Saturday, January 25, 2003

January 2003


The Þorrablót will be held on February 22nd at the Gray´s Mill on 211 North River Street, Montgomery, Illinois (tel. 630.548.6755).

The Gray’s Mill is an old restored stone gristmill built in 1853, located on the picturesque Fox River in Montgomery. It is one of the most beautiful meeting facilities in the Western Suburbs and is listed on the National Register.

The Blót will begin promptly at 6.00 pm with gravlax, hákarl, brennivín and cocktails.

Traditional Þorra-food and American food from My Chef catering will be served.

Home made desserts and our famous raffle.

The bar will be open; this is not a BYOB event.

Again, the Icelandic music group “Hjónabandið” will be flown in from the Westfjords of Iceland. Hjónabandið consists of Árni and Erna who are diary farmers at Vaðlar in Önundarfjördur. Hjónabandið entertained us at the Þorrablót 2 years ago and their performance was outstanding. Therefore we decided to bring them back.

Tickets purchased in advance are $45 for members, $50 for non-members and $35 for students. Children 6-15 years pay $20 in advance, and children 5 years and younger are free of charge.

Ticket price at the entrance is $50 for members, $55 for non-members, $40 for students, and $25 for children.

Advance purchase of tickets must be made before February 16th. Please make checks payable to the Icelandic Association and mail to Anna María Kárdal 719 Wildflower Circle Naperville, IL 60540. If you have not paid the membership fee, please do so at the same time.

Van rides to and from Gray’s Mill will be available (see page 2).

Directions: I-88 West to Route 31 (West of Route 59 and past toll by Fox River). Exit Route 31 and travel south 1.6 miles to Illinois Avenue. Turn left (East), go over Fox River Bridge to the first stop-light: Broadway/Route 25, turn right (South). travel 3.4 miles to Mill Street, turn right and Grays Mill is the first building to the left.

If lost call Stella 630.788.7475 or Miguel 630.461.5922.

For overnight stay we recommend Comfort Suites (630.896.2800) downtown Aurora. It is next to W. Paytons Round house and about a block away from Hollywood Casino.
Further information regarding Gray´s Mill and My Chef can be found online at


It is very special to be an Icelander or of an Icelandic heritage and I am not saying that because I am Icelandic but because it is true! Icelanders are different in many ways and the gene pool has been proved to be very special. The island was isolated for so many years that that Icelanders are what is closest to the gene pool of the Vikings. I am not saying that the Vikings had the best genes to survive in modern times but they were definitely different and special. We are bringing the Icelandic culture and the specialty of the Icelandic people to Chicago and the surroundings by running the Icelandic Association. But the successfulness of this work we are doing depends on the activity of its members. And here comes my point: it is useless to put the energy in all these events if the members do not participate. We have had many attendees to all of our events in recent years but with the economy down and people staying home more than previous years we are worried.

The Þorrablót is coming up and it will be the best one to date – and we have had some good ones in previous years. But the cost is enormous since we are flying in musicians from Iceland, Hjónabandið, the farmers from the West fjords who entertained us two years ago. The sound will be great– we’ve made sure of that. We will bring the great Þorrafood – ok some of you do not eat sheep heads and other sheep delicates but we will have great American food also. The rotten shark will be there with Brennivín (The Black Death), and Gravlax (salmon) and all the trimmings. We also have the famous raffle with tickets to Iceland, Skybox seats to Bulls games, Icelandic CDs, products from the Blue Lagoon, and much more.

So bring yourself, your family, your friends and enemies (they will become your friends after the Þorrablót). We are going to have a great time!

I’ll see you there – I’m counting on it.

Einar Steinsson, President


Rides will be available to and from the Þorrablót, Saturday February 22nd with pick-up and drop-off points to include Evanston and the near Northside of Chicago and Downtown. Additional stops can be arranged. The costs will be equitably shared by all the riders and will be around $12.

PLEASE CONTACT John H. Hofteig to make reservations as soon as possible:

WORK Phone #: 847 + 551 - 4400 Ext 132 (Voice-Mail is also available)

CELL Phone #: 847 + 612 - 0330 (Voice-Mail is also available)


Please provide telephone number(s), e-mail address, and street address for the desired pick-up/drop-off point.


The Þorrablót dates back to the 19th century when people began to move to the towns for work. There you could meet your relatives and eat food from home.

