Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I'm not sure where this comes from. It could have been our neighbors in Oakridge who came from Minnesota. Lil's folks were Swedish.  Or it could have been from my BIL's grand dad who was born in Norway. All I know is the newspaper clipping is very, very yellow and the pictures on the backside of the paper look like they're from the forties or fifties. 

Apparently lutefisk is a traditional Christmas dish. From the description it sounds like the taste is definitely an acquired one. Or one you're born with. 

(From a novelty American folksong by Red Stangeland, sung to the tune of "O Tannenbaum"): O lutefisk, O lutefisk, how pungent your aroma / O lutefisk, O lutefisk, you put me in a coma. I think I'll stick with the fruitcake. 


T’was the night before Christmas,
            When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
            Except for my spouse
Who, like wives thru the ages,
            Sat up with a bound
And fearfully whispered,
            “I hear a strange sound.”

From under the blankets
            I rolled like a sack.
Propelled by her feet
            In the small of my back.
To the front room I blundered
            And listened in awe
To the words that came out
Of the fireplace maw.

“Now dash, now dang it!
            This damper needs fixin'"
It’s this stupid kind that
            My head always sticks in!”
As I let out a bellow
            And leaped for the phone,
From the chimney St.Nicholas
            Fell out with a groan.

He was half a foot wide
            And eleven feet high,
And he had but one arm,
            One leg and one eye.
“Great Yuletide,” I breathed,
            What’s happened to you?”
He rumbled “It’s simple
            You’ve got a seven inch flue.”

The stockings he filled
            Without turning his back:
Then still facing forward
            He shouldered his pack,
You see, “He explained
            As I eyed him askance,
“Your TV antenna
            Tore the seat of my pants.”

From the roof he took off
            With eight smoking rockets
And I woke up in bed,
            Eyes bulging from sockets
I aroused my good wife
            And breathlessly told
Of the things I had seen,
            But her answer was cold;

“Now go back to sleep,
            You crazy squarehead
No more lutefisk for you
            Before going to bed!’

Jack Ostergren

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