Lefse endures as a favorite Scandinavian dish during the holidays

Holidays are a time for family tradition, especially in the kitchen.

Beyond just sugar and spice, one very popular Scandinavian favorite is all about the potatoes, butter and cream.

"Lefse is pretty simple," says Lois Sonstegard. "Lefse is a lot of potatoes, lots of cream, lots of butter and then there's some flour and that's about it." 

Lefse making is a tradition passed down for many generations in the Sonstegard family which immigrated from Norway. These days, Lois gathers her own family, daughter Liv and son Nate and their families for a lefse-making party once a year leading up to Christmas.

"For me it's just being with family and this is part of our heritage and it's uniquely Norwegian," says Liv Williamsen. 

Lefse, pronounced, LEFF-suh, looks a lot like a tortilla and the process of making it can take about two days.

There's the peeling of potatoes, mashing them to get the lumps out, adding the cream and making the dough balls before rolling them out and putting them on the griddle.

It's a process that walks them right into the past when people had to work with what they had.

"Norway as a country is pretty mountainous and so in the old days what people had for livelihood was fishing or sheep and in the tough soil you could plant potatoes and grow them," adds Lois.

The finished product can be topped anything sweet or savory and rolled up.  But it may be best topped simply with butter and brown sugar.