Sunday, December 21, 2014

How "Not" to make Lefse

DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for a great recipe or instructions on how to make Lefse... Sorry you will not find it here what follows are my misadventures in Lefse making  

My 87 year old co-worker and I were reminiscing a while ago about life, love and missing those who we have lost...

His wife, he said was Norwegian and at Christmas time she made a dish called "Lefse". He told me that he missed her and everything about her and "especially" with their Christmas time together.

He made an off hand comment about how much he would love to have some of her Lefse again. I had no idea what that was... But, I love trying new recipes I told him that if he gave me her recipe I would try to make it. (he brought it the next day along with a recipe for her cinnamon rolls)

So I came home and did a little research only to find that it was more hard than simply throwing things into a bowl and mixing them. I can follow a recipe very well but she did not put any measurements or instructions down only the ingredients. So I had to figure it out myself.

Well it took some time but I think I did it. Thursday I gave it a go... I have to claim here that I was more than a little intimidated... I was so intimidated in fact that it took me until this month to try it lol. After all Christmas was right around the corner and I had told him that I would make them.....

So just google "How to make Lefse" if you want to make them and follow their directions... or follow this you tube video that I watched. BECAUSE! They know what they are doing... I DO NOT... That video is another woman just tossing things into the bowl but I got the just of it. A really great video is from Bothell Sons of Norway I love how he does it so effortlessly

BUT! I had a lot of fun making them... here are my adventures of how "not to make" Lefse lol enjoy
Here is a picture of my finished product. My co-worker said they look great! Well I hope they were lol It only took me a century to make them 
After cooking the potatoes you are to mix everything together except the flour and refrigerate over night. Now I found that some said rice your potatoes before you refrigerate and some said do it the next day. I chose to do it then except I couldn't find my ricer so I pressed the potatoes through this slotted spoon... Don't do that, I will show you why later
Here is my mix the next morning when I realized that I added the flour the night before making my dough a very sticky mess. (hand slaps fore head) But I said to myself... It will still work, I will just add more flour!... Right? So I added a bit more flour... after all I had no time as I had to go to work in a couple of hours. Talk about trying to reinvent the wheel here lol
When making Lefse you need a cloth cover for your rolling pin and your roll out board... Well I had a non stick rolling pin so I thought "this will be good enough"... Right? NO! Don't skip these two very important items. Well in the end it worked but it was triple the work and time. I only made 12 in a hour and a half. So make sure that you have those two items and this one! a Lefse turner which I didn't have... I used my metal cake spatula it kind of worked. You can make a turner with a dowel which I didn't have either but I do not recommend that one either.
Here is my first lefse... Rolled out and cooking lol it looks like a monster or a Pac Man lol. I do not own a round electric griddle which is recommended so I used a large non stick pan on a gas stove... It worked but it was very hard turning the cakes as my turner was not able to lay flat... Oh... wait I just remembered that I own a pancake griddle the rectangle one... I could have use that one... hahaha oh well
Now to why you want to rice the potatoes. Here is a fine example of why you need to rice your potatoes with a potato ricer... If you don't you end up with lumps of potatoes in your lefse. The two on the right I pulled out and re-shaped and rolled out again but you see on the left that the potato is not mixed well and just squished down. I swear (holding right hand in the air) that I mixed everything up well!!!??? or so I thought lol
 FINALLLLLLY! a good roll out and a decent cake in the pan... Phew... (wipes sweat off brow)
After rolling out a few cakes I found what I call "lefse turds" (I know it's gross but you have to admit funny) all over in the flour and on my board... These are small little hard, dried out pieces of dough that are left behind... I did not use a cloth over my board so I had to refresh my flour almost every time in order to keep the hard pieces out of my fresh dough... I wonder if that happens with a cloth or not??? I bet not
There was so much left over flour on my dough that I had to use my pastry brush to brush off the excess flour so that my dough could cook... I think that is why they use a cloth to roll it out... It helps to keep flour at a minimum
After cooking several cakes I started to smell something burning and I remembered it was said that you have to remove any excess flour after each cake... Well I didn't think that was an too important of a step until it started burning in the pan! Hahaha... OK! I got it... remove the excess flour so it does not catch on fire lol not that that happen hahaha phew!
Add any kind of toppings or fillings that you want then roll it up... My co-worker wanted cinnamon and sugar... at first I didn't use soft butter to attach the cinnamon... It's winter and we keep the inside temperature in our home at a balmy 62 deg... and so my butter was hard. I buttered one cake and added the cinnamon mix but after rolling I picked it up and over half of the filling fell out. So make sure you use soft butter or melted butter as I did after that. Using my pastry brush I painted the butter on then added the cinnamon mix and it worked and rolled up great. Oh... and when you are rolling the lefse make sure you do not let the cake sit to long before you add the butter because the ends get brittle... OHhhhhh!....... That must be why they cover the cakes after cooking them with a cloth called a Lefse warmer (another slap on the forehead)
 My what a mess... Well there you have it... A successful making of Lefse... Well almost! lol

Now to the cleaning of it all... Yippee lol

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One Thousand Gifts

~ Getting to listen to all my Christmas music and loving it

~ Finding joy in the craft of Crocheting again after years of not

~ The completion of my first Crochet project

~ The awe inspiring beauty of watching blankets of birds dancing in unison in the evening sky

~ The happiness that comes with a freshly cleaned blanket straight from the dryer for cuddling

~ The funny antics of our security guard at work that keep me smiling

~ A great new boss trying to make things better for us at work even though they are already good

~ Coming home yet again to a home made dinner by my sweet husband... I love this man

~ Gifts from co-workers making the Christmas season one of thankfulness for their consideration

~ Great appreciation for all first responders

~ Being blessed to... first off have a job and second to love what I am doing

~ Love shown to their father at a time when he needed it most from our children.... Love them!!!

~ A Christmas gathering with my sister and her children... Such a great night we had

# 64 Watching my great niece and her father my nephew making a gingerbread house

Joining here with Bron

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Global Winter Wonderland 2014

My kids in Sacramento sent me these pictures from their visit to the "Global Winter Wonderland" at Cal Expo in Sacramento Ca... They invited us to go with them next year and I have to say I am excited and looking forward to going with them next year.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

One Thousand Gifts

~ Celebrating a birthday today with my sweetheart

~ Vision... enables me to do my job and all the fun crafts and cooking easily for my family

~ The excitement of seeing my co-workers putting together a Christmas party and White Elephant    gift exchange

~ Date night with my husband... Dinner and afterwards driving around and looking at Christmas        lights

~ Mexican food

~ The Excitement for me of making a Christmas wish come true

~ An opportunity to share my story with someone in the same situation

~ A clean bill of health from my parents doctor for my parents ... A relief for sure

~ Hot soup on a cold day

~ The joy of the season for celebrating the birth of Christ

~ The beauty of a fireplace

~ Planers for keeping myself organized and on time... Something that is important for me to be

~ The ease of modern day cooking

# 50 Sheep wool... yarn... A winter hat to keep my head warm

Joining in here with Bron

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Snowman Contest

This year around town I am finding that most everyone is getting into the spirit of Christmas by decorating with lights inside and out and then some places are holding contests for one thing or another. On Friday I was at a clients business and found all these snow men and a box to vote for my favorite... Well I have to say that it was almost impossible to do so because I love them all. But.... If I had to pick one it would be the quilted snowman