NEIGHBORS: It takes a lot more work to make graham lefseWill you be having lefse this Christmas Eve? You certainly would have if you’d been part of the family in which Arland Wisted, Detroit Lakes, Minn., grew up. Only in his family, it was graham lefse.
By: Bob Lind, INFORUM
Will you be having lefse this Christmas Eve? You certainly would have if you’d been part of the family in which Arland Wisted, Detroit Lakes, Minn., grew up. Only in his family, it was graham lefse.
“I did not know what potato lefse was until my parents had to quit making graham lefse,” Arland, now 92, writes.
Ah, but it was a lot more work making graham lefse, he says, and he explains the process:
“The dough was mixed with hot water,” he says. “My mother would make the dough during the day, then make two rolls about 14- to- 16 inches long and three inches in diameter, and put it out to cool.
“In the evening my father would cut a chunk about 1½ inches thick, roll it out and we kids would fry it.
“Once the sheets were fried they were prepared for storing. This process started with about six thicknesses of newspaper with two clean dish towels put on top followed by another six thicknesses of newspaper.
“As the lefse fried, sometimes the edges got crisp. We had a pan of water and a rag to sponge the edges, then would lay the lefse between the towels and cover them. The sheets were stacked one on top of the other until done.
“The stack was left covered until the next day, when my mother would cut them into quarters with scissors. The quartered sheets were either stored in a cool place or frozen.
“Lutefisk with melted butter, meatballs and gravy and lefse was our Christmas Eve meal. I would roll my lefse and dip it in the gravy or melted butter.”
The ingredients for this recipe are Zc cup graham flour, Xc cup flour, three or more tablespoons lard, enough hot water to make the dough stiff enough to roll out, and salt to taste. All this can be multiplied to increase the size of the batch.
“I much prefer graham lefse over potato lefse,” Arland concludes.
Arland says when his family moved into their new home in 1939, they kept their old kitchen range. Why? They had to have it so they could fry lefse.
One more thing: Many emails have come in concerning lefse. So there will be more columns on this luscious topic down the road.
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