A New Generation of Lefse Makers

My mother-in-law, Sharon, gave me the title for this post.  She didn't intend to, but it was the caption she gave a photo of our lefse making session a couple weeks back.  It seems an apt title in a couple of ways.
The most obvious is that Matt and I really are the next generation of lefse makers.   Sharon is teaching us the tricks and techniques as her mother taught her.
The less obvious reason it is an apt title is this is, indeed, a new generation of lefse iteslf--veganized by my incredibly thoughtful mother-in-law.
While I won't give away this family recipe that is not really mine to give I will give away the secret to non-dairy lefsa, just in case it proves helpful to some other lefse-loving vegan or dairy-free person.  The secret is to replace the cream with coconut milk and the butter with Earth Balance.  Its just that easy.  A simple straight across substitution.  Everything else is exactly the same.  And the end result doesn't take of coconut whatsoever.
Bethany is my full first name.  We were rolling out our dough on a Bethany Pastry Cloth.  I liked that.
Even Roger, Matt's dad, a very meat-and-potatoes fellow who does not enjoy the coconut said he could not tell the difference between the traditional recipe and the vegan recipe.  To my mind, that is really saying something.  Sharon said it was no more difficult to work with than the traditional recipe--though it sure seemed like a pain to work with to us novices that kept ripping holes in the paper thin rounds of dough when trying to lift them on to the griddle with the thin stick used for handling the tender dough.
This new lefse recipe makes me oh so happy.  See, lefsa holds a very special place in my heart.  I've been eating lefsa at every holiday for as long as I can remember--up until I dropped dairy from my diet six or seven years ago.  The community where my mother grew up is regionally famous for its Lefsa Shack which sells its product across the state.  I can remember touring the place as a very young girl.  Lefsa filled with butter and a mixture of white and brown sugar was always present on the table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter my whole childhood.  It was always relished as the sweet, wonderful treat it is.  As such, I nearly cried with happiness and gratitude when Sharon brought out vegan lefsa at Thanksgiving.  It was a tasty treat to be sure, but it also is sweet with nostalgia for me.
And now Matt and I know how to make lefsa.  Not well, mind you, but there will be time to practice.  There are still a bag of them in the freezer for a rainy day...or maybe just for dessert tonight.  We'll see.


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