There are a few traditions that I love about the holiday season. Most of them revolve around the kitchen. As long as I can remember, we have had lefse at our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.
What is lefse? It is Scandinavian flat bread that is a like a tortilla, but made mostly with potatoes.
My Grandma and Mom make it ever year before the holidays, and it lasts for the season. It wasn't until my teenage years that I became more interested in the whole production myself. One Saturday every November, I started to help my mom with lefse rolling and grilling. Fresh and warm lefse with a little butter is hard to beat!
Since moving the Texas, I haven't been back to make lefse with Mom. It was not a big deal last year because my parents visited for Christmas and brought the good stuff with them. This year we had planned to do the same, but they had to unfortunately cancel their trip. It was disappointing obviously, and not just because of the lefse. Instead of whining about it too much, I decided it was time for me to carry on the tradition myself!
I had to purchase a lefse grill, potato ricer and lefse flipper, but otherwise, the investment was time more than anything else. With my mom's recipe in hand, I made lefse this November. It was really satisfying to know that I can do this and keep the tradition going for at least one more generation. If nothing else, it keeps my heart closer to Wisconsin and family while I'm living far away.
To make lefse, you start by boiling potatoes and then ricing them. I don't have a picture, but ricing is a finer way to mash the potatoes while still keeping them fluffy. They must cool completely in the fridge overnight. The following day is when the magic happens. You mix in a few other ingredients, divide out the dough and start rolling and grilling. Here was my kitchen set-up.
|1. Divide/form the dough.|
2. Roll the dough.
(use the long flat stick by #2 to move the delicate rolled dough around)
3. Grill both sides.
4. Cool in between towels (to keep from drying out).
|The very first lefse!|
|To package, lay three folded lefse in a stack. Then fold the stack in thirds|
to make this triangle. Finally wrap in wax paper to keep.
|Wrapped and ready for eating or freezing.|
The final product was pretty good! We tested it out over Thanksgiving, and it was a hit (with me anyway). I'm not going to lie and tell you lefse is the bread of the gods or anything, it's just plain solid good...especially with butter. My mom will have to be the true judge. Luckily, schedules changed and I will still get to see my parents over the holidays! :) So, although I didn't really need to start up my own lefse making this year, I am really glad I did.
Now a little song about lefse to amuse you...