This recipe comes to us from Live Lia by way of her daughter Berthe (Lea) Gronseth, Berthe’s daughter Louise (Gronseth) Fiegel, and with the personal guidance and instruction of Dwayne and Abigail (Moeckley) Olson. Dwayne was a great grandson of Ole and Live Lia. Dwayne’s mother was Lucy (Lea) Olson who was the daughter of John Lea who was the son of Ole and Live Lia.
Louise (Gronseth) Fiegel (Photo above of Louise in California about 1969) first introduced Sam Clark to Lefse and saw that he ate it by the stack, in the 1960’s when she came west to visit her cousin Agnes (Brown) Clark (Sam’s mother) in Lucerne Valley, California. Agnes was the daughter of Sørine (Lea) Brown who was the daughter of Ole and Live Lia.
A traditional staff of life for the Norwegian pioneers. Eat lefse buttered and rolled-up, buttered and sprinkled with white or brown sugar and rolled-up. Sam ate it, as a boy, buttered and spread with homemade black-currant jelly and rolled-up. (Louise didn’t mind this either.) And today, we even enjoy lefse spread with mayonnaise and mustard and layered with thinly sliced deli meats, cheeses and avocado – and rolled-up! (We call them tubular sandwiches.)
You just can’t beat lefse!
- 5 Cups Very Well Mashed Potatoes (Plain white potatoes)
- 4 tsp. Sugar (Robin uses 2 Tbs.)
- 1 tsp. Salt (Robin uses 2 tsp.)
- 1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
- 1/2 Cup Cream or Canned Milk
- 2 Cups of Flour
- Peel potatoes, cut in large chunks, Boil, Drain WELL, Mash WELL and Measure. While potatoes are still hot – add Butter, Sugar, Salt, and Cream and beat with electric mixer.
- Cool Potato mixture in Refrigerator overnight UNCOVERED.
- Next day, add Flour to Potato mixture and knead into dough.
- Form dough into balls (for small lefse [8 to 10 inch dia.] form 24 to 36 balls).
- Keep Dough Balls in refrigerator and remove them one at a time to roll them out.
- (From this point on – it is best to work with a diligent helper – Robin rolls while Sam cooks and stacks.)
- Pat balls flat then roll out very thin, on a cloth-covered board with a cloth-covered Rolling Pin, using just enough additional flour to prevent sticking. (Robin says, “A plain rolling pin will work fine, but a “Lefse” Rolling Pin will give desired texture.”)
- Immediately after rolling out, use lefse stick and transfer to hot DRY griddle.
- Fry on both sides until lightly browned (turn once using lefse stick).
- Transfer (using lefse stick) from griddle, and place on a clean white dishtowel, which has been laid over a cooling rack. (or use a Lefse Cozy)
- Keep your growing stack of cooked lefse completely wrapped with the dishtowel (or in Lefse Cozy), as you go. Then leave the stack wrapped until fully cooled. This will allow the lefse to “sweat”, and keep it from drying out while it cools.
- When cool, you can store in Ziplock bags (can be frozen – but Sam says, “Don’t keep in freezer for more than about a month, it won’t taste the same!”).
- Potato mixture can be kept in refrigerator for a couple of days or so – just don’t add flour until right before cooking. Once Flour is added there is no turning back – you will need to roll out and cook without delay.
- This will take some practice. Rolling it out, handling it using the Lefse Sticks, and developing a sense of when it is properly cooked are all skills that will have be acquired over time. So get started right away and master this wonderful art!
by Sam and Robin Clark. (Sam is a great grandson of Ole and Live Lia.)