Joyce Block CZT

Joyce Block CZT

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I really must make a note here about lutefisk.  Lutefisk in Norwegian means lyefish.  I have taken the folowing from a Wikipedia entry which is really a very good description of how lutefisk is prepared.  I remember when I was a child living in Evansville, WI, fixed lutefisk on Christmas Eve each year and shared the meal with Aunt Ellen, Uncle Lester and cousins, John, Marsha, and Mary. More about later.  First learn what is is and how it is fixed (from Wikipedia).

Lutefisk is made from dried whitefish (normally cod in Norway, but ling is also used) prepared with lye in a sequence of particular treatments. The watering steps of these treatments differ slightly for salted/dried whitefish because of its high salt content.
The first treatment is to soak the stockfish in cold water for five to six days (with the water changed daily). The saturated stockfish is then soaked in an unchanged solution of cold water and lye for an additional two days. The fish swells during this soaking, and its protein content decreases by more than 50 percent producing a jelly-like consistency. When this treatment is finished, the fish (saturated with lye) has a pH value of 11–12 and is therefore caustic. To make the fish edible, a final treatment of yet another four to six days of soaking in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk is ready to be cooked. 

Yesterday my mother and I ate lutefisk at the annual lutefisk dinner in a Lutheran Church in Deforest WI.  

Lutefisk, homemade potato lefse, mashed potatos, Swedish meatballs (that's for those that refuse to eat the lutefisk), mashed rutabagas, cranberry sauce, green beans, cole slaw, and pie.   This was my plate (just the first helping.) 

I love it allPerhaps the reason I like lutefisk so much is that it always brings back memories of my childhood when we would fix the lutefisk.  We lived in a home that had an unheated back porch and that is where we soaked to lutefisk for days, changing the water each day.  The smell was terrible.  It is a wonder that we ever ate it but come December 24 with the excitement of the preparations, Doris (my sister) and  my looking forward to our cousins coming, and church services . .  all that comes with Christmas . . . the lutefisk was devoured with enthusiasm.  I truly do love to eat lutefisk (yesterday I had four helpings) but I think part of it is the memories that come to mindThese lutefisk dinners are held in November and December all over Wisconsin and hundreds of people flock to them.  Often I am  sitting across from a stranger but I feel they are kindred spirits because many of them love the lutefisk as much as I do.  One always speaks of the memories of eating it when they were young.

Uff Da  A Norwegian expression which can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Don and I taught at Sinsinawa Mound Center last weekend.  There were 25 in the class and they all really got into it.  The setting at Sinsinawa is beautiful especially this time of year (October).  The facilities were very good; we were able to use their projector and pull down screen.  Our computer at doc cam worked well.  

There was a two and a half hour class in the morning, our usual 2 tiles and 2 mono tangle.  In the afternoon we elaborated a little more on drawing a sting and also on shading techniques.  

Friday, December 16, 2011


For a few weeks now I have been thinking about a tangle that would resemble a knot.A couple of nights ago I wasn't sleeping well so I got up and tangled a little bit.  After looking at pictures of knots on the internet and on my shoes, I came up with an idea that I will share with you here. I call it Not-a-knot.

I also looked at the poinsettia in my dining room and came up with a pattern I call Settia.

Here is Not-a-knot.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Music Monday2

Yesterday I saw the St. Olaf Christmas Festival concert at a movie theater in Madison.  It was broadcast live.  I think back to when my son, Paul, was a student at St. Olaf and performed in these annual events; it was always a wonderful way to begin the Advent season.  Now my niece, Jennifer, is a student at St. Olaf and was in the concert this past weekend.

For those of you who have seen it live or even on a local PBS station you do know what I mean when I say it is a wonderful event.

I am including few you tube videos here of the St. Olaf Choir performing.  Enjoy!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Foto Friday December 2, 2011

Photography has never been my thing but I do appreciate good photographs when I see them.  I am going to try an experiment for the next year.  Every Friday I am going to take a picture (actually two pictures and post them in my blog. One will be a picture of the tree in our front yard and the other will be a view from where I do my Tai Chi in the spring summer and fall.  It is in Fowler Park about a mile from our house.  I like to go there in the early morning, take my iPad with and do my Tai Chi right next to the lake.  I will be taking pictures of the view there. We will see how the weather changes the view.

Dec 2 2011
Dec 2 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Tangle Event

Don and I had our holiday tangle event at Artist and Display last night (Monday).  There were not as many as we expected but that was OK.

They were given a bell, a snowman, and a stocking, each on a 5 x 5 card. After they learned 4 or 5 tangles and placed them on these cards, we gave them an angel on a card, stamped the inside of the card with an appropriate message.  They took these home and hopefully are tangling them right at this very moment.  We also gave them an octohedron to take home to tangle and assemble as well as a 3 dimensional star.

I love teaching!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Is Coming!!!

Christmas is coming and I will see both of my children and their families.  Gretchen, Frank, Chas, Grace, and Clay  are coming from the UK a week before Christmas; then after Christmas we will all go to NYC to see Paul, Teddy, Miles, and Isaiah.

I am so excited.  Because all my shopping is done, I now have time to do some Christmas baking (something I have not done for a long time.)

Yesterday I made Nieman Marcus cookies (and no they are not really from Nieman Marcus . . . snopes nixed that) but they are very good.  Actually, I don't know if they are good; I have been a good girl and have not sampled any of them. They are in the freezer.

This morning it is Peanut Brittle.  It'll be hard not to sample these.  Soon this will go into the freezer too.

I am so excited about being able to see Paul's family and Gretchen's family and to see them all together makes it very special to us.