About Bea

OjakangasBea-217x250Before Beatrice Ojakangas, there was no cookbook for Finnish cuisine. Today her first book, The Finnish Cookbook, is in its 38th printing. “I guess I’ve just been a bit lucky,” says Ojakangas, who is a member of the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame (2005). According to her husband, Dick, “Around here [Duluth] I am Mr. Bea Ojakangas. It doesn’t bother me a bit, as long as she feeds me.”

Growing up in Floodwood, MN, Ojakangas was “the oldest [of ten]. My mother said it was time to learn to bake a cake, but I couldn’t read or write yet because I hadn’t been to school.” As her younger sister Lil was born in the next room, Ojakangas made what she calls the “salt cake,” her first experience in the kitchen. “My mother said always before you bake something you should taste it and if it tastes flat you should add a pinch of salt,” says Ojakangas. Taste after taste led to pinch after pinch of salt. After baking the cake in a wood-heated oven, Ojakangas realized she “had forgotten the sugar.” She’s come a long way in both her understanding of food and creativity in the kitchen.

With 27 books under her belt, Ojakangas could be said to be the Julia Child of Finnish cuisine. Because she’s “a curious person,” Ojakangas spent a year in Finland traveling around learning recipes and writing her first book, The Finnish Cookbook. Rye, lingonberries, and cloudberries were the elements of Finnish cuisine that were used in recipes passed down verbally from generation to generation. Due to that tradition, Ojakangas says “the same name [of] a recipe will indicate a different recipe in different parts of the country.” Growing up, Ojakangas was the only grandchild who could speak Finnish so her grandmother taught her Finnish food words. “While I was there I would ask people about the words my grandma taught me,” says Ojakangas.

To make a good cookbook, “it has to have a theme or a hook,” says Ojakangas, who has recently published Petite Sweets, a book that veers from her Finnish expertise. Not all of her cookbooks have been Scandinavian themed, but the ones that have are among the most popular. The Great Scandinavian Baking Book received a James Beard Award. Scandinavian Feasts, a book that Ojakangas wrote after traveling to all of the Scandinavian countries, went out of print after 14 months. Recently it has been brought back into print along with 7 other books by the University of Minnesota Press. “The U of M press says they want to keep all my books in print,” says Ojakangas.

Ojakangas also has some experience working in restaurants. “Somebody’s House” was the name of the restaurant that she and her husband owned in the Mount Royal shopping center in Duluth in the early ’70s. “Part of the success was in the name,” says Dick. It was a burger place with a menu that could compete with the Lighthouse, Big Daddy’s, or the Anchor Bar. The menu included 36 varieties of hamburgers, and every month they would change them up. The Noodle Burger ($1.45), the Burgundy Burger ($1.45), and the Swede Burger ($1.15) were among the choices. The Duluth Blizzard Burger ($1.25) was described by the restaurant’s menu as “the hamburger sheltered beneath a drift of sour cream as only Duluth would, or could, have it; the garnish of course, is a kosher pickle and Scandinavian styled pickled beet. Var sa God!” The couple owned the restaurant for three years, then sold it because Beatrice preferred writing and Dick was a professor of geology at UMD. “After we sold it, [the restaurant] supported two [other] families for 10 years,” says Dick.

Last year, one of Ojakangas’ newest books, The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever, was nominated for a James Beard Award for single subject. “You can find casseroles all over the world,” says Ojakangas, who, like many Minnesotans, often calls a casserole a “hot dish.”

There isn’t a book at the printer or in progress, but there is a proposal currently on Ojakangas’ desk. “People are always asking me for a slow cooker cookbook,” says Ojakangas, who doesn’t think she will ever stop writing.

From Heavy Table

94 thoughts on “About Bea

  • March 7, 2014 at 3:54 am
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    Hi, I am desperately looking for a recipe for Norwegian Cheese Cake made with gjestost cheese. We were down at Epcot Center in Disney World, and went to the country Norway. They have a bakery which we went into and bought a piece of this cheesecake which was labeled Gjetost cheesecake. It was brown in color just like the cheese is and was absolutely the best I have ever eaten. I am Norwegian and have had gjestost all my life. I wrote to Norway, (in Disney) for the recipe, but they said the chef would not give out the recipe….. I thought how many people have asked for the recipe.. Can you help me??? Please???? Thank you so very much, Sincerely, Linnea

    Reply
  • March 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm
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    Hi,

    I was looking at the introduction to your book on convection cooking, and it said that you had an earlier book on countertop convection cooking. Which book would you suggest using for cooking with a countertop convection oven, namely the Breville SmartOven?

    Also, do you think a countertop convection oven can make a great souffle? I am especially interested in souffles.

    Reply
  • April 29, 2014 at 6:21 pm
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    I have just finished baking the Honey Whole Wheat Bread, page 51 from your Whole Grain Breads cookbook. DELICIOUS!!! I had hoped to write you sooner, but wanted your cookbook first to know a little more about you.. I hope your time at Mayo’s was productive and that Richard found out what was wrong. I passed all the tests in flying colors and had an uneventful trip home. Tried to stop in Mauston, Wi, for cheese, but they were closed. It was great meeting the two of you and tell Richard that I did look at the St. Peters rock behind the Hampton Inn. I did my geology. I hope that we can keep in touch and possibly get to visit with you again. Fred and Karen. E-mail, fredflower@comcast.net

    Reply
  • May 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm
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    Hello Ms. Ojakangas:

    I am writing to you as the new Linden Hills Farmers’ Market manager. We are creating an innovative chef-driven and curated market. With that, we are hosting a FOOD GURU stall. This is similar to a master gardener “help desk,” but food focused. We are inviting culinary professionals to hu-man the desk. Being a big fan of your cookbooks – we’d love to host you for a day this season. Of course, you would be welcome to sell your cookbooks, demo a recipe or two and chat up our customers. Please let me know if this sounds appealing. I’ve included more information below.

    Also, I should tell you — I grew up near Duluth, and my mother was a student of your husband. Her name is Christine Peterson (Wyrum, then). She talked about him often when I was growing up, and considers him pivotal in her career. She became a middle-school science teacher in Virginia, MN and credits him with much of that. She would want me to tell you that. Oh, and I’ve been cooking from your Soup & Bread book this long winter and spring and find it wonderful! My Scandinavian heritage “thanks you” for your work!

    I hope to hear from you on this.

    Best,
    Libby Wyrum
    ———–
    Linden Hills Farmers’ Market Seeks Culinary Pros for FOOD GURU Stall!

