Friday, October 10, 2008


......OH LUTEFISK, OH LUTEFISK, YOU PUT ME IN A COMA! And so go the opening lines of The Lutefisk song. The picture on my previous post is of lutefisk, which is a white fish, usually cod, that has been dried, frozen, soaked in lye, yes LYE, and then boiled in a cheese cloth bag and served to hungry Norwegians with loads of melted butter. It is considered a treat by those Norwegians to be able to smell the putrid odor as the fish cooks, to put fork to the gel like wiggling blob of fish, and to relive the experience over and over as they belch the stuff for the next 24 hours or more!

October is the month in Minnesota that Norwegians wait for all year long. It's the beginning of lutefisk suppers, and a prelude to the upcoming holiday season when it is tradition to eat lutefisk as many times as possible.We went to a lutefisk supper last night, a yearly occurrence at the Norwegian Lutheran college where hubby and I attended, and then later worked for many years. The usual accompaniment to the jelly like substance is lots of melted butter, mashed potatoes, meatballs and gravy, and lefsa. Now do you know lefsa? Kind of a thin tortilla, made of potatoes and only a tiny bit of flour, rolled paper thin, and baked on a lefsa grill. In addition to these "required" side dishes, we also had carrots, cranberry sauce, and apple, peach or blueberry crisp with ice cream for dessert.

There are dangers to eating the stuff. Remember it is soaked in lye. It has to be rinsed in water many times before cooking, and then if cooked in aluminum cookware, it will still turn the pot black! Imagine what it does to your innards!

Yes, I had a little bit. Mostly because of the melted butter! I concentrated on the mashed potatoes and meatballs and gravy, but Ernie had a couple of plates full of lutefisk. He was in heaven!

As folks left their table we heard cries of "Tusen Takk" (a thousand thanks) .


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My husband's paternal family all come from Minnesota. They are not only Lutherans but his grandfather and grandmother were straight from the boat and Norway.

I believe they settled in Eagle Bend, Minn. :)

Sage said...

Brenda, I am not familiar with Eagle Bend, MN, but I am going to find out. Thanks for checking out my blog. I have been reading your's for some time now, and I really am enjoying it.

I'm cooking beef barley soup today, but your chicken noodle sounds so good, too! Autumn and soup seem to go together, don't they!

Lisa J said...

After a dinner like that, I fear I would spend the rest of the evening in a little room by myself with some good reading material and some very soft tissue paper!!!
I am glad you have had such a good time with friends and good food that makes the best combination doesn't it.