Saturday, December 23, 2023

Fatigmand and Lefse

 We're winding down to the big day. Christmas is not far away.

It's quiet here today, as Tom and I put some finishing touches on a few things, but on Thursday the flour was flying. 

My mother was of German ancestry, but my dad came from Scandinavian stock. I don't know what special foods his mother made, but there must have been potato lefse, because he asked my mother to make it for him. She complained about getting flour all over the kitchen.

On Thursday afternoon Irene and Isaac were here to make fatigmand and lefse. Isaac brought his friend Shayla along to experience a little of what we do for Christmas. She is first generation Bosnian American.

Fatigmand  translates to "poor man's cake", and is basically fried dough flavored with cardomom and rolled in powdered sugar. 

The dough is very elastic and hard to roll out, since it keeps springing back.

The dough is cut into strips, then shorter pieces, and a slit is cut in it. The tail of the strip is pulled through the slit to make a knot. Then it is fried. 

Irene is an expert now. Shayla caught on quickly.

Isaac does the frying.

With the fatigmand done and sugared, it was time to make lefse. 
Rolling out the soft potatoey dough is tricky. It requires a lot of flour to keep it from sticking and has to be rolled very thin. I usually guarded that job for myself, but it was time to let others try. 

Isaac happily turned the job over to Shayla, and prepared some warm lefse to eat right then, with butter and cinnamon sugar. I hoovered. 
Irene will not relinquish her favorite job to any newcomer. She is the master of the lefse stick. 
Shayla wanted to try everything and she caught on well, with only one mess up. That happens to me too. 
Tom does the clean up. He was so fast that I hardly had time to show the mess, the flour all over the kitchen. You can see it all over his shirt though. 

We did a little sampling of our product before they left. It was all good. Another tradition carried on for another year.

Today Tom and I are enjoying sunshine and a little down time. The table is set for Christmas Eve dinner with the family. The turkey stuffing will be made this evening, and the turkey will go into the brine. The BBQ grill will be prepped for cooking and smoking  it tomorrow.

The food is all gathered, the assignments are given. The gifts are all wrapped. Santa  will come. With a lot of help I will once again find myself seated at the head of my family table, sharing a candlelight Christmas dinner with my loved ones. 

Peace and Joy be with you. Merry Christmas!


  1. A most merry Christmas to you and all your family

  2. As a non Scandinavian , I love lefse. Kids used to bring it to me at school. They also told how it was made and it was a family effort.

  3. How beautiful to see those grown-up youngsters taking over the kitchen. Lovely traditions. Merry Christmas! Linda in Kansas

  4. Dear Linda
    I wish you a Merry Christmas with your loved ones!
    It is so nice to continue the Xmas traditions with the younger generation.

  5. I still say you have the most amazing family. I just love you all. And, in this day and time that you have sweet grandchildren who enjoy coming back to grandma and grandpa's to enjoy the baking and cooking. You and Tom are amazing grandparents.

  6. I like that Isaac wears a toque to keep his hair out of the way. I'm certain these lessons the grandchildren have learned, will passed onto the generations to come. So wonderful!
    Merry Christmas to you, Tom, and the entire family!

  7. Merry Christmas. Love seeing all you together cooking.

  8. Thank you for your blog and sharing your family with us. I love your traditions.

  9. No lefsa for us this year, with Jen and Adam being gluten free it is difficult! We may buy some in the store:)

  10. This looks like so much fun and how wonderful to share it with Shayla. Would you believe we copied the Japanese for Christmas and had fried chicken for dinner? Actually, they have Kentucky Fried Chicken, but we had Popeyes. I asked my Tokyo cousin if it was really true and he said yup, apparently many Japanese families have Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas.


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