An entire week into the new year and I am still enjoying the fruits of my holiday labors. I am feasting on a Scandinavian delicacy called lefse. It looks like a tortilla but is made from potatoes.
My Minnesotan grandmother used to make it all the time and I loved it. But when I moved to California, I could only dream of enjoying it.
Whenever I visited Minnesota or drove through Kingsburg (in the middle of Central California and known for its Scandinavian population), I’d stock up on the delicacy and keep it frozen.
I would have to explain what lefse is to my friends and family. We tried to make it once but didn’t have the proper tools.
A couple of years ago I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas: all the tools necessary to make lefse. You can’t just roll it out and fry it. One needs a special rolling pin covered in cloth, a flat surface covered in cloth, a turning tool, and an extremely hot griddle.
I was thrilled to open exactly what I’d asked for that year but since we were in the middle of a move to Tennessee, I didn’t use it until the following Christmas.
By that time, I made a friend who loves lefse as much as I do, and this year was our second year of making it together.
It’s a tedious project, but worth every minute, especially if you’re Swedish or Norwegian.
Traditionally, you spread butter and sprinkle sugar, then roll it up and enjoy it like a pastry. Some folks use cream cheese and jelly, but I’m a traditionalist.
If you visit me around the holidays, I’ll share some lefse with you!