Lefse Stories

Bakke Lefse “Luvsa” story

A tradition that the Bakke’s are a part of once again. The Bakke “Luvsa” Tradition is carried on from the famous Leo & Alice “Luvsa” making début back in the 1990’s. Leo & Alice Bakke knew all their kids loved lefse, and taught them that a gift of the heart was one of the best gifts someone could give or receive. Alice gave Leo a potato peeler and told him to start peeling potatoes one fall morning. Without too many words said at the task Leo knew it was best to peel until Alice gave another instruction.

The peeling could have lasted for days but the dedicated couplecontinued knowing they had 5 children and each family would enjoy their own batch of lefse. (if not mistaken it is 10# to a batch). The oldest girls would fight over the potatoes while clearing the supper table. It was a must that Alice prepared plenty thus recruiting Leo’s help. That holiday season Leo and Alice handed out the batches of lefse while telling the kids, “Dad and I made “LUVSA” all the kids looked with open mouths and proclaimed “WHAT?, you did What! Mom!… Dad!… NICE!…”

Alice and Leo blushed and tried to explain while the happy sounds of laughter took over the house. Alice gave up trying to explain and handed out the lefse with a smile and blushed cheeks.
Each year after that Alice and Leo invited their children and grandchildren to join them at the Farmhouse the day after Thanksgiving to make lefse together for the holiday season. The tradition was carried on after the loss of Leo. Alice hosted the many fun times until 2010 then one of the granddaughters continues the tradition. The Bakke Holiday would not be the same with out Luvsa!

Allison Bakke Peterson

2017-11-13T22:43:32+00:00By |

Lefse in the Navy, a memorable experience

Submitted by Jim Berg, Albert Lea, MN

LEFSA IN THE NAVY, A memorable experience

It was 1947, I was in the U.S. Navy. I was a journalist on board various ships in the Pacific.
We were in Tsing Tao China at the moment and it was just about Christmas time. Being a good Norsky, I just had to have my Lefsa at Christmas time.

I got an idea, lets see if we could make some on board the ship. First I had to get the recipe from Mom…..That done I asked the cooks on board the ship if they could save me some potatoes one night so that we could make some Lefsa.
I found a friend, “A Norsky” to help and he casually JUMPED AT THE CHANCE.

They saved some all right, picture a metal pan 24 inched across and piled to overflowing with boiled, pealed potatoes. It was the beginning of a love affair. Well we had to “rice them” but we didn’t have a ricer. The cooks had worked all day so they left me and a friend in the mess hall ricing the potatoes our way. They were fully cooked so we squeezed them with our hands but not quite mashing them. you have to have a little coarseness to make good Potato Lefsa.

We had flour, and all the rest of the ingredients. We had a rolling pin, not serrated but smooth. (Serrated is better). We had a good table, and a good oven. (They would not let us have the grill during the night, but the ovens were on all night long.(Had to bake bread in the morning)). It was built much like a Pizza oven is today. (They baked bread, pies, cakes and cookies in these ovens. We used the top oven with the doors open because the rest were too hot.

So we proceeded to roll out the Lefsa. The First few may have been a little thick, not to round, or had one problem or another, a potato lump here or there,but we proceeded to learn, learn from the memory of Mother making lefsa for the Holidays.

We found the butter in the refrigerator, and the first lefsa’s even though they were not round, tasted absolutely delicious. The whole procedure was a bellyful of laughs all night. The more we rolled the better they became. The better they became, the more we ate. We finally ended up with a stack of Lefsa bout 15 to 18 inches high, (Folded over in Quarters)

They were quite large in size, about 15 to 20 inches in for each of them. Now here was the hard part. We DID NOT have a Lefsa Stick. We used 2 Cake frosting spatula’s to pick them up because the ovens were only about 10 or 11 inches high. Picking up Lefsa with 2 spatulas is a little tricky. When you have them lifted off of the table the lefsa looks like an M hanging from the spatula’s.

Now you have to get them to the top oven to get them to cook the right way. We would loose some of them along the way because of the sharpness of the spatula’s. But we succeeded, we got us a good stack of edible Lefsa.

Now comes the fun part……Christmas day….. My friend and I Pick up the lefsa, our Navy Trays, utensils and preceded to Chow Don On Christmas Day.

On the way to our table we heard some comments like, “Where the HE–double toothpicks did you get Lefsa?? Of course we could not refuse good Norskies, so we asked them to join us at a separate table and then we all shared (being in China) a Norsky, Chinese Christmas.

Are not memories fun. Fun to relive the past, Fun to be with Friends, and Fun to be with your brothers and sisters, in thought word and deed………..and fun to be with YOUR FAMILY……

Anybody out there remember on board ship that Christmas of 1947?…………..
Ole from Minnesota………………………….. AKA Jim Berg, on the corner of I-35 and I-90….


Please see Jim’s version of Lefse History.