When Iceland was a colony of Denmark, it was forbidden to use salt in Iceland (that way Icelanders had no way of preserving the fish and could therefore not make money by exporting fish). Instead, for perservation food was smoked, dried, putrefied or pickled. Most of the Þorrafood is made that way and then kept in a barrel with sour whey which was like the refrigerator of the house. Many Icelanders still eat oat meal with sour or non-sour blóðmör or lifrapylsa for breakfast. Other types of food preserved like that are for example hrútspungar (ram’s testicles), súr hvalur (whale fat) and lundabaggi (puffin roll).

Harðfiskur is fish that is dried and not cooked in any other way. Today it is sold in stores and sometimes cinemas as candy or popcorn. Also, it is often use a snack while traveling especially during long hiking trips since it is light to carry and full of energy. Shark is usually inedible. Buried in the sand on the beach for few months in winter, it rots in a special way which gives it the special taste similar to strong cheese. This is the putrefied shark we get to taste on the Þorrablót usually with Brennivín. Attempts have been made to market fermented shark in Europe as fish cheese (fromage de poisson). The fermented shark has a very strong odor. In the month of Þorra, if you see a plastic bag hanging out the window it is most likely the residence of an Icelander who has a non-Icelandic roommate or spouse that cannot stand the stench of the fermentation.

Svið are sheep heads that are burned to burn the wool and then boiled. The eyes are the favorite of many but most of the meat is in the tongue or the jaw. There is a small bone in the tongue, the málbein or talk bone. If a child has not started talking, it is an old superstition to break the bone; otherwise the child will be mute.

With the food is served rófustappa (mashed rutabaga), kartöflumús (mashed potatoes) and flatbrauð (rye bread). Traditionally, no vegetables are served except for green beans.

Recipe for Icelandic Brennivín: 1 liter of neutral brandy/spirits with 35% alcohol, 40 gm of caraway seed (ca. 30-40 gm of powder sugar. Put the seeds and the sugar into the bottle. Wait for 3 weeks until the sugar has dissolved completely. Sieve the liquid through coffee filter paper into an empty, clean, stylish-green bottle. Serve and “Skál”.


This directory is based on your answers on the census form, wether you want to be included and what information you would like to be available. Obviously this is not a complete directory of everyone in the Association, but it is a start. Hopefully, this is useful to someone.

Bieltvedt,Arnor. 633 Elder Lane, Winnetka, IL 60093 - E-mail:

Birkis, Sigurður and Bonnie. 187 A.S.York Road, Elmhurst, IL 60402 - Tel. 630.516.0591. E-mail:

Björnsson, Leifur and Rita Stepnitz. 5445 N. Sheridan Rd. # 2810 Chicago, IL 60640-1941 - Tel. 773 334 1445. E-mail:

Bogner, Hugrún & Nick. 2023 Maple Street, Des Plaines, IL 60018 - Tel. 847 334 1445. E-mail:

Clemensen, Guðríður J. 1412 Randall Rd., Independence, MO 64055-1608 - Tel. 816 254 6795

Clendening, Unnur. 612 S. Front Salina, KS 67401 - Tel. 785 827 6465

Dr.Egilsson,Valur and Ólöf. Summer: 11966 Tuliptree Lane, Huntley, IL 60142 Winter: 5380 N. Ocean Blvd., Singer Island, FL 33404. - Tel (summer) 847 515 7094, (winter) 561 881 8644. E-mail:

Fulk, Robert. 817 S. Stull Ave, Bloomington, IN 47401- Tel. 812 333 1698. E-mail:

Gunnarsdóttir,Theodóra and Garðar Gíslason. 2128 Duffers Lane, Evansville, IN 47725 - Tel. 812 867 8589. E-mail:

Hansen,Carl and Christi

Hansson, Gunnar and Suzanne Gessner. 5706 S. Blackstone Ave # 3, Chicago, IL 60637 - Tel. 773 256 0156. E-mail:

Haraldsson, Jóhann and Gréta Pape. 425 Kedzie Street # 2, Evanston, IL 60202-2363 - Tel. 847 475 2329. E-mail: and

Heiðar,Katrín and G. Steinar Guðmundsson. 2923 Portsmith Ct Naperville, IL 60564 - Tel. 630 922 6502. E-mail: and

Heimisson, Sigurþór and Ólöf K. Sigurðardóttir. 1006 Hinman Ave # 3,Evanston, IL 60202 - E-mail: and

Hofteig, Jón Halldór. P.O.Box 762, Glenview, IL 60025-0762 - Tel. 847 612 0330 (h) and 847 551 4400x132 (w). E-mail:

Jóelsdóttir,Anna and Tom Fox. 904 W. Gunnison Str. # 3 E, Chicago, IL 60640 - Tel. 773 271 4599. E-mail:

Johnson, Dorothy. 128 E. Van Buren Street, Villa Park, IL 60181 - Tel. 630 832 7679

