Inger Gregersen Oral History Interview, 1979  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Gregersen, Inger
1979 (inclusive)
2 file folders
1 sound cassette
1 compact disc
Collection Number
An oral history interview with Inger Gregersen, a Norwegian immigrant.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

The oral history collection is open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Inger Gregersen was born in Norway and immigrated to Parkland, Washington with her husband and eleven-month old daughter in 1951. The family stayed there for six years and then spent five years in France and four in Germany. Parkland was their favorite area, however, and they returned there permanently in 1966. In Parkland, Inger belonged to Nordlandslaget, a group of males and females that come from northern Norway. She taught Scandinavian cooking at Fort Steilacoom (Pierce College) and participated in food demonstrations during Mayfest at Pacific Lutheran University. At home, Inger cooks both Scandinavian and American foods. She enjoys the wider variety of recipes available in American cooking.


Full Name: Inger Gregersen. Spouse: Guttorm Gregersen. Children: Gerd-Inger Gregersen MacDougall, Paul Gregersen.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This interview was conducted with Inger Gregersen on March 9, 1979 in Tacoma, Washington. It contains information about emigration and the organizations that she participates in, but mostly focuses upon cooking. The interview was conducted in English.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Partial Interview Transcription:

The partial interview transcription highlights important aspects of the interview. Numbers may be used as guides to important subjects. Two numbers separated by a slash indicate that the first number is for cassette and the second for CD.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
4, side 1 002/13: FAMILY BACKGROUND
Her husband was Anders Andersen, and they have two children. Her daughter lives in Portland, OR, and has three daughters. Aletta has traveled to Norway four times. On the first trip in 1949 she and her 18 year old daughter took the boat; on the remaining trips they flew.
Inger was married two years before she emigrated, and came from Norway in 1951 with her husband and 11 month old daughter. They stayed in the Parkland area for six years and then returned to Europe, spending five years in France and four in Germany. In 1966, they returned to Parkland because they liked this area the best of all.
31, side 1 038: ORGANIZATIONS
Inger belongs to the Nordlandslaget, but not the Daughters of Norway. Nordlandslaget is a group of males and females that come from the northern part of Norway. She was asked to teach a class at the Daughters from 10 to 12 on Thursdays in Normanna Hall, but had a conflict. The Daughters teach cooking/baking, e.g. lefse, flatbread, stew, cookies. She was asked to demonstrate the cookie, Mor Monsen.
31, side 1 110/04: COOKING
Inger taught Scandinavian cooking at Fort Steilacoom [Pierce College], mini-courses prior to Christmas, which included the preparation of berlinerkranser, sandbakkels, krumkake, goro, and kringle. The first class overwhelmed her; 84 people showed up. The next class had 53 students, and the third 47.
31, side 1 155:
She prepared all the dough at home and brought the irons. With krumkake, for instance, she brought a double batch of dough, showed how to heat the iron properly for good results, and demonstrated the technique of baking and rolling. The students took turns baking a few krumkake to get the feel. It was a lot of work to prepare all the doughs and run the mini-classes, which ran three hours on a given night.
31, side 1 194:
Several churches in the area still serve Scandinavian food, and Peninsula and Central have smørgåsbords. Many groups prepare the traditional meatballs and lapskaus [a Norwegian stew] for potlucks. The Mayfest at PLU [in which she participates] features lapskaus, lefse, rømmegrøt, etc. plus demonstrations of other foods.
31, side 1 226/05:
In Inger's household, breakfasts are American to suit the family tastes. She hasn't adjusted to pancakes, waffles or French toast for breakfast. "Somehow it just isn't breakfast." Norwegian pancakes are served as a crepe with afternoon coffee in her house. Norwegian foods that she still buys or prepares are geitost and other Norwegian and Danish cheeses, lapskaus and fårikål. She mixes some lean beef into the fårikål, but it needs some good lamb for the essential flavor. They eat potatoes a lot; she believes potatoes are a better food than meat. Norwegians can't get all the fresh vegetables available in America, so the potato is very important in the diet.
31, side 1 308/06:
Inger uses a Norwegian cookbook, which is based on the metric system. Most of her schoolmates in Norway attended a cooking school to learn basic homemaking and she did too. She has saved all her favorite recipes. She also uses American cookbooks and enjoys the style of cooking. American cooking has a wider variety of foods and recipes because of the exposure to other ethnic foods--Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc.--which she likes.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Cookery, Scandinavian
  • Norway--Emigration and immigration
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Social life and customs
  • Personal Names :
  • Gregersen, Inger--Interviews (creator)
  • Gregersen, Guttorm
  • Corporate Names :
  • Nordlandslaget Nordlyset (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Family Names :
  • Gregersen family
  • Geographical Names :
  • France
  • Germany
  • Norway
  • Parkland (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Housewives
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • New Land New Lives: Scandinavian Immigrants to the Pacific Northwest