Sons of Norway to celebrate with lutefisk

by Jeff Pederson of The Review staff

LUTEFISK, a dried cod dish popular in Norway, will be the main menu item at the 19th annual Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge Lutefisk Dinner Sunday, Nov. 3, at Lakeland College. — Submitted photo LUTEFISK, a dried cod dish popular in Norway, will be the main menu item at the 19th annual Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge Lutefisk Dinner Sunday, Nov. 3, at Lakeland College. — Submitted photo For those with roots in Norway or simply an interest in the Scandinavian way of life, the Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge provides an all encompassing cultural haven.

Entering its 20th year of existence, the Sons of Norway group is designed for anyone who enjoys learning, discussing and experiencing the unique traditions Norway and the other Scandinavian countries.

According to Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge member and Lutefisk Dinner Chairman Gary Henderson of Sheboygan Falls, the club is comprised of a wide range of Scandinavian enthusiasts.

“Many people have a Norwegian or Scandinavian heritage, but other are just interested in the culture,” said Henderson, who has been associated with the club for the past three years. “Every year, we have visitors, speakers, and members who have visited many Scandinavian cities come in and share their experiences at our meetings.

“This year, we have even visited an Italian group and shared experiences through songs and dances,” he said. “Vennskap means friendship, and we enjoy it in this club.”

The annual highlight of the year is the Norwegian Lutefisk Dinner, sponsored by the Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge of Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties, which is set to take place Sunday Nov. 3, at 1 p.m. at Lakeland College.

The 19th annual event features Norwegian cuisine including lutefisk, which is a specialized form of dried cod soaked in lye.

“To me lutefisk it is similar to a fish boil,” Henderson said. “There is a different odor that may turn some people off to the product. The fish is either boiled or baked and it should be flaky. It is important for it to be cooked correctly.”

Norwegian lefse, which is a sort of Norwegian tortilla, or flat bread made from potatoes, will also served, along with Norwegian meatballs, boiled potatoes, rutabaga and rommegrot sour cream pudding, along with corn, colesaw, picked beets, rolls, coffee, milk and other beverages.

Norwegian desserts like krumkake and rosettes are also on the menu.

The event, which is the main fundraiser for the Sons of Norway Vennskap Lodge, also includes $1,000 in door prizes and a silent auction.

While the club currently has 87 members, last year a capacity crowd of nearly 280 people turned out for the annual lutefisk dinner.

The Vennskap Lodge, which was chartered in 1993, also has a Heritage Club for children ages 7 to 17 and sends some to a camp every year where they learn Norwegian history and heritage.

The club currently meets once a month alternating between locations in Sheboygan and Manitowoc. Meetings, which are held on the third Tuesday evening of the month at 7 p.m., include a short business meeting followed by a program typically featuring visitors, exchange students and Scandinavian experts.

Every meeting closes with a Scandinavian lunch.

Advance tickets for the Lutefisk Dinner are $17 per person and $8 for children under 13. No walk-ins will be accepted.

The event begins with cocktails at 1 p.m. and the dinner to follow at 2 p.m.

The dinner will take place at the Younger Family Campus Center in Bossard Hall on the Lakeland College campus, which is located at W3718 South Drive in Plymouth.

For more information about the Sons of Norway Vennskap lodge, contact Sons of Norway President Marg Giesen at 920-458-0544 or

To make a reservation, contact Gary Henderson at 920-467-6473 or

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