By SRO Kjell Michelsen
Last week I was thinking about what to write about for my bi-weekly column, the one you are reading now. For a brief moment, I thought about writing about this Coronavirus and all that’s going on. But you know what, we have been so bombarded the last few weeks about this virus – one story more sensational than the other. So I decided not to bore and/or worry people with even more of that here.
After all, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are entering into a usually brief but beautiful spring season. The days are getting warmer, trees and plants are blooming, birds are singing, the grass is getting greener, and I have already heard the first sounds of lawnmowers. We are also in the midst of Holy Season that started with Ash Wednesday a few weeks back, which means Easter is right around the corner.
As we right now are moving through uncertain times let us not forget the promise of spring. The promise of rebirth and the great ways we can celebrate this season and give thanks through prayers, meditation, and to just refocus from the negative to the positive. After all, there’s a light at the end of every tunnel.
Back in my birth country, Norway, spring is still a few weeks out, even a month or two up north, where King Winter still is in charge. Yet in Northern Norway, but a little further south from where I grew up, another sign of spring is underway. The “Skrei” fishing season among the mountainous Lofoten archipelagos is a yearly happening during this time. It draws commercial fishermen in big and small boats from all over Norway, and even a few from other countries.
“Skrei,” by the way, is the Norwegian name for cod from the Norwegian-Arctic stock, which migrates from the Barents Sea to the coast during the first half of every year. This Skrei fishing is the largest seasonal cod fishery in the world. They even have the world cod fishing championship where hopeful fishermen from all over travel to Lofoten in the hope of reeling in the big one.
It’s not unusual to catch a cod, or “Skrei,” weighing north of 40 pounds. During this time, many school-age children also earn good money cutting out the cod tongue from the head of the codfish, then rinsing and selling them in plastic bags.
Growing up, most of my friends and I used to partake in this every year. We would go from door to door selling them. The way you prepare those is first breading them, then panfry them. They taste like little fish nuggets and go great with steamed potatoes and fried onions.
Until next time, be happy, be safe and wash your hands.