Ditch the turkey and shelve the mashed spuds—this season, we’re looking north for edible inspiration: a Scandinavian* holiday buffet (or julbord) laden with exquisite meatballs, pickled fish, mulled wine, and spice-perfumed cookies. For our very Portland take on the traditional Nordic party—staged at Ned Ludd’s homespun Elder Hall—we’ve tapped the city’s finest Scandinavian-leaning chefs, bartenders, and even a local knighted by the King of Sweden himself. Think of it as the season’s merriest potluck—everybody grab one recipe to tackle, and report back for aquavit-infused winter revelry. Skal!

By Kelly Clarke & Benjamin Tepler, photographs by Stuart Mullenberg, styling by Ashley Marti, photographed on location at  Elder Hall.

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Pictured in the photo above: Red-and-white-enameled Dansk Kobenstyle pans and cookware,a midcentury classic, set a merry tone for a Scandinavian spread; psst—that casserole dish’s signature top pulls double duty as a trivet ($39.95–143, scandiaimports.com). Round out your buffet with a lineup of PDX Scan institution Broder’s smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches topped with pickled beets, shrimp salad, or gravlax. (Contact Broder Nord at 503-282-5555 or e-mail broderportland@gmail.com for special-order options and pricing.)

*Scandinavian recipes highlight the traditional foods of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and even Iceland (the inspiration for Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”). Non-sticklers might rope in Nordic neighbor Finland, too.

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In This Feature:

Make Nordic Holiday Punch for a Crowd

Say cheers in true Scandinavian style with bartender Jacob Grier’s bright, fizzy, aquavit-assisted winter punch.

11/20/2015 By Kelly Clarke

Holdfast Brown Bread and Fenrir Pickled Mackerel

A pair of the city’s finest Scan-leaning outfits tackle two Julbord classics: dense spice-laden bread and pickled fish.

11/20/2015 By Benjamin Tepler

A Decadent Scandinavian Holiday Casserole

Maurice's Kristen Murray shares the recipe for her great-grandmother’s sillgratin.

11/20/2015 By Benjamin Tepler

Broder Swedish Meatballs and Holdfast Braised Pork Coppa with Cabbage and Mustard Dill Cream Sauce

Portland’s Scan institution’s hallowed balls and a hearty pork dish from a Nordic-inspired pair make for an irresistible holiday buffet centerpiece.

11/20/2015 By Benjamin Tepler

Maurice Persimmon Cookies with Cardamom Brown Butter Icing and Ross Fogelquist’s Jul Glogg

Sweeten up your party with old school Scan cookies and a mulled wine recipe from a local knighted by the King of Sweden.

11/20/2015 By Kelly Clarke