Lutefisk is not that bad.
Just ask Quinn Balstad of Norden Lodge No. 2 in Tacoma.
She avoided the fishy Norwegian delicacy for years, even at the lodge’s annual lutefisk dinner, which will be held this year from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 21).
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Then there was the year that her husband Erick, also a lodge member, decided to make lutefisk at home for a special dinner. Normally, she would make meatballs with gravy as a second dinner option for herself and the kids, but she ran out of time.
“I always thought it was fish-flavored mush,” said Balstad, coordinator of this year’s dinner and president of the lodge.
She was pretty hungry, and there were no meatballs, so she dug in.
“I was so surprised. It was good. We ate it all. The boys went for seconds. I remember thinking, ‘This is flaky, the way it’s supposed to be,’” Balstad said. “It doesn’t have a lot of flavor because of the process. You really have to be gentle with it, and it should be flaky chunks.”
That’s how it’s made by lodge members for Saturday’s event. A lean-to is set up in the parking lot and the lutefisk, which is dried fish treated with lye, is boiled and served hot.
It comes with a choice of sauces, plus peas and carrots, lefse and dessert.
Reservations? None needed. Continuous seatings with communal tables. The meal is all-you-can-eat, so here’s your shot at eating endless plates of lutefisk.
What if I hate lutefisk? Not to worry. There will be meatballs as another option, with “gravy made from scratch,” Balstad said. The meatball plate has the same trimmings as the lutefisk.
What else? Scandinavian breads from Larsen’s Bakery for sale. Don’t forget to buy some lefse.
Bazaar: Fun arts-and-crafts items will be for sale. Rosemaling, Norwegian sweaters and books about Norway also will be for sale.
What’s next: Balstad if busy working on fenalår, a cured lamb dish, that will be served at the lodge’s traditional Julebord on Dec. 2.
Lutefisk Dinner 2017
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 21)
Where: Norden Lodge No. 2, Normanna Hall, 1106 S. 15th St., Tacoma; 253-627-9012; facebook.com/nordenlodge2.
Cost: $20 admission adults. $10 for ages 6-12. Free for 5 and younger.