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Lutefisk and Meatball Supper next week

Bob Toso, a member of Men of Trinity and the person in charge of publicity for the event, and the Rev. Kristi Weber, senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, say more than 500 people will attend the 49th annual Lutefisk and Meatball Supper. (Masaki Ova / The Sun)

The Men of Trinity are expecting to serve more than 500 people for the 49th annual Lutefisk and Meatball Supper, according to Bob Toso, a Men of Trinity member and the person in charge of publicity for the event.

“We will be ready for that many,” he said.

The Lutefisk and Meatball Supper is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Lutefisk is cod fish that is soaked in lye. Tom Olson, Men of Trinity member and coordinator of the supper, said the lutefisk for the supper is purchased from Olsen Fish Co., where it soaks the lutefisk in pure water to remove the lye prior to shipping it.

Toso said lutefisk is a traditional Christmas meal in many Scandinavian households. The Rev. Kristi Weber, senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, said people will drive 100 miles to have dinner on Wednesday because lutefisk is a special food in their family tradition.

“Some of the tables you can’t keep the lutefisk on the table because they just keep dishing it up and eating it,” Toso said. “With salt and butter, it is very good.”

Olson said the Men of Trinity will make nearly 400 pounds of lutefisk. The lutefisk is cut into squares on Tuesday and will be kept on ice until Wednesday before it is boiled in water.

Olson said the Women of Trinity will make meatballs on Tuesday. The meatballs will be placed in gravy on Tuesday and reheated on Wednesday for the supper. This year, the Women of Trinity is making more than 200 pounds of meatballs.

“The meatballs are wonderful. They are to die for,” he said.

Olson said about 150 pounds of coleslaw will be made for the supper. Red potatoes will be peeled on Tuesday so they are ready for Wednesday. The supper also includes cranberries, lefse, dessert and coffee. Lefse is a soft traditional Norwegian flatbread.

Last year the supper brought in more than $8,000 in total receipts and a net profit as $4,000, Weber said. Last year proceeds from the dinner supported the Red Willow Bible Camp, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Dakota Boys Ranch, food basket donations for Christmas and Thanksgiving and rides for people who come to church.

“If people need a ride to Trinity, we will pay the cab fare for them,” Weber said.

Proceeds also help maintain a van that the Men of Trinity keep running which is used by the Boy Scouts and the church’s youth group.

“The biggest expenses are things that go outside of the church that the proceeds of this go to,” she said.

Weber said the people from nursing homes will call and ask for to-go orders. Volunteers will work a to-go box line and will deliver those to the nursing homes.

“There are definitely shuttles of food that go to other people who have requested it,” she said.

Olson said about 100 volunteers will help with meal preparation, setup and cleanup. Volunteers include about 25 to 30 Men of Trinity members who will serve food, and 20 Women of Trinity members who will make the meatballs.

“I think one of the really nice things about the projects like this is the fellowship amongst the men,” Toso said. “The Men of Trinity have a lot of fun doing this. It is work, but it is a lot of fun doing it.”

Sun Assistant Editor Masaki Ova can be reached at (701) 952-8451 or by email at mova@

If you go

What: 49th annual Lutefisk and Meatball Supper

Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 523 4th Ave. SE

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday

Cost: $14 advance for adults and $15 at the door, $4 for youth ages 6 through 11, and free for children under age 5a