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Courtesy Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen
Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen in Knife River
Pamela Matson, on left, and Patricia Canelake, the owners of Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen in Knife River, Minnesota, make pickle-shaped candies in non-dill flavors of wintergreen, spearmint, clove and lemon-lime. The sisters will demonstrate how to make traditional holiday candy during the Knife River Julebyen, Dec. 7-8.
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Courtesy of Anne Skadberg
Julebyen in Norway
A cookie vendor at a Julebyen, or Christmas village, in Norway.
This year’s holiday celebration in the predominantly Scandinavian North Shore community of Knife River is modeled after a Norwegian “Julebyen,” or Christmas village.
A Knife River family – Anne and Chris Skadberg and their son, Gunny – experienced a Julebyen (pronounced yule-eh-be-en) in Norway and brought the idea back, according to Carol Ojard Carlson, who chairs the Julebyen Committee. “The concept fit perfectly into our plans to expand our yearly Christmas Tour of Homes.”
Anne describes Julebyen in Norway as charming and simple. “All these little red huts (for vendors) are decorated with greens and pine cones. There’s a lot of candlelight. There’s a puppet show. … It’s just a place where people really get together.”
For its Julebyen, Knife River will have 10 red huts where people will sell handcrafted items such as jewelry, candles and linens, along with honey, frozen fish and other local products in an outdoor market at Knife River Recreation Center. For the Tour of Homes, on Saturday only, those who buy tickets will be chauffeured to the various sites.
Activities will be based at the Knife River Recreation Center and the Knife River Lutheran Church. Workshops include a gift-making session for children. Santa will be available for photos, and children’s author Lise Lunge-Larsen will read stories. A variety of musicians will perform, and a live nativity scene will be staged.
At Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen in Knife River, owners and sisters Pamela Matson and Patricia Canelake will demonstrate how to make traditional holiday hard candy using antique machines. You can watch as they create peppermint candy canes and ribbon candy. With an 1890s drop candy roller and candy press, the third-generation candy makers will make fish drops in a cinnamon-raspberry flavor and pickle-shaped candies in flavors of wintergreen, spearmint, clove and lemon-lime.
“The pickle candy is an extra we love to do,” Pamela says, “and it has caught on as a novelty candy in non-dill flavors.” Don’t expect the real taste of a pickle, though. The sisters took a stab at making a dill-pickle flavor, but in Pamela’s words, “It was terrible.”
Pamela and Patricia, whose family history in the candy business goes back to 1905 in Virginia, Minnesota, will give samples of their hard-candy treats.
So check out the red huts, hunt for gifts, watch old-fashioned candy making and enjoy a bit of Norway at the Julebyen in Knife River.