather opened the store here because it was a Scandinavian neighborhood at the time. The neighborhood has changed, but we still feel supportive of it and supported by it. We are glad to be here,” says Julie Ingebretsen, gift store manager and the granddaughter of the store founder, Charles Ingebretsen.

“We have a calendar full of special events, many of which revolve around food, naturally, and the neighborhood is invited!” says Julie. For nine Saturdays, one for each decade, Ingebretsen’s will have “Taste of the Times,” a celebration of food fads and fashions over time. Starting October 1, from 11 to 1, customer will receive free samples of food representative of that decade. The first Saturday will be lefse, representing the 1920s and the strong Scandinavian presence on East Lake Street at that time. Spam; Victory Cake (a recipe that evolved out of the need to comply with WWII food rationing) and Bundt cakes; Jell-O; hotdish; quiche and fondue; bacon; and New Nordic cuisine, will follow. If you don’t remember bacon being a food fad, don’t worry. “We are doing a bacon-themed weekend because I like bacon,” laughs Julie.

The grand finale of Taste of the Times is November 26, when there will be a selection of birthday cakes. Kransekake, the traditional almond-based cake that appears at all important Norwegian celebrations will have center stage. In honor of Minneapolis history, there will be lots of bundt cakes, and a selection of other favorites. Paul Robinson, company manager of Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, accompanied by various puppeteers, will present the history of Ingebretsen’s, a show that was developed during the HOBT’s Lake Street Excavations project.

There will be plenty of book signings and author appearances. Artists and craftspeople who make many of the items sold at Ingebretsen’s will also be at the store throughout October and November. Lois Mueller will demonstrate rosemaling, Norwegian folk painting with a 300-year-old history, and Adam Turman will be at the store with his retro-with-a-wink Hotdish babes and other fun art.

“The past ninety years have had their joys and challenges for our family and for the store. But we’re glad to be here and we truly hope that our customers and neighbors will come by to celebrate with us,” Julie says warmly.

For a complete listing of events, please visit www.ingebretsens.com and click on “Events” or stop by the store and ask for a Sale Week brochure.

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