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  • Writer's pictureAmy Trudell

Amy's Angle>

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Let's Chat About...Lefse

Whether you are Norwegian or not, lefse is a treat! This Scandinavian pastry is more than just a food, it's a tradition. Many women in our area get together to make lefse as an event and it's a really BIG deal!

For instance, a good friend of mine has been making lefse each year with her Mom and Aunts for the past 20 years. It started with just 4 sisters, and as they had children, that next generation also became part of the tradition. Now their children are having children, and the event has grown to 25+ people! This special day takes place on the 1st weekend in November during opening deer hunting season. The girls make lefse while the guys are out hunting.

. Making lefse is a skill that needs to be honed, it takes some time and practice. Plus, it takes special equipment to make it happen. Tools you will need include:

  • Lefse Griddle

  • Lefse Turning Stick

  • Pastry Board with Pastry Cloth

  • Potato Ricer

  • Grooved Rolling Pin with Pastry Sleeve

  • Flour Shaker (Not needed but comes in handy)

Here are a couple recipes that the Walseth's use:

Tips for preparing perfect lefse:

  1. Rice the potatoes. Lefse requires the creamiest potatoes with no lumps. Make sure you have a good potato ricer.

  2. Use very little flour. Although flour is necessary, when you use too much, it can cause the lefse to be way too thick. This takes a lot of practice. When starting out you may need to use a lot more flour, and then over time you'll learn to work with the potatoes using less and less.

  3. Make sure the potato mix is cool before rolling. Cold potatoes roll better than at room temperature.

  4. Make sure the griddle is hot. Lefse needs to cook quickly so having a hot grill is important.

  5. Only cook the first side for about a minute. Let the second side cook longer and develop those brown spots.

  6. Do not re-roll. If the lefse tears or rips, it's better to just grill as it is. When it gets balled up and re-rolled it will just be too thick.

  7. Roll in a gliding movement not pushing down. Pushing down on the rolling pin will only cause it to rip. Use more of a gliding movement.

  8. Practice makes perfect. There will be lots of ugly lefse, just know this is normal and part of the process.

Some people make lefse to sell for a profit. Let me tell you, this is a hot commodity in the fall. There is nothing like fresh, homemade lefse! It is often used as an extra at the Holiday Meals or just as a treat anytime. I think I overheard that the going rate these days is $2.00 a sheet...well worth it! There are different ways to prepare lefse, some spread it with butter and roll it up and others add butter and sugar. I personally like a little butter, sugar and cinnamon. But of course, it's good just as it is!

So you are wondering the origin of this tradition? Well, I stumbled across the official story of how it all began:

Now Den, vot you know bout dat...

Did you know that lefse was invented by the Norwegian Vikings?

Von day, dey vent and was going to raid Ireland...

Vell dey got over der, but dey couldn't surprise dem Irish people, cause dey were makin too much noise comin across de Nort Sea from Norway.

Ven dey got to the shores of Ireland, dey tried to land but couldn't.

You see, the Irish heard them coming and began throwing der potatoes at dem darn Vikings so dat dey cud not land.

Vel by golly, do you know vat?

Dey loaded dat ship with all de potatoes dat got trowed at dem, pulled out der oars and finally got back to Norway.

When dey got der, dey played around with those potatoes and came up with a bread and called it LEFSA.

Dey had a big party dat night. Dey got out dat old foul smelling fish and put it on the Lefsa.

And dat is where de Lutefisk Supper vas born.

My Grate, Grate, Grate, Grate Granfodder was on dat ship dat raided Ireland.

I'm sure glad they brought it to America, otherwise ve vud not have Lutefisk Suppers today!

My Lena makes the best darn Lefsa in Minnesota! Corse I have to help, otherwise she'd eat it all up while she was cooking it and ve vud not have any for supper.

I'm sure glad dey have Lutefisk Suppers around Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. My Mother Palma made all de lefsa by herself. Dey weren't very round, but den she always said you could not taste the round....

Your Friend, Ole

So, if you have a favorite recipe or story to share about Lefse, please add it to the comments below. We want to know your angle>

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2 commentaires

22 déc. 2023

Sign me up for the give away!


17 nov. 2023

What a fun topic Amy! I have so many memories of making lefsa with my Grandma! She would make tons of it and sell to everyone in town. I have all her tools and board with in AZ and a bunch of us are having a lefsa making day soon! 💕💕

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