    Every Sunday, during our retail market hours (9AM to 1PM), we are offering a 10×10 stall space to a different restaurant, cafe, caterer, brewery or gastropub. Our customers have questions about tools, techniques and ingredients – you have the answers.

    It’s easy. You provide three to four chefs, sous chefs, waiters and bartenders (and other food professionals) and their culinary expertise – we provide the customers. Sign up for a single Sunday, arrive at 9AM and stay until 1PM or thereabouts.

    You do what you do best — connect with people over food. We give you a 10′ x 10′ stall, with extra credit for inventiveness! There is lots of flexibility in how you participate. You are welcome to make this truly interactive, or as simple as pie. Food demos and small-bite sampling are welcome.

    We are crafting the LHFM market’s event calendar now. If you are interested in taking a single Sunday, please contact Libby at libertywyrum@gmail.com or at 612 867 0854.

    What. Every Sunday from June thru October

    When. Wholesale Market, 7AM to 9AM
    Retail Market, 9AM to 1PM

    Where. Settergren’s Hardware Store, in the heart of Linden Hills
    2813 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis, 55410

    Reply
  • August 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm
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    Hi Bea,
    This is Ann Rust from the Carlton County Extension Office. Our office hosts monthly “Community Connect” classes for the general public on various topics of interest. Our September topic is Artisan Breads. We were wondering if you would be available to demonstrate a couple of your Easy Artisan Breads one evening. We offer a stipend and mileage if this is something you would be available to do. We can reserve the new kitchen at the Esko Town Hall for the demo. Thank you in advance.
    Ann Rust
    Carlton County Extension
    Volunteer Coordinator

    Reply
  • August 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm
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    Dear Beatrice,

    Voyageur Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group based in Minneapolis, is investigating publishing a “New Nordic” Cookbook in collaboration with Minneapolis’ American Swedish Institute, using recipes from the institute’s restaurant FIKA.

    The book would be illustrated with professionally shot photographs of the dishes presented by a food stylist, and the chefs of course.

    We are searching for a seasoned cookbook author to put the project together, which will include not only editing and rewriting recipes that may be incomplete or unclear, but also writing about the institute and its history. It may be appropriate to include sidebars about things related to the institute, Swedish-Americans, or Nordic culture, especially traditions related to food.

    We envision the book as a high-end cookbook, with an elegant design and high production values. Although we haven’t set a retail price, it probably will be in the range of $35-40 in hardcover.

    We have in mind contracting a writer on an advance/royalty system. Although we need to please our partner, the institute, I see this as the author’s book.

    Would you be potentially interested in such a project? Enough to perhaps speak with me by phone? If you could be so kind as to e-mail me, and, if you’d like to talk, include your phone number and a good time to reach you, I’d appreciate it.

    Note we are publishing more and more cookbooks, and if you have ideas for a wholly different cookbook, we’d love to talk with you. Our proposal-submission guidelines are online at http://qbookshop.com/uploads/files/Submission%20Guidelines/VoyageurPressSubmissionGuidelines2014.pdf.

    Thanks for your time.

    All the best,

    Todd Berger

    Reply
  • August 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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    Hi Beatrice,

    This is Anya Britzius, editor of Sons of Norway’s Viking magazine. For our upcoming December issue, we are doing a feature on Christmas cookies, and I’d love to use several recipes from your books! I wanted to reach out and get your permission to do so. We are still thinking about which recipes to include and how many we will have room to feature, but you have so many wonderful ones! We will be planning to do our own photo shoot for the cookies. Would it be ok with you if we feature a few recipes? We would of course give you credit in the article as well as your books (The Great Scandinavian Baking Book and The Great Holiday Baking Book).

    I know you have contributed to Viking in the past so thank you for that, and thanks for considering this request.

    Anya Britzius
    Editor, Viking Magazine | MSP-C

    MSP-C, a division of MSP Communications
    220 S. Sixth Street, Suite 500
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
    http://www.msp-c.com

    Reply
  • August 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm
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    Remember the column you wrote maybe 40 years ago that a good meal for kids–Greg liked it–was to combine macarone/cheese with a can of baked beans? Just wanted you to know that recipe still lives on. Yesterday Maria made it again, this time combined chunks of sausage. She said son Brian, now 16, practically inhaled it.
    Good recipes live on!
    Hope the summer is going well with you, Dick and yours!
    Mike

    Reply
  • October 4, 2014 at 2:34 pm
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    Hi Beatrice,

    I had used your danish pastry recipe several times and LOVED it, but I noticed it has been removed from the site. I was hoping to make this recipe on Friday, so I’m wondering if there’s any way you can send me the recipe or repost it before then? I searched around on your site and saw that someone else was looking for it in June, but I couldn’t seem to find it posted anywhere yet, so I apologize if it is up and I missed it. If that’s the case, could you point me in the right direction?

    Thanks a ton!
    Nicole

    Reply
  • November 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm
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    Hi Beatrice,

    Hope you are well.I got an email from someone that attend your 4×4 dinner at the arboretum last month. I understand your 4×4 dinner was wonderful and well received. I am writing to apologize not being there but we weren’t sure if our products were being used on the menu and didn’t want to intrude if not. Glad you could use them. If we or they can be of any use in the future please let us know. I and or Sheri are in Duluth relatively often so we can get more to you pretty easily.

    All best,

    Chad


    Chad Stoltenberg and Sheri Stone
    Locust Lane Vineyards

    Reply
  • January 9, 2015 at 1:08 am
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    Bea,
    I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoy your books. I am a baking and pastry student at The Institute for the Culinary Arts in Omaha , Nebraska, and my personal area of emphasis is Nordic baking and cuisine. This is largely self-study (there isn’t a lot of expertise in that area down here)! I grew up in Minnesota making Lefse and Rommegröt with my mom and dream of owning my own Nordic bakery one day.

    You are an amazing source of knowledge and inspiration to me. Thank you for your work. Do you ever take on interns as part of your recipe development process? I would be very interested in working with you if an opportunity ever arises. I consider the north shore of Lake Superior to be my spiritual home and would love to live and work up there, even for a short period of time.

    All the best to you,
    Kristi Tyler

    Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 3:16 pm
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    Dear Ms. Ojakangas,

    I am inquiring about a recipe you published in “The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever” (and it IS). I am wondering what to do with the two beaten egg yolks mentioned in the recipe on page 459? Baked Penne with Four Cheeses. My thanks for many spectacular meals. They have all been superb,
    Pam
    Sorry, I imagine this is not the proper website for this question.

