The manly art of Lefse making.

Where have I been?

Yes, it has been quite a while since I updated this blog, and I apologize profusely for that. I have been traveling for the past two weeks. Driving long hours, visiting wonderful places and people. Fun was had, but blogging went by the wayside. I finally made it back home this weekend for an annual tradition. Lefsa day.

For those of you unfamiliar with lefse let me just say…you are missing out. This Norwegian flat bread is the basis for an extraordinary cuisine that includes a jelly-like white fish treated with lye and stacked like cord-wood behind the cabin in the winter cold, rich, bland cream sauces, and macaroni boiled to within an inch of it’s life. (In Norwegian al dente means ‘not yet done’.) Thank the Lord for Swedish Meatballs or I would not have survived my church’s annual Lutefisk dinners.

But the shining star of the blond, bland traditional Norwegian cuisine…is Lefse!

Lefse

Lefse

This incredibly versatile and almost tasteless flat bread is made of mashed potatoes, flour, cream, butter and salt. Now come on, can you get any blander than that?

Okay, I hear you asking…what’s the big deal?

My friends…here is the big deal. Behold my vast array of lefse making tools:

Lefse tools

Lefse tools

What is that implement in the center you may ask? (go ahead…you may ask.)

Lefse Sword

Lefse Sword

Yes, that is my Lefse Sword. If ever one food reflected the proud bearing of a cuisine…a people…Nay, A NATION! it is Lefse. For Lefse is made with a sword!

Oh how those hearty vikings, fresh from the rape and pillage of Europe must have looked forward to wielding their swords in the kitchen upon their return to Norway. Hearty men in horned helms flinging bland flat bread on to table and shield in a quest to find something…anything…that would make that lye soaked fish palatable.

Now woman, stand back, for this is a manly art, and not for the faint of heart.

Balls of cold dough…

rolled so thin you can almost see through them.

Then the sword is applied…

to move the thin pastry to the griddle.

Brave Warriors

It is the truest mark of a man’s skill at arms.

At my side was my trusty sword-mate (my niece’s husband) Matt. He learned the craft at my knee a bare three years ago. The boy became a man that day, and has since upheld the annual tradition that is Lefse Day.

Lefse is once again available for meals, for snacks (it isn’t just for breakfast anymore). A dinner roll replacement with butter, a wrap for sandwich fixings, a basis for hundreds of different meals, snacks and desserts. This flexible food has limitless options, and only wants for a bit of imagination. Don’t take my word for it. Look here: http://www.norskenook.com/index.cfm?event=galleryView&galleryid=670&photoIndex=2&page=1

If we are frugal, our batch will last through the holidays, though most years I am forced into making a second batch. Gladly do I draw my sword and march once again into battle. For we must have lefse forĀ  Christmas. But there will come that day, usually late into a cold, snowy January, when the lefse runs out. Then we must wait, and do without lefse, the rest of that cold, dark year, for the grand tradition that is…LEFSE DAY!

Until next time (munch, munch),

Steve

The Creative Process

Lately I’ve found myself with so many creative irons in the fire I’m jumping from one thing to the next. Some days I find myself writing in the morning, doing Music for the the New IRPMUS Gaming system in the afternoon and attending play practice in the evening. I can’t remember ever being so happily busy. There is something about hanging out with creative people that is stimulating.

A few days ago I attended a meeting of my local writers group, where we discussed self-publishing and publishing in general. Being the most advanced of the group I was happy to share my knowledge. Later that evening I was struggling to learn a Jazz Box dance step for our theater production. (I’m not much of a dancer.) A couple of the young people stepped up to help me out. It’s got me thinking lately about the creative community, and how different it is from the corporate atmosphere I worked in most of my life. People climbing the corporate ladder tend to push or hold others down as they work their way to the top. My experience in the creative communities is that others tend to want to pull you up with them.

With that thought in mind, I’d like to highlight some creative people on the way up, that could use a helping hand. A couple of guys from my IRPMUS Live Improv Group have struck out to create a game system from our onstage lunacy, and from what I can see they have a pretty creative product in production. To help get started they created a Kickstarter campaign. I myself have signed on at the Pig Snouted Goblin level, and am looking forward to receiving the game system and other benefits of this level, which look to be a bargain.

If you’ve got a bit of time, stop by and check out the IRPMUS Ultimate Role Playing Game Kickstarter at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nhgames/irpmus-ultimate-role-playing-game

You can get in for as little as $2.00 on something unique and creative.
Until next time,

Steve