Lefse Was Hot off the Griddle at the National Lefse Cook-Off
The National Lefse Cook-Off
Where can you go to find the best lefse in town? Why, the National Lefse Cook-off, of course!
The National Lefse Cook-Off was held in Barnesville, Minn. on Friday, August 28, 2009. The contest was part of Barnesville's annual "Potato Days" celebration in honor of the wealth that the many varieties of potatoes bring to the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota. Not to mention that Barnesville is in the middle of Scandinavian lefse-making country!
A Family Affair
While visiting with folks at the National Lefse Cook-off, LefseStore.com talked with several of the contestants and ardent observers along the way. Each contestant had a special approach to making her lefse. The best part of the day was seeing several families work together on their lefse skills. This included moms and daughters, aunts and nieces, husbands and wives, grandpas and grandsons, and a smattering of hearty souls going it alone.
And, the Winner is....
The best lefse was chosen based on taste and texture. Each contestant selected his or her best lefse slice and submitted it to the judges without butter or sugar or any other embellishments. And, the winner was Morrie Howland from Big Stone City, South Dakota. Morrie took second place last year, but pulled out some more magic this year to claim first prize.
What was special about Morrie's lefse? Morrie says that the key to his success is practice, practice, practice. He swears by mashing his potatoes first and then putting them through the potato ricer. His lefse was especially fluffy. And, at 89 years young, Morrie should know all about that one! Morrie is joined by his wife, Alilce, and brother and sister-in-law when he travels to this lefse contest. His brother carries his equipment to give Morrie a hand.
Mavis' Advice about Rolling Pins
Mavis worked hard at her cook-off station, too. Mavis said that she prefers the square cut rolling pin for her lefse. She said that it leaves little nubs in the lefse so that the lefse browns better. LefseStore.com will have to give that one a try, too.
Reactions from the Crowd
Duane, Mary, Janice, and Jim were a dedicated group of cook-off watchers who compared lefse notes with LefseStore.com. They had heard about the National Lefse Cook-off on the Food Channel and decided that Barnesville was the place to be. Duane and Mary are of Dutch and German backgrounds, but they find themselves surrounded by Norwegian neighbors in their hometown. Mary said, "We could smell the lutefisk and lefse suppers a mile away at their Norwegian Lutheran Church." What could they do?! They decided to join the fun and make lefse with their neighbors.
"Now we get together with friends about two times a year and make a big batch of lefse. We get such a kick out of getting together and making lefse that it almost means more than eating it," said Duane.
But, Mary has a pressing question. Has anyone ever used sour cream in their lefse dough? Silence gave her the answer.