    Reply
  • March 4, 2015 at 4:09 am
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    Hi Beatrice,
    I’m trying to find a recipe my grandmother (from Austria) used to make. She called it Spitzbuam (I think that’s how to spell it). It looks like a Linzer Tort with raspberry filling and the lattice top, but with a chocolate or Cocoa dough.

    Are you aware of this cookie? Can you send me the recipe or show me where to look?

    Thanks – I’ve been looking for quite some time,
    Bob Ricobene

    Reply
  • March 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm
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    I was adopted at about 5 years old. Fifty years later, my curious daughter began discovering our Finnish roots. Among our discoveries have been festivals and food. As an avid cook, I am also a collector of cookbooks. I have about 300. I’ve now discovered this story about your books. I have only one Scandinavian cookbook, so I am looking forward to finding yours and trying some recipes.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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    Bea, my mom was Finn and used to make what she called feeli or veeli (yogurt) from a starter. Do you have any idea where I could get such a starter to make my own thickened milk?

    Thank you,
    Milan

    Reply
  • March 21, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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    Mrs. Ojakangas,
    My name is Sage Wuu. I am an 8th grader participating in a competition called National History Day. It is an academic program that has students research a topic at a collegiate level relating to a yearly theme, which is currently Leadership and Legacy In History. My topic is Julia Child. If you would kindly take a short moment to answer the following questions, it would greatly improve my project:

    1. As a cook and cookbook writer, what do you admire about Julia Child?

    2. Have you had any personal experiences with Mrs. Child that showed her leadership or legacy?

    3. How do you think Mrs. Child was a leader in the culinary arts/industry, and why was this important?

    4. How has Julia Child made a lasting impact and legacy, and what do think they are?

    5. Is there anything else you would like to share about Julia Child that would relate to her leadership or legacy?

    Thank you,
    Sage Wuu

    Reply
  • July 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm
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    Please pardon the lack of commas!

    Reply
  • July 18, 2015 at 10:37 pm
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    Dear Beatrice

    Purchased and love “The Soup & Bread Cookbook”. Probably my favourite cookbookin the last couple of years.

    However, there is one recipe that I can’t get. The Polish Sourdough Rye recipe on page 74 has resulted in a soupy dough both times I’ve tried it. The 1st time I just added enough flour to get it to ball up. The 2nd time, I’ve just given up as I had the same results. Any other similar comments from other readers or do I assume that this boils down to user error? 🙂 Please comment and thanks for your time.
    Brad

    Reply
  • July 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm
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    Ms. Ojakangas’ “Gourment Cooking for Two” has some wonderful recipes.

    Regrettably, over recent years I’ve lost my entire library, and am now rebuilding it. But … if memory serves correctly … on page 87 (88?) is a recipe for Chateaubriand. The secret to it is the “glace de viand,” a remarkably simple but tasty sauce/glaze for the finest (and most expensive) cut of beef.

    Make this roast, combine it with some double-boiled mashed potatoes (SOOOO smooth!), glazed carrots, and peas in a butter sauce, with popovers for the bread, and a spicy-hot tomato soup, and dinner IS served!

    Salad beforehand, of course – maybe three types of lettuce, some shaved carrot and bits of chopped apple and a sprinkling of walnut pieces, all set off by a light spicy Spanish salad dressing, et voila! Yummy dinnertime.

    Of course we shouldn’t neglect dessert. I like chocolate cake and French vanilla ice cream topped with a warm caramel drizzle.

    Libations of course are to taste. But a very light champagne with the salad – the tastes offset nicely – followed by an authoritative California red wine with the main course, and perhaps some Drambuie with the dessert has been successful for me in the past.

    Nominate a designated driver …..

    Reply
  • August 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    Hi Beatrice,

    How’re you doing?

    I have your ” Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand”. Great book, but I’ve a little problem with the measurement. How many grams does 1 cup of flour weigh in your recipes?

    Thanks a lot.

    Sue

    Reply
  • August 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm
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    Dear Bea,

    The Duluth Public Library would like to invite you to speak at the Main Library during our fall Authors’ Day, on Saturday, November 21st. Would you be available? Please email me or call me at 730-4240 with your possible availability.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2015 at 11:18 pm
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    As I was putting my loaves of pulla into the oven this afternoon, it occurred to me that, in 45 years of marriage, that is the single food I have prepared most often. A friend introduced me to the recipe and your Finnish cookbook in the early 70’s and since then I have probably made a batch up at least once a month. Guests always get it for breakfast; if we visit friends, I bring it as a gift. It goes camping with us. I have sent loaves to friends’ kids at college. When I visit my daughter in Australia, I leave her with a freezer full of loaves. I call it a perfect recipe – three loaves means there’s one to eat now, one for the freezer and one to share.
    Thank you for giving us so much pleasure.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2015 at 11:09 pm
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    Hi! I am a proud owner of your ‘ Great Scandinavian Baking Book’ and was excited when I finally chose ONE recipe to bake ( There are so many good ones listed). I got too brave and wanted to replicate- Sandkaka- using potato flour. The recipe you print uses cake flour. Saddly it did not come out good. Could you share the original recipe which would allow me to use Potato flour? I would be very grateful if you could share. My next attempt will be Krumkake. I am looking forward to this and
    Lohipasteijat. Thanks
    Evelyn Gjersvik

    Reply
  • December 10, 2015 at 6:05 pm
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    Greetings from the Virginia Public Library! We would like to know if you would be interested in speaking at our Book Lover’s Tea again this coming February. Please contact me so that we can talk about it.

    Sincerely,

    Susan Hoppe
    Reference Services Librarian

    Reply
  • December 10, 2015 at 11:40 pm
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    Dear Bea-
    We watched a video of you and Julia Child making pastries. One was a braided pastry and the others were little 6″ square pastries. Which cookbook of yours would have recipes for these pastries and fillings? Also where would you suggest we purchase these cookbook(s)? Do you sell them or do we purchase them from the U of M Press or where?
    They look good enough to eat!
    Thanks.
    Jim and Ruth

    Reply
  • December 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm
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    My Grandparents were from Norway. My Grandmother had some wonderful oval shaped plates that had a saucer indention on it so we could eat eat cookies or cake with the coffee cup on the same plate. What are these plates called and can you tell me where I can buy them? Hers are long gone.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  • January 9, 2016 at 4:31 pm
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    Watched your cooking show on channel 2 today and last Saturday as well. I love your stories and you. I ordered one of your books last week and am anxiously waiting for it. Just wanted you to know how much I have enjoyed your show. I live in MN as well.

    Sallie

    Reply
  • January 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    You are a joy to watch Bea and I really enjoy how you tie your past into your cooking during your show.

