Lefse and Love

Morgan Vold, Editor

Christmas is a time of joy, and giving, but what many people don’t notice are the family traditions that start to form over the years. Traditions are a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another, and for the Vold/Strandemo family, Christmas is the perfect time to share our beloved tradition. Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. It is made with potatoes, flour, butter, and milk, or cream. It is cooked on a large, flat griddle and can be enjoyed in many different ways. 


We start with a trip to Osakis, MN to visit the “Scandanavian Gift Shop And Bakeri” where they make the “Jacobs Lefse Mix” that the Vold family has been using for many years. Traveling together rekindles connections to each other, our relatives, places along the way, and our past. Memories flood our minds and fill our stories as we recall happy times from years gone by, all the while, helping our hearts grow eager for the Christmas season.














Once the mix is home, we begin the long process of making the potato base. Once the potato base is ready, it needs to be chilled for 24 hours.














After the base has been chilled for 24 hours, we use a fork to loosen up the brick of potato, then slowly add our flower mix.














Once everything is incorporated, the dough can be made into hockey-puck like bricks, and set aside. 














Now the griddle needs to be heated to about 400 degrees, then begin rolling the hockey-puck bricks with a corrugated pin.














Once it is rolled nice and thin, it can be placed onto the hot griddle.














When it begins to bubble, flip them using a “lefse stick” which is a hardwood stick with tapered edges that slide easily under the lefse sheet.














Ours has a red painted handle and rosemaling design. Once again, after the sheet has bubbled and is a beautiful golden brown, it is done! 














A popular way to keep the lefse fresh and moist, is by placing them into a large cloth and keeping it closed to trap all the moisture in. Our favorite way to enjoy Lefse is with a thin layer of butter, and a light sprinkle of brown sugar, rolled up and cut into pinwheel shapes or folded into a triangle shape which is an easier way for the small children. 














As my Grandma says “the best Lefse, is Lefse made with love!” Traditions are often used to teach young children about where their family has come from, and to give them insight on their cultures and rituals. In the Vold household, we hold family tradition close, because it makes us think of fun memories of the past and strengthen our ties together. As we all age, and become more independent, the Christmas Lefse tradition is something that can bring the whole family together for a day filled with fun, and memories that will last a lifetime.