Son’s of Norway Dinner

November 28, 2010 | By andrea | Filed in: Morsels & Musings.

Last weekend, Father-In-Law invited us and the rest of Husband’s family to the local Annual Son’s of Norway Dinner. Husband, you see, has Norwegian roots and it was time to learn more about his cultural heritage. On the menu that evening was lutefisk (dried white fish…read more below), lefse (traditional soft Norwegian flatbread), Scandinavian meatballs, cream sauce, boiled potatoes, coleslaw, and green beans. Dessert was tapioca pudding with a dollop of some kind of jam (lingonberry or currant?).

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia on how lutefisk is made:

The first treatment is to soak the stockfish (air-dried whitefish) in cold water for five to six days (with the water changed daily). The saturated stockfish is then soaked in an unchanged solution of cold water and lye for an additional two days. The fish swells during this soaking, and its protein content decreases by more than 50 percent, producing its famous jelly-like consistency. When this treatment is finished, the fish (saturated with lye) has a pH value of 11–12 and is therefore caustic. To make the fish edible, a final treatment of yet another four to six days of soaking in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk is ready to be cooked.

If you’ve had lutefisk before, I’m sure this post is conjuring up memories of some kind. The lutefisk served at the Son’s of Norway dinner had a gelatinous texture but was mild in flavor. The part that gets me (besides the texture) is that several days prior to eating it, lutefisk is CAUSTIC. Whaaaaaa? No amount of cream sauce or butter made it any easier to eat, but I tackled my piece of lutefisk first then moved on to the more normal items on my plate. The meatballs and coleslaw were my favorites.

This was a family-style meal so the individual dishes were passed then left on the table for those who wanted seconds. Unfortunatly for Youngest Son, the lutefisk plate landed in front of him. He was NOT happy. He promptly zipped up his fleece and remained like that the entire meal…only emerging to nibble on a ginger cookie later in the evening. It was not the time or place to enforce trying new foods. We had mercy on the poor boy that night.

I realize that the Son’s of Norway lutefisk dinner is a traditional Norwegian meal and a way of remembering the past…sort of like the Thanksgiving meal is in our country. I’m glad we went to the festivities that night and I’d gladly go back next year. I don’t mind eating a funky piece of fish once a year. Who knows, maybe I’ll even acquire the taste for it.

So, lutefisk…have you ever eaten it? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I’m lined to:
Finer Things Friday.

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3 comments on “Son’s of Norway Dinner

  1. Leslie says:

    Here’s a website on lefse. I know the owners:

  2. Sarah says:

    I made up a batch of Lefse for thanksgiving 🙂 But Lutefisk… oh the horror. I come from Norwegian heritage as well but I just can’t do it. My dad would always serve it at Christmas and pass it around with hopeful eyes that one of us would join him.

  3. Jenna says:

    I live in Bergen, Norway and lutefisk is a traditional Christmas dish along with pinnekjøtt which is dried, salt cured sheep ribs. I personally love it served with butter and bacon, it’s delish. It’s typically served with boiled potatoes and carrots and kolrabistopp, which is mashed kolrabi. What is that in english? Cabbage root? Couldn’t tell ya. But it’s good! Don’t know about the cole slaw in there though 😛