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  • January 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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    On one of your shows you used a white pepper grinder that you moved back and forth. I have problems with my arm making it hard to turn a regular grinder. I was wondering where you got that grinder, if you remember. Also I love your show. I am swedish so it is very interesting to me. Thanks

    Reply
  • January 20, 2016 at 8:09 pm
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    Hello,
    I love your new show! Thank you!
    Just wanted to tell you that your last name is incorrectly spelled on the ending credits.

    Ojakanagas.

    You might want to fix it.

    Keep up the fun show!

    Reply
  • February 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm
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    Love your show, I like hearing about Finnish traditions and the food that goes with it.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 3:52 am
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    Today I saw an old program on WLIW21: http://www.pbs.org/video/2250836226/
    BAKING WITH JULIA
    Danish Pastry Pockets with Beatrice Ojakangas
    I truly enjoyed and admired your professionalism.
    I was looking for the written version of the recipe, but it is not on your website.
    I see you have been to Budapest, I hope you enjoyed your trip on the Danube.
    I hope to recreate the Danish Pastry recipe.
    Sincerely,
    Katalin T. Nagy

    Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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    Would love to see some DVD’s of your favorite sweets, breads and savories. Any chance?

    Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 3:51 am
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    I love your show!!! Do you know your last name is misspelled on the ending credits? Under “Recipes” it says Ojakanagas. Keep up the good work!!! Bloomington MN

    Reply
  • February 25, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    Hi Bea,

    I met you at St. Andrew’s church in Mahtomedi, when Susanna was in a Mom’s group that we were in.
    I am planning some spouse events for an upcoming convention in Duluth on Sept. 20-22. I was wondering if you would do a cooking class for us? There could be -10-30 women, depending on how many sign up. If you do not do this, can you recommend someone that could?
    Thank you!
    Kyra Ludwigson

    Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm
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    Hi Bea

    I have the good fortune to be marrying a Finn in Helsinki this summer! Anyway to cut a long story short – would you think a Cloudberry layer cake would be suitable as a wedding cake ? as about 80% of the guests will be flying in, I want to make the menu as Finnish (at least Scandinavian) as possible.

    Best Nicolas

    Reply
  • March 10, 2016 at 1:35 am
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    Hello Beatrice:
    I have a sister 8yrs older that wants me to find out how she can take some classes of yours.
    I live in Minnesota (Lake Minnetonka area) and she lives in Kansas (Flint Hills area).
    Are you still teaching and/or will you be doing any demonstrations in the Midwest anytime
    soon? My sister does not have a computer so I’m trying to play inbetween communicator.

    Thank you,
    Wanda Martens
    (Appliance Repair Technician)

    Reply
  • April 1, 2016 at 6:02 pm
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    I love your books and have given the first book, The Finnish Cookbook, to my late mother’s cousin. They are full-blood Finns from Menahga MN. Betty Higgins, age 88, is unbelievably delighted to have the book and since she doesn’t have a computer, I will be providing her with all the information I can find online.

    Reply
  • April 6, 2016 at 5:22 pm
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    Hi Ms. Ojakangas,
    I enjoy watching your show and was hoping you could tell me where to find the adorable Babe the Blue Ox piece of pottery you have displayed in your kitchen on set. Thanks!

    Reply
  • April 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm
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    Bea,

    I have a question about your Maple Oatmeal Walnut bread in your Whole Grains Bread Machine Cookbook. It does not have any oil or butter in it and I was wondering if 1 or 2 tablespoons should be added?

    Thanks for any help you can give me on this.
    Norma

    Reply
  • June 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm
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    My Grandparents where from Floodwood and They had relations Ojakangas There Oscar and Lempi Makela was the name’s My mother Was Edna they lived 7 miles north of Floodwood.

    Reply
  • June 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm
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    Dear Beatrice,

    My name is Marcin and I am a passionate of bread baking. I am baking for my family and friends every weekend from seven years and I have evolved my own recipe for great dark rye bread with a lot of different seeds. Two days ago in pizzeria in Torun, Poland I have find Polish edition of your book, and I think that is a best cook book I have ever seen. My warmest congratulations.

    Best regards,
    Marcin

    Reply
  • August 22, 2016 at 7:12 pm
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    I just purchased your book COOKING WITH CONVECTION. I am new to convection cooking. My oven does not have a roast option. It has Bake, Toast, Broil, Pizza, Warm and Defrost. A number of your recipes call for roasting. Is there a way that I can roast in my convection oven? Thank you in advance for your help.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2016 at 1:41 am
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    Congratulations on being chosen and honored at the Norsk Hostfest banquet. And I’m so excited that you will also be in the Nordic Kitchen and signing cookbooks. I just read some information on the Hostfest and learned this news. My husband and I are involved every day so I hope to say hello in person – it’s been a long time since our ASI Christmas trip. I will have to call Linnea tomorrow and tell her about your up-coming visit to Minot. See you next week! Carol Moen

    Reply
  • September 27, 2016 at 10:39 pm
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    Hi Bea,
    I found a recipe 30+ years ago for a Christmas cookie that was like a thin jelly roll dough with maraschino cherries lining each end. You bake it, cut it in half & roll it up starting with the cherry end. Once cooled, you unroll & frost with chocolate. Then you roll back up & cut. I’m having difficulty with the chocolate. Too soft chocolate smeared when cut, too stiff chocolate cracks when cutting. Have you ever made a cookie like this? Have you any suggestions of what kind of chocolate to use? Thank you, Lu Priley

    Reply
  • October 1, 2016 at 6:07 pm
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    Hi Bea,
    I found a recipe 30+ years ago for a Christmas cookie that was like a thin jelly roll dough with maraschino cherries lining each end. You bake it, cut it in half & roll it up starting with the cherry end. Once cooled, you unroll & frost with chocolate. Then you roll back up & cut. I’m having difficulty with the chocolate. Too soft chocolate smeared when cut, too stiff chocolate cracks when cutting. Have you ever made a cookie like this? Have you any suggestions of what kind of chocolate to use? Thank you, Lu Priley

    Reply
  • October 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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    Hello- I was wonder if you were booking into spring yet for library talks for your memoir, and would you be willing to head out to Waconia, MN? If so, what would be the approximate charge?

