Preparations rolled out for lutefisk dinner
June 10, 2008 · Updated 6:43 PM
POULSBO When the smells of lefse cooking starts wafting from the First Lutheran kitchens, Little Norway residents know what time it is.
This week kicked off preparations for the 90th annual First Lutheran Lutefisk Dinner, which will take place from 11:20 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Christian Education Center gymnasium.
Between 1,100 and 1,500 guests are expected to be treated to 2,000 pieces of lefse, 600 pounds of meatballs, more than 200 dozen Norwegian cookies and, of course, about 2,000 pounds of New Day Seafoods famous lutefisk.
But before that can be done, theres a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the dinner.
This week, the lefse crew was busy hand-making each and every piece of the Norwegian unleavened flatbread. They counted among them long-time volunteers and a few newbies as well.
Weve just got a lot more enthusiasm this year and a lot more people getting involved, dinner organizer Margene Smalaaden said. We even have a lot of people helping out who dont even go to this church. We had some new people from the lefse classes, they enjoyed it and they wanted to come back.
From the cookers to the dough ball rollers, talk among the workers was good Norwegian jokes, memories, families and, most of all, the upcoming dinner.
Every year, to me, the preparation is the most fun thing we do, said Donna Erickson, who has served at the dinner the last 10 years. Its fun because you get to see people who only do this once a year get together and be so professional youd swear we could do it once a month. It goes just like clockwork.
You meet a lot of people you wouldnt have met otherwise, added Margaret Smalaaden, who worked along side Erickson making balls of dough. You see a lot of people who used to live in Poulsbo and come around for this.
In another room, Pete Riley and Steve Holzhey started the lefse process by working all the ingredients into large balls of dough. Holzhey was marking his third or fourth year with the lefse team. Previously, he had been cooking lefse but laughed and said he didnt know whether making dough was a promotion or a demotion from his previous job.
But potato peeling is really up in the world, he joked.
Riley, who attended Ann Cooks recent lefse class, was volunteering for his first time this year.
Its just something not everyone does, he said of his reasoning for helping out. Its something unique. Also, I was talked into it by my better half.
Tickets for the upcoming First Lutheran lutefisk dinner are now on sale. They are $15 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12. Tickets are sold by seating times, which are spaced every 20 minutes throughout the day. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (360) 779-2622, or by going to http://www.poulsbo-lutefisk.com. Mail Orders will be taken no later than Oct. 10.