Blog, Recipes

Lefse: A Finstad Holiday Tradition

By: Kristen Darkow

Can you believe it’s already the week of Thanksgiving? From the family gatherings to the annual traditions, this time of year can be so fun. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday traditions that my family has done since as long as I can remember (and, in fact, much before I was ever in the picture).


If you haven’t had lefse or don’t know what it is, here’s the Google definition: Lefse (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈlɛfsə]) is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. It is made with potatoes, flour, butter, and milk or cream. It is cooked on a large, flat griddle. Special tools are used to prepare lefse, including long wooden turning sticks and special rolling pins with deep grooves.

As I shared in my blog post about my Ancestry DNA results (which you can read here), I am almost entirely Scandinavian, which means many of our family traditions had been brought over from Norway generations ago. 🙂 In fact, we still use my great-grandma’s exact lefse recipe passed down to her! While I won’t be sharing her exact recipe, you can find a similar one here if you want to attempt some lefse yourself!

What I will be sharing today, though, is a whole bunch of photos from our annual lefse factory. Enjoy!

This must be from 1995 I imagine! My brother Mark and me!

A rolling pin as small as me!
Patiently waiting for the lefse to be done!

My cousin, Alex, and me!
I think I’m in 4th grade here!

My brother Mark, me and my dad!
Officially hitting my awkward years 🙂 I think this is 7th grade?

My childhood pup, Dusty. 🙂
My mom and dad!
Hmm, this must be 8th grade?
Early high school
Senior year of high school I think!

Back home from college for holiday break and ready to make some lefse!

I think this was 2014, the year I graduated college. My buddy, Harvey, and me!

In 2017, Andrew came to my parents for Thanksgiving for the first time and learned how to make lefse!
He’s a natural. 🙂

There’s our little walk down memory lane!


If you plan on enjoying some lefse of your own, just butter it, and add some sugar, cinnamon sugar, or brown sugar! Those are the typical ways to eat it. We also use it to make Norwegian breakfast burritos – we just fill it with eggs, sausage, cheese, etc. and drizzle it with hollandaise sauce. It is phenomenal!

Have you tried lefse? Homemade or storebought? Share with us in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Lefse: A Finstad Holiday Tradition”

  1. I began making lefse with my grandma & grandpa when I was a kid and I’m so glad I took the time to learn the ‘craft’ from them and to be able to pass it on to my own family. I have wonderful memories of my grandparents, and they lived right across the street from us and were so much fun to hang out with! The best compliment I ever got (at least on lefse making) was the year after Gram died, we had Grampa over for dinner and served lefse. With tears in his eyes he smiled and said “it’s just as good as Grandma’s!”

    1. I love that story! I wish I could’ve met them! Hopefully we can teach our kids someday too and keep the tradition going. 🙂

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