Lefse Ladies Share Tricks of the Trade

Lefse Ladies Share Tricks of the Trade

November 24, 2020 News -- KRJB-KRJM-KKCQ 0

By Mark Askelson markkrjb@loretel.net (11/24/20)

Ada, MN — If you have any Norwegian in your bloodline, you can’t have a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal without one staple food: lefse. Whether you prefer it with butter, sugar, or both, there’s bound to be lefse on the dinner table. While the tradition of eating lefse seems to be holding steady, finding local people who have mastered the craft is getting more and more difficult, and this year even more so as the local so called “lefse ladies” are taking the year off. The Lefse Ladies we are referring too are sisters Danette Gwin and Brenda Wagner who have been making lefse on a seasonal basis for people in the Ada and surrounding communities for the past couple decades. Gwin has been making it the longest having learned the skill from her grandmother and eventually coaching her sister in the craft. 

The ingredients in lefse are minimal, including potatoes, flour, butter, and milk or cream. And while everyone certainly adds their own twist or take on it, the lefse ladies says the key to making the best lefse is making it thin and using minimal flour.

Danette and Brenda on a busy year will go through close to 1000 pounds of potatoes, which they source locally, to make lefse for people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, but they’ve also made it on special occasions such as Easter or even weddings. During their busy time, they’ll spend countless hours trying to keep up with their orders. While they do get some income for their labors, the biggest reward according to Brenda, is being able to provide people all over the region with a quality, traditional product and knowing how much they appreciate it.

Despite it being a difficult skill to master, the Lefse Ladies strongly encourage people who are interested to give it a try. They even offer a few helpful tips and do’s and don’ts from their many years of experience.

Although the lefse ladies aren’t making any lefse this year for health reasons, they hope to be back and running for next year’s holiday season. Listen to the full, fun conversation about lefse with Danette and Brenda this year Wednesday at 11am on 106.5 KRJB.