Ballard resident creates online Scandinavian group ‘Heart & Huset’

A local Ballard woman has created a new online community to help draw the Scandinavian community together amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Food writer Daytona Strong is behind the Heart & Huset group (‘huset’ means house in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian), which is aimed at anyone with an interest in Scandinavian life and culture. Strong is also the author of two cookbooks and runs the Scandinavian food blog Outside Oslo.

“It’s no secret that those with Scandinavian roots—or who just appreciate the culture—love to gather,” Strong said. “If the local lodges of Scandinavian organizations are any indication, there’s quite a tight-knit community that develops when people with a common affinity for all things Scandinavian come together.”

With the absence of many of Ballard’s gatherings such as Syttende Mai, Strong hopes the new group will help fill a gap in celebrating Scandinavian culture.

“Years ago, when I wanted to take a deeper dive into my Norwegian heritage, I would have loved a community like this,” Strong said in a statement about the new group. “Basically, I’ve created a resource that I hope will serve both those wanting to learn more about their heritage and those who simply want to meet other like-minded people who love all things Scandinavian.”

Heart & Huset is a membership-based group that will include features such as recipe sharing, hygge-inspired home decor ideas, a book club, storytelling, and Scandinavian crafts.

Here’s a few of the features of the Heart & Huset group:

  • The Kitchen Counter – Each month, receive recipes and menus created and curated by a Norwegian-American food writer and cookbook writer with over 11 years of specializing in Scandinavian food.
  • Heritage at Home – There’s more to hyggefika, and other Scandi concepts than cozy blankets and tasty treats. Through interviews with experts, plus exercises and activities exclusively for members, you’ll learn ways to make your life and home look more Scandinavian than ever.
  • Scandi Book Club – Read and discuss books in our Scandi-centric book club, where we’ll explore a variety of genres and topics and hear from authors and experts on what we’re reading.
  • Storytelling School – Your family history matters–and so does your story. Learn to capture and package those stories in meaningful ways through guest interviews and a special course that Daytona will be rolling out in the months to come (included with founding membership).
  • The Craft Room – From rosemaling to the beautiful needlework on the bunad of your dreams, there’s much to appreciate in the handiwork of our heritage. You’ll hear stories from artists and experts, share tips and resources, and have a chance to show off your own skills in a member gallery.
  • Fika Friday – Join us for our private monthly virtual “fika,” in which we’ll get to know each other while discussing a topic and enjoying the month’s special fika recipe, provided in advance.

To learn more about the group or sign up, visit the Heart & Huset website.

Photo: Norwegian Julekakke, by Daytona Strong

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