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Lutheran churches prepare for festival

Minot, ND – The smell of Norsk Høstfest has been wafting from a few of Minot’s Lutheran churches this past week as their congregations prepare for one of their biggest fundraisers.

First Lutheran Church has provided a Scandinavian pudding called rømmegrøt at Norsk Høstfest since the festival’s start. Christ Lutheran has been making potato klub, a form of dumpling, just as long, and with the merger of Augustana Lutheran after the 2011 flood, it also incorporated Augustana’s rice pudding tradition. Bethany Lutheran is known for its lutefisk and meatballs dinner, Scandinavian cookies and sot suppe, or sweet soup.

Høstfest grew out of the celebration by Minot Lutheran churches of the 150th anniversary of Norwegian immigration in 1975, and food always has been a part of the festivity.

Dennis Helgeson was stirring a pot of thick rømmegrøt on the stove at First Lutheran Sept. 21, the second of five days of cooking by volunteers.

“It’s a good workout for the arm,” said Helgeson, who added the volunteer work is a lot of fun because of the companionship of fellow workers.