    FYI- the memoir almost made me want to bake, which is something I usually avoid. 🙂

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • November 1, 2016 at 10:22 pm
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    I just bought a copy of your book, “Cooking with Convection.” I am wondering if I could use most of your recipes with my tabletop convection oven and have good results. So many of your recipes sound so good. I just turned 84 and I like cooking with the convection but would like to try some of your recipes. What say you? I don’t have a regular large convection stove oven, but can I use my tabletop. I surely hope so. Thank you in advance for any information you can give me. My cooking days are almost over, but maybe I could try a few.
    Best regards,
    Carolyn Lyons

    Reply
  • November 16, 2016 at 12:21 am
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    am part Finnish – been there…. saw what we call in Eveleth MN “pigs” from my uncle John Hendrickson’s bakery. Cannot get a good dough recipe. Do you have one? Thanks

    Reply
  • November 29, 2016 at 6:37 pm
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    Hi Beatrice! We’d love to feature you on KAXE/KBXE before you come to the Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids – wondering if you’d do a phone interview with me sometime this or next week?

    Thanks!
    Heidi Holtan
    News and Public Affairs Director
    KAXE/KBXE
    http://www.kaxe.org

    Reply
  • December 3, 2016 at 6:15 pm
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    Hi Bea,

    We use your lefse recipe each year at UUCD for a holiday fundraiser. The version I have does not list how much salt is needed. Can you please let me know for each 10 lbs how much we should add?

    Thanks,
    Joan Sutliff
    348-3905

    Reply
  • December 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm
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    Dear Mrs. Ojakangas,
    I have seen you over the years in womens magazines with your Finnish cooking. I remember how pretty you are! I hope you are doing well as I see you have not updated this blog in several years. My Finnish grandmother (Minni Lahti Myllymaki) did not bake as there was a Finnish bakery nearby in West Quincy, Massachusetts). We are invited to a Little Christmas with a Finnish born hostess. We are asked to bring an appetizer.
    I would greatly appreciate something I can do for an easy appetizer. I would never attempt dessert or Nisu!
    Kiitos, Carol Taylor, Melbourne, FL

    Reply
  • January 6, 2017 at 2:02 am
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    Bea,

    I’m a producer for KCRW’s Good Food, a weekly radio show and podcast on NPR’s Southern California member station. We’re hoping to have you on to talk about Homemade. We tape on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time. All interviews are taped and edited and generally take no more than 20 minutes. I’m happy to look for studio space for you once we nail down a date and time but we can easily tape a phone interview if you have a smart phone and a second line. Let me know what may work with your schedule.

    Thanks and best,

    Laryl

    Reply
  • January 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm
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    Hi Beatrice,

    I spoke with you at the Heartland Fall Forum in Minneapolis, and asked if you might be interested in presenting at the Chippewa Valley Book Festival in Eau Claire, WI in mid-October of 2017.

    I’d love to discuss this if you are interested, and you can contact me a the email address above.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Pam Gardow

    Pam Gardow, Librarian
    Memorial High School
    Chippewa Valley Book Festival
    2225 Keith St.
    Eau Claire, WI 54701

    Reply
  • January 24, 2017 at 4:02 am
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    Ms. Ojakangas,

    I am a volunteer board member of the Seven Dreams Education Foundation, which is the education foundation for Robbinsdale Area Schools. I am writing to ask you to donate signed books to the Bird Bash, a fundraiser for the students of Robbinsdale Schools. We have many eager readers among our 500 attendees. We welcome any books you would choose to donate. By the way, I graduated in the UMD Class of 1980 with an accounting degree, but took one geology class as an elective. I learned something about Duluth gabbro!!

    I believe you will appreciate the fundraising project for our Bird Bash 2017 event on February 18 2017 -Windows and Mirrors. We are raising money to purchase a diverse set of literature for our 3rd grade classrooms. Students will see their peers and others reflected in the literature (windows) and/or will see themselves in the literature (mirrors). Please join us in supporting the Seven Dreams Education Foundation by becoming a silent auction donor.

    Will you consider donating signed books to our silent auction? As a silent auction donor you will be providing a direct benefit for learners.

    From our hands-on learning classroom grants, to making music instruments available to all (through our Instruments4Kids initiative), to energizing STEM curriculum and remaking media centers, we are enhancing the learning of Robbinsdale Area Schools’ students every day. With your donation you too can make academic dreams come true! Help us make a difference today!

    Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration of this request. Your donation may be mailed to 2400 Sandburg Lane, Golden Valley, 55427.

    Sincerely,
    Jackie Wells

    Seven Dreams Education Foundation Volunteer Board Member

    Reply
  • March 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm
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    March 12, 2017
    Dear Ms. Ojakangas,
    Every year our church prepares a holiday tea that includes a presentation by a Minnesota author. We would like to ask you to be our speaker this year.
    For some background information, this will be the 16th year of our tea and here is a list of past speakers:
    Tom Hegg
    Bill Kimes/Kathryn Mannyng
    Kent Krueger
    Laura Landvik
    Faith Sullivan
    Gary Reineccius
    Marjorie Johnson
    Cathy Wurzer
    Steve C. Anderson
    Catherine Friend
    Kent Krueger
    Kevin Kling
    Mark Seeley
    Erin Hart
    Linda Koutsky and Kathryn Strand Koutsky
    Speakers are invited to enjoy our delicious tea service, given a stipend of $200 as well as an opportunity to sell their books to tea guests. Our attendance at the tea has been between 120-150 guests in the past. The audience is well read and enjoys interacting with our authors. The Holiday Tea date is Sunday afternoon, November 12, 2017 from 2:30-4:30 PM. The tea service is the first hour of the program. Speakers usually present for 1 hour and sell books afterwards.
    You may have visited our church diner at the State Fair; we are the oldest such venue on the fair grounds. We also support a bread oven on our church grounds where our many bread chefs prepare for many occasions such as pretzels today for lenten services.
    Would you consider being our guest this coming November 12th?

    Best wishes,

    Barbara Leary, Jan Bajuniemi
    Holiday Tea Committee Members

    Reply
  • March 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm
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    Dear Beatrice,

    My name Michael Baumgartner and I am the Festival Events Coordinator for the Nordic Culture Clubs. Your name was mentioned at one of my Festival Planning Meetings for a possible presenter and I have been looking for more authors for my Festival. The Festival is on June 23rd and June 24th held at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead Minnesota. The Host country for the year is Norway, and I am wondering if you would be interested in participating in this years Festival. Let get back to me if you are.

