Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Lefse-making is one of our family's Christmas traditions.  My Grandma always made the Christmas lefse without fail, even when she wasn't feeling so well, and probably shouldn't have been working with a 500 degree griddle.  I posted all this last year too (HERE) - but I'm going to do it again, because it really is part of my Christmas preparation every year!

Grandma taught my cousin and I how to make lefse the way she did it before she passed away.  Boy, did we laugh alot that day!  I wish I had pictures of the first attempts at rolling out mashed potatoes :)

For several years I had "Lefse Day" at my house the end of November.  My cousin and Mom and aunts and kids joined us, and we had a fun gathering to make the lefse.  The tradition has dwindled down to my daughters and I making the lefse now - a mother/daughter day that we enjoy while it snows outside, trying to get us into the holiday spirit.

Lefse is basically mashed potatoes, fried like a tortilla!  I boil 5 lbs. of potatoes in their skins, and then use a ricer to rice the potatoes with butter.  That sits in the refrigerator overnight.  The next morning, the potatoes are mixed, 3 Cups to 1 Cup of flour, and then rolled into balls.

 The lefse griddle gets a light coat of paraffin wax.  This has always been tricky (if
 not hilarious), as we try to avoid the smoke alarms going off by fanning any smoke from the wax toward open windows.  We've had many laughs over the years trying to get the griddle "just right" so the lefse doesn't stick.  Most people just throw flour on the griddle, but Grandma taught us to use as little flour as possible so the lefse stays soft.

We take turns rolling, frying, and transferring to the towels.

We even make sure Grandma enjoys making lefse with us - her picture watches us.  She would be proud that her family's lefse tradition is being carried on.  When Grandma was young, she helped her mother make the lefse ON Christmas Eve, on a wood stove.  It's hard enough on an electric griddle - I can't imagine trying to regulate the heat on a wood stove!

Once again, the lefse is ready.  In the freezer until the Christmas celebration.  Some like it with butter and white sugar, some like it with brown sugar, and MY favorite way to eat lefse is warmed up and wrapped around some leftover Christmas ham. 


  1. I've never had this. Kinda makes me want to say it's a potato tortilla! And I love flour tortillas! I suspect I would love a lefse too. :-)

  2. As I'm reading this post I'm thinking oh dear god she must be from Minnesota! I love, love, love lefse! When I was going to school my land lady used to bring them home. She never made them at home, only at her relatives and I have no idea how its done but I still miss them....

  3. Thanks for sharing. Looks like fun family times.

  4. I've never had this, but it sounds good - and like a lot of work! But you have made the hard work fun by doing it with family. What a great tradition, a great way to create Christmas memories. If I ever have the chance to try some I think I'll try all three ways!

  5. Happy Blue Bird,
    That's the best part of the Holidays. Keeping family traditions going & time with love ones. Your grandmother would be very proud of your family for keeping it going & she does smile very proud of you doing so. Sometimes doing things the old ways is worth keeping. Thanks for sharing it with all of us. Merry Chrstmas to you & your family.

  6. Love that pic with Grandma present with the three of you. Looks like a photo-op my daughter and I would do with our dear Gram... : ))

  7. What a wonderful family tradition you shared with us, the pictures, and seeing the process, and a little of the history for your family just made it all a terrific read :) I hope you and your family are having a really wonderful holiday and staying warm :)


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