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Archive for January, 2007

LEFSE

picture-037.jpgOver the Christmas holidays, several of our family members rented a condo at North Lake Tahoe in a town called Carnelian Bay.  The Reese girls, Laura and Emily came along with us.  Laura and Emily are cousins of my brother Johnny’s wife, Kristin.  Although they are young (Laura is 18 and Emily is 15), their mother instilled some good domestic and culinary skills in these dear girls.  Last year, Laura and Emily lost their mother very suddenly and unexpectedly.  So the past two years, we have invited them to come along with us on our holiday vacation.Laura and Emily’s dad is a beekeeper.  He raises bees, and whenever we see the girls, they always bring us a tub of  freshly made honey butter.  What a treat!  They made us another treat this year.  It is called Lefse.Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made out of potato, milk or cream and flour, and cooked on a griddle. Special tools are available for lefse baking, including long wooden turning sticks and special rolling pins with deep grooves. There are significant regional variations in the way lefse is made and eaten, but it generally resembles a tortilla. Although, in many parts of Norway, especially Valdres, it is far thinner. In some parts of the United States (such as Minnesota), lefse is available in grocery stores, just like tortillas; one Minnesota tortilla factory makes a run of lefse once a month on its tortilla equipment.In central Norway, a variation called tynnlefse (thin lefse) is made, which is rolled up with butter, sugar and cinnamon (or with butter and brown sugar), and eaten as a cake.  This is the kind that we had, and boy was it delicious!  I think I ate three of them.  They were so good.Tjukklefse or tykklefse (thick lefse) is thicker, and often served with coffee as a cake.Potetlefse (potato lefse) is often used in place of a hot-dog bun and can be used to roll up sausages. This delight is also known as pølse med lompe in Norway, lompe being the “smaller-cousin” of the potato lefse.Lingonberries are a common addition to buttered lefse hot off the griddle.There are many ways of spicing lefse up. The most common is adding butter and sugar to the lefse and rolling it up. In Norwegian, this is known as “lefse-klining”. Other tasty ways to eat it include adding cinnamon, or spreading jelly or lingonberries upon it. ScandinavianAmerican variations include rolling it with a thin layer of peanut butter and sugar, with butter and sugar, with butter and corn syrup, or with ham and eggs. Also quite good with beef, and other savory items, it is comparable to a thin tortilla. And, of course, it is great to put lutefisk in.Many Scandinavian-Americans eat lefse primarily around Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with other Scandinavian delights such as lutefisk.The town of Starbuck, MN, is the home of the world’s largest lefse.  Laura and Emily are from Minnesota, so we can  understand now where they got this delectable treat from.   

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I AM THE NEW YEAR

Dear friends and family:

2006 ended with our new Dell computer (model 700) breaking on us near the end of December.  It was a defective power button,  and it took Dell about 3 weeks to get us a new computer!  The new computer is an upgraded model (710) from the other one, so we should not have the button problem again!  So here I am back on the blog bandwagon, hoping to catch up a little.  I found this poem many years ago, and every new  year, I like to read it as an inspiration to do better.  Hope you like it:

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it out with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have – these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

I am the new year.

~ author unknown ~

  

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