Yesterday afternoon, while my DH and OB were performing open-transmission surgery in the garage on a '91 Suburban, I had this wild idea to keep a tradition alive.
My Father is over half to two-thirds Norwegian, somehow his family line is related to the king of Norway there is even a family island in Norway (Elvik Island where the family farm still stands)
Dad had open-heart surgery on October 7th to replace the leaking mitral valve and heart murmur that he has had his whole life. Over time it has weakened his heart and suddenly began to cause him to black out. He gave us quite a scare, his heart became weaker still, so much so that he wasn't allowed to get out of bed, for fear that he might go into v-tach. Thankfully he sailed through the surgery, went home to recuperate and was doing well, until a little more than a month later, he blacked out again. We had always known that he might need a defibrillator to correct the arrhythmia he had been suffering from. Sure enough, he was transferred by ambulance on November 19th to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane...not a minute too soon either, he was only there an hour before he blacked out twice in his room and had to be rescusitated, CPR performed and ultimately shocked back into rhythm, his surgeon, a tiny little woman from Eastern Europe, they call Dr. B. came in on a Sunday to do the procedure. Thankfully now, he is back home, resting, regaining his strength and enjoying some home-cooking! Alas, my Mother, who is not used to all this activity (the banking, Coumadin clinic, driving hither and yon) has not been feeling up to making the traditional holiday goodies this year.
I found myself on this particular Saturday afternoon with not much on the agenda, so almost as an afterthought, I boiled up 5lbs of russet potatoes, riced them, added butter (it was supposed to be melted...oops), cream, sugar, salt and flour, mixed that up and stuck it in the refrigerator to cool. That was stage 1 of lefse making and the resulting gooey mixture is supposed to cool optimally for 12-24 hrs. I have never done this part of the operation, my Mother has always handled that part. I figured, heck...I am a 40-something woman, able to follow a recipe and adept at phase 2 of the lefse-making process, heck yeah, let's do this thing!!!
And so I embarked on an adventure...A tasty adult beverage (or two) was mixed, not sure my ancestors did the same, but there you go. I followed the recipe, adding 1-2 cups of flour (just what the recipe called for) with the dough hook of my trusty Kitchenaid...hmmmm...still looking pretty sticky, let's add more flour...still pretty sticky...let's add a bit more, until I don't know how many cups of flour later, I ended up with something that resembled what I was used to seeing, a tidy little mound of dough...ready for, you guessed it, still more flour and a proper rolling out with the traditional ridged rolling pin used by my Mother's Mother Emily. I inherited Emily's grill, her turning sticks and her rolling pin and well, it just feels homey and warm to use them, knowing that her hands performed the same task many, many times before me, making lefse for the annual bake sale at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Arlington, Washington and our holiday table, but I digress...