Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Some things are not meant for a pie!

This evening I loaded up the wife and son and headed out to the local pizza parlor (notice I said "the" parlor - because there is only one in town). Sammy's Pizza advertises "kids eat free on Tuesdays." Eat free is exactly what our boy did tonight. He ate crackers, croutons, hand-fulls of ranch dressing, and fork after fork of greasy pizza. As we waited for Dorris to return with our pizza we heard a few strange pizza topping combinations.

There are times when I write things to be humorous - this is not one of those times. The following is completely true. Directly behind my wife two middle-aged women ordered a medium pepperoni and bleu cheese pizza. I am not a big fan of meat but the pepperoni sounded delicious compared to the bleu cheese. Dirty sock foot cheese should not be on a pizza. To my left sat a family of eight. It must have been a family Christmas gathering because they had me take their picture. If a Christmas picture at a pizza joint doesn't say 'class' I don't know what does. They ordered several large pizzas, but among the orderings was a large canadian bacon and sauerkraut pie.
Maybe it is because we lived in the Pizzaland, Illinois for three years, but these topping choices sounded absolutely wretched. I kept waiting for Joe what's-his-name from Fear Factor to show up with a stop watch to time the families as they scarfed down the far from edible pizza. Maybe he didn't get the memo because he never showed up.

As my wife and I discussed the toppings of choice we were trying to figure out why anyone in their half-right mind would put something like that even close to their food-consuming oriface. The answer was waiting for us on our drive home. We drove past the Lutheran church and noticed a large sign out front that read Lutefisk and Meatball Dinner - Thursday 6 PM.

*For those weak of stomach please do not read any further.*

Lutefisk is made from air-dried whitefish (normally cod), prepared with lye, in a sequence of particular treatments. The first treatment is to soak the stockfish in cold water for five to six days (changed daily). The saturated stockfish is then soaked in an unchanged solution of cold water and lye for an additional two days. The fish will swell during this soaking, regaining a size even bigger than the original (undried) fish, but the protein content paradoxically decreases by more than 50 percent, causing its famous jelly-like consistency. When this treatment is finished, the fish is full of lye, has a pH value of 11-12 and is poisonous. To make the fish edible, a final treatment of yet another four to six days (and nights) of soaking in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk is ready to be used for cooking.
WHAT!?! Are you serious? Any food that includes the words lye, unchanged solution, swell, famous jelly-like consistency and poisonous are not meant to be put in your mouth. The above description sounds like the treatments I had to go through when I had second degree burns down my legs and feet. There was no way in the world I would have stuck my legs in my mouth, yet people here eat this stuff at church over some fellowship and gossip. I think the frigid temperatures have frozen the brain cells of many-a-Scandinavian.

Maybe it is common law here that one must ingest at least one nasty substance a month. The families at Sammy's this evening knew the Lutefisk & Meatball dinner was this week so they went with the old standby - bleu cheese and sauerkraut. Oofta!


Lindsay said...

From a Scandinavian Minnesotan who went to a Swedish college and has eaten lutefisk, I just thought you should know the correct spelling is Uff Da! Oh-yeah-yah-betchya!

Vince said...

lindsay - i appreciate your help in the presenting ONE of the correct spellings of a transliterated word. living among the people i have seen this word spelled many different ways, one of which is "oofta." i did some research and found:

uff da (mild expletive, can also be spelled oofda, ufda, oofta and ufta)

the hamster said...

what about "usta"? as in, the facial feature by which these snackable food items from a purgatory Christ saved us from must pass over (please pass over!) to be ingested.

on second thought, vmb1, i think the wife and i will cancel our flight to ND on dec. 24. thanx anyway.

the hamster said...

i meant, if this is the traditional ND cuisine, we MAY decline.

but after bathing the matter in prayer, we are definitely coming. thanx for the bed and chips. see you then.

Creative Liberty said...

Mmmm...Pizza. Katribble Katrobble. Just you wait...in a few years the nordic temps will freeze your medula oblongata and you too will be kicking back some lutefisk.

In some cases Lutefisk has been known to cause, cramping, diahreah, vomiting, blindness, pregnancy, swollen thumbs, back aches, head aches, parallysis, constipation, impotence, erectile dysfunctions, dry mouth, nervousness, dizyness, fear, rage, urinary tract infections, leaky anus, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, sweaty feet, hair discoloration, missing children, scratches, itches, loss of consciousness, burping, loud flatulents, boogers, warts, lesions, tears, swollen tongue, green, loss of cabin presure, elephantitus, elephant man, elvis, kidney stones, cancer, drunkeness, spousal abuse, dirty diapers, ghonnoreah, bleeding gums, sadness, crying, broken heart, blogging, menstration, pimples, and in some rare cases death. Please consult a physician outside of the Minot, ND area before consuming Lutefisk.

Vince said...

i have had all of those things, in fact i have had them all simultaneously. the swollen thumbs is the worst.

andy said...

I like my pizza with sauce only.

Vince said...

i remember this about you andy.

A&M Brock said...

i think i saw someone eat that stuff on fear factor. only one person made it without urping.

the hamster said...

listen, i can't eat cheese. so pizza is out of the question for me. it makes my yester-end explode.