Letters

Letters 04-13-2015

Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.

115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.

Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1 consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by the state legislature in December.”

Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.

Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.

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Taste Makers

None - December 2nd, 2013  
LUTFISK SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS

We all have our Christmas and holiday traditions, many passed down from generations. Northern Michigan (Upper Peninsula too) became home to many Scandinavian immigrants in the later 1800s and early 1900s and their influences still are felt today.

My mother’s parents were of Swedish descent so we spent Christmas Eve with them. I looked forward to everything my grandmother r prepared but the Lutfisk.

There is no middle ground with Lutfisk (Lutefisk in Norway); you either love it or you hate it. Now, Lutfisk is not a type of fish, but rather, a process of preparing cod, ling, pollock or haddock using a lye and water solution over a period of several days. Treated for preservation purposes, Lutfisk emits challenging odors for most, but it is tradition, or is it?

My Grandmother served it every Christmas Eve, but actually only about two percent of Scandinavian households serve it then (most serve a rib roast). The tradition seems to be something of a North American thing (particularly Midwestern), versus one celebrated back in Scandinavia.

I am not sure that anyone in my family really liked it; we tolerated it and my grandfather paired his with a Manhattan (for which I was too young). My grandmother prepared Lutfisk each Christmas Eve as a symbol -- a reminder of the tough times -- the challenges and sacrifices of our ancestors that led to a better life for us.

I have adopted some of my family Christmas traditions, only serving Lutfish once years ago, and incorporated them with my wife’s Polish traditions. For me, passing down the Polish, Irish, Czech and Swedish heritage to my kids is important..

This year I am excited that the Manistee County Historical Museum located in downtown Manistee is featuring “A Scandinavian Christmas.” According to assistant director Tom Gerhardt there will be several period rooms including a kitchen with cookbooks. To learn more visit their website: manisteemuseum.org.

I am also looking forward to taking my family to Punzel Scandinavian near Buckley (5 miles north) on 633 Road. Judy Hauser opened her unique operation 29 years ago. While she doesn’t serve food this time of year, the Punzel’s Cottage is open Monday - Saturday from 1 - 4 pm where you may purchase Scandinavian Handicrafts from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. You don’t have to be of Scandinavian descent to enjoy what Judy has created; for directions or more info go to punzelscandinavian.com. Have a Happy Saint Lucia Day on December 13 and God Jul! or Glaedelig Jul! (Merry Christmas). --Rick Coates

 
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