    Thank you for your time,
    Michael

    Reply
  • April 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm
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    Bea,

    Do you have time in the next week to talk with me about Scandinavian cookies in the United States? I am working on a follow-up book to my American Cake book, and with your wealth of experience in this realm, I would like your opinion about cookies that have integrated into the American way of baking. Thanks so much!
    Anne

    Reply
  • April 10, 2017 at 10:13 pm
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    Hello Beatrice,
    A Festival of Nations organizer asked if there were any Finnish cooks that may interested in putting on a 20 min. demonstration one time or as often you may wish. The Festival, for adults in Friday, May 5th after 3:00 PM and all day Sat. and Sun.
    It is strictly up to you, the Finnish organization would not benefit from this.
    Thank you, Richard

    Reply
  • April 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm
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    Hi! I recently made the crusty Tuscan Bread from you Soup & Bread Cookbook. I found the dough to be really sticky so I added about 1/4 c. of flour to the recipe. I ALSO noticed that the recipe did not call for any SALT to be added. My bread did not turn out so I’m wondering if adding salt and more FLOUR would help. I would like to try this recipe again. Can you give me any suggestions for better success? I admit I did not follow the directions completely. I tried to bake the bread in a round stone bowl in the oven – same temperature and I DID spray the oven with water before baking also.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    Sincerely,
    Elaine

    Reply
  • April 18, 2017 at 6:33 am
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    The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever Feature On Recipe This

    Hello Beatrice Ojakangas and Susie Cushner,

    I hope you are well.

    I contacted you a while ago about a possible collaboration with RecipeThis.com and just checking to see if you have received our email yet and if you are ready to get started!

    We are a young blog that started in November of 2015 and we are currently getting 200,000 page views per month with the average visitor reading 2 pages per visit.

    Our readers love family recipes and are addicted to cooking from scratch and love kitchen gadgets.

    We also have offices in the US & in Europe making it perfect for a partnership without having to worry about international shipping.

    We have some exciting campaigns coming up at the moment and would love to match your product to one of them.

    If you are interested let me know and we can get a media kit straight over to you.

    Kind regards

    Richard
    Ads Department
    RecipeThis.com

    Reply
  • April 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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    I was given your book “The best of Wild Rice Recipes”. I tried Pork Chop Wild Rice Casserole. I seasoned the chops with salt and pepper. After baking for 1 hour, the liquid never boiled. I followed the recipe. After 1.5 hours, the liquid never evaporated. I baked it for another 30 minutes. Time to eat. There was less than 1.5 cups of the liquid left. Should there be that much liquid left? The rice was tender. The chops were tender, also.

    Thank you.

    R. Neal Sterling

    Reply
  • April 29, 2017 at 3:04 pm
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    Slow me! I just got introduced to Bea Ojakangas on TPT and fell in love with her easy-going manner, style, thorough explanation of how to make (in this case Danish pastry) her specialties. I also loved the exquisite view out the window of her kitchen. I will definitely be tuning in again!

    Reply
  • May 3, 2017 at 11:23 pm
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    Bea: Love your PBS program! I bought your Casserole book and I made your Tuna Noodle casserole. I did not make your white sauce; just used 1 can of cream of mushroom soup. I actually thought it was a bit dry; next time I’ll either use 2 cans of the soup or use a half a can of milk!

    I DID throw in some frozen peas….a nice addition.

    Thanks!

    Barry Margolis
    in Minneapolis

    Reply
  • May 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm
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    I just watched your PBS show about soups & breads — and your comments about a lifetime of cookbooks. So I think you might be the perfect person to create a theme book that I haven’t ever seen; I call it “Classic Lake Country Foods…A Cookbook Featuring the Bounty of America’s Inland Lakes & Streams”. It’s my idea/hope, but I don’t have the experience or credentials to make it happen. If this sparks some curiosity in you, I’ll be happy to send you a copy of my preliminary outline.

    Reply
  • May 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm
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    Bea, my grandmother was born in Pori Finland and I live in Embarrass where my Finnish family settled. We go to your Finnish Cookbook frequently. If you get this email soon enough, I have a question about the Munalaatikko (egg casssarole) recipe:
    Regarding the direction to, “Pour into a buttered casserole and put into a pan of water.” Should the water be room temp when it all goes into the oven or should the water be pre-heated in the oven pan before the casserole goes in?” Thank you.
    Chuck Neil (Grandmother’s name was Murtonen)

    Reply
  • June 1, 2017 at 8:26 pm
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    Hello (again!…if you have previously received my first email). I inquired if you would be so kind as to let me know which specific cookbook you have a recipe that I have just half of. Some of the wording, i.e. “requires 3 baking sheets”, “you will have 9 ropes”, “brush braids with the mixture”, “bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.” 20 to 25 minutes. I am going to purchase your book but am not sure which one this particular recipe is in. Thanks so much.

    Regards,
    Rosanne

    Reply
  • July 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm
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    Hi! I love your Great Whole Grain Breads cookbook and have been using it for more than 20 years. There is one recipe I tried when I first found the book that didn’t work for me: Yeasted Whole Wheat Doughnuts, on page 225. The dough just didn’t rise. I tried it again recently with what I knew were fresh ingredients, and I made sure with a thermometer and with a timer that I did all the steps right. Again, the dough just didn’t rise. I tried it twice, the second time covering the dough and leaving it to rise on the countertop for 24 hours (this after its stint in the refrigerator). It did rise a bit, and the result tasted nice, but it wasn’t the result I was expecting, and the whole process took an additional day besides what was specified in the recipe. Is there something that was left out of that recipe by an editor? Or do you have a different whole grain baked doughnut recipe in a different cookbook that you recommend?

    Thank you for your time.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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    Hi Bea. A lot of years ago I gave you a book I worked on with the Finland, Minnesota Historical Society called How We Remember You wrote me such a nice letter of gratitude because you shared the book with your mom when she lived with you.

    Now I am in Schroeder as the director of the Cross River Heritage Center. We are using the exhibit Children of the Finnish Homesteds (St. Louis County Historical Society) for our 2018 season. We would love you to come to Schroeder for our annual meeting for a book signing and community dinner. We have it about 5pm on a Saturday in June. It would be your choice of day and can accommodate however you like. It would be great to see you. The Finnish Matriarchy in Finland, MN told me they way to make good bread was to read your books. I can make really good bread now. I love your books.

    Best you and Kiitos.
    Suzan
    Cross River Heritage Center
    7932 W Highway 61 P.O. Box 337
    Schroeder, MN 55613

    Reply
  • August 3, 2017 at 11:43 pm
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    Bea – I am a member of Hamline Church where you will be speaking at our Holiday Tea in November. We have a bread oven at church and I am told that you are interested in knowing more about such an oven. We have several events scheduled for August and September. I would like to talk with you in case you would like to come, observe and even try baking a product or two. My phone is 651 645 1175.

    We knew each other way back when you did a Pillsbury Classic Cookbook for us. Your work is to be admired as you have brought much pleasure to family meals with your cookbooks.

