This past weekend, my cousin's wife, Lois, and daughters, Rachel and Noelle, hosted their annual Lefse Sweat Shop. I'm not sure how many years we have been making lefse together, but it's quite a few. You see, Lois's mom, Dorothy, was an expert lefse maker from Grafton, North Dakota and she would often come to visit around Thanksgiving and coach us along as we followed her prize secret recipe.
We got into the habit of meeting together the last Sunday before Thanksgiving to make lefse together...so we could share it at our respective Thanksgiving meals and freeze the rest for Christmas Eve. Are you familiar with lefse?
Lefse is like a potato tortilla...sometimes used by old Norwegians to wrap around their hot food. We, however, like to spread the lefse with soft butter and sprinkle either cinnamon sugar or brown sugar on it...then roll it up and cut it into little log like pieces. When it's done right, it just melts in your mouth...a Norwegian culinary delight! Now some Norwegians insist on making lefse with real potatoes, riced, and almost mashed. Dorothy's secret recipe uses potato flakes so it is consistently good and we can roll it very thin.
Now, to make lefse efficiently, you do need a few tools...an electric lefse grill, a rolling pin with a pastry sleeve, a towel covered rolling board, and a lefse stick.
(This is a starter Lefse kit made by Bethany House and sold on Amazon...we never use the lefse packaged mix, however!)
We make our lefse dough the night before and store it in the fridge. Arriving at the Fordes, we go to work...in the Lefse Sweat Shop! Some are rolling out the lefse, others are manning the grills, some are mixing flour into the dough and forming it into a log shape for cutting, and some are wrapping the lefse once it is cool and packaging it. There are often as many as five or six grills going (yes, fuses do blow once in a while!). We all have a some Norwegian blood in us (well, once in a while a Swede sneaks in...or a grafted-in Norwegian...because, after all, who wouldn't want to be Norwegian? Uffda!). Music is playing, women are chatting, laughter is ringing...there is a friendly competition to see who can roll the most perfect lefse round....some years, even prizes are given!
Here is Rachel's perfectly round lefse...she is a lefse master!
Here I'm checking to make sure the lefse is ready to lift off the grill...
And...the finished lefse packages...all ready to go home!
Our Lefse Club magnet from Heidi's husband, Gary...
And, the 2014 Lefse Sweat Shop girls...and baby Luke!
How about you? Do you have something special that you like to make for your Thanksgiving meal?
I hope that each of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day...giving heart filled thanks to our God, the giver of every good gift...for family and friends, for bountiful food and provision, for health, for life itself. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, For He is good, His mercies endure forever." Psalm 136:1.
Blessings to you, dear friends! Happy Thanksgiving!