Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love and Lefse

Yesterday I labored with my mother-in-law to make lefse, a traditional soft, Norwegian flatbread that is, for lack of better word, sacred at extended family gatherings. Lefse is made with potatoes and cream and then cooked on a hot griddle and smeared with butter and sugar. What's not to love about that? Well, making it, for one thing. Five years ago I endeavored to make the culinary masterpiece for my then-fiance for his birthday. How hard could a Norwegian recipe be? Surely I could Google the recipe and whip something together, right? Wrong. There are special tools for lefse baking -- including long wooden turning sticks, specialized griddles, and rolling pins made with deep grooves.... There are also special recipes that go with the special tools, and one does not mess with special family recipes when cooking for soon-to-be husband. So I Googled "lefse in Denver" instead and drove out to someone else's house and bought it. He married me for my creative spirit, I'm sure.

But yesterday was different. 

Using my my mother-in-law's natural Norwegian instincts for lefse and improvisation, we swapped a bread knife for the fancy wooden rod, my rolling pin for the lefse pin, and a hot griddle for...a hot griddle. And we did it. 

We rolled. We flipped. We smeared the butter.

And after the rounds were cooked and stacked I served them.

I waited while my inlaws and husband took their bites. And based on the "this is good" Midwest nods, I think I met the Norwegian standards.  And my husband now assures me that he is glad that he married me. A new dawn has broken in our household.

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