Quick Recipes and Easy

Through the Eyes of a Very Young Child

I was convinced that the ancient members of my family were magicians of some kind. Some of the things they did were unbelievable to me. They could take something and turn it into something really different. I never inquired why certain things were done, I just observed in my own silent way.

I knew some magic was going to be done when they would bring that amusing looking piece of wood into the house and saw it up in smaller pieces. It would then be place into a crock and covered up with water. The water was changed every day. I remember sneaking up to the crock and peaking at the contents. I started to be worried after about 5-6-days because that amusing looking wood was getting larger every day.

After a couple weeks of changing water every day, they would place some other stuff on it and more water. I became more worried because I knew they were going to cook it soon. When the day finally came everyone was excited. They would talk in Finnish and laugh. That is when I tried to hide. Soon the house was filled with a horrible smell. It was coming from one of the pots on the stove. I knew it was not the potatoes so it had to be that amusing looking wood they had been feeding in that crock. I tried hiding under the bed, in the closet, in the pantry and when that would not work, I closed my eyes. I figured if I kept my eyes shut real tight the smell would not find me. Nothing worked. The odor was everywhere.

Today lutefisk can be found in the frozen food section of the supermarket. I cook it in the microwave. I just place it frozen into a microwave container, cook it for 8-10-minutes, depending on your microwave, and it is done. It is nothing like the gelatinous, smelly fish I had as a child and the house does not stink. I serve it with boiled potatoes and creamed peas. We only have it once a year, usually in November and the best part is that I do not hide from it anymore. I am not worried. It is possible to delight in an ancient family tradition without suffering.

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