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Published November 30, 2012, 11:30 PM

Lind: Long-running debate on lefse toppings won’t end soon

Neighbors has been involved in a long-running debate on what to put on lefse.

By: Bob Lind, INFORUM

Neighbors has been involved in a long-running debate on what to put on lefse.

Since this is the holiday season, many folks will again be indulging in this Norwegian delicacy. So here are more thoughts on this lip-smacking topic.

Marian Johnson, of Brampton, N.D., says after reading a column on the topic, “I had to add my toppings for lefse” to the list.

“I like brown sugar and butter or just butter,” Marian writes. “This is the way we always ate it when I was growing up and still do.

“My grandparents came from Norway, and lefse was a part of the meal during the winter (especially during the holidays). Brown sugar was always used on it.

“Of course, lutefisk was served with it at Christmas time. One of my friends told me the reason I liked both of these foods was because I was raised on them and did not know any better.”

Cheryl Gumke, of Fargo, writes, “As 100 percent pure-bred Norwegians, my dad and I can state with authority that the very best way to enjoy lefse is with jelly!

“We Norwegians take our lefse very seriously!” she emphatically notes.

Dorothy Teigen, 93, of Moorhead, writes, “My mother lived in Kvam, Norway, until she was 24 and learned to bake lefse from her mother. Grandma baked lefse and flatbread at neighboring farms, sometimes staying for weeks at a time.

“Here is grandma’s recipe for the ‘Best Ever’ lefse:

“1. Boil small potatoes with the peelings on.

“2. When tender, cool and pare.

“3. Put potatoes through an old-fashioned grinder.

“4. Mix well with some heavy cream and enough flour to shape the dough into balls, using about a half cup of dough. Should have a little sugar and salt added while mixing.

“5. Roll really thin and fry quickly on a hot grill. Too low heat equals tough lefse.

“When baked, pile the lefse on top of each other and cover with a dish towel. Each pile can be wrapped for the freezer.

“In my family,” Dorothy says, “lefse was eaten in two ways: as a substitute for bread and eaten at meals, or buttered and sugared as a snack for coffee.

“Super good, though, is to tear off a bite-size piece of lefse. Place a bite-size piece of lutefisk on it with some butter, fold it up and pop it into your mouth. This is called eating ‘lefse betta (bite-size lefse)’ and can be good with meat, cheese and even peanut butter and pickles. Uff-da, but they’re all good!”

Neighbors has more messages about lefse that will be included in future columns. Uff-da, they’re all good, too.

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If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com