Place item was collected
Logan, Utah. Informant and collectors apartment.
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Cassie Thompson is 21 years old and is currently working on her undergraduate degree at Utah State University. She is working towards a major in graphic design with a minor in psychology. Cassie and I have lived together for 3 years after we were randomly placed together as roommates. Cassie was born in Sandpoint, Idaho and moved to Portland, Texas when she was 12 years old. Cassie Thompson is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Both of her parents and all of her siblings are practicing members. Cassie’s hobbies include running, working out, reading, photography, and experimenting with photoshop. Cassie is engaged and plans to get married in December to her fiancé, who is also an active member of the LDS church.
We were shopping and came across an Aebleskivers pan. I happened to ask Cassie what it was, and she launched into a story her mother had told her numerous times. When we returned home I asked Cassie to retell the story for me to document. I interviewed her at our dining room table where we sat on opposite sides. Cassie recalled fondly a Christmas tradition from her childhood that is still practiced. The legend of Aebleskivers is told every Christmas in the Thompson household. It its an important dish to her family because her father is 100% Danish and extremely proud of it. Aebleskivers are only made on Christmas because… Cassie tells a condensed version of the story from memory because it is always her mother who tells the full story.
Aebleskivers are a traditional Danish Christmas Dish that are basically round pancake balls. Mother tells the story of their origin every year, we cook them every Christmas day AND ONLY on Christmas day. My mom sister and I mix them up and as we do, mother tells us the story again.
-Legend originates from Denmark, where it is believed the Vikings settled. –
Legend goes that the Vikings and the Knights were in a huge fight one day. They called a truce and decided to sit down and have lunch together. They made up pancake batter and only having their shields, used them to cook the batter. The Knights shields had long criss-crossed cuts in them from the Vikings swords, cooking a textured pancake. When asked what they were by the Vikings, the knights responded will full mouths "wffvs" [spelled according to the informants muttering, acting as if her mouth was full] which the Vikings heard as "waffles". The Vikings used their shields, dented with the knight’s spears, to cook the batter. This resulted in circular little cakes. The Knights asked the Vikings "These are good! What do you call them?" The Vikings, with their mouths full, muttered "Absflkkvrs" [informant again spoke as if her mouth were full of food] which gave Aebleskivers [written down to help me with spelling] their name.
The story was told in a normal tone with only moderate enthusiasm. Clearly it was a story that the informant was extremely familiar with and did not consider the small details of great importance. The first time she told me the story while we were shopping it was much more enthusiastic with more emphasis placed on the acted-out part of the story. She chewed wildly as she muttered the words, whereas when she retold it was much less drama. The legend has great importance to the informant’s family traditions and Danish heritage and that was apparent from the tone with which the story was introduced.
Introduction to Folklore, History 2210
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Parks, Shannon, "Aebelskivers" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 106.