    Elaine Christiansen

    Reply
  • September 6, 2017 at 10:14 pm
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    Hi Beatrice,
    I have your “Great Whole Grain Breads” book. Recently I made the Crispy Crusted
    Sourdough Baguettes and after re reading the recipe the top says “Baking soda adds
    a burst of leavening power.”, yet it is not in the recipe. I would like to do this
    baguette again and would like to update my recipe.
    Thanks,
    Margaret

    Reply
  • October 29, 2017 at 7:25 pm
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    Just completed reading HOMEMADE and really connected with your stories. With Danish memories, growing up in Wisconsin, I have written a book about my Danish family, including family recipes and traditions.
    In 2017 two of my short essays were published (San Francisco Chronicle and Mechanical Music.
    Many thanks for your inspirational and beautifully written book. You are not a “Has Been” and truly leave a legacy.
    Blessings, Joan

    Reply
  • November 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm
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    I’d like to make the Crustless Cheesecake that’s in my Beatrice Ojakangas cookbook. The recipe doesn’t say to take the cheesecake out of the tart pan before adding the fruit spread or fruit. My guess is that you should in order to have the “shelf” for the fruit. Am I correct?

    Reply
  • November 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm
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    Dear Ms. Ojakangas:

    My name is Amy E. Robertson, and I am writing an article for NPR about a Danish cookie that has long been a Christmas tradition at our house, called smörbullar. I wanted to have an expert weigh in, and so of course I thought of you – I have your wonderful book, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. Would you have time to answer a question or two? If so, please send me an email.

    I hope to hear from you soon!
    warm regards,
    Amy

    Reply
  • December 2, 2017 at 7:56 pm
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    Hi Beatrice i hope you are well
    We will like to know if you are interested in a projects
    please advise best way to contact you
    Happy Hollidys!!
    Thank you
    Jessica

    Reply
  • February 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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    Just wondering if you are interested in coming here as a presenter about Scandinavian cooking? If so, what is your fee? We usually have about 50 people in attendance for our speakers. The audience is for people 55+. We are a senior center in Coon Rapids.

    Thank You,
    Cindy Olson

    Reply
  • February 24, 2018 at 6:47 pm
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    I received Beatrice’s wild rice recipe book as a gift, just before leaving Minnesota. I meant to shop for wild rice while I was in the state but forgot. Do you have any recommendations of who to buy wild rice from online?

    Reply
  • May 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm
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    I was reading the Sacramento Bee this morning when I happened upon one of your recipes. I studied at UMD starting in 1967 and graduating in 1972. I lived in the dorm and I loved loved loved eating at Somebody’s House! I also had Dick as my Geology professor, and Doc Holliday for lab. As an English major I wasn’t the greatest geology student, but what I learned really comes in handy when I am yelling answers to “Jeopardy” questions on th tv. We live in Montana now and spend winters in California, and my husband and I inevitably discuss geology on our long drives twice a year across Nevada and Utah. Now I am off to find some of your cookbooks. Thanks to you both for enriching my life.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2018 at 11:46 pm
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    Mrs. Ojakangas, Please get in touch with me through my email or facebook. I grew up on the same farm you did! I’m reading your book ,”Homemade”. When I read the parts about the farm, it’s like I wrote myself! It was the best place to grow up! I loved it and miss it! When I read about the west field or the rapids in the river, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about! I experienced the same things in the same places. I LOVE this book! I hope you can get in touch with me!

    Reply
  • August 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm
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    Dear Bea,
    Sunset Magazine has been my source for recipes since 1993 when we moved from the western Chicago suburbs to western Oregon. I’ve cooked Asian, Mexican, California, Retro etc. from their tested recipes for 25 years, and they’ve been travel guides to the great American west for the same period.
    I thought I “met” you in 1997 or so on a Saturday afternoon rerun on Oregon Public TV’s Baking with Julia. I bought the series cookbook and realized I’d also seen you on Martha Stewart.
    Because I’m of Finnish descent and work with international students at Oregon State University, I began to collect your cookbooks, and in 2008 when I received my online Abe Books purchase of a new, signed copy of The Finnish Cookbook, my jaw dropped. It dawned on me that my aunt had given a copy as a newlywed back in 1964.
    I’d copied out and made your meatballs, panukakku, gingersnaps, pot roast with prunes, potato sausage and prune whip, among other things, all my cooking life. Who knows what I did with that original copy. Wish I had it. But I’m not a packrat and It probably was stained and ruined because the same thing happened to my 1962 Better Homes & Gardens and my 1953 Joy of Cooking. Why, oh why, do we grow too soon old and too late smart?
    2016 brought Homemade to my mailbox before our annual Junction City, Oregon Scandinavian Festival. So I owe you thanks for Tippaleipa each August since. I have read and reread Homemade and love your writing, your story, your spunk and your style and have purchased and given copies to the aunt who gave me The Finnish Cookbook in ’64, to my sister, nieces, friends (especially my WSU home econ major Oregon best friend), and I already have copies put away for my two granddaughters.
    How could I not have internalized some of your story back in ‘64? Maybe I didn’t really appreciate my background then even though I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois eating my Swede-Finn grandfather’s clabbered milk made from starter his cousins in Malax, Finland would send to him. He immigrated to Wentworth, Wisconsin in 1905, and all our male relatives worked on the iron ore boats. But grampa had been a jeweler’s apprentice in Finland, and ended up relocating to Chicago for a job. Of course, we spent summer vacations in Wisconsin and my grandmother, by then his widow, moved “back,” to Arrowhead Road in Duluth in the late 50’s. Wild berries and saunas and Lake Superior will always be my ideal.
    In 2016 as a Sunset reader, I read about your Sunset Magazine background and thought, oh, yes, I can see that you would have been thrilled to discover that beautiful mid-century modern building and land a job there. It’s delightful to me that that job turned out to be what tou consider the beginning of your writing career. It’s your writing and your books, read and written in, that have made you part of my life.
    These days I rely on Raspberry Ribbons and peppernuts along with your 1964 sour cream coffee cake and pulla and Finnish prune star tarts for my Christmas coffee table, along with “my mother’s” orange chiffon cake. But I guess I even have to give you credit for that one, too.
    I hope this finds you and your husband well and enjoying life in Minnesota. I’m glad you have a new book out!
    This is just another fan letter. But one long overdue. I should have, could have written it you know when. Thank you again, Bea, for your writing, for inspiration and laughs and for sharing recipes and your life with all of us.
    Sharon Soderman Kavanagh
    August 2018

