The Toronto Icelandic club celebrated an enjoyable and festive Þorrablót this year, with new families in attendance and many new events.
First acknowledgements go out to the amazing Icelandic feast prepared by our club members, and for Arden Jackson and Meredith MacFarquar for organizing the delicious appetisers, main course and desserts!
The evening was made even more exciting with the addition of our Viking Challenges, where members could test their strength (and stomach’s) by eating svið (sheep’s head), hákarl (rotten shark) and hrútspunger (ram’s testicles).
A few daring members decided to take the ultimate Viking Challenge and eat an entire testicle in record time. Thorthur took the challenge to heart and completed it before all other competitors, although he admitted that it wasn’t very fair since he was born and raised in Iceland and has done this before.
In last place was Ingmar Mah, who commented throughout the agonizing two minute process that he really wanted to “savour” the flavours and experience. Thanks to our vice president Karen Wallington for bringing this speciality back from Iceland just for our Þorrablot.
The final Viking challenge was Freya’s ball toss, which was a huge hit with the kids as it involved some serious hand-eye coordination to accurately fling tennis balls around a ladder. Hours later, the kids were still perfecting their skills!ICCT Scholarship winner David MacFarquar was not in attendance, but sent his aunt to accept on his behalf. Meredith told a wonderful story about David’s ingenuity in imparting Icelandic knowledge to his classmates when he, unbeknownst to his school, served up his version of hrútspunger to everyone’s horror. David substituted the actual thing for some seaside scallops doused in pepper, but none were brave enough to take a taste.
We welcome David’s creativity and energy to the ICCT next year when he begins his studies in Ontario. In attendance was Ólöf Sigvaldóttir, Attache to the Icelandic Ambassador, who gave a poignant speech about the current economic climate in Iceland and the challenges the country continues to face. She also reflected on how events such as Þorrablót are our way of connecting and preserving the Icelandic heritage, something more profound for her as her beautiful nine month old daughter Elin was in attendance.
The evening ended with a few last rushes to the Silent Auction, where this year, members were enticed by bidding on items through a “Secret” ballot. Once you found your item of choice from the many excellent donated items, you could take a risk and put your bid into a sealed envelope. Highlights included a striking image by photographer Kara Schuster and two tickets from Icelandair which brought in excellent revenue for the club’s scholarship programs.