Thursday, November 17, 2011


We all have special traditions we trot out for the holidays. And, like most families in the United States, our traditions come from our ancestors who immigrated to this country long before us. My background is Irish, Danish, Norwegian and English, and my traditions are a motley collection from all of these cultures. One of my favorite is the Norwegian Lefse, from which we make Lefse Busse.

I know, what is that? Lefse is a Norwegian "flatbread" made from potatoes. My nephews always called it Norwegian tortillas, and it does resemble that. Last Christmas when we were in California my mother (whose father was Norwegian) taught the boys how to make it. To make a lefse busse you put something in the lefse, roll it up and eat it. We always had this at Christmastime and we would butter the lefse, sprinkle it with brown sugar and roll it up and scarf it down. AJ also likes to fill one with meat (preferable Christmas turkey) and eat it like that.

The boys are having an international dining experience in their Japanese class tonight and their teacher asked them each to bring a food from their cultural background to share with the other students, and the boys have spent the afternoon make lefse. This is a recipe that has been handed down through a couple of generations. It's simple, and fun.

First you start with potatoes. Okay, maybe not this big!
You need 5 large potatoes ....

Peel the potatoes and rinse them clean ....

Boil them until they are tender enough to mash.
Actually, you are supposed to use a potato ricer for lefse,
but since we don't have one we did what we could!

We mashed them up!
For 5 large potatoes, we used:
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon of salt
3 Tablespoon of butter
You need to mash them very finely! This is one recipe you want absolutely NO lumps!

Then, you let them cool. When the potatoes are cooled off,
you add flour.
Use 1/2 cup of flour for every cup of potatoes, and mix until you have a soft dough

Flour a board and roll out your dough.
Just like pie dough!
After it's rolled out, you cook it on a griddle.
We used a cast iron griddle ....

Spray the griddle lightly with cooking spray.
Cook until light brown spots appear.
Place between cloths to keep it from getting dry.

Looks so good!
And if you've done it right, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Now, that's some good eatin'!!!


Rach said...

Awesome, did the kids at school like them?? I love reading about your traditions!

Maureen said...

They seemed to be a big hit! The boys had a blast trying some of the items brought. My question was, which culture do potato chips come from???

Anonymous said...

I almost forgot this tradition that I grew up with. My Grandma made this every Thanksgiving and Christmas. She never taught anyone...not even her kids. So I have tried to make it a couple of times but never tastes like hers. She used the traditional equipment and I am sure a wonderful recipe that is probably so easy we could put it together in our sleep. But we will never know. So READERS please keep passing down the traditional recipes and teach your kids. So those yummy memories don't die with you.
Valerie Settle