After leaving the Tjome Church, Inger took us to the Historical Society which was just a few minutes away. In 2011, I wrote a chapter for their bi-annual book on Tjome. They were looking for a story about someone from Tjome who immigrated, and when Inger and I connected, they found their story. This red cottage was relocated to this land which is owned by the historical society.
This building is full of historical information about sailing, fishing and how the people of Tjome made a living on the Oslo Fjord. It was very interesting and a huge part of our family story. For as far back as I can track the records of our family on Tjome, they all worked at something which involved the sea. They were fisherman, they were deck hands, seaman or captains. They took people from one place to another or moved goods from one place or another. They all sailed. Hans was a sailor and so too were his sons, our Grandfather, Andres and his brother, Hagbart. Hagbart died at sea near the Cape Horn when he was twenty on a sailing ship bound for Australia in March of 1909. This building with it’s special displays dedicated to the sailors of Tjome, was a special treat.
They have several houses and a barn on the property. This is a typical Norwegain home at the turn of the century on Tjome.
As we entered the front door, we could not miss the tapestry hanging on the wall. A beautiful family crest of a proud Norwegian family above a large sailors trunk. Notice the musical instrument hanging on the wall and the large farm bell! It was all a warm welcome to this wonderful home.
The home had a small sitting room, the green sofa is a piece that has been handed down through Inger’s Family which she donated to the Historical Society.
Typical Norwegian dining room. Today, families throughout the Scandinavian countries, still all sit at the table for dinner every night. Most families have candles on the dinner table which are lite for every meal. It is a wonderful tradition which has been lost in America with the rushed life that we live. We have a hard time finding all of our children much less time to all sit at a table for a meal…and set the table with real dishes, silverware and napkins. We need to bring our families back to the dinner table.
A beautiful old sideboard used to store dishes, silver and linen for the dining room.
And a sunny Kitchen with a small table which was probably used to have tea or coffee, a snacks for the children after school and to prepare meals on. You could just imagine the children sitting at the table telling Mom how their day went at school.
It is a great compact home full of warmth left behind by the family who lived within the walls….
From the Historical Society, we returned to Inger and Eva home for lunch. …well, it was really more like an early dinner by then but we enjoyed a traditional Norwegian meal made for us by Eva, bless her heart while we trouped around Tjome with Inger.
Inger called it “Storm Soup”. It was wonderful and warmed us up nicely inside. As I savored those first few bites of soup, I thought this would be a great recipe to get so that once we arrived home I could make it. It would help use to remember this wonderful day! So I asked for the recipe and she smiled. Inger knew I would ask for it. I do it all the time through email when we talk about our gardens and what we are growing and eating! She smiled…and replied “ Sailors would make this soup on board a ship when a storm was coming” They would throw everything that had in a big pot and put it over the fire or stove to simmer. “It was always a BIG pot because they never knew how long the storm would last or when they would get to cook again.” She told us. “If the storm was short, they would eat it until they were sick of it but if the sea raged and the storm kept up, the sailors were thankful for a hardy soup which warmed them from the inside out and gave them strength to keep manning the ship.” “Sailors would often use fish or beans and all the vegetables they had on hand. Today we have beef, tomorrow it could be pork or chicken!” , she laughed as she told us the story about the soup.
So the recipe is just like what we would make when a winter storm hits. At a time when you can not go to the store to buy specific ingredients so you search through your cupboards and make soup with what ever you have! I will think of Storm Soup every time I make it! It was the end of a wonderful day on Tjome and time for us to say our …. “till next time!” to Eva and Inger, knowing that we will return again.
Next time we want it to be summer. Next time …we want our stay to be for several days or a week so we can really explore this island that our family called home for many generations. Next time, I want to sail in the Fjord like my ancestors did!
Till next time…Happy Hunting,