Monday, December 12, 2005

LEFSE


Togetherness

Yesterday was our family's annual lefse making day. For the uninitiated, lefse is a Scandanavian flat-bread made from mashed potatoes and flour. Lefse is a holiday treat that's normally served with lutefisk (don't ask). Before any of you ask: yes, I am 4 inches taller than my husband. He can't help it; he's been "vertically challenged" all his life.

My mother taught me how to make lefse. Many people profess to have a recipe, but there ain't no such thing. With lefse, you learn by DOING. You must FEEL how much flour you need to mix in with your mashed potatoes. You MUST hopelessly stick at least a dozen lefse to your pastry cloth before you get the FEEL of rolling it out. The recipe is trial and error. Once you have it; you have it for life.

I'm the roller, L is the fryer, Z is the photographer (and eater). SME never took an interest in lefse making. Z loves the stuff and will probably be the child I will pass my skills on to. It seems that every culture in the world has it's own version of unleavened bread. When Z was 3 and snarfing down his 3rd piece of lefse he said: "Your tortillas are thinner than the normal kind." L and I quickly warned Z to NEVER share this revelation with his 99% Norwegian Grandma.

21 Comments:

At 12/12/2005 5:14 PM, Blogger Davey said...

I adore this picture and caption!!!! As a newlywed and(well it's been 2 yrs) and soon to be Dad this picture has givin me hope. All you see these days is trouble, and find yourself at warp speed everyday. Your site made us both smile and reminded both of us that although we may not have "high powered careers". We have each other and our silly times in the kitchen. Our inside jokes and cute names for one another. Thank you for the reminder of what is TRULY important.
Davey and Martha
Or as she would say
Martha and Dave

 
At 12/12/2005 5:54 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Welcome davey! You managed to post a comment before I was done posting.
All I can say is ENJOY your life together and NEVER let your job take precedence over your family life, especially with a baby on the way. CONGRATULATIONS!!

 
At 12/12/2005 6:48 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I can't believe I've never had this. My dad's side of my family is Norwegian, and yes, we've even had Lutefisk. Like your hubby, my hunny is four inches shorter than me as well - sort of like the odd couple. :-P

 
At 12/12/2005 6:56 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Your being Norwegian on your father's side explains why you haven't had lefse, Notta. It's a skill that seems to be passed down from mother to daughter.

Our heights seem to bother everybody but us. We DO have a lot in common. ;)

 
At 12/12/2005 7:21 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

AWWWWWWWWWw that is one sweet pic! Good for your guys keeping your priorities where they belong.

So thinner is better with this dish? (and the rest of life)?

 
At 12/12/2005 7:35 PM, Blogger European said...

That looks delicious! Too bad I'm not close enough to invite myself over (I'm shameless that way, esp. when food is involved).
And I just adore the names. I'm going home to eat Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus and Weihnachtsgebaeck. Yum!

 
At 12/12/2005 9:35 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Bridg, as you can see from my pic, thin is only better in the case of lefse.

OOOOO enlighten me Euro! Do you have recipes? I'm almost half German and L is all German. The only recipe I have is for killer German potato salad, which L's Grandma taught me how to make.
C'mon over anytime. We'll save you a piece. ;)

 
At 12/12/2005 10:07 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Heh. I have Scandanavian relatives (by marriage, not by birth). I'll have to ask them about Lefse. They do talk funny though and can hold their liquor.

 
At 12/13/2005 10:58 AM, Blogger zydeco fish said...

Wow, lutefish again. I keep reading about lutefish. I wonder why.

 
At 12/13/2005 4:00 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

ZS, in the midwest you can't avoid lutefisk or lefse. In MY family, the German side holds their liquor way better than us Norwegians (we're cheap drunks). I don't think we talk funny, but GWB insists that I MUST have an accent. ;)

ZF, we make lefse, NOT lutefisk! This is sorta like "make love, not war".

 
At 12/13/2005 8:03 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

I don't know about lefse or lutefisk. I'm more Irish/German/other UK, etc. No great recipes handed down in my family.

My work verification sounds like it could fit into the conversation here, though.

oouft

 
At 12/13/2005 8:14 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Uffda to you too Squirl!

 
At 12/13/2005 8:19 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Will we ever get a picture of the front of you guys?

 
At 12/13/2005 9:06 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I'm working up to it WC! ;)

 
At 12/13/2005 10:04 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Mmmmm Lutefish - another to add to my list of foods based on a dare!

Maybe we can combine our studies - I'm working on a study showing that every culture has it's own form of oompa music. Maybe this goes along with unlevened bread somehow?

 
At 12/14/2005 5:25 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Laura, as far as "dare" foods go, I enjoyed the chocolate covered grasshoppers I ate on a dare far more than lutefisk!

I think unleavened bread IS related to oompah music. What oompah band hasn't had to get out of town fast? Hence the necessity of unleavened bread.

 
At 12/15/2005 12:22 PM, Blogger Miladysa said...

We have a similar thing here but we call it potatoe cake. We eat either toast it and serve with butter or have it with a 'fry up' for breakfast. I guess we must have inherited from our Viking ancestors :)

 
At 12/16/2005 2:18 PM, Blogger Vest said...

As far as dare foods go, I recently ate deep fried 'Baby Octopus', tasted a bit unusual, like TFC cooked in the fish fryer. Anyone ever eaten 'Durian',legend has it that an Englishman in Singapore committed suicide rather than eat it.

Visit my post, a parody on the game of cricket.

What type of flour for lefse, plain or self raising ?

 
At 12/16/2005 2:29 PM, Blogger Vest said...

european, could you decypher that and explain in some form of the English Language please.

 
At 12/16/2005 5:25 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Vest, I tried octopus because I love seafood. I thought it was rather tough.
We use regular flour.
Is it still so beastly hot there?

 
At 12/17/2005 3:22 PM, Blogger Vest said...

Last week 42 cel, yesterday thunder storm(brief) heavy rain 27 cel, today, Expect 22 cel, winds mod from south(Antarctica),livable and pleasant.
We are fitted with screened doors and windows in each room with overhead fans also reverse cycle air conditioning, in addition we have an enclosed wood burner in the main living area(Norseman brand), this is used during the colder months, May to Sept, temps would be similar to your summer?

 

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