Okay, here is a breakfast identification question. Look carefully at these before and after photos (Wednesday’s breakfast here at Ty’s Diner) and tell me the name used for this delicious treat in your home and where that was. For the visually challenged, these are eggs fried in a hole in liberally buttered bread. The rectangular holes are also fried in butter and then liberally plastered with jam, jelly, honey or preserves. In my house in New Orleans, the eggs were called “toads in holes”; in Suzanne’s house in West Chester, PA, they were called “peek-a-boo eggs”. I’m interested in finding out what other names they were given, and in what parts of the country. You can comment on the blog, or if that doesn’t work, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll provide a summary in a day or two.
“Pilgrim” in the blog title doesn’t refer to a movie by John Wayne, but to a song about finding your true self, by the incredible Irish singer Enya, which I am listening to as I type. It is my favorite song, and if you haven’t heard it, I hope you will listen to it. “Only Time” is also a winner, and when you hear it, you will likely recall hearing it in the days after 9-11. (See Enya’s album, A Day Without Rain, which is spectacular.) Some people consider her music New Age, but I think it is “for the ages”…
Okay, contestants, here is Part 3 of this week’s Photo Contest:
Photo #5: What ship is this, what war did she fight in, and where is she now?
Photo # 6: Where is this woman, and what the heck is she doing?
I was insulted today. My good friend Terri from the Frozen North sent me a missive calling me a Snicklefritz and accusing me of “talkin’ smack” about her fair state of Minnesota. Snicklefritz apparently is a Pennsylvania Dutch word for a mischievous or overly talkative child. As I read on, she discussed the “hot and horribly steamy summers” in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. She sent some photos of flowers on her deck and some tiny lake named Superior (isn’t that a rather presumptous title?) that must have been taken in warmer climes, but worst of all, she mentioned the local lutefisk, and implied that I was “Fish Challenged”. (She broke my heart with this barb.)
Okay, Sweetheart, gloves are off. Let’s talk fish… lutefisk! “A Norwegian Treat”… that is how Terri’s Minnesnowtan favorite, lutefisk, was described to us when we visited the Sons of Norway Hall in the Norwegian town of Poulsbo, Washington. For those unfamiliar with lutefisk, it is white fish prepared with lye. (Yes, lye.) Here is the abbreviated recipe: soak fish in cold water for 5 days, then in a water and lye mixture for 2 days. It should now be a jelly-like consistency with a pH of 11-12, caustic, about the same as ammonia. (Doesn’t this sound revolting?)
Wash in water for a few more days, then, finally, cook with birch ash, cool, and spread layers of salt over the fish and serve to guests along with large amounts of grain alcohol. Never serve with silver, as the lutefisk will destroy silver. Make sure to remove all traces of lutefisk from plates and pans before going to bed, as lutefisk will corrode all metals known to man in a matter of hours, and on china will become impossible to remove if left overnight. (Imagine what this does to your stomach lining!) Legend has it that the Vikings’ use of lutefisk as a biological weapon of mass destruction caused whole populations of Central Europeans to flee in terror. When it was used in England, the Saxons thought it was delicious. (That is why there are no English restaurants outside of that country.) Here is what Garrison Keillor says about lutefisk: “It looks like the desicated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks… it is not edible by normal people.”
One of the best uses of lutefisk is to drive a family of raccoons from underneath your house. However, you run the risk of a family of Norwegians taking the place of the raccoons.