November 17th, 2008

How To Eat Lutefish
By James Castwell

Placing your thumb on top of the cork will give you more snap and tip action than if you have it alongside. If you are having a problem with a 'tailing loop' you might try moving your thumb off to the side. It may help pinpoint the problem. Now, so much for anything about fly casting. On to the important stuff. Not only how to eat Lutefisk…but perhaps why.

Remember, my town is small. Population about 7850. Last month the big Lutheran church served a Lutefisk dinner and served over 2000 pounds of the stuff. Really. And now here we come with another one. It might help your understanding of our town if you knew the Lutheran church and the Sons of Norway have the two biggest buildings in town.

Let me back up here a bit. I messed up. I thought the big 'Sons of Norway' Lutefisk dinner was last Saturday. Well, the Chum salmon were stomping around at the mouth of Chico creek so I (we) decided to forgo the food in favor of flogging fish. Imagine, me, half Swede passing up the national heritage staple of my ancestors. Even though it was being prepared by Norwegians, there is not much you can do to screw up the stuff.

First you catch a cod fish. Hang it outdoors, far from civilization if possible, and after it is stiff as a ball-bat and dry as a dust-bunny, you store it until needed (or when starvation sets in). Then, take it down and soak it in lye for four days. Then rinse it in clear water a few times and boil it. What's not to love about that? No way you can foul that up. The only thing I have noticed is that at one of these fish-feed-fest there are never any 'doggy-bags' asked for nor given out. Strange.

I will admit that even though I took my wife with me (she had a cup of coffee but refused to even try the honored dish; she is not skandahouvian) it does help if you also have the company of the Queen of the event, Miss Poulsbo 2008 on hand. Kind of pretties things up as I think you will agree. Not sure why but she was willing to have her picture taken with my arm around her but she was.

Here are a few more pictures we took while inside the dining hall; some shots of the food and the well attended and executed dancing.

You do not just eat the fish at one of these doings. You have mashed potato's, sliced carrots, melted butter, bacon-drippings, cole-slaw, lefse and coffee. My plate has the fish, mashed potato, swedish meatballs (don't ask), carrots, melted butter and bacon-drippings on the fish. The secret of how to eat this stuff is to stab a hunk of the slippery fish and then stick your fork into a slice of carrot. That will help keep the fish on until it gets to its target. It had been almost twenty years since I had any lutefisk. Who knows how long it will be until I do again. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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