By 1925, one-third of Norway's population had immigrated to the United States. Many of them subsequently moved to western Canada. By 1921, one-third of Norwegians living in Canada were born south of the border, and many more had come directly from Norway. In the census of 1911, there were 7,600 Norwegians in Saskatchewan. A decade later, that had quadrupled to 31,000.
That's a lot of lefse and lutefisk (a type of fish). Other Norwegian foods include krum kager and sandbakkels (types of cookies) and open faced "smorbrod" sandwiches of smoked fish, hard boiled eggs, ham, cheese and cucumber. Traditionally, lefse is not made with potatoes. However, that is the most common version found in prairie cookbooks.
It's usually spread with butter, sprinkled with sugar and rolled up like a cigar. It's good with maple syrup, too.
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
Mix everything to a smooth dough. Wrap and rest 30 minutes. Break off nubs of dough and roll to a thin circle, about 1/8 inch thick. The size of the circle may depend on the size of your skillet. Lightly grease a skillet, heat on medium and cook lefse one at a time, turning when the top is bubbled and the bottom has lightly browned. Lefse freezes well so make a big batch.
Do you have a favourite recipe brought to Saskatchewan by the pioneers? Send me a comment. Follow me at twitter.com/prairiefeast.
Lefse cooking in a lightly-oiled skillet.
(This article first appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.)