Fish fry a hit during Lent

Holly Richrath
Greg Garcia shows off the cajun walleye for those who like to spice it up. The Morton Knights of Columbus Fish Fry draws a sizable crowd during Lent.

Staci Pollard and her family had only been to the Morton Knights of Columbus fish fry once before, but they said the great food and the Lenten season brought them back for more Friday.

“We’re Catholic and we give up meat on Fridays,” said Pollard. “We’ve only been here during Lent.”

During the religious holiday — which traditionally has followers swap out meat for fish on Fridays — business at the Morton Knights of Columbus Fish Fry tends to pick up.

“We’ll get 300 or better during Lent,” said crew organizer Larry Meier.

Meier said this is about double the number they see at other Knights of Columbus dinners.

For $9, attendees get dinner, which includes baked or fried walleye, french fries, baked potato, baked beans, applesauce and bread.

The menu keeps Rajean Parrott and Bob Crumrine coming back for more.

“We almost always get the walleye,” said Parrott. “I like it because you don’t have to worry about the bones.”

For just $3 more, those in attendance can opt for a whole catfish dinner, baked or fried, with all the fixings. Meier said they go through about nine 40-pound  cases of walleye and three 15-pound cases of catfish each Friday during Lent.

Meier grows and makes his own organic spices to season the fish.

“I’m not going to give you the secret,” he said. “It’s never the same, though. I throw in a little of this and a little of that.”

While hes not telling all, Meier did say that the seasoning is cayenne-based.

Meier’s daughter, Liz Meier, a fish fry volunteer, said the Knights of Columbus usually begins holding dinners the first Friday of January and continues to do so the first Friday of each month until Lent, when weekly fish fries begin.

“It isn’t always fish before Lent,” said the elder Meier, “but for Lent, we’ve got to do fish.”

 And the people cannot get enough of it.

“This is the meal that goes over the best,” said Liz Meier. “Everybody loves our fish fries.”

A raffle is held each week to raise money for the Knights of Columbus.

“At the end, we have a big progressive raffle,” said volunteer Bill Shipton. “We’re hoping for $1,500.”

The fish fry is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. every Friday during Lent.

For more information about the fish fry, call the Knights of Columbus Hall at 263-1211, or visit mortonmagnet.com.