Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Favorites #2: Lefse

I grew up in eastern North Dakota in a small town (by small, I mean less than 1,000 people). This town, like most towns in eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota were first settled by the Swedes and the Norwegians, those hearty Scandinavian people that were accustomed to waist-deep snow, freezing winds and below-zero temperatures. I don't think Scandinavians are really known for their food, except for Swedish Meatballs. However, there is another Scandinavian favorite not well-known in most parts--LEFSE! Lefse is a large flatbread made from potatoes that is rolled out very thin and cooked on a circular griddle and is flipped by a special long-stick. Growing up, we would get our lefse from the elderly women at the Lutheran Church in town and it was the tastiest of treats. Now we get ours from the grocery store from a company called Freddy's Lefse (Why it's not called Ole's or Swen's or Lena's, I have no idea.). Lefse can be served with lutefisk (not that I would touch that stuff). Usually, I just slather a layer of butter and a sprinkling of sugar onto the lefse, roll it up and eat it.
My paternal grandmother would make lefse and once taught me how to make it. Trying to roll out mashed potatoes is one of the most frustrating tasks I've ever had, but we managed to make a batch before I threw in the towel and they tasted wonderful. Luckily, my mom still has my grandma's lefse griddle so one day (when I live in a house that is larger than a shoe box) I'm sure my mom will be happy to let me have it (she's not Scandinavian) and maybe, just maybe, I can teach myself how to make lefse. Until then, I'll settle for Freddy's because it's a holiday tradition that I would hate to do without.


MomMom said...

Oh man I miss that stuff!
Its super poular in MN too.
Delish :)
Miss you, hope all is well.
Kiss the kids for me

WendeeB said...

dont know why i have your blog saved, but I do. LOL My DH grew up in Fargo and this post really made me laugh. Have a great weekend.