Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving and . . . Lutefisk?

A friend asked me to share my favorite Thanksgiving memory, so this journey into the past brought memories of a Thanksgiving feast from early in the 1970's.

A motley crew of some 18 hungry souls had gathered as my sister and I prepared our fabulous dinner. The first course -- lutefisk.

I should explain that my sister's sense of time was cosmic. She was connected to the larger universe. Tiny matters of turning the oven on at the right time escaped her. But finally, everyone gathered around the long table. All looked festive. The appetizers long gone. In fact the guests looked rather long in tooth as my sister and I carried two large platters of steaming lutefisk to table.

Would you believe those two platters made it all the way around the table without one person taking a single serving?

Perhaps it was the sight. My husband calls lutefisk a kind of fish jello with white gravy. Or it could have been the smell. The fish, soaked in lye to preserve it, comes from specialty stores, looking something like a board. The fish must be reconstituted by soaking in water overnight (or a little longer, to make sure the lye is totally gone). But the poor, weakened fish must next be boiled in cheesecloth; otherwise, it would boil away entirely.

I have no pictures of that long ago feast,
but this picture by MTCarlson (Flickr)
will give you an idea . . . 
Then, slathered with white, cream gravy, lutefisk is a dish for Swedes. And well loved. My sister and I sat at the head of the table and pigged out.

Later, we had turkey. Everyone praised our Thanksgiving feast. But for my sister and me, it was always about the lutefisk.

Now in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and following Annette's suggestion, do YOU have a Thanksgiving memory to share?

No comments: