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Last chance for lutefisk lovers

POULSBO — The lefse is made, the krumkake is ready, even the salt and pepper shakers are filled in preparation for the final fine dining lutefisk event of the season. And before Little Norway bids “farvel” to codfish affairs for another year, the Sons of Norway has prepared one last smattering of good ol’ Norwegian tastiness.

“It’s the quality, not the quantity,” said event volunteer Jane Speer of the dinner, which is in its 10th year and usually attracts around 400 people. “It’s a big job.”

Fortunately, members of the Sons of Norway offer a Kaffe Stua lunch each week, which keeps them in prime cooking and baking shape for the big codfish event that occurs every fall. At the Nov. 3 dinner, lutefisk and lefse, along with Swedish meatballs, carrots, boiled potatoes, salad, krumkake and ice cream will be served.

“We’re just doing the little bits and pieces ahead of time,” said SONs publicity director Darlene Berge, who joined nearly a dozen other lodge women in making krumkake for the dinner last week. The assembly-line process of creating the lace cookies begins with a sugar cookie-like batter, which pairs then pour into krumkake irons and roll around small cones where they cool. The recipe used is one member Myrt Jodry’s family has passed down for 80 years.

“When we get a bunch together like this it goes really quickly,” she said.

And it’s not just the women who help.

“It’s such a joint effort,” Speer said. “Lutefisk is the one dinner that the men do help on.”

And while the women’s male counterparts serve as expert codfish cutters and cookers, the younger generation, too, is stepping into the kitchen.

“It’s nice that we’ve got the younger ones picking up the tradition,” Speer said, pointing out Margaret Graves, 13, and Frances Jaeger, 87, working together on krumkake.

“It’s not just cooking, the ladies start telling them stories,” said SON youth director Joanne Graves. “It’s like a history lesson... We just have so much fun.”

The younger generation will be dancing at the event as well. Members of the Leikarringen children’s dance group ranging in age from 11 to 19 will display traditional Scandinavian folk routines. Incorporating the dinner preparations and dancing is all a part of the lodge’s effort to reach out to the youth, Graves said.

“They put on quite a performance,” she added.

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