Select Page
Mistletoe and Lefse. Two Norwegian Christmas Favorites!

Mistletoe is second only to Lefse when it comes to romantic holiday traditions in Norway. Uff!!

Lefse!  Let’s Eat!

Christmas.  It’s the season to be Merry.  It’s the season to celebrate.  It’s the season to give gifts.  And it’s the season to eat!   Most North Dakota families can attest to that.  Christmas baking is as important a part of Christmas as attending the local elementary school Christmas program and going to church on Christmas Eve (or Day).   Or Sons of Norway Christmas celebrations, not to mention those festive observances at the Long X Visitor Center and Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County in Watford City.

Holiday Baking, Scandinavian Style

A holiday celebration at the Long X Visitor Center and Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County in Watford City, North Dakota includes a galore of Scandinavian treats!

Christmas Traditions Through the Generations in McKenzie County

Sandy at the Long X Visitor Center/Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County in Watford City, North Dakota is passionate about passing on holiday traditions to younger generations.

Family and Cultural Traditions

During November and December each year those who love to cook, bake, and carry on family and cultural traditions hole themselves up in their kitchens.  For most, out come the mixing bowls and baking sheets.  Recipe books opened only once a year become flour laden.  And for some, out come the lefse griddle and rolling pin and lefse stick.   Reminiscing begins.  Talk of the ‘olden’ days might even outweigh cell phone texting.   

A Cookbook to Pass Along Family History. Enger Family Cookbook.

Enger Family Cookbook, Preserving Culture

This cookbook was compiled by the family of one of the first Norwegian pioneers in North Dakota, Fingal Enger, who was the first white settler in Steele County.

Reminisce

For me, thinking about spending time with my great aunt, born in 1890 on the very farm on which I reside and raised my family, includes her memories of frying lefse on a huge cook stove, still in the old house next to mine.  My favorite crab apple tree behind the house, well over a hundred years old, she termed her ‘lefse tree’.   It’s wood burned at just the right temperature and heat to fry her lefse to perfection!  I still have the lefse stick she and her mother used, carved from a tree from the then young homesteader’s wood plot on my farm.   

The Lefse Made on the Cookstove of This Old House....

No one lives in this house now, but much of the interior is intact, and the old cookstove still stands, waiting for wood from the special ‘lefse tree’. The lefse stick hangs nearby.

The Lefse Tree

Well over 100 years old, this crab apple tree planted on the original homestead still survives, despite severe storm damage. It’s name is derived from it’s greatest contribution to the original family living here; it provided fire wood for the iron cook stove which burned at a perfect temperature and rate to fry perfect lefse!

Sons of Norway 

Lefse making for my children was a bit different.  We cheated, and used an electric lefse griddle, as most do now.   Sons of Norway provided the most intense lefse making experience possible.  Their recipe is a classic!

Pinterest

A quick search on Pinterest for Lefse recipes  yields fruitful results!

Uff Da! That's A Lot of Lefse on Pinterest!

Pinterest lefse, and you’ll get results! You’ll also get a variety of ways in which lefse is presented and consumed. Not all are pleasing to traditionalist Norwegians! But then, that’s the fun of it!

Potatoes.  Potatoes.  Potatoes.  

Lefse is traditionally  made from three ingredients, so one would think one, maybe two, recipes would be all it would take to make the best lefse around.   Wrong!   Talk to any Scandinavian, consult any Norwegian or Swedish cookbook (or any church cookbook in North Dakota, for that matter) and evidence will show just the contrary.  Do the lefse recipes ever end??!!   

A Taste of History, Watford City Centennial Cookbook, North Dakota

A Taste of History, Watford City Centennial Cookbook, North Dakota. Contact the Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County about the availability of this cookbook, published in 2014.

The Watford City Centennial Cookbook, A Taste of Home, boasts seven recipes for lefse!   I’d wager that each lefse maker loves his/her recipe for a particular reason, as well as a favorite lefse stick, rolling pin and griddle to match. 

Leafsa Recipe from the Watford City Centennial Cookbook

Leafsa Recipe from the Watford City Centennial Cookbook. Contact the Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County in Watford City, North Dakota, for availability.

Lefse Recipe from the Watford City Centennial Cookbook

Lefse Recipe from the Watford City Centennial Cookbook. Contact the Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County in Watford City, North Dakota, for availability.

Lefse Recipe from the Watford City Centennial Cookbook

Lefse Recipe from the Watford City Centennial Cookbook. Contact the Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County in Watford City, North Dakota, for availability.

 

My own cookbook, Enger Family Cookbook, which I compiled a few years back with the goal of passing on my Norwegian heritage and traditions, boasts eleven recipes!

Lefsa. That's Lefse with an 'A' !

A lefse handed down for generations. Suppose that ‘a’ on the end is Swedish?

Four Lefse Recipes

Who knew that there could be so many variations on a recipe which essentially is based on three ingredients? Norwegians, that’s who!

Two Lefse Recipes

These two lefse recipes were tried and true for generations of Norwegians who settled in the Mayville-Hatton area of North Dakota. Alma’s lefse was sold in stores, and to many was the best around, back in the day.

Grandma Gert's Lefse

Sometimes recipes were more than ingredients, they were step by step instructions meant to be handed down through the generations.

Lefse, Lefsa!  It’s a Mighty Big Treat!

Lefse! It's a Mighty Big Treat! Uff Da!

Who knew that lefse could grow this big!! Anything is possible with Norwegians!

And There Are More!

Cookbook after cookbook presents variations of lefse recipes.   Each family has its favorite, whether for reasons of taste, or the memories associated with them.  What cookbooks do you recommend?   

What Are Your Favorite Lefse and Christmas tradition recipes?   

What lefse recipes have you used?   Who makes the best lefse ?   Where can good lefse be purchased?   What cookbook has the best lefse recipes?  How do you serve and eat lefse?

Precious Memories!

Most importantly, what memories do you associate with lefse?   

Let’s compile a recipe file of them all!   

Comment here.   Message me/comment on Beautiful Badlands ND Facebook page.   Email me:  mary@beautifulbadlandsnd.com

Mange Tak!

And for that, Mange Tak.   Heck…… Mange Tusen Tak!  

God Jul!

Merry Christmas, God Jul!, as the Norwegians say!

 

Coffee is perfect with Lefse!   

Give this coffee shop in Beach a try:   Possibly the Best in the West! 

Then go to Sidney, Montana and try this coffee shop:   This Coffee Drive Thru is Fast, and Good!     

While back in Killdeer, in Dunn County, North Dakota, you’ll love this coffee drive thru:   Cowboys Do Love This Coffee!

Christmas Gifts

ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: