Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas my family makes lefse. For anyone who doesn’t know what lefse is… I would describe it as similar to a tortilla, but made with potatoes and WAY yummier. That’s right, way yummier. I have been passed the lefse stick as some sort of odd culinary torch passing. Maybe it’s because no one else has the lefse flipping skills that I have (it’s all about the roll). Or maybe it’s because it takes so long to roll out and cook 20 lefse. I think I’ll go with the idea of being especially skilled.
Now, traditionally you eat these rolled up with butter and cinnamon. However, I personally like to roll them up with either turkey or ham and homemade cranberry sauce.
–makes 20 lefse
(original recipe by an old Norwegian woman that is somehow related to my family)
You will need:
A potato ricer (looks like a giant garlic press)
And hopefully a lefse stick… use a spatula if desperate, but a lefse stick really does make all the difference in the world… look online.
1 1/2 pounds of Russet Burbank potatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened completely
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
Let’s Get Started!
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Place into a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer. Keep potatoes at a low simmer until a skewers lips in easily, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and allow to sit until cool enough to handle.
Put potatoes through a ricer. Beat in butter, cream, sugar, and salt. Refrigerate overnight, uncovered.
Add flour. Stir until well blended. Divide into 20 equal portions. Heat electric griddle to 400 degrees.
On a floured surface, roll out the balls of dough until very thin, making circles about 10-12″ in diameter. Using a lefse stick, transfer to the heated griddle and cook on each side. Stack between two terrycloth towels and cover with a plastic bag.
My second batch turned out soooo much better than my first. This time I switched it up a teeny bit and used 80% organic olive oil and 20% lard (for more of a lather), organic milk, with 4 tablespoons of Frühlingskabine honey. My new and improved soap is a consistent creamy texture, smells nice, and even made some suds when I washed my hands from cutting it into bars. Success! Now I just have to learn patience and wait 4-6 weeks for it to cure and harden before using it. Erg…
I used a 6% super fat in my recipe just to be on the safe side. This recipe uses 56 ounces of fats/oils. I used this lye calculator to figure out how much lye to use.
See? I am learning German! Albeit, knowing the word for “bread” in German is not that impressive, I didn’t have to look it up… so give me some credit. I think I have vastly improved in my bread making abilities this year. Now I can make and sustain a sourdough starter from scratch, make a highly sought after flat bread (great for parties), and also make a no-knead bread that is perfectly crispy on the outside, yet soft and airy on the inside. Life doesn’t get much better than fresh bread folks!
I have created my own no-knead bread recipe that utilizes a cast iron 5 quart Dutch oven in order to give the bread a soft inside and a crispy outside. It’s like the goldilocks of breads and this recipe is my new go-to since it can be made in just a few hours.
:: Frühlingskabine Brot (Bread) ::
makes one huge loaf
Mix together in a stand mixer bowl and allow to sit until foamy (about 10 minutes):
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
6 cups flour
3 tsp sea salt
Mix thoroughly with the hook attachment. Cover the bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for 4-8 hours. I like to preheat the oven a tiny bit on cold days, just enough to take the chill off, and then allow the dough to sit in the oven with the light on.
The dough is ready when it has doubled in size and the surface is dotted with air bubbles. Flour your hands and remove the dough from the bowl. Fold it over itself in your hands once or twice. Lightly flour the bowl and the dough, and replace the dough back into the bowl. Cover again and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 475*F with the cast iron Dutch oven inside. A 5-quart Dutch oven should be plenty big for one loaf, but feel free to use a larger size.
Place the dough in the Dutch oven seam-side up and place the lid on the Dutch oven. Let bake closed for 40 minutes and then remove the lid for 5 additional minutes to crisp the outside crust. Remove the bread from the oven and allow the Dutch oven to cool safely on the rack inside your oven. It’s tempting, but wait at least 30 minutes before cutting into your bread to get the best results.
(“enjoy” in German)
Ah, it feels good to be drowning in baby rabbits. Big, healthy, piggy rabbits. And rabbit mothers who pull wool and nurse their kits for that matter! Hallelujah for that! Khaleesi was a perfect lady and kindled her litter of five kits –very tidily I might add– sometime last night. Rabbits usually like to kindle during the dark hours of the night, probably as a survival instinct. She is a first-time mother, but built an awesome nest and didn’t freak out and knock over the nest box. That gives her extra points as a keeper in my book.
On average, a French angora can kindle anywhere from four to eight kits, however I have had a litter of eleven before and one breeder I know said she had a litter of 24! When people ask me how many babies a dam can have, I always say ‘anywhere from zero to eight’. I always include zero as a possibility because rabbits are so difficult to palpate to assess if they are pregnant. So keep that in mind guys when you want to breed rabbits. You could end up with 24 squirmy little rabbits! (Or zero.) And that leads me to my last point, baby rabbits are sooooo hard to take pictures of. Like, impossible folks. All you end up with is ten photos of blurry blobs surrounded by what looks like an exploded pillow.
I decided that the subject of hand feeding rabbit kits needed a little more of the spotlight since it is occupying about two hours of my day now. While feeding baby rabbits from an eye-dropper is darn cute, it is not easy and requires a lot of devotion.
Here is a link to my Rabbit Formula post with the recipe, but the “double batch” recipe is also included in the video.
Phew! I just spent the last two hours preparing and canning 13 half-pints of Kumquat Curd. Only 12 half-pints would fit in the pressure canner, so the last jar is in the refrigerator waiting to be consumed. It won’t last a week in this house… I’m eyeballing it already.
If you want to can some of your own homemade Kumquat Curd (can you say awesome holiday gift?), check out the recipe. Be sure to leave 1/2″ headspace, and then using your pressure canner, can for 10 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure (add 5 pounds of pressure if you are canning above 1,000 feet). Easy peasy!
As long as we only eat 1 half-pint jar (8 ounces) per month, we will have plenty to last until next summer.