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Arts & Life

Recipes of South Dakota's Grandmothers

Tết the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Aebleskiver, Pasties: Portable Pies and the Dalesburg’s Midsommar Smorgasbord.

The holiday season is here. Time to dust off the family recipes and break out the butter.

Tết: Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Each January or February, Sioux Falls’ Vietnamese-American community celebrates Tết Nguyên Đán or “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day.”

This year, the lunar new year falls on January 25. Join Suong Pho, Anh Nguyen and Tina Nguyen as they prep traditional foods and Chi Tran and Vince Danh as they emcee the celebration.

“I enjoy doing this because I’m first-generation Vietnamese-American,” says Danh. “We are kind of caught in two worlds. Part of us is embracing the new culture, the new country that our parents moved to. The other part of it, we hear stories from our families, how they used to do things back in their country, how they used to do this, and it’s up to us to kind of like digest both and figure out, where are we gonna do this? How do we celebrate both, how can we be both, true to our heritage but also embrace what opportunity we have now?”


Aebleskiver is a celebration of memories with family and gathering around the breakfast table. Roberta Rasmussen and Kayla Nielsen share their recipes and favorite techniques for making the morning treats.

In Denmark Aebleskiver is a Christmas treat, for Danes in Viborg the sphere shaped cakes are enjoyed during the community Danish Days celebration. Aebleskiver requires a special pan, simple recipe and practiced technique.

Pasties: Portable Pies

Typically associated with Cornwall, UK, the baked pastry goodness that are pasties are found throughout the world. We’ll visit Lead, SD, to taste-test the meat-and-veg hand pies.

Dalesburg’s Midsommar Smorgasbord

Dalesburg’s Midsommar celebration reveals the area’s Scandinavian roots. The spirit of that Scandinavian “Velkommen” is best experienced in the smorgasbord supper served in the church’s basement dining hall.

Diners buy tickets weeks ahead of time to feast upon potatis korv, frugt suppa, and, of course, Swedish meatballs. Food traditions tie the small congregation together and help cement its relationships with the next generation.