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3rd of Advent Special: Making vegetarian side dishes for Christmas while Freja barks.

We are finally back in Norway after touring North America for 78 days! We had a wonderful time travelling and meeting loads and loads of lovely people, but it is so good to be back home now! We spent the first 3 days getting over our jet lag and we picked up Freja on Thursday. She was so happy to see us and once we got home, she went right back into her old routines here, without any issues. So, we are thinking that in her mind, we were just out getting groceries all this time!

We’ve spent this weekend pre-decorating for Christmas. We have pulled out our advent candle holders and bought some poinsettias and hyacinths, which we have placed in all the rooms in our house. We also purchased our Christmas tree, which is going to remain outside until December 23rd.

We’ve got our Christmas Tree! This is where we will keep it until it’s time to bring it into the house, on December 23rd. We can’t wait to remove the net and see the tree in all its splendour!

Catching up on all things Christmas, including knitting some more balls. You can get 24 digital patterns for our smaller Christmas Balls by clicking on this photo.

This year, we also have an advent calendar here, which we are enjoying so much! The advent calendar that we are opening was sent to us by a friend in Denmark, Mette DJ and consists of a little gift every day – all related to gardening. We had to open the first 10 days at once, but now that we have caught up, we open a new gift daily in the morning while we are having breakfast, which, at this time of the year, is done by candlelight in the kitchen – just because it’s that time of the year. Anyway, we’ve never had an advent calendar before, and we can’t understand why we’ve never done this before, as this one is giving us so much joy!

Here is the advent calendar that we are enjoying every morning. Thanks so much, Mette DJ for contributing to our pre-Christmas joy this year!

This is what we’ve opened so far. Our kitchen garden and green house are going to look amazing next year!

And this is what we have left to open. We wish it would never end!!

This week, on our channel, it’s time to cook some delicious side dishes for our Christmas dinner. These two cabbage dishes are not only compulsory on any Scandinavia Christmas table, the are also super easy to make, if you do large portions, you can freeze them in advance and reheat as you go. Freja was a bit “loud” in this week’s episode, as there were a lot of moose around our house (LOL) when we recorded this episode in January. Sorry about that!

Check out the video here:


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NEW!! The Classic Roundtrip onboard the Norwegian Coastal Express: Knitting along the world’s most beautiful coastline. September 11th-24th, 2020. We are delighted to announce this knitting trip of a lifetime to our beautiful country, Norway! This journey will be Hurtigruten’s classic roundtrip, which will take us northbound from Bergen, across the arctic circle and the North Cape, before arriving into Kirkenes and then start the journey southbound back to Bergen. This wonderful trip will last 14 days and 13 nights, out of which 11 nights will be spent onboard the newly renovated MS Finnarken and 2 nights will be spent in Norway’s second largest city: Bergen. The journey will include a visit to our favourite yarn factory Hillesvaag and loads and loads of knitting fun onboard! Half the spots for this cruise are already sold out, so make sure to book now, to avoid disappointment. More information available here.

Dream Knitting Cruise from Sydney to New Zealand. Yes!!! We are delighted to announce that we are returning to Australia and visiting New Zealand in 2020. Join us for this amazing 12 day, 11 night Knitting Cruise that departs from Sydney on March 27th, 2020 and visits all the amazing sights in New Zealand! More information is available here and here.

IN OUR WEBSHOP THIS WEEK: We hope you enjoy knitting all our Christmas patterns, such as our 24 Christmas balls the SIA, the Christmas Star and our Christmas Stocking!

Check out our webshop for loads of inspiring patterns!

Fragrant red cabbage and sour cabbage, both are traditional side dishes in any Scandinavian Christmas table.


Surkål (Sour Cabbage)

4 servings

1 kg White Cabbage

1 Green Apple

1 tbsp Caraway

3 tsp 7% Clear Vinegar

2.5 dl Vegetable Stock

1 tbsp Sugar

Pinch of Salt

Cut vegetables. Layer cabbage, apple and caraway. Add stock and vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 45 minutes.

