Williston Church Hosts Popular Lutefisk Dinner

Byron Trowbridge eats a plate full of lutefisk Saturday in Williston, N.D. Amy Dalrymple/Forum News Service

WILLISTON, N.D. – First Lutheran Church in Williston hosted what organizers believe is one of the largest lutefisk dinners in the state this weekend.

The church served one ton of the Norwegian delicacy Saturday to locals, new residents to the oil boom community and people who traveled from afar for the codfish.

“People just come from all over for it,” said Ron Lund, a longtime cook for the event.

The event typically raises about $15,000 that goes to support community causes, such as the local food bank and scholarships to Concordia College in Moorhead, said co-chairman Ken Kjos .
Dr. Bob Olson, left, and Ron Lund have worked at First Lutheran’s lutefisk dinner for decades.

Byron Trowbridge, better known as Hambone the Mailman, ate two plates filled with lutefisk and followed it up with meatballs and potatoes for dessert.

“I never used to like it but I kept eating it and boy I really like it now,” he said.

Visitors immediately noticed the smell of the codfish prepared with lye as they entered the church Saturday night. In recent years, the church replaced its air exchange system, so the smell goes away within a week, Kjos said.

“Before that, it used to last about a month,” he said.

2 Responses

  1. skidoolund

    I author should realize that lutefisk is not only Norwegian, but also Swedish and Finnish. In our Finnish family, lutefisk was traditional Christmas eve supper. We baked it in the oven, only to the point where it was beginning to lose it’s firmness.
    It was then served with mountains of butter and mashed potatoes. The Swedes used to make a cream sauce to serve it. One of the problems with lutefisk is over-cooking and the flesh becomes mushy. That turns off a lot of new tasters.

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