Friday, January 15, 2016

lefse

Puffs of flour clouded the air and fell on my shoulders like fine talc. It may have dusted my nose as well. The squeak of the rolling pin and the scrape of a metal spatula against cast iron were the only sounds to be heard. It was our annual lefse day in preparation for our postponed Norwegian Christmas Eve celebration Saturday night. We had been holding off until max family saturation. I mentioned my brother-in-law Shawn the other day - he is visiting from New Zealand. But we got a bigger surprise before Christmas: my brother Olaf and his wife, Tammy, and their daughter, Freya, are moving back from NZ. Olaf got a job in a city 2 hours from here so we are wildly excited to have them back home. I haven't seen them for 2 1/2 years. Most of the family will be together tomorrow, except for Kirsten and the girls. Their absence will be a huge hole. I have a fantasy that they will do a surprise visit.

Once the last burner was turned off, we pulled a few still warm lefse from the carefully wrapped pile. Prosciutto (the closest we can get to reindeer meat - the sacrilege!), lingonberry jam and gjetost were carefully layered and then it was wrapped like a crepe. My watering mouth couldn't get a bite of it quick enough. Ahhhhh… yeah…. so, so good.


You are possibly wondering what lefse is. They look a bit like tortilla or soft tacos except the dough is made with potatoes which have been mashed with butter, milk and salt and then mixed with flour. My Kitchen Aid mixer is a great help as it does most of the kneading for me. This soft dough is rolled out thinly and cut into circles. The disks are cooked on a dry pan, flipping often, until they cooked and lightly browned on each side. Once ready they snuggle up under a dishtowel.

They are precious.

The gjetost that I put on it is a brown whey cheese from Norway. It is creamy (but semi-hard) with a sweet, almost butterscotch flavour. It must be sliced thin with a cheese slicer or it's gross.

It is precious.

I wonder why we don't make them throughout the year?

Lefse specs as a reminder for next year:
  3 recipes of 2lbs russet potatoes (6lbs) made 85 lefse. It took 2 1/2 hours with both Carm and I working steadily. We had 4 pans on the stove plus the griddler, which can do 4 at a time. Two people are mandatory to get this enormous task done in a reasonable amount of time.

I think the lefse recipe is somewhere on my blog.

"I may not always be with you
But when we're far apart
Remember you will be with me
Right inside my heart
~Marc Wambolt