As I age, I think I am becoming more Scandinavian. My Czech ancestry was dominant during my first 50 years however since then, I seem to see my dad more often when I look in the mirror. One of my habits that seems to have turned Scandinavian is the food I eat. My dad enjoyed things that were pickled, onion-ed or sour; recently these same tastes have surfaced in my daily habits.
I don’t have room to chronicle all of my eating habits so I want to focus on one. I think this one meal may be a little too intense for some people as Lisa does not like the smell or even the idea of what I enjoy for breakfast. I have included the meal in my lunch pail too and I’ve noticed coworkers quietly watch me in the way I watch birds eat road kill.
Some time ago, a few fishermen friends of mine gave me a little fish. I would eat fish everyday but don’t -so a meal of fish is a great treat. One morning after a supper of Walleye, I found the leftovers in the fridge. I will throw almost anything into an omelet and leftovers are a typical target. I don’t obey convention as consistency is for the unimaginative however I did go to the internet to see if there was precedent for fish and eggs. I found recipes for fish and eggs splashed across my web search although all I really wanted was permission to try the combination. I found the combination excellent.
So now I wanted fish and eggs on a daily basis however this was impractical. Pickled herring is a dish the follows pretty traditional methods for pickling to include some onions and maybe a bay leaf. It is quite cheap and available anywhere that we shop. I mixed herring with eggs sometime early last year and have not stopped. My formulation includes: eggs, herring, drained sauerkraut, the pickled onions, some pepper and a little cheddar cheese. It is a fantastic combination however when viewed prior to frying, it does resemble something best thrown out. I guess the smell from cooking this delicacy is also a little powerful.
Each time I eat herring and eggs, I think of how I used to tease my dad about some of his eating habits. He enjoyed lutefisk, buttermilk, head cheese and a lot of other food that most would not eat on a dare. I do enjoy many of these things now, although I am not always sure of the origin of these foods. I guess I see them as a manifestation of the Swede and Norwegian emerging in my later years. My dad was as Scandinavian as they come so when I see his habits in my life, it makes me nostalgic. Maybe not so much about the head cheese, at least for right now. One little discovered element of my heritage at a time.