Luke’s Life

ApronAdventures Guest Blog: Thanksgiving Lefse

Posted in apartment, food by lrobison on December 3, 2008

Hello Apron Adventurers!  Lindsay was nice enough to ask me to write up a post about the traditional Norwegian flat bread I contributed to our duplex thanksgiving this year, so here it is kids.  Enjoy!

Part of my family’s tradition for both thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for about as long as I can remember has been the making and eating of Lefse.  Lefse originates in Norway, and is about the only thing I can show for my 1/16th Norwegian heritage, but this was the first year I’ve ever attempted to make it alone.  It turned out to be pretty easy, but does take a good amount of time and some special equipment.


Made lefse for thanksgiving

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes ( no lumps )
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs thick cream
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 cup flour

Yield: 10-12 lefse.
20lb of potatoes yields roughly 10 and a half batches ( we like to think big ).

You will also need:

  • lefse griddle.  A flat variable temperature surface with low edges and at least 12″ diameter.  Mine is closer to 24″.
  • lefse stick.  A wooden stick thats flat enough to slide under a lefse and about 3/4″ wide, used for moving the dough from the rolling surface to the griddle.
  • lefse rolling pin.  I’ve never seen these used for anything else, its a regular rolling pin with grooves cut laterally down the side.  Luckily my mom had a spare.
  • Pastry Cloth.  Its hard to find these, but it can be done.  I made mine from a thick cotton canvas pulled tight across a flat, heavy piece of wood ( just like my grandma used to ).  You need it to be at least as big as your griddle, and the more room the better.

Boil and mash the potatoes, mixing in the cream, butter, and salt.  This can be done all at once if making multiple batches.  Place the mixture in the fridge to cool.  You can keep it like this overnight, but I’d throw some saran wrap on it in that case.  Once the potatoes are cold, heat up your handy lefse griddle to about 475 degrees, and rub flour into your pastry cloth.  One batch at a time, add the 1 cup of flour to the potatoes, and make into small fist-sized balls.  To keep them as cold as possible, return them to the fridge, taking out one ball at a time.  Roll each ball into as thin a lefse as possible before it starts sticking to the pin.  This is the tricky part.  Cold dough minimizes stickiness, and frequently rubbing the pin and cloth in flour helps as well.  In order to transfer the lefse from the pastry board, start from one end and roll it up around the lefse stick, unrolling it on to the griddle.  It should cook for about 1 minute a side, enough for golden brown spots to begin to form. When done, place between two moist towels, flipping the pile occasionally.

flour everywhere

And there you have it!  I made 10 pounds of potatoes, and between snacking while cooking, and our 30 guests at thanksgiving, only 3 lefse were left over, so it looks like I’ll have to do it again for Christmas since I had none left to freeze.  We typically serve lefse warm or at room temperature (it cools fast…) with butter, with butter and brown sugar, or just plain.  I usually roll it up and eat about half a lefse at a time, depending on the size.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Ha Det!

Carothers Kitchen: revisited

Posted in dorm, food, school, UT by lrobison on March 4, 2006

buttermilk pie

Originally uploaded by knobbyknees.

We finally got into the kitchen last week, turns out the muffin man accidently locked the key in the kitchen and then skipped town to dallas. So on the monday after he got back I was able to get in and make some pie. But instead of the scrumptious pie I had come to know and love from my family’s cooking, I ended up making a healthy, low-sugar version of the pie. I had forgotten to to double the sugar when I doubled the rest of the recipie. So next time I get time I have to save face by making a new, better, correct pie. Classes have been ruling my life lately, so I’ll probably be making it after spring break.

current schedule:
Thursday – Networks Test
Friday – Spanish test
Friday:Saturday – Visit Elissa and hit the galveston beach
Sunday:Monday – Visit SA
Rest of Spring Break: Electrical Engineering work (the evil EE316 class)

Carothers kitchen sadness

Posted in food, school, UT by lrobison on February 25, 2006

I got all the stuff for the infamous buttermilk pie from H-E-B tonight, but when I asked for the key to the kitchen, Kendra informed me that the RA’s had ‘lost’ it – or someone has stolen it. If it weren’t so agonizingly hard to get into the kitchen this might be amusing to me. I mean, someone is going to great lengths to protect the contents of that kitchen, but it’s time to tell them that everything thats not nailed down is already gone. Give it up already!

Well the HEB trip wasn’t completly in vain. I now am the proud owner of the cheapest 12-cup coffee pot ever. cheaper even than the cheapest 4-cup pot. And just in time too. I’m supposed to be doing a loooooot of EE316 work this weekend (and i mean a LOT… craig!) . Even now I’m sipping coffee and waiting for its magic powers to enable me to work well into this friday night.

Ah yes friday night. The one night we all get to forget about school, and just party hard. Except for me, as I’m doing EE work. Oh, and Mike too. And Jeremy was already in bed at midnight. Oh, and Elissa went to sleep a half hour ago. Alex is planning on getting up at 7am, so hes in bed too. Looks like bryan has either been asleep for 4 hours or working on some OS project. Oh ya – we really live it up here at UT. Well, time to get crackin on that EE work…

I try my hand at peachy cobbler

Posted in dorm, food, UT by lrobison on February 1, 2006
fresh peach cobbler! Originally uploaded by knobbyknees.

I decided in response to all of carolines apple pies that i had to make some of my mom’s peach cobbler. After she emailed me the recipe I got to work. It was delicious and everyone kept making sexual moaning noises as they ate it. Except for that mutant elissa. she still can’t stand the warm peaches thing… maybe next time we can refrigerate some of it. mmmmmmm yummy