Preparation / Directions:
Found a real gem of Americana last weekend. It's a cookbook of Grange recipes. For those from other parts of the world (and big US cities), a grange is an association of farmers--they were big in the past in the US. This is American heartland cooking--long an canned stuff and casseroles. The seafood section was understandably short--two pages in a book of some 300 odd pages. But a couple of the entries caught my eye. This one for Lutefisk looks particularly interesting. Any recipe that calls for sawing one of the main ingredients naturally catches my eye.
Now, I've never had Lutefisk in spite of being half Swedish. Both sides of my family were busy becoming Americans and none of the ethnic delicacies made it down to us third generation kids. Being a full- fledged, All-American boy, I naturally resent being deprived of my roots and am eager to sue someone for the grievous affront of never having had lutefisk when I was growing up. Can't for the life of me figure out who to sue though...
Traditional on Christmas Eve. (Dried Imported Cod) Saw fish into 3 parts, clean thoroughly and place in a wooden bowl or pail. Add water to cover and set in a cool place for 5 to 6 days. Change water each day. Remove fish and thoroughly clean wooden bowl. Make a solution of water, lime and ashes and allow to stand overnight. Drain off clear liquid and pour over soaked fish, set in a cool place for 7 days. When fish is soft, remove from solution, scrub bowl well and soak fish for several days in cold clear water. Cook in boiling salted water at simmering temperature for about 20 minutes. Drain well and serve. The Norwegians serve the fish with melted butter; the Swedes serve it with white or mustard sauce. Allow 1/3 pound per person.
Melt 1 1/2 tbs butter, blend in flour, salt and pepper, add fish stock gradually, stirring constantly until thickened then cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add mustard and remaining butter. Serve with boiled lutfisk, haddock or cod.
Makes 2 1/2 cups sauce.
NOTE: If fish stock is salty do not add salt listed.
NELL MAY, Bennett Valley Grange, No. 16.
From "Our Favorite Grange Recipes", compiled and edited by the Home Economics Committee of the California State Grange, Gladys True, Chairman. Printed by the Record of Yolo County, 19