Darlene Fossum-Martin, of Decorah, Iowa, is a third-generation Norwegian, who grew up on a small farm near Spring Grove, Minnesota, the first Norwegian settlement in the state. She is both a woodworker and Norwegian food specialist. She has always had a passion for the folk arts and the way her Norwegian forefathers expressed themselves through their work with their hands and hearts.
Darlene loves working with wood in its natural form and is amazed what beauty a simple incised line can give to a piece of wood. She is an avid kolroser and has carved with Judy Ritger, Harley Refsal, and Norwegians Kåre Herfindal and Leif Ottar Flaten.
She says her cooking style is shaped by the Norwegian foodways of her ancestors. Her strengths in Norwegian cooking come from the women in her family, as well as the years she spent living in Norway. Darlene has taught traditional Scandinavian immigrant food classes for adults and children of all ages throughout the Midwest, Colorado, and at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Darlene says, “What better way to keep traditions alive for future generations than sharing these time-honored recipes of immigrant forefathers?”