The college auxiliary was looking for a fund raiser, and with us being a Norwegian background college and church, I wasn't surprised when someone brought up a lefse sale. Which is a good thing. But, it's a bad thing too, because it is a ton of work. And not too many of us learned the talent from our moms and grandmas who have now passed on to make lefse in Heaven. Oh, some of us have tried, and many of us have helped, but the fine art of lefse making is quickly becoming a lost art.
So, do you all know what lefse is? I usually describe it to non-Scandahoovians as Norwegian tortillas. There is one big difference though. Instead of being made of flour or corn, lefse is made with riced Russet potatoes. Yes, needs to be riced, not mashed, and needs to be Russets. (We were told this when we received the recipe for Saturday!) The potatoes are cooked and riced, then cooled. Then a bit of lard (substitutions are acceptable) and a bit of cream and a little flour is mixed in, and the mixture is divided into small lumps and kept cool until needed. It's then rolled thin, thin, thin. Thin as in transparent! The round pastry looking piece of dough is then carefully picked up with a lefse stick and transferred to a lefse grill, or a wood fired cookstove if you have one! You bake it until little brown spots appear on each side, then you pile the rounds under a cozy to steam a bit, and then transfer them to dishtowel covered tables to cool. Most Norwegians eat their lefse with butter and sugar, either white or brown. It's also wonderful stuffed with the thanksgiving turkey or mashed potatoes, and the Christmas Eve meatballs and gravy make the best stuffing.
We were fortunate to have an expert among us, and several others are nearing expert status. The lefse grills had to be set up around the kitchen and social hall, plugged into different spots so we didn't overload, and thus blow, any of the circuits!