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Continued: Lessons in lefse

  • Article by: LEE SVITAK DEAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 19, 2013 - 11:06 AM

Each ball of dough is rolled as thin as possible and shaped into a circle. Woe to the lefse maker who isn’t attentive.

“Oh, please, that looks like the Taj Mahal,” noted one cook to another.

A wooden lifter — a thin, long spatula-like device with a colorful handle — transfers the lefse round from counter to griddle. There the lefse will bubble up, much as a pancake does, while the bottom browns. Then it’s flipped to finish on the other side, and set aside to cool.

For Sundquist, her love of lefse connects her to the past. “It’s all about our heritage. I learned how from my parents. It evokes so many happy memories. I want to pass this on to my children and grandchildren.”

The rolling pins squeak as we prepare one round after another. Griddles overheat after hours at 500 degrees, and a fifth blows a fuse. (Note to host: You need a lefse circuit.)

Our backs ache and our clothes smell of eau de potato when we realize there are another 10 pounds of dough in the refrigerator.

“Time to open the wine,” said Sundquist, before we tackled the remaining 120 pieces of lefse.

Last year Becky Forsberg had been a newcomer, a non-Norwegian who married into lefse (never mind that she’s Swedish and Finnish).

“Lefse will change your life,” Sundquist told her at the time.

“So, did it?” we asked this year.

She just smiled.

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    Experienced teacher Rebecca Jorgenson Sundquist leads a group of women on a marathon cooking endeavor

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    Wednesday December 18, 2013

    Equipment for lefse MAKING• An electric flat grill (lefse grill) or electric frying pan or flat griddle• Lefse stick or...

  • Recipe: Let's make lefse

    Thursday December 26, 2013

    Makes about 50 to 60 pieces. Note: You will need to begin this a day in advance. From Beatrice Ojakangas.

  • Kathy Kvammen-McKinley checked lefse as it browned on the griddle. She and others from Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis made hundreds of lefse for a bake sale. Below, a cloth-covered rolling pin is one of the tools of the trade.

  • A cloth sleeve coated with flour covers the rolling pin used to mash lefse dough balls into wide, thin circles.

  • From left:  Maggie Peterson, Diane Stoltenberg, Rebecca Jorgenson Sundquist and Kathy Kvammen-McKinley joined forces to make lefse.

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