Fully embracing where I live means embracing lefse.

Do you know lefse? It’s a super thin Norwegian flatbread. Made from potatoes and cream and a few other simple goodies, it is soft and delicious. Traditionally eaten with just a bit of butter, I have to admit that it’s dreamy with a touch of sugar, too.

After several thinly veiled hints, my friend Joni was nice enough to invite me over to learn how to make it. Lefse is a labor of love, man. We slaved for hours, and by slaving, I mean I took pictures while Veronica, Joni and Amanda did the slaving. But I was learning. Seriously. Learning a lot. And tasting. I was tasting. For research purposes of course.

My favorite parts were listening to Joni’s stories (making lefse is all about the stories), watching Veronica who is from Mexico roll the most perfect lefse ever on her first try, and laughing as Joni threw flour in Amanda’s face. Mother, daughter love at it’s finest. I have a feeling there will be a lot of lefse in my future. Come on over and we’ll make it together!

Lefse Lefse Lefse Lefse

27 Responses to Snapshot Saturday

  1. This might be something you don’t know about us…but lefse is one of Roy’s favorite foods. Before we moved to Wisconsin, he told me all about it…and he would always grab some at use butter and honey to eat it. I was not a fan.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Lefse has been a family tradition with my Norwegian in-laws. It’s the best with butter AND sugar rolled up. So delicious!

  3. Megan says:

    Lefse is a tradition in our family as well. My mom comes from a large Norwegian family and it’s a staple at our holiday dinners. I am honored that my Grandma taught me how to make it (my mom and aunts don’t even know how to make it!). I have my own set of supplies: griddle, stick, ricer, rolling pin, socks, warming clothes, etc. I would make it with my Grandma every year. Now she can no longer make it and has put me in charge. She even gave me all of her supplies! I enlist the help of my mom and sister and it’s an all day affair…we love it! The house smells so good! Thanks for the post and bringing up such wonderful memories.

  4. Hananananah says:

    Hahaha!! I love it. My grandmother has been teacher me her lefse method for a few years now. Hers is, of course, the BEST. ever made. ever. I’ve been eating it since I was a toddler and no one else’s tastes like hers.

    The first time my partner had lefse, he crinkled his nose up at the butter-sugar-cinnamon combos and proceeded to put melted cheese and beans on it. My brain still cannot quite handle the massive paradigm shift…

  5. Sarah says:

    Gosh, my husband is OBSESSED with lefse!! His family made it when he was growing up and he adores it. I don’t make it often since it’s so laborious to do on my own, but every Father’s Day he wakes to an entire recipe’s worth all to himself! No sugar, just butter. I love that you posted this!

    Now if I could just learn to make lumpia, all would be right in the world.

  6. karla says:

    Lefse is awesome! Now, if there is also a German from Russia heritage background where you are at, kuchen and knoepla soup are good, too. 🙂

  7. Patricialynn says:

    I moved from my hometown in 2007 and haven’t had lefse since. I’ve been missing it! I honestly can’t wait until you post the recipe – that last picture of the finished product looks so authentic and yummy that my stomach started growling!

  8. Beth says:

    My grandma was from Sweden and made Lefse for us. We always had it with butter and cinnamon sugar. Can you get your friends to teach you to make Krumkake or rice pudding? Those are my favorites.

  9. Libby says:

    Lefse is a family favorite! It’s our Christmas Eve dinner. My family makes pork with it and then serves the lefse with butter, s&p, the pork, and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Yum! I used to help my mom make it growing up but haven’t ventured trying to do the entire rolling / cooking process by myself yet.

  10. Jess says:

    We eat lefse with butter and sugar and we also eat it with meatballs! There is a Norwegian restauarant near here (I’m in WI) that serves it with meatballs and gravy….Mmmmmmm. I’ve made it once in my life with my mom and cousin, lots of work and I still didn’t get it thin enough. I should try again

    • Mel says:

      Ok, I found the recipe! Here it is:
      Barb’s Lefse
      8 cups cooked and mashed potatoes (either russet or red)
      1/2 cup cream
      6 tablespoons butter
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 tablespoon sugar

      Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed. Shape the dough into about 24 balls and place on a large baking sheet. Refrigerate and pull the balls out one-by-one to roll out. Roll each dough ball into a 9-inch circle, or thereabouts. It should be very, very thin. Grill on a lefse griddle for a couple minutes on each side. Put the hot lefse stacked on top of each other in between two large bath towels while you finish the process with the other dough balls. Serve warm with a bit of butter.

