Vang Lutheran is set among the farm fields of Goodhue County. The name “Vang” means field. Vang is a region of Norway from which the area’s first settlers arrived.
JUST DAYS BEFORE THE 34th annual Lutefisk and Norwegian Meatball Supper at Vang Lutheran Church, rural Dennison, the ladies were busy prepping Saturday morning.
A sign inside Vang Lutheran Church advertises its annual Lutefisk & Meatball Supper.
Plates are stacked on the kitchen counter awaiting diners.
Lists have been made with assigned jobs.
Church ladies bring bowls from home.
Dishes and bowls stacked. Counters covered in plastic. Floors scrubbed. Lists in place. Folding chairs ready to unfold. Beet preserves and pickles already in the country store, made with produce from the Vang-Dennison Lutheran Church parishes’ Growing Connections Garden. Vinegar stashed in the fridge for coleslaw.
An empty lutefisk bucket from a previous supper.
The lutefisk hadn’t arrived yet from Mike’s Lutefisk in Glenwood, Minnesota. But this Norwegian Lutheran church is ready for the 1,150 pounds that will feed 1,200 diners on Wednesday, October 8.
Beautiful stained glass windows grace the sanctuary.
Not quite the 5,000 Jesus fed, but a seeming miracle for this congregation of 300 members—with a weekly attendance of 70 – 90—to prepare and serve this ethnic feast.
A view of the sanctuary from the balcony.
On the menu are lutefisk, Norwegian meatballs and gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberries, coleslaw, rolls, fruit soup, lefse, Norwegian bakings and beverages.
To feed that many requires 1,150 pounds of lutefisk, 550 pounds of meatballs, 200 pounds of butter (presumably for all that lutefisk), 600 pounds of potatoes, 36 gallons of corn, 110 pounds of coleslaw, 20 gallons of cranberry sauce, 20 gallons of fruit soup, 4,500 cups of coffee (Norwegians must drink a lot of coffee), 600 half-pints of milk, 2,600 pieces of lefse, 90 dozen buns and 2,600 Norwegian bakings.
Diners will receive info about Vang and its annual supper like these informational sheets photographed in a basket.
Mid-day servings are at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. by reservation only. Call the church office at 507-645-6042.
Continuous evening serving runs from 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Cost is $16 for adults; $6 for 10 and under; and free for preschoolers.
The picturesque Vang Lutheran Church was built in 1896.
Vang Lutheran Church, 2060 County Road 49, is located at the corner of Goodhue County Road 49 and 20th Avenue, which is southeast of Dennison or seven miles northwest of Kenyon.
I won’t be there. I don’t like lutefisk. But apparently plenty of people do.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling