God jul!

I mentioned yesterday that I was doing Christmasy stuff while this forum was broken. The main thing was making lefse, which is a Scandinavian flatbread. It’s made with potatoes, butter or oil, cream, some sugar, a pinch of salt and lots of flour. This year we made it with yellow potatoes rather than Russets and it turned out really well.

The great thing about lefse is you need to boil potatoes the night before, peal them (easier to peal after boiling, doncha know?), rice them and add the oil or butter. That takes quite a bit of time and effort. The next day you make batches of extremely sticky dough with the rest of the ingredients, roll out paper-thin disks and cook them on a heated griddle. Very likely you’ll break a few disks trying to lift them with a traditional lefse stick meaning you need to roll them out again. Just under ten pounds of potatoes took us the entire afternoon.

This is an “All Purpose Grill” used exclusively for lefse. My mom uses hers for pancakes and other things too, so the packaging is not wrong.

You might wonder what’s so great about all this and the answer is that we do it with family and friends. It’s like making tamales (from what I understand) in that there’s nothing inherently Christmasy about them other than it’s an excuse to spend time with people you love. We bought some Zankou Chicken for dinner and topped of off the night with caroling for other friends (and one houseful of strangers) in the neighborhood. Could you do all of this with less work over hot, sticky potatoes? Maybe, but why risk it?

Today I braved some last-minute shopping. Ikea for meatballs and other sundries. (They make great Swedish tacos when wrapped in lefse.) And then Trader Joe’s for snacks. As is traditional, I parked a mile away (mild exaggeration) to avoid ruining my day in the Trader Joe’s parking disaster. Then I went back to Ikea for something I’d forgotten and to grab my free coffee. Glad to see those stores are closing at 5pm tonight.

Tonight we’re going to the 11pm Christmas Eve service which should end right around midnight. Then it’s wrapping last-minute gifts. And then we have a 9am Sunday/Christmas Day service. (We will be in pajamas, thank you very much!) Probably some coffee, gift opening, cooking, napping, playing games and more eating to end the day.