Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Making Lefsa

Today I spent the day with my Mom.

Now, before you go thinking that I believe in ghosts and stuff like that - let me explain.

I made Lefsa.

Lefsa is a wonderful Scandinavian treat made of potatoes, butter, cream, sugar, salt and flour...that's all.  But that combination is perfectly heavenly.

Mom made the best lefsa.  (among other things)   So many of the memories that I have of her centre around the food that Mom lovingly prepared and fed us.  She was amazing in the kitchen.  I now wish that I would have participated with her in the kitchen rather than just watch her.

So now, out of necessity, when I am cooking things that are "Mom food" - I tend to talk to her and get her advise.  It's when I feel closest to her.

This is her domain.

These are her tools.  I inherited them.  Her old potato ricer, her lefsa rolling pin, her Westbend round griddle (used ONLY for cooking lefsa) and her turning stick - that my dad made.  Her recipe has little notes that I made while she gave me the instruction.  Things like, "don't handle the dough too much - it will get tough"  and  "add flour until it feels right"  and  "BUTTER, not margarine!"   These are things that I remember her saying to me like it was yesterday.

Another thing that she told me long ago what this... You must use leftover mashed potatoes.  I asked her a few times why she didn't just cook up a bunch of potatoes, mash them, put them into the fridge and make lefsa out of them.  She told me that it just didn't work to do it that way.  It had to be leftovers.  Trying to argue this with her ended up in her words that shut down the questions.

 "the dough knows"

What?  The dough knows?  What does that mean?

I thought about that today as I pressed 8 cups of true leftover potatoes through that old ricer.  We did a big turkey dinner for a church Christmas banquet on Sunday.

Leftovers.  The remaining bits of a delicious dinner, enjoyed by many.  Maybe that is the secret.

The dough knows

The dough knows that it created from something good.  People ate to their heart's content, the rest was wrapped up to be use later, for a different purpose.  A fabulous purpose...lefsa.

As the circles of dough cooked on the griddle, I could smell Mom's kitchen.  That comforting aroma of rich goodness.

Memories of a house full of family...
kids laughing
playing Skipbo
putting together a puzzle
food always within arm's reach
Mom taking care of all of us

As I spread the butter and sprinkled on the sugar and cinnamon and rolled up the warm flat circle, I cried a little bit.

I told Mom that I missed her.  I told her that we were all okay, but it just wasn't the same without her.

I wished for more time, but thanked God for the amazing time that we had with her.

What a great day with my Mom.  I think I will do it again...really soon!


StaceyLav said...

That was so good!! Tears are flowing...I thought about her today too! She is missed...but what a legacy that woman left! Thank you for this...I just wish I could hop over and enjoy some lefsa with you :)

Bobbi said...

What a beautiful post Sheila...love the legacy!

joan said...


just sayin' said...

Love it! You're a sweet daughter!

Paul and Cheri said...

I really enjoyed reading this! The pictures are awesome! Now, you got me looking up recipes! Your Mother would be so proud of you! I always loved going over to see your parents! I felt loved there!

Shellzie said...

I have my lefsa rolling pin ready, going to make mashed potatoes for supper and tomorrow, I'll be ready to roll. yummmmmmmmmm I love lefsa. My Cousin Aunt Cora was the lefsa maker in our family and now it has passed to me.