2017-11-13T22:43:32+00:00By |

Lefse making: An annual friendship event

Submitted by Harriet Johnson Champlin, MNHi, 

I am submitting the following lefse story. As you can see, we have a great time together making lefse!

Every year since 1989 four culturally diverse friends (one Irish, one German, two Scandinavians) have been getting together at a Minnesota resort to make lefse. We tote our lefse grill, supplies and potatoes and spend a couple of days making lefse, relaxing, laughing a lot and eating a lot. This year our German friend wanted to learn how to make Krumkake so we added that to our agenda.

Only the Scandinavians are allowed to mix, roll and bake. The “others” are relegated to ball-rolling, folding, and bagging. We have kept a diary of our good times together. Here is just one example:

H rolled, C wielded the stick, and S & K rolled perfect balls and performed other schlepping duties as directed. Multi-tasking is NOT an option for C & H…unlike S & K who seem to do any and all tasks assigned to them. One of the “other duties as assigned” performed by S & K was to act as the esteemed panel of judges rating every little lefse as it left the grill. When asked if the lefse were perfect, the esteemed panel replied, “Oh Ya!”. Anything that was less than perfect was given to S to consume. One lefse ball fell to the floor – S was directed to eat the discounted floor model. There was a mention made of the lefse grill being multi-purpose…things other than lefse could be grilled. K asked if that wouldn’t desecrate said grill – H commented it would since it is, indeed, the “holy grill.”

We have similar entries for each and every year. As you can see, we have turned our lefse making into an annual friendship event. We can’t wait for next year’s event!!

2013-09-27T20:12:52+00:00By |

Lefse that my Dad would be proud of.

Submitted by Joyce Linthicum, MD

Good Morning,

I have to tell you about my experience with your company. When I ordered I made an error, you took care of it right away, thank you so much. The rolling pin should be back to you already if not then in the next day or 2.

I had never made lefse before. I grew up in Seattle, In 1981 I marred I guy in the Coast Guard, and eventually I moved from Seattle in 1985. My Dad’s Mother was the one who made Lefse, frankly I never really cared how she made it just that she made it. My Dad loved it and his mother would always make it at the holiday. As my Grandmother aged, she cooked less and less. She would still make lefse at the holiday, but not as much as she use to.

So about 15 years ago, my Dad decided that he would learn to make it. So he bought the griddle, and from what my mother told me it was a mess. Flour every where and not a very good result. Eventually someone gave him a recipe using Instant Potatoes, and that was better. So that is what they used. Now my Mother really doesn’t like Lefse, but she would help.

In 1999 my Father passed away. So when I was in Seattle, I took the Griddle, that was really all the Lefse making items that they had. Oh they had a really nice painted lefse turner, but my mother kept that…I knew that my Mother would NEVER make it so there was no point in her keeping it.

With all my good intentions I brought the Griddle home. My husband said “what is that?” I said “a lefse Griddle” he said “do you make Lefse?” enough said right…

Well that was 10 years ago. So I decided that this was my year to give it a try. I found your site read all about lefse making. Ordered all the items that I thought that I would need. Also copied the recipe and directions. Of course during this time my mother was sending me all the directions and the “Instant potato” recipe that she thought that I would need. This from 3,000 miles away. I politely told her that if I was going to do this I was going to do it the “real” way. They made it their way let me do it my way. She went on to tell me that it was hard, they would be tough…..

I want to tell you, with your recipe, and the directions. I made PERFECT Lefse the first time. It was light, not tough and more than that I found it pretty easy to make.

Sorry to bore you with the long family story, but I wanted to share with you how wonderful it was for me to be able to do this on my own. Your site made it easy for me to do it right. Although my Dad and Grandmother are both gone now, I think that they would be proud.


2013-09-27T20:12:52+00:00By |

Lefse Christmas

Submitted by (Grandma) Jeanne Wirsbinski and (Daughter) Julie Akason and our families

My mother’s family, of Norwegian descent, has passed down the tradition of baking lefse. My grandmother, mother, uncles and now my sister are the experts upon whom we have depended on for our supply of the good stuff.

This year, my daughter’s 16-year-old twin sons (we call them our “Minnesota Twins”) had an unusual request for a teenager’s Christmas gift: lefse-making equipment. They wanted to learn how to make that delicious treat, too.

Well, Julie ordered your lefse kit, and we started our own tradition of baking lefse in my kitchen for our Christmas dinner. Her boys and their cousins donned aprons (I made a colorful chef’s apron for each), and everyone took turns rolling and baking. Even my Polish husband (a/k/a Grandpa Joe) made tender, tasty lefse. It was wonderful! We made two batches, enough for our Christmas dinner and a few leftovers for each family to take home.

We look forward to our next lefse gathering and our new tradition of “Lefse Christmas.” Your quality supplies were a big part of our success, along with a good share of beginner’s luck.

Since I love taking pictures, I documented the day and am attaching some to share with you and your staff. (photos coming soon)

2013-09-27T20:12:52+00:00By |
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