You have to crack eggs!


Contributing Editor
Walter W. Pickut

That, as they say, is how you make omelets.

It’s an old proverb that means if you want to achieve something important, some sacrifices or mistakes are inevitable. That’s just how it is.

But that also seems to say the ends justify the means. But some means are just too harsh for the ends they achieve. You don’t swat flies, for example, with a 12-gauge shotgun, or weed your garden with napalm.

Once in a while, though, some good comes out of it all, no matter how extreme the start. Take the Vikings, for example.

Some say they had to crack heads to build their own domain. They created a vast, rich, and powerful culture. Resistance to their expansion was futile. Those over-achieving warriors, however, are now gone. And so are their kingdoms and colonies. But what did they leave behind?

In their age Vikings also revolutionized the art and science of seagoing ships, both in construction and navigation. And far from popular belief, they were not all warriors. They were also highly advanced in arts, culture, and agriculture. Their age lasted for more than 300 years.

Viking sagas created oral and literary masterpieces still revered today. They founded successful, civilized cities across Northern Europe and the British Isles, many still prosperous today.

The Vikings surely “cracked heads,” in their day but they also left much more behind worth celebrating today

So, this week, your Jamestown Gazette invites all of our readers to celebrate with us the best of those ancient Norse traditions of the lands that came to be known as Scandinavia.

Just to get started, a few words of wisdom from their written Old Norse heritage…

  • No one is a total fool if he knows when to hold his tongue. ~Grettir’s Saga, c.88
  • Nothing good can happen to people who break their solemn vows. ~The Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgothi, c.6
  • He with a short knife must try, try again. ~Vapnfirðinga Saga, c.7
  • Best it is, for man’s words to seek peace when it is possible. ~Heitharvega, c.35

Old Norse, the ancient Scandinavian tongue, can still be heard today, not too different from its original form, in the language of Iceland. But at the Scandinavian festival, guests may hear echoes of many more.

Norse also founded many of the modern North Germanic languages, including Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, and Greenlandic, many of which remain mutually intelligible.

Festivals, of course, become famous for their food. And what could be better than an old Jamestown Swedish favorite? You can look, for example, for a traditional Bondomelett, the classical Swedish Peasant Omelette.

And if you enjoy it and want to make your own, just remember, in remembrance of the ancient Viking tradition, you’ll need to crack at least two eggs to make your omelet. That’s just how it is.

Smaklig måltid! Enjoy your meal!

And of course, once again, enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

Previous articleScandinavian Trivia
Next articleScandinavian Folk Festival Returns
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.