Langley Family Christmas: Lefse is a staple for one Langley family

For a family of Norwegian heritage, lefse is a must-have dish at Christmas.

  • Dec. 10, 2015 2:00 a.m.

Lefse: from Sandra Reams

2 cups mashed potatoes*, cooled

3 tbsp. butter    2/3 cup flour

2 tbsp. milk,     1/2 tsp. salt

Heat until butter melts and then cool mixture. Add to the potatoes and mix in 2/3 cup flour. Do not knead the dough.

Lefse is easier to roll out if the dough is made the day before and refrigerated. (Put dough in bowl and cover tightly with cling wrap.)

Take a portion of the dough and turn out onto well floured surface. Using a light touch and a rolling pin roll from the centre outwards rotating a quarter turn between each stroke to a very thin round 8-10 inches.

Heat an electric frying pan to 350 degrees. (Traditionally one used a lefse maker or a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.) When pan is hot transfer rolled-out bread to the pan and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly golden, not brown. Turn and cook the other side.

Cool on tea towel, with paper towels between layers. Store on a plate well wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for several days or in the fridge for two weeks. *Some lefse maker now use instant mashed or flaked potatoes. I found more flour was needed when using instant.

Over the years, family size and places of residences have changed but one thing I always do is make the lefse. As a note of interest Jon, then five years old, is grown and lives and teaches in Norway – one of life’s full circle quirks.

My family’s background is Norwegian and lefse was one of the treats associated with Christmas. The traditional way of eating it is spread with fresh sweet butter and lightly sprinkled with sugar, then rolled up. Good strong coffee and a good friend for visiting and sharing make this a very enjoyable Christmas tradition in our family. Lefse wrapped around slices of smoked meat or cheese, like a rolled-up sandwich.

 

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