Rødkål (Red Cabbage)

4 servings

1 kg Red Cabbage

1 Red Apple

100 gr Butter

1 Cinnamon Stick

7 Cloves

2 Bay Leaves

1/2 dl Apple Cider Vinegar

1 dl Water

1 tbsp Sugar

Pinch of Salt and some Pepper to taste

Cut cabbage and apple, melt butter, add the cabbage and spices and stir until cabbage is coated in butter and spices. Add liquid, sugar, salt and pepper and let simmer for 45 minutes.



    • Julie on December 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing these recipes. We are excited to try these for Christmas.

    • BarbaraL Lowell on December 16, 2019 at 1:27 am


    So nice of you both to share cozy homey-ness with us. I am Polish and eat sauerkraut with sautéed garlic and onions till brown. It caramelizes very sweet and I love to eat it with Kosckiuczko mustard in winter time. I am vegan so I don’t saute with traditional butter, but coconut oil lends a nice nuttiness. Thanx for sharing.

      • Kerry and Linda on December 25, 2019 at 4:29 pm


      Thanks for the tip for making this with coconut oil – we will be serving this dish to our vegan friends later this week 🙂

    • Deb on December 16, 2019 at 3:51 am


    I like the idea of freezing these dishes. And I am very curious about the potato dish with anchovies – I think I would like it!

    • Carol on December 16, 2019 at 4:38 am


    I love cabbage and will be making these for Christmas.

    • Sharon Finger on December 16, 2019 at 9:47 am


    Thank you Arne and Carlos, I love your cooking segments! It is great to learn how to cook Norwegian (Scandinavian) style and to hear about your customs and the things you do to celebrate Christmas. It is quite different here in Australia where Christmas time is very hot! Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you both and to your families, best wishes Sharon

    • Nancy Ryan-USA on December 16, 2019 at 11:31 am


    Thank you Arne and Carlos for your recipes. I love that they are fairly simple to make. I enjoy watching you as you bring a smile to my face. It is such a pleasure hearing how other countries celebrate Christmas. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

    • sandra on December 16, 2019 at 11:55 am


    Oh funny! Arnie stop eating the cabbage!

      • Ingrid Barrett on December 16, 2019 at 12:21 pm


      He should eat the cabbage. It is healthy eating it raw too. And I am Norwegian! I feed my husband with raw when I use cabbage. The innermost bits are lovely and sweet 😀 I am struggling making the pepper kaker/cakes for Christmas today. I must add some more flour:-( God Jul to you all xxx

    • Stacey Cronyn on December 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm


    I loved the cooking tutorial. Please do more. I love that it is real. My dogs were barking hearing Freya in the background! I will try both recipes.

  1. Reply

    You guys are my main connection to Norway these days. i will try this recipe because I have never succeeded in making surkal eller rodkal. Jeg horte aldri fra dere om mitt dilema! Hva ville dere gjordt hvis dere hadde en 75 ar gammel islending som er for liten. gjore den om til en vest??
    Riktig god jul. Haper dere har en episode til for jul. Hilsen Grete Klingenberg.

    Nar kommer dere til Pennsylvania? Har dere vaert i Rhinebeck, NY. jeg bodde der i mange ar og festivalen der er alle tiders.

    • Karen Stuhlfeier on December 16, 2019 at 2:28 pm


    Thank you for the new Christmas Ball patterns! I enjoy making small ones. I’m going to make both cabbage recipes. We receive our produce through a CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture) farm in Minneapolis. I’m always looking for new recipes and enjoy cooking vegetables that are in season.

    • Donna Aase on December 16, 2019 at 4:59 pm


    I always look forward to your messages. Next best thing to seeing you in person. Minnesota is cold, and snow. But warm and cozy at Ingebretsen’s. God Jul from your friends. Donna

    • Marlene Larkins on December 16, 2019 at 5:21 pm


    Yum. Red cabbage recipe sounds good and will try. Love putting Apple in the cabbage.
    Thank you.
    Marlene Larkins
    Merry Christmas!

