I was convinced that the old 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 totally different. I never inquired why certain things were done, I just observed in my own quiet way.
I knew some magic was going to be done when they would bring that funny looking piece of wood into the house and saw it up in smaller pieces. It would then be put 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 began to be afraid after about 5-6-days because that funny looking wood was getting bigger every day.
After a couple weeks of changing water every day, they would put some other stuff on it and more water. I became more afraid 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 funny 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 put 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 afraid. It is possible to enjoy an old family tradition without suffering.
Find microwave cookware at http://www.pot