We had to miss an important part of Skatje and Kyle’s wedding, because we had an early morning flight the next day: the making of the lefse. That’s right, my weird daughter spent her wedding night making lefse for friends and family.


She’s good at it, too — she can roll it out as thin and light as my grandmother did.

At least now she’s stopped cooking and is off on her honeymoon, in spectacular Iceland.


  1. says

    There are photos of lefse making, though. But it’s on facebook, so maybe you aren’t allowed to see that photoset.

  2. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Holding hard to her Scandanavian roots, I see.

    Lefse is specifically the Norwegian term, isn’t it? Are you of Norwegian descent, PZ? Feel free to tell me to stop being nosy if I’m crossing a line.

  3. strangerinastrangeland says

    I hope your daugher will have a great time here (in Iceland). Plenty of sunshine in the last couple of weeks- at least in the South-West around Reykjavik – and daylight between 4 am and 11 pm. Now if the temperatures would rise a little bit more (10 °C would be nice) you could think that spring is finally coming.

  4. Trebuchet says

    @3, Thumper: I think PZ has talked about his Norwegian ancestry many times. Could be wrong, of course.

    What’s next, lutefisk?

  5. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ Trebuchet

    I am aware PZ is of Scandinavian descent, but not specifically Norwegian. It’s entirely possible I have simply missed it, or forgotten.

  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @trebuchet, #5:

    There was at least one whole post about lutefisk. It was in reference to family gatherings/celebrations – possibly Christmas or solstice or something wintery, but I think it was actually Thanksgiving. You can of course go ogle the site using search. This is one example of how to do it:

    Note that the order of the search term and the search domain don’t matter.

  7. says

    But naturally PZ is Norwegian. All the best people are.

    I’m a lefse heretic: the whole elaborate panoply of rollers and lifters and widgets wasn’t on order at all in Bestamor’s kitchen. Just mashed potato and flour, thwacked between the hands like a tortilla until it was the right thinness and cooked on a hot dry skillet. Then butter, sugar and cinnamon.

  8. phein39 says

    If I want to infuriate my Paulsen mother-in-law, all I have to do is refer to her lefse as Norwegian tortillas.

    Gets her every time.

  9. gmacs says

    Just mashed potato and flour, thwacked between the hands like a tortilla

    Oh, you poor soul. I have no idea why the majority of Norwegian American families (or are you actually from Norway?) insist on making potetlefse. I’m always told my family’s buttermilk lefse isn’t real lefse, but I think it’s tastier and less mealy. Maybe leaving out potatoes is an Iowa thing.

    The worst though was when my aunt tried to coat the lefse in cornmeal. Ruined both the flavor and texture, and when I was helping her hydrate them (is this a necessary step with the potatoes?) they kept breaking.

  10. trixiefromthelurk says

    Growing up, we always called it “stump”. Not sure why. I remember preferring it cold, with butter. It never occurred to anybody to eat it with sugar and cinnamon, but then again, my parents and grandparents were pretty stingy with sugar. But it was a big treat when all the cousins came over. I think it is a Norwegian thing. My husband, who is of Icelandic descent, can’t understand the appeal. But for him, dried out whitefish smeared with butter is good. I can’t explain that.
    Thanks for the flashback, PZed.
    /back to the lurk, all misty eyed.

  11. MadHatter says

    Your daughter and her husband are totally adorable PZ. Thank you for sharing :) I hope they have a great time in Iceland!

  12. rrhain says

    So is she a roller or a turner? When we got old enough, my sister and I were recruited for the making of the lefse: She rolled it out, and I cooked it. It was my only way to have some vague “final word” with my older sister. As any roller can tell you, every now and again the lefse will stick to the rolling pin as you try to roll it out on the griddle, falling off in a lump. Depending on how bad, the turner might be able to rescue it but sometimes, you have to just quickly pick it up and throw it back before it starts to cook.

    She always hated me when I did that.

    Lutefisk, on the other hand…I don’t know why my father kept trying to convince me that “it tastes like lobster.” No, Dad, it doesn’t. I’ve had lobster and this tastes nothing like it. It’s fish Jell-O with the bones still in. Oh, I hated Christmas. The only thing I could stomach eating were peas, potatoes, and lefse. Lutefisk and Swedish meatballs? Ick!

  13. Kimpatsu says

    “Making lefse”.
    Is this a new euphemism? It certainly puts the “rolled out thin” explanation in a new light…

  14. Nerull says

    Photographer here – I made the album public, so more can see. As the full album shows, Skatje manages to roll and flip simultaneously, getting one tolled out while another is cooking. I’d never had lefse before – it was delicious.

  15. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Oh, sounds a bit like tattie scones. But they don’t have milk or cream.

  16. chigau (違う) says

    Thank you very much from a Facebook averse.
    Is that a dedicated lefse cooking device?

  17. Menyambal says

    Nerull, thanks for the non-Facebook.

    When I was a lad, we somehow got a lefse cooker in southern Missouri. We used it for making flour tortillas. I figured out to cook them low and slow so they stayed pliable (and to not let anyone else know I could do that, so I would not have to be the cook).

    We never knew what the lefse recipe was, as that was before the internet. Mom had learned to make tortillas from a Mexican lady. (You kids and your damn electronic knowledge.) Potato, huh? We used to make doughnuts with potato in them.