Monday, February 2, 2015

A New Skill - Lefse Making Lesson

On Saturday, a group of young ladies and I headed to my Grandmother's house to learn the lost art of lefse making.  It is only a lost art in my family because my Grandmother is the one who always makes it, so none of us have ever had the need to!

Most of us love it (or have family that does) so it was time we learned how to make it before my lovely Grandmother is no longer able to teach us - she is 85 years old and while she still lives at home by herself, she isn't getting any younger.  Although, she did seem busier than all of us the entire day.  Running around, doing the dishes - we had to tell her to stop so we could take over and help!

Half of our potatoes getting ready to boil.

We all thought it was going to be a much harder task than it was!  We made quick work of 10 pounds of russet potatoes (peeling and slicing to get ready to boil).  Then it was into the living room to sit and chat while they boiled. 

Ricing the hot potatoes.

Once we riced the hot potatoes, we added the shortening and then let them cool.  Now, Grandma has never used a recipe, so the last time she made them, she wrote down some instructions on about how much shortening and flour she adds.  Thankfully, we were able to follow pretty well.

Making sure the mixture "feels" right!  Love this woman!

After the potatoes cooled (and we ate a wonderful lunch of homemade meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and peas) we were ready to begin the last steps.  We added the flour and rolled the dough into small balls. 

The special rolling pin.

We rolled out the dough as thin as we could.  This is the stage where not having the right consistency of dough really makes or breaks the process!  Our first batch was excellent - the second two were okay. 

Cooking the lefse.

Once you cook the lefse on both sides, they get placed under a towel to begin the cooling process.  After we made a fairly substantial pile, we transferred them to the porch (not heated) and placed them on a sheet in a single layer (or double layer is okay too) and covered them with another sheet to let them dry and cool.

The fruits of our labor!  Yummy!

Our batch of lefse was pretty large, so we all went home with a large Ziploc bag full.  Mine went right to the freezer (lefse freezes very well) so I can enjoy them at a later date.  I still have some of the leftovers from Christmas that Grandma made for me in my freezer and refrigerator to enjoy.

Amanda and Grandma Donna.  Our expert teacher!

Grandma was such an excellent teacher.  She showed by example and then let us take turns at all the jobs.  She thought we did a great job!

Leah and myself (My sister-in-law)

Leah has lots of family that loves lefse.  She is of Norwegian heritage and knew many more traditional dishes than we did!  I would be excited to try some that her family makes!

Nicky and me (Nicky is an old family friend from way back - plus she family too - Stacy's sister-in-law)

Nicky was also excited to learn the process.  Now there are four of us ladies that can all get together and make lefse every year!  While you could do it by yourself, it would be so much more fun doing it as a group!

Me and my silly sister, Stacy.  Usually one of us is making a silly face in our photos together. She wins this time!

It was such a blessing to finally take the time to have Grandma teach us how to make the lefse.  I am so very glad we had this wonderful day with her!  It will be a memory I cherish long after she is gone!

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