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"Got lye-soaked cod? Ya sure, you betcha"

"POULSBO - Keeping with what is now 87 years of tradition, organizers of First Lutheran Church's lutefisk dinner once again packed in over 1,100 hungry visitors with the promise of authentic Scandinavian cuisine - they didn't disappoint. The assembly line was in full swing in the Christian Center kitchen, cooking, preparing, pouring, dishing, chatting and laughing, while the throngs who attended the extravaganza busied themselves with the enjoyable task of having a great meal. Whopping plates of lutefisk, the premiere dish at the supper, were garnished with mounds of meatballs, piles of potatoes, gobs of gravy, lots of lefse, masses of melted butter and a virtual sea of salad. Running out of food wasn't even an issue. We fed approximately 1,100 people and everything went very smoothly, said chairperson Margene Smaaladen, noting that attendance was down slightly because two other lutefisk dinners also occurred over the weekend in Gig Harbor and Everett. The lye-soaked cod here though was cooked to perfection and the event even hooked the Norwegian consul from Seattle. While Smaaladen described the dinner as a fun church fundraiser, she also pointed out that, A very important byproduct of the event is the camaraderie and fellowship that is shared by all of the volunteers at the many different stages required to put on such a dinner. It is a great way for the new members of our congregation to get to know people, she added. Our members look forward to making lefse, rolling meatballs and especially working the dinner itself. Members of the Viking Fest Royal Court were on hand at the event as was Miss Poulsbo Ashlee Redfern. The group helped out by serving dessert and even gave lutefisk a whirl. They were pretty excited they finally got to taste the stuff they had only heard about, Smaaladen said. They even asked if they could come back next year, after they are off the court, to help out because they had so much fun. Redfern entertained guests with her scintillating electric violin and joined in Scandinavian music performances with the Cloverblossom Band as well. Local royalty weren't the only ones on hand that had a blast, Smaaladen added, noting, Although most of the volunteers put in a very tiring day, we all have a great time and look forward to the next year. "

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