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Bob Lind, Published July 29 2012

Lind: More readers weigh in on lefse toppings debate

Forum readers continue to send in their thoughts about that delicacy called lefse – and what to put on it. Here are some recent emails about it.

From Orleen Sip, Ada, Minn.: “I’m Norwegian and I enjoy eating and making lefse occasionally.

“I married a Bohemian, and they ate lefse as an everyday thing when there was leftover mashed potatoes from dinner.

“Their supper was ‘plutsky,’ as they called it. They were baked on top of the wood cookstove and put on a plate and greased with melted lard with a brush made by weaving goose feathers together. They put sugar on and another (lefse) plutsky on top till there was a large stack, and they ate it while it was warm.

“My daughter-in-law’s father (Norwegian) wrapped his lefse around lutefisk.”

From Anne Pederson, Fertile, Minn.: “I have been following all the information on lefse and the butter vs. sugar comments. Here is my take on this:

“When I have lefse with a meal, such as lutefisk, meatballs, etc., I like only butter on it. However, if I want a piece of lefse for a snack along with a cup of coffee, I like it with a sprinkling of sugar.

“That settles it – for me, anyway!”

From Reuben Braaten, Casselton, N.D.: “My folks, Ernest and Eva Braaten, who lived in Manfred, N.D., made and sold lots of lefse back in the ’30s and ’40s.

“Dad made a ‘lefse turner’ out of a lath with a point on the end. Mother would make the dough and roll it out, and Dad would place in on the wood-burning kitchen stove with the lefse turner. The lefse would have some dark rings on it from the opening around the lids on the stove.

“I was interested in the food that was put on the lefse to eat. My favorite was fried bacon (not crisp) placed on a buttered lefse. It was the best-tasting lefse!”

From Annette (Malheim) Kisser, formerly of Fargo, Havana and Rutland, N.D., and now of Circle Pines, Minn.: “When February arrives and you are still eating lefse from November because you used 50 pounds of potatoes, lefse gets a little boring until you slather the whole round with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or with garlic powder and parmesan cheese, and bake it on a cookie sheet until crispy. A whole new treat!”

From Bill Belyea, Fargo: “When I was a pre-teen and in my early teens, I worked for a retired farm couple who moved to town (Larimore, N.D.) in the ’60s.

“They were the truest Norskis if there ever were any. Both came to America from Norway as toddlers with their parents in the mid-1890s.

“Along with the wonderful Norwegian cookies she’d make from scratch, her homemade lefse was truly a delight.

“Though I was raised eating lefse with butter and sugar, they would put butter on it, roll it and dip it in maple syrup poured into small bowls that were her mother’s, and she was so proud of them.

“So today, 40-some years later, every once in a while, I’ll eat my lefse by dipping it in maple syrup and think of those two wonderful people who fed me lots of old Norski delights and told me stories of farming in the McCanna, N.D., area in the early 20th century.”

In fact, Bill concludes, “I think I’ll stop after work (at DMI Industries, West Fargo), get a bottle of syrup and some lefse and remember my two old friends and go back to the memories of my childhood.”

Nothing like lefse to stir up pleasant memories, regardless of what you put on it, right, neighbors?

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com