Friday, 2 December 2011

Family Traditions - Lefse

One of my favorite family traditions is making "lefse" each year before Christmas. This is a Norwegian flatbread, made with Russett potatoes, flour, real butter & real cream. The Smith family has traditionally brought everyone together to make lefse on the 2nd Sunday of December. Everyone contributes to a potluck lunch, and until this year, the whole gang has gathered in one person's home. The number has grown over time, and this year the family will gather at a hall, which will be wonderful.

As our family lives many hours away, and driving can be treacherous this time of year, for about 15 years we have had our own lefse-making day in Calgary. Sometimes I've invited neighbors to join us, and we've discovered that many of our friends share our tradition. Many years ago, I was quite excited to learn that my husband's family, who have Norwegian roots, also makes lefse! Grandma Taylor has a real lefse grill, and has loaned it to any of us who would like to use it. That's been good, but the Taylor family has also grown, so this year I ordered all of the equipment from a place in Wisconsin, had it shipped to a buddy of Dave's in North Dakota, and Dave was kind enough to bring it back for me.

This year we went to Sherry's for lefse in Calgary, and made about 10 dozen giant lefse. Really, they're about the size of a large pizza! A good time was had by all, and everyone got involved. The kids all helped with rolling and baking, and we all contributed to the wonderful food, which we grazed on all day. It was a perfect opportunity to catch up on life, with Hazel & Eric, and Rob & Corina with their girls. Emma & Teagan made it later in the afternoon, as they'd been to another party earlier in the day. Teagan was sporting some very fancy face paint, and did a great job of rolling!

All in all, it's a day for great fun & laughter, a wonderful opportunity to relax and catch up on everyone's lives, and we all go home with some traditional food to save for Christmas. I was really pleased to take home an extra package for Mom & Dad and Karen & Jeff. Even better, Doug & I will be able to deliver it in person when we visit them in Victoria in a couple of weeks.

We always miss the big Smith clan on their lefse day, but are really pleased to have established the tradition ourselves as well. Looking back at our family history, we're not sure if the tradition came from the Swedish Sundell family or if it was perhaps the Johnston family who influenced the Smiths in North Dakota. Whatever the case, we love our lefse, and it's just awesome to know we have carried on the tradition for over 120 years in our family!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your post Kelli, your Lefse looks professional grade! A Lefse store/equipment distributorship in Calgary did you say?