The Manly Art Of Lefsa Making

The Manly Art Of Lefsa Making

The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means that lefse day is also on the horizon. Each year bold Vikings strive forth into the kitchen, sword in hand, for that manliest of occasions –  lefsa making.

For those of you unfamiliar with lefse let me just say…you are missing out. This Norwegian flat bread is the basis for an extraordinary cuisine that includes a jelly-like white fish treated with lye and stacked like cord-wood behind the cabin in the winter cold, rich, bland cream sauces, and macaroni boiled to within an inch of it’s life. (In Norwegian al dente means ‘not yet done’.) Thank the Lord for Swedish Meatballs or I would not have survived my church’s annual Lutefisk dinners.

But the shining star of the blond, bland traditional Norwegian cuisine…is Lefse!

Lefse

This incredibly versatile and almost tasteless flat bread is made of mashed potatoes, flour, cream, butter and salt. Now come on, can you get any blander than that?

Okay, I hear you asking…what’s the big deal?

My friends…here is the big deal. Behold my vast array of lefse making tools:

Lefse tools

What is that implement in the center you may ask? (go ahead…you may ask.)

Lefse Sword

Yes, that is my Lefse Sword. If ever one food reflected the proud bearing of a cuisine…a people…Nay, A NATION! it is Lefse. For Lefse is made with a sword!

Oh how those hearty Vikings, fresh from the rape and pillage of Europe must have looked forward to wielding their swords in the kitchen upon their return to Norway. Hearty men in horned helms flinging bland flat bread on to table and shield in a quest to find something…anything…that would make that lye soaked fish palatable.

Now women, stand back, for this is a manly art, and not for the faint of heart.

Balls of cold dough…

rolled so thin you can almost see through them.

Then the sword is applied…

to move the thin pastry to the griddle.

It is the truest mark of a man’s skill at arms.

At my side will be my trusty sword-mate (my niece’s husband) Matt. He learned the craft at my knee a bare five years ago. The boy became a man that day, and has since upheld the annual tradition that is Lefse Day.

Lefse will soon be once again available for meals, for snacks (it isn’t just for breakfast anymore). A dinner roll replacement with butter, a wrap for sandwich fixings, a basis for hundreds of different meals, snacks and desserts. This flexible food has limitless options, and only wants for a bit of imagination. Don’t take my word for it. Look here (I ♥ this restaurant. Lefse year round.): http://norskenook.com/menu-lefse-wraps-specialties/

If we are frugal, our batch will last through the holidays, though most years I am forced into making a second batch. Gladly do I draw my sword and march once again into battle. For we must have lefse for  Christmas. But there will come that day, usually late into a cold, snowy January, when the lefse runs out. Then we must wait, and do without lefse, the rest of that cold, dark year, for the grand tradition that is…LEFSE DAY!

Steve