L-R Ken Beck, Deanna Wells, Laurinda Smith, Sandy Kingslien, Diane Pilot, Joyce Beck, Sandy Larson, and Jean Smith hold up their lefse sticks, many with rosemaling designs. Official tasters in the background include Cliff Wells and Mryon Pilot.
By LYNETTE HAALAND
Northwest Austin News
Jean Smith, a longtime resident of Grandview Hills, gathered with her friends last weekend to make a traditional holiday food — lefse. This year marks their 35th anniversary to make the potato flatbread in assembly-line fashion.
“We started this 35 years ago as a group,” said Smith, who had moved to Texas from Minnesota because of 3M around the time the group started making lefse.
Lefse starts with riced potatoes, flour, heavy cream, butter and salt rolled into a ball then rolled out and then griddled. Some ladies rolled out the dough with the special rolling pin while others manned the 400-degree griddles with the long lefse sticks.
Lefse is usually served with butter and sugar.
“This is just a fun, fun tradition at the beginning of the holidays,” said Sandy Kingslien, who is originally from South Dakota. “It’s a family tradition.”
The ladies who gather each year are mostly from northern states originally and have Norwegian-American heritage. Discussion at a Triumphant Love Lutheran Church dinner revealed that lefse making was a tradition each had grown up with.
“When I grew up, we did this on my grandparent’s farm (in Chisago City, Minnesota). There were 11 children in my dad’s family and we all gathered with my grandma and grandpa, and it was a great big celebration,” Smith said.
This year the friends made 23 dozen pieces of lefse.
“I look forward to it every year… including getting together and all of the chaos,” said Laurinda Smith, Grandview Hills resident and Jean’s daughter.
The group of ladies will gather again with their husbands for a lutefisk dinner later this Christmas season.