    Reply
  • August 29, 2018 at 8:32 pm
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    Hello Beatrice,
    As many, I have been an admirer of your cookbooks for years. I have been teaching traditional Norwegian cooking and baking classes at Vesterheim for a couple decades now and also taught for Scandinavian week at John C. Campbell for 7 years. Your Finnish recipes, along with your tips, were very useful and I have referenced several of your books in my classes as they are a great learning book with good sound recipes. I grew up on a very Norwegian farm in a very rural Norwegian town in southeast Minnesota. And I to remember my mom making lefse on top of the woodstove. I really do think it tasted better 🙂
    I also work as the director of Vesterheim Museum’s Folk Art School and am trying very hard to get classes set for 2019.
    We offer about 2-3 cooking classes per year and I have wanted to invite you to teach a class here at Vesterheim for quite some time . I had heard that you were no longer teaching but then Isaw you, a year or two ago at Høstfest and decided it does not hurt to ask.
    Are you still teaching? If so is it at all possible that you would consider venturing to Decorah Iowa to teach a one or two day Scandinavian cooking class? It would be such a privilege and honor to have you here. if this is possible I will fill you in on more details and if not i will understand.
    Thank you for your time. Hjeretlig takk for alt du har gjort.
    Darlene Fossum-Martin
    Education Specialist for Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum’s Folk Art School

    Reply
  • November 13, 2018 at 1:31 am
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    I am a huge fan & am wondering if you could answer a question about baking for me? I have been making Potica for over 50 years & always have the problem of my top layer of dough pulling away from the top of my Potica loaves. I’ve tried every possible trick or idea to alleviate this from happening with no luck. I am wondering if you have any ideas to help me with this dilemma! It’s very annoying when I cut this loaf & the top layer falls away from the slice.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2018 at 2:02 am
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    I just made you lefse recipe and it turned out very good. My daughter is on gluten free diet and teaches it also. Do you have a gluten free lefse recipe?

    Reply
  • December 23, 2018 at 12:02 am
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    Bea, I’m wondering if you could shed some light on fry bread? When visiting my Norwegian grandparents in Western Minnesota, my grandma had lefse made without potatoes. She also made fry bread the day she baked bread. Was it common in Scandinavian/American homes to make fry bread? Are the origins of fry bread from Scandinavia or the Navajo tribe as the Smithsonian claims?

    As for lefse, sans potatoes, I haven’t had it made this way for probably for 45 years. I didn’t even know about potato lefse until I was in my early twenties when I met my wife.

    I would appreciate your insight.

    Mange tusen takk,

    Gary Haugland

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 9:03 pm
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    Hi Bea,
    I am interested in your library talks and would love to invite you visit the Floodwood School library.
    I also wanted to invite you to the Floodwood School’s “School of Excellence” celebration on February 4 @ 1:30-2:30 pm. The Floodwood Elementary received this prestigious award this year and we’re very excited to have past graduates come and address the current Floodwood Students.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2019 at 2:28 am
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    Hello Mrs. Ojakangas!

    My name is Jen Bartsch and I am the kindergarten teacher at the Floodwood School. I am contacting you because my students this year have an incredible interest in cooking and much of our learning is embedded within our classroom kitchen.

    We would relish an opportunity to have you visit our classroom and cook alongside us if your schedule permits you. Many of my students have deep Finnish roots and it would be such an honor to learn about traditional dishes, your family’s stories, and your connection to our wonderful community.

    Thank you for considering this special request!

    Sincerely,
    Jen Bartsch

    Reply
  • February 14, 2019 at 11:45 am
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    My husband was looking for a lefsa recipe that night for his daughter who was born in Florida and visited Duluth with me recently. He came up with your video with Martha S. (I took geology from your husband in 1973 – loved the class!)

    Reply
  • March 14, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    Hello my husband Peter is the bread maker in our house and using your “Great Whole Grain Breads” make us some wonderful loaves in the last couple of weeks. Me loved both the Minnesota Farmer’s Buttermilk Rye Loaves (loved the fennel seeds and buttermilk tang in the loaf) and Pilgrim’s Hearth Bread too which we enjoyed with my homemade split pea and ham soup. Thanks from both of us. (Also enjoyed selling your cookbooks when I worked at Barnes & Noble.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 9:24 pm
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    Hello Beatrice – I just discovered you on YouTube making Pulla. I am learning more and more of my heritage and when you mentioned coming to Sweden/Finland on the Kungsholm I almost dropped my pen (I was writing down your recipes!). My grandparents, Nikolai and Mini Wainio, came to the USA from Väasa on that ship and settled in New York City. My mother was born in the USA and I was born in NYC in 1943. A month later we moved to California. Fast forward – I am living in Florida and am the only living relative now on my mother’s side. I know so little of my heritage but want to learn! Like you, I love to cook – and you have the stamp of James Beard! How wonderful! Although my Finnish family is no longer here, I do have a family of my own, a son and a daughter, both married, and 4 grandchildren. I want them to know about the Finnish culture and now I will be able to make the Pulla bread and Karelian pie , Pirrakka. My trip to Finland has been put on hold for now but perhaps a trip tp Minnesota will be on my agenda!
    Cheers, Dolores Anitra

    Reply
  • May 3, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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    Bea,
    Wondering if you would be available as a speaker for a FAF, Finnish Americans & Friends, meeting in the future? Meetings are held in Hibbing.
    Kittos, Jerry

    Reply
  • June 14, 2019 at 11:02 pm
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    I have a question about your Barley Whole Wheat bread in your Whole Grain Breads by machine or hand. I have baked this loaf in my bread machine several times and it continually comes out small. I notice your recipe has no oil or butter in it. So I am wondering if this could be the answer to why this loaf comes out so small. I have another recipe for Barley Whole Wheat bread that comes out great whenever I make it and it does have oil in it.

    Thank you for your help with this.
    Norma

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 4:52 pm
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    Hi, a few years ago I watched you make a spatchcock turkey on one of the Duluth tv stations. I made the recipe and it was the best turkey I have ever tasted! Sadly I lost the recipe. Is there any chance I could get the recipe?
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • November 14, 2019 at 5:22 pm
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    I have great memories of the “Somebody’s House” restaurant, and am trying to find a copy of the menu. Would you happen to have that?

    Reply
  • December 27, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    Our aunt made a bread using yeast and flour. Our family referred to it as “He ann oh leipa.” Once baked it was dimpled on top of the inch and a half flat loaf from her fingers having pressed into the dough. Are you familiar with that name of bread? Our aunt never had a recipe so no one knows how to make it. It might have been similar to Mrs Long’s Graham Rieska. Thank you!

    Reply

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