A lutefisk interlude…
I had meant to write about this in the archeologist post, but that post decided to spiral off in a direction that didn’t include gelatinous fish, so here it is in another post. Last Sunday our landlord invited us to attend his church’s Lutefisk Feast with him. He’s been alone out here for awhile and I think he loves having someone to drop in on and to show off the town to. Since we’d spent the weekend cleaning, we decided a break sounded great and so off we went to the Cut Bank Lutheran Church’s Lutefisk Feast. Held every year during the holidays, with proceeds benefiting the churches’ charitable endeavors, the Lutefisk Feast is a true community event. There are a sizable number of Scandinavian families that helped to settle this area so the Lutheran Church and their events are well attended. After we made the rounds and got introduced to half the people there we sat down to eat. Now, in case you have no idea what we were in store for, lutefisk is a traditional Scandinavian method of preserving cod or other whitefish. The fish is soaked in Lye, which preserves it for a long time. It is then soaked for days to get the lye out and then cooked. The resulting fish has a distinct gelatinous texture and appearance. I really wish I had taken a picture of the table, set out family style, but since I’m not fully back into blogger mode and because I was trying to wrangle two fussy, overwhelmed kids I give you this picture of a lutefisk feast plate instead, courtesy of madisondining.com.
I should mention that the other fish featured, the pickled herring, was firm, not fishy, just lightly vinegary and Tim and I both ate a bunch. I kick myself for not getting the recipe because it was totally homemade. Just a nod also to the delicious cookies, anyone who has been lucky enough to experience Scandinavian cookies, specifically the rosettes (made by dipping a hot flower shaped iron in thin batter and frying it in oil so they come out as these light, crispy shells that are covered in powdered sugar) and the krumkake (like a tuille cookie cooked on a special waffle iron and then bent around a cone, often filled with something else, like a Swedish cannoli) knows what I am talking about, so good!
So far we are really enjoying it here in Montana; we have met lovely people and enjoyed some unique events. I look forward to what else this community has to offer. And next year I’m totally getting the recipe for that pickled herring.