  11. JB says:

    From a very Norwegian family I grew up eating lefse with potatoes and lutefisk for dinner but breakfast was lefse layered with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. When my sister and I get together we make sure we have lefse…….our husbands [not being Norwegian have banned lutefisk from our homes!

  12. tsmith says:

    I have been eating lefsa ever since I could eat solid food! Love it! My kids love it! I have many memories of my mom and grandma (the lefsa making master) making batches and batches of lefsa. Now, my mom and I carry on the lefsa making tradition. I have been blessed with my great aunt’s lefsa rolling pin. Lefsa making supplies can be found seasonally at Walmart in lefsa making areas. My griddle was purchased at a Walmart in South Dakota. If you ask about lefsa making supplies in Arizona, they look at you like you have two heads! Although, if certain Walmart’s carry them, then they should be available through their website. I don’t know for sure, since I’ve never had a reason to check.

  13. Terry A. says:

    I love lefse!! My grandmother made the best. 😉 I’m a purist – butter only usually, but I won’t turn one down covered with cinnamon and sugar, either.

  14. Nicole H. says:

    Oh I LOVE lefse! Actually I haven’t had it for years. When I was 13 I was invited to Norway with my friend for a month and tried a couple of different kinds. So yummy! I have dreamed of making it myself ever since. I plan to dig out my Norwegian cookbook one of these days and give it a whirl. The slaving away at it has deterred me I guess. Fun snapshot. 🙂

  15. Amy K says:

    I still remember my great-grandmother making lefse when I was very young. Of course, that tradition has passed down through the generations. My daughter now even helps.
    My family enjoys it with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. It’s definitely a skill. So fun that you had the opportunity to learn hands-on with your friends.

  16. Shannon says:

    I have so many questions….what is the recipe? What is that pan it is cooking on? How did you make it? You have whet our appetite, now please share! Fun pictures. Your Saturday snapshots are great. So are the recipes.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Shannon! I’ll definitely pass on any info for lefse. This is my first time making it so I was going to make it a few more times before actually posting a recipe, but I can give you the one Joni gave me. The griddle is actually a lefse griddle; Joni has the Bethany brand (she has the kit that has the griddle, paddle to turn the lefse and a rolling circle and cover). Let me know if you have any other questions – I’ll try to help. I hope there’s a lot of lefse in my future so I can be an expert soon (I’m definitely a novice right now).

  17. Melanie says:

    I am designing a family cookbook for my family and we have a whole spread on lefse! I didn’t know what it was until I started this little project, but glad to know others have heard of it! My grandmother is from Wisconsin with Norwegian roots, so lefse was a big part of her family traditions! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Elissa says:

    My family loves lefse. I roll it, my son cooks it and my daughter stacks them neatly in the towels. We like it with butter and a little brown sugar best. And sometimes for New Year’s Eve we will fry the lefse and make tacos. They are very rich but delicious.

  19. Jackie Gonzales says:

    Pretty sure I am the ONE Norwegian who doesn’t like lefse! But I do like lutefisk…which people never understand 🙂 Glad you had a chance to make it!!!

  20. Kristen says:

    Ooooh, I love lefse!! I am not really a sugar person, but yes, a little sugar with the butter on a piece of lefse is divine! I’ve never tried to make it myself but think I might just give it a try, thanks for posting one of my family favorites (I’m from ND, of Norwegian descent – lefse was around a lot)!

  21. Michelle says:

    I absolutely love lefse – it’s one of my favorite things about the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The ladies on my Dad’s side of the family used to get together and make large batches, but regretfully, I never participated so I took a class to learn how to make it a few years ago. I bought myself a lefse making kit, which included the griddle, and now I make it every year for the holidays!

  22. April says:

    OK… Never had it totally taking you up on the offer. Lets plan a date and make it… Shouldn’t be hard with 10 kids around right?

  23. Gail says:

    Born and raised and still living in MN and have always loved lefse. We have it every Christmas and other times as well. I’ve never made it myself though – so I’m impressed and a little jealous! And while I agree fully about embracing the place where you live, I personally would like to warn you about the lutefisk – it’s an acquired taste (and one which many of us have failed to acquire)!

  24. I don´t think there are more interesting recipes that those handed down and made for generations. It´s something so intuitive and the little details make such a difference. I see lefse in my future too, I´m dying to try it! Though I need the recipe first…

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