    • LYNN MAKI on December 16, 2019 at 7:50 pm


    I love your recipes for the cabbage dishes. I live in Canada which, like Norway and Sweden, is a northern country where cabbage is plentiful at this time of year. I have a community supported agricultural share with a local market garden, so have loads of cabbage. I look forward to making the red cabbage dish for Christmas this year. Love that these dishes can be kept frozen.
    It’s such fun to watch the two of you in your kitchen!

    • Kathy on December 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm


    Thank you for the recipes. Happy holidays and merry Christmas to you two wonderful guys.

    • ERNIE on December 16, 2019 at 10:02 pm


    Wishing you a very merry Christmas. I hope Santa is good to you.

    • Bibi on December 16, 2019 at 10:58 pm


    Hullo from Canada. Where you are in Norway and where I am in Canada share many similarities – lakes, mountains, snow~ but even so I have a fascination for all things Scandinavian so I love all aspects of your weekly “missive” from your Norwegian North- be it knitting, gardens or special traditions and cuisine. You are wonderful ambassadors. It is Monday and I already have a pot of cabbage a la Arne and Carlos on the simmer. I checked out other recipes and some seem to use a hefty amount of vinegar (10Tbsps- 2 cups) while yours only has 3 teaspoons according to the written recipe on your blog. I used 3 tsps of white wine vinegar. (Some also use butter, as you do in the red cabbage which I am also going to make.) I am going to freeze mine for Christmas and can of course adjust the flavour when I reheat the dishes but I am just curious as Carlos did say it was tangy.

    • Veronique V on December 17, 2019 at 3:19 pm


    Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noel dear Arne and Carlos

    • Beris on December 17, 2019 at 11:50 pm


    Merry Christmas from Australia! I have recently made my first sauerkraut. One question about the liquid ingredients. You say “2.5 dl”. Is that 2.5 cups of stock? I am not familiar with this measurement. I have a smile on my face all the time when watching you two. Thanks so much for your fun videos. And more recipes in the new year please!!!

      • Theresa O on December 18, 2019 at 6:43 am


      I looked online 1 dl = 10mls
      2.5 dl = 25 mls
      I hope it is correct!

      • Theresa O on December 20, 2019 at 10:05 am


      I looked on another site and 1dl =100mls
      1/2 dl= 50mls
      I have never heard of dl before watching Arne and Carlos!
      Can someone comment if this is correct please.

      1. Reply

        Yes, this is correct.

    1. Reply

      2.5 dl means 2.5deciliters, which is 250 mililitres. They are all metric units, deci means 10 and mili means 1000.

    • Terry on December 19, 2019 at 5:49 am


    Looking forward to trying these delicious looking recipes. Thank you for sharing. Glad that Freja is there to keep you safe! Merry Christmas and god jul!

    • Sandra M on December 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm


    I recently started watching your YouTube videos when I decided to learn knitting. Now, I also enjoy your gardening and cooking episodes. Merry Christmas from New York!

    • Chantal on December 24, 2019 at 12:13 am


    Good evening Arne and Carlos,
    Making the Surkål and Rødkål at this moment and waiting for the result.
    I just discovered your website and i really enjoy listening to your videos.
    Merci et Joyeux Noël!
    Chantal from Montreal

    • Natalie on December 24, 2019 at 12:21 am


    Hello from Alabama USA….i just made both cabbage dishes….i love them!!! Cant wait to see what the family thinks…..also, makung birds……i love you guys!!!!

    • Lisa on December 29, 2019 at 12:45 am


    I love watching the two of you together! You always make me laugh and smile! I’m going to be making your cabbages. Looking forward to it. Happy New Year from Thousand Oaks in California. Lisa

    • Kathy on January 26, 2020 at 8:17 pm


    I made the sour cabbage. It was so good. I will be making it again soon.

    • Nancy GM on August 8, 2020 at 9:03 pm


    Dear Arne and Carlos,
    I’m watching your cabbage recipes during the summer time (still in semi-quarantine.) I will be making your recipes these Christmas to bring a little bit of Scandinavia into a Mexican household. Thank you for sharing about your culture! Gracias!

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