A Labor of Lefse

At some point in our lives, we all have the opportunity to be unselfish and take up the task for carrying on a family tradition rather than just enjoying the tradition. With regards to my Norwegian heritage, my opportunities include lefse, lutefisk, and pillaging vast swathes of Europe. My inability to obtain fresh Cod and the necessary amounts of soda lye, prevented my attempt at the the second option, while societal moires and NATO handcuffed my ability to take a honest shot at the last option. So besides being the only viable option, I also had some additional motivation to make lefse.

Earlier this year, in gratitude for helping my aunt develop the website for her handmade jewelry, she outfitted me with all the necessary implements to make lefse. With the ability to make the lefse, also came the motivation. The week before Christmas, I received a rather disappointed sounding response from my aunt and my uncle (currently the family’s lefse patriarch) to the fact that I had not attempted to make lefse myself. That, coupled with this being the first year I’ve hosted my parents for the holidays, drove me to scramble to whip up a batch of lefse last minute.

I prepared the potato mixed the previous night. The next day, after a long session yard work followed my some frantic house cleaning, I decide to make lefse regardless of my exhaustion. Following the directions given to me, albeit slowly, I was successful with my very first piece of lefse. My original plan was to only make a third of the batch, but my excitement carried me through the remainder. My lefse stick skills were Jedi like, while my rolling skills produce rather fractal results.

My father, being the official judge after years of eating my grandmother’s lefse, gave mine a passing grade. Although I was a bit suspicious that nepotism was involved after he left for home leaving behind his care package of the remaining lefse.