Fiber Arts

Lefse… another family’s approach to a holiday tradition.

The lefse challenge is on! Alvin Olsen, my husband’s cousin, has another method which he has generously shared via pictures with me. Enjoy!
Here is what you will need.  The use of instant potatoes makes the task a bit quicker, and perhaps easier.
  • 1 lb. instant potatoes
  • 2 T salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 cups flour
Here is what you do:
  • Mix potatoes, salt and sugar
  • Mix butter and boiling water; add to the potato mixture
  • Mix well and then add cream.
  • Cool.
  • Then add 4 cups of flour (gradually as needed to reach correct consistency)  just before rolling.
He mixes the flour and potato mixtures together with his hands. His T-shirt helps his focus on the Scandinavian traditions.  Lutefisk is a special cod eaten by Americans of Norwegian descent on holidays.  Melted butter poured over it is the best part.
After it is mixed together, he forms it into a long roll and then slices it into 4 pieces which are rolled separately, adding loose flour to the surface as needed.
He has a cloth covering his rolling pin which is a personal preference of many who make lefse.  There is also a cloth covering the circular board that helps to hold the flour and ease the stickiness.
He’s accomplished the first step of the rolling…. looks determined doesn’t he?        It’s the Norwegian flag on his apron that probably will give him an advantage.
He makes smaller rounds so he doesn’t need to cut a larger round into quarters to serve it.                        It is also easier to turn.
His wife, Judy, seems to approve!
Even though they live in Florida, lefse making day is definitely a Minnesota Day!
Finally, after waiting patiently by the grill, Georgina gets a sample… 95 years of eating lefse has done her no harm!

Thanks for sharing your Minnesota – Norwegian tradition with us, Alvin, Judy and Georgina!

Fiber Arts

Thanksgiving Traditions – Food!

Our Norwegian tradition is to make lefse which we describe to newbies as a flour tortilla, except that it is made with “potatoes”, butter and flour.  I’ve put together a tutorial for those family friends and California Cousins who want to try making lefse.  (Just a brief change from quilting.)


1. Start by boiling a dozen or so large potatoes until they are soft enough to mash.  I cut them into quarters or eighths so they cook more quickly.  Mash them with 16 T of margarine and 2 T butter, along with 1 and 3/4 cup of evaporated milk.  If they are not of a sticky gooey consistency, add a few instant potato flakes to thicken the mixture.  You want it a bit thicker than you would for just mashed potatoes.

2. Then, rice the potatoes to remove any lumps.  We use a ricer (see picture), but perhaps a food processor would also work.

3. Mix 3 cups of riced potatoes with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 T sugar, and 1 and 1/2 cups of flour.  Work with your hands until you form a loaf.  Now you are ready to look at the pictures and follow the directions from that point.  Repeat the recipe until you have used all of the potatoes.  This usually makes enough for 3 loaves, but since the size of the potatoes may vary, it is difficult to predict.  Enjoy!