Johnson, Harald Valdimar. 303 E. Washington, Bensenville, IL 60106-3519 - Tel. 630 238 8054

Krengel, Marjorie T. 6211 S. Maple Street # 302, Marengo, IL 60152 - Tel. 815 568 6761

McCarthy, Jóna & Joe. 821 Gleneagle Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062 - Tel. 847 714 1338

McCarty, Dianne. 328 Coventry Ct, Aurora, IL 60504 - Tel. 630 851 4073

Miller, Phillip M. 2011 W. Welwyn, Des Plaines, IL 60018 - Tel. 773 794 4801

Ólafsson, Ásgeir and Anna María Kárdal

Porter, Binna and Bud. 1350 Tall Oaks Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188 - Tel. 630 231 5951. E-mail:

Shaw,Joanne & Lawrence. 147 N. Buckingham Drive, Prestbury-Aurora, IL 60506 - Tel. 630 466 5555. E-mail:

Solis, Stella & Miguel. 3211 Hopewell Drive, Aurora, IL 60504-7041 - Tel. 630 236 7475. E-mail:

Steinsson, Einar and Lena Hallgrímsdóttir - E-mail:

Steinþórsdóttir,Margret and Rodrigo Caballero. - E-mail:

Sveinsson, Jim & Carol. 1028 Peterson Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068-5183

Thors,Gunnar and Guðrún Vigdís Jónsdóttir. 200 Hart Hill Rd., Barrington,IL 60010 - Tel. 847 743 0863

Westerman, Lára & Leslie. 1606 20th Street Zion, IL 60099 - Tel. 847 731 3112. E-mail:

Wiche,Glen N.1415 N. Dearborn Parkway #7B Chicago, IL 60610-1570. - E-mail:


Woodruff, William.414 Pepperidge Ct Aurora, IL 60506-5223 - Tel. 630 897 7173. E-mail:

Wyrick,Margrét L. 3225 W 300 N Shelbyville, IN 46176 - Tel. 317 398 3176


Gabriele Stich - Coincidentia Oppositorum

Anna Joelsdottir –
“I am too far away”

Artists: Gabriele Stich & Anna Joelsdottir
Exhibition Dates: January 24, 2003 – March 4, 2003
Medium: painting
Opening Reception: January 24, 5:30-9:00 p.m.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 12:30-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 12:00-5:00 p.m.

The Contemporary Art Workshop is proud to present the work of Gabriele Stich and Anna Joelsdottir. New work from these two abstract painters will be presented in this exciting exhibition. Please note: The opening reception will feature “AvantRetro,” performance poetry by Al DeGenova & Charlie Rossiter.

Gabriele Stich’s paintings are both idiosyncratic and universal. They are abstractions, self-referential and conscious of the process of their own making. Her imagery, graphic and gestural, is primarily intuitive in origin, coming from what she describes as a “deep inner well of emotion.” Interspersing layers of paint with sand, pebbles, and dry pigment, she works to create, as she says, “a sense of beauty through texture and color.”

Ms. Stich is for the most part a self-taught artist, who counts among her influences the American painters Johns and Rauschenberg, the Abstract Expressionists, and the painter E. Schumacher, with whom she studied in her native Germany.

Anna Joelsdottir uses abstraction to deal with themes of disconnect, rupture, and separation from the familiar. Her paintings confront the viewer with spaces which are chaotic, turbulent. They use the language of abstraction to create analogous situations to those that we feel when we are separated from our “culture of origin.” Thus they imply a kind of travel, where a “homeless narrative” searches for what the artist calls, “a place, a center.”

Ms. Joelsdottir, a native of Iceland, is a graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This year she will be featured in a solo exhibition at Chicago’s Fassbender gallery, and will be an artist-in-residence at the Hafnarborg Art Museum in Harfarfjorour, Iceland.

The Contemporary Art Workshop is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1949 by sculptor John Kearney, among others. The Workshop houses 21 private studios, two galleries, and a large open sculpture work area. To learn more about the C.A.W. visit us online at


Again, we remind you that The Reykjavík Tríó will perform at North Park University on Saturday afternoon, February 8, 2003 at 3 pm in Anderson Chapel. The program will include works by Beethoven, Dvorák and Jón Nordal.


As advertised in last news letter you can now learn Icelandic! 7 students signed up for the first course, which will run through mid April. We're having lots of fun "wrestling" with the old language: all those cases, different forms of verbs, strange letters and sounds, and the same words meaning lots of different things. If you're interested in brushing up on your Icelandic or learn it from the scratch, please contact me for information on upcoming courses. Lena 773-489-4621.