Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas time is only complete with the tradition of lefse making. This is my favorite day of the year. The smells, the warmth, the melt in your mouth taste of a fresh piece of lefse.
My mother and I have become the sole tradition keepers of our family-each year it is reiterated that this will soon pass to just me. My inaugural moment came three years prior when one of the two lefse flippers was given to my possession. There was a ceremony with my mother and grandmother, the flipper, as a sword, was daubed upon my shoulders.
In an effort to assist myself when I do become the sole lefse provider, I have recorded our family's "secret" recipe, with instructions.

Begin by cooking chopped potatoes in boiling water.
Once done, rice the potatoes into a large bowl. This has always been my least favorite task. The one where I just happened to disappear to the other room. Not today.

After the potatoes are all riced and your hands are painfully red, measure out the total amount.

My grandmother's dear friend, and former neighbor in Barron, was Hazel Berg. Her "secret" recipe has become our family's favorite combination of ingredients for lefse.

3 Cups of riced potatoes, cooked
1/2 cup of shortening, melted
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 Tablespoon of cream
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of flour

All these ingredients are mixed in the order given. Grandmother repeated this instruction three times. It's dire to follow it's order.

Mixing potatoes, add ingredients.

Let me not forget the importance of wearing proper attire. Carlson women must donne their Scandinavian aprons, as to not litter their clothing with flour.

Divide the mixture into 20 pieces, shaping into a ball. Let cool for 30 minutes to firm up the dough.

At this time, make sure everything you need is brought near. You will need Christmas music, Diet Coke, perhaps refreshments. Once lefse positions have been taken-one as a roller and one as a flipper-it cannot be unwomaned.

Begin rolling out the dough, turning over once. Use a lefse rolling pin or cloth covered rolling pin, roll into a think circle on a floured surface.

Move from surface to hot griddle. Make sure griddle is ungreased. Bake until lightly fleshed brown, turn to other side. And cool on clean towel.

Once the task has been completed-the worker may enjoy a fresh piece of warm lefse. Delicious.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"There is no fear in love...perfect love drives out fear." 1 John 4:18

"Have you ever thought about fear as an indulgence that we as Christians can't afford? We often think of rich desserts as indulgences, and they certainly can be. But fear is an indulgence, too--one that Christians engage in at least as much (if not more) than Krispy Kreme donuts. We indulge in fear each time we deny a conflict that exist with a friend--even though we know there is a cancer--like silence between us that Satan is probably filling with his lies. We can indulge in fear when we tell ourselves, "I've had enough, I'm done with this." While walking away looks like some kind of primitive strength, it's often a fear "feast" that results in us putting on weight (in the form of concern and anxious thoughts). When fear keeps us from addressing conflict in our lives, it hinders our intimacy with Christ. We'd rather indulge in fear than delight in the love of Christ; yet, if we'd just delight in Perfect Love, scripture says that fear would flee. Leaving fear behind is a bit like dieting. Standing at the freezer with our hand on the door and the ice cream on the other side, sometimes we just have to say aloud, "No." Standing in a conflict feeling sorely tempted to indulge in denial and flight (both grounded in fear), we must call to mind the lavish love of Christ, drop our hands to our side, and remind ourselves that fear is one indulgence we simply cannot afford." The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande