For those of you who aren't of Norwegian origin, lefse is a traditional potato-based flatbread. It is delicious enough to eat on its own, or if you are willing to be a little less traditional, we also often use it as a wrap to make it a more substantial dinner.
Here is a look at the celebration and how you can make your own!
Traditional Norwegian Lefse
Ingredients:6 cups riced cold potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup half & half
~2 cups flour (typically all purpose although we have also used white whole wheat)
Special Equipment:You could probably make smaller batches without the specialized equipment, but if you are really serious you will want the specialized gear. Such as:
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Directions:1. After you have boiled and riced your (skinned) potatoes, cool the potatoes. Note: we usually make huge batches of lefse at a time, so we usually prepare the potatoes by the pound (our record is 50 lbs of potatoes.) 10 lbs of potatoes make a little over 3 batches. Each batch makes about 24 lefse.
2. Mix in the butter, half & half, sugar and salt. Then chill the potatoes until you are ready to fry your lefse.
3. Mix in the flour until you form dough that is soft, but not sticky. The amount of flour will vary based on the moisture of the potatoes and whether you use whole wheat or all purpose flour. Be sure to avoid adding too much flour or your lefse will just taste like glorified tortillas.
4. At this point you will have an easier time with the specialized lefse making equipment. Measure out 1/4 cup balls of dough, and then roll out each portion into a very thin ~14-16" round. Be sure to flour your working surface liberally to prevent sticking.
5. Transfer the rolled dough to the grill using the stick. Cook each lefse on a heated grill for several seconds on each side (it really goes very quickly if the grill is heated properly). Be sure to dust the lefse and the grill to remove excess flour as you go.
6. Eat them immediately or store them in a damp towel until they are cooled. They are best fresh off the grill, but still delicious as leftovers as well.
As I write this, I realized that there are so many details and tips that are difficult to describe and understand unless you see it in action. I would definitely suggest that you get a lesson from an expert... and pretty much any Norwegian that has kept up the tradition would be happy to teach you!
After our lefse party we headed back to Portland and we finished up the week on a less fun note when my sister and parents came down with a nasty bug. With fevers up to 104°, we didn't exactly have an activity-packed week after the lefse party. But even so we had a lovely, low-key Christmas morning and then as my mom put it, lots of family together time snuggling and watching movies.
I hope that everyone else also had a joyous and memorable Christmas this year! We will see you in 2014...
(This post was also shared on the Natural Living Monday, Down Home Hop, Home Acre Hop, Simple Lives Thursdays, Freedom Fridays, From the Farm and Homemade Mondays blog hops.)