So…What Did I Get In The Mail?

 A couple of weeks ago I posted the photo below on a Wordless Wednesday post, asking if anyone knew what this may be. The best response I received was "a dead marshmallow" from Randy Seaver. That however was a wrong guess, are you surprised?

I have been communicating with a Westby cousin, actually my second cousin once removed, who lives in Washington. We have been communicating for approximately a year. I have learned a lot from him in regards to our common family line. I have asked so many questions, I was afraid he would stop writing with me. Thankfully, that hasn't happened...yet, anyway. He is a wonderful cousin who I believe really enjoys talking about and sharing what he knows about the family. I am so very lucky to have several cousins who are so willing to share with me.

Recently he asked if I had ever tasted Lefse (Lef-sa, it is sometimes spelled Lefsa), to which I replied definitely not. He told me he would be delighted to send me some, in fact his exact words were: 

"I consider it my ancestral responsibility to enlighten my poor CA cousin who has never tasted this ethnic (Norwegian) staple from her distant past!! I'm sure you'll agree afterward that this experience is life-changing." 

I love what he wrote! I love even more that he felt that way!

Lefse is what I received in the mail! My cousin has certain days scheduled when he helps makes this with some other folks. He explained how it would arrive and what I was to do with it. The lefse would arrive folded in quarters. I was to open up a round and cut it into 4 quarters. When the rounds were opened up, they reminded me of large flour tortillas. Traditionally, you would butter a quarter of the lefse, then add and sugar, according to my cousin. Or, you could add cinnamon and roll them up like a cigar, similar to the photo above.

I love cinnamon, so for me it tasted pretty darn good. My husband is not a cinnamon fan, so we decided to try another suggestion my cousin made, good old peanut butter and jelly. My husband liked this much better and I enjoyed it also. Eating them this way made it feel like the lefse was more of a crepe.

Peanut butter and jelly (actually jam), yum! 

While I was eating this I thought of something I wanted to try. You can roll up tuna or chicken or just about anything your heart desires in these little treasures.

This being a Norwegian recipe/food, suddenly strayed my thoughts to my Swedish ancestry, wondering if I had ever tasted anything like this when we were there, but no, I hadn't. Then I remembered the five girls who came and stayed with us from Sweden. They brought us a jar of Swedish jelly. Ok...I HAD to put the Norwegian food with the Swedish food…

Norwegian lefse with American peanut butter and Swedish jelly!

I have to admit, I think this was my favorite. I am not sure if that was because I loved the tastes together, or the idea that I was combining the foods from three countries of my heritage. I immediately felt closer to each of my family lines.

It was wonderful to have plenty of lefse to play with. I wish I had played around with a couple other ideas, like smoked salmon or thin slices of meat. I wanted my daughter and her family to taste it, but it just so happened they were away on vacation. Because it was mailed to me frozen, I wasn't able to re-freeze it. 

Oh, did I tell you what the main ingredient in lefse is? Do you have a guess? No fair if you are Scandinavian and already know the answer. It is potatoes! 

It would have been interesting to see if the grandkids liked lefse, neither of them really like potatoes. Neither of them eat french fries. My grandson may eat one or two…but that is about it. What kid doesn't like french fries? 

Now, a special message to my Washington cousin...

"Dear cousin, I want you to know that this was most definitely a life changing event! "ate up" (pun intended) every bit I could of my Norwegian heritage with these. Without you, this would have never happened! It was the first Norwegian food I have ever tasted! I now feel (as well as my tummy) closer to my Norwegian heritage! I have now eaten lefse and I thank you!"

Thanks for stopping by! 

 Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2014 Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


  1. I've had lefse...from our trip to Norway, Sweden and Finland. I didn't recognize it with anything on it - the addition of sugar and cinnamon sounds great! I didn't have lutefisk though...

  2. Awesome you have had lefse Randy! I didn't have lutefisk either although my husband tried Surströmming! I would be curious Randy if you tried that!

  3. I've had lefse and loved it. Many years ago a friend who'd lived in Norway for a while made it for us. He gave me the recipe but I've never had the courage to try it. Now that you've reminded me, maybe I'll dig out that recipe.

    You have a very kind cousin to make and send you some.

  4. Oh Nancy, please let me know if you make it! Yes, I do have a very nice cousin! I have several actually.

  5. How fun Cheryl! And what a kind cousin you have. He was very sweet to send the lefse to you.

  6. It was a sweet thing to do for sure Jana. I need to find a way to thank him!

  7. It's wonderful to try foods that are traditional from our ancestors. Your lefse's remind me of mom/Oma/and great Oma's German Pancakes. Very similar and we put the same things on it, sugar, jam, peanut butter, whip cream . . . you name it . . . the possibilities are endless! So glad you were able to experience this!

    1. Gini, I am curious to find out what German pancakes are made of. I am fortunate to have tasted these as I was not around my Norwegian family growing up. I am always game to try my ancestral families tractional food, unless it is fish, ;-)

  8. Cheryl,

    I want you to know that your blog post is listed in today Fab Finds post at

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  9. Oh, Jana! You have surprised me again! I am honored and thank you for letting me know! Wow…stunned, thank YOU Jana!

  10. Never had Lefse, but it looks delish. The Pennsylvania Germans cook a lot with potatoes - bread, pancakes, donuts, candy . . .

    And, I agree, what kid doesn't like potatoes. Actually, we've had that abnormality in our family too. Both of my sons detest mashed potatoes, go figure - they are not normal, I tell ya. LOL! Although they will eat them if they've been prepared for them. One likes, if he must eat them, them with lumps and texture; one likes, if he must eat them, them very smooth. And, while they will eat fries and baked potatoes, they still are not fond of the starchy tuber. :(

    1. Hi Tracy, too funny about the potatoes! Now I would like to taste the German version...


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