Community Brunch
— Factory Tøyen

We first came to Tøyen Factory through the yoga with Christina Skreiberg that we learned about in the podcast Frilanslivet. Every Thursday she offer yoga with free office for the rest of the day. We loved it all and wanted to do something in return.

Our intention behind this gathering was to gather in settings where we mix with people outside our everyday circles. We need dialogue with not only like-minded people to expand our understanding of why things are the way they are. And we need to hug more – after these strange years of COVID, we have a lot of catching up to do.

We also want to emphasize how important collaboration is. This brunch was a co-creation between Elizabeth Gundersen, Cecilie Dawes, and Marte Garman. We all work with food, health, education, and storytelling, and coming together in this potent time of year to create together was a beautiful and expanding process for us all. Since two of us are in the transition of coming back to work after having a child, and Marte had this experience early in her life, we have learned a lot from each other. This balance of being an entrepreneur and a mother is not easy – society is not set up for that – but what we have learned is how we can change the way we work to support each other.

The main chef of the brunch was Elizabeth Gundersen, holistic nutrition chef originally from California. We wanted to create a meal that was good for the planet and our bodies. This winter season, warm one-pot meals feel the most nourishing for us, so we took a local and seasonal twist on the traditional Italian ribollita. We served it with a Nordic pesto and sourdough bread from Håndbakt.

We also made a red beet salad, a potato salad with Brussels sprouts, and a pumpkin spread. For dessert, we did a twist on the Norwegian traditional Christmas Eve dessert by replacing cloudberries with red berries and adding roasted oats and caramelized hazelnuts. We used vegan cream to include everyone in the dessert.

For drinks, we had a spiced apple toddy for welcome, water kefir with ginger and raspberry, Tatmara Natural Ethiopian coffee from Tim Wendelboe served as kokekaffe, lemon balm, sage, calendula, and peppermint from Blad & Blom in Trondheim.

The produce came from Vaar CSA in Nesodden, and it was the last harvest before the frost. To be able to harvest this late in December is something we have never experienced before. A part of us appreciates the vivid colors and the nourishment of the food, which is very much needed this year. But it is also a reminder of how fast the climate changes are happening, and that we have very little time to change things around.

We plan to do these brunches on the first Thursday of the month, but we all need a good winter holiday now, so our next gathering will be on the 2nd of February. Save the date!

Photo: Marte Garman

Text: Cecilie Dawes