Andresen brothers’ booth hits 35 years at Scandinavian Festival
If you stand in front of Glen and Gordon Andresen’s Swedish pancake booth in 2013, it’s easy to think that little has changed since 1979, when the brothers, along with childhood friend Karsten Rasmussen, first started serving Swedish pancakes to hungry festival-goers.
It’s the same cheerful blue booth with a bright yellow roof (Swedish flag colors), fresh flowers at one end, and dried flowers on the other. The Swedish pancakes are still deliciously thin (the brothers say they are so thin they only have one side), still made with local milk and eggs, still rolled up with homemade sauces made from local Hood strawberries or hand-picked wild blackberries, just the way the brothers’ Swedish-American grandmother served them (no powdered sugar or whipping cream necessary). People still ask “Why don’t the pancakes stick?” or “How do you turn it?” Or they turn to each other and exclaim “Did you see how he rolled that pancake with just one hand!” And today, just as in 1979, the temperature inside the booth is a darned sight hotter than it is outside. Whew!
But many aspects of the booth have changed over the decades. The brothers’ hair color and hair length are, shall we say, different now (see photos). The boys use real butter instead of margarine, and they have added the option of traditional lingonberry sauce, imported from Sweden. They have refined their pancake-making process into a model of efficiency—a blend of art and science, based on their 35 years of experience. Karsten, now a judge in Eugene, is no longer a part of the enterprise, so as the booth has grown, Glen and Gordon have called on their family.
Operating the booth has now become a three-generation family affair, with father Verne regularly helping with the heavy lifting (literally, as the booth goes up and comes down in six pieces), Gordon’s children Danica and Jake helping out in the booth, and Gordon’s wife Gayla taking on the role of top batter maker. Glen and Gordon’s older brother, Bruce, has become a fixture at the till, where he acts as chief rabble-rouser, leading to the booth’s unofficial motto: “good pancakes, good backtalk.” It seems that some people come to the Scandinavian Festival just to try to match wits with the brothers! Every year the Andresen brothers line up in the same position: Glen (the baker), Gordon (the maker), and Bruce (the taker). Indeed, these local boys have made good Swedish pancakes for decades.