Friday, December 14, 2012

More Christmas Goodies

The weekend after Thanksgiving...what?  A little behind you say???....anyway, I was invited to a friend's house for her yearly tradition of making truffles.

My job was to prepare the mint flavored insides.  This was SURPRISINGLY easy.  What stunk about the process was rolling them into balls.  I pulled out my little cookie dough scooper and the mint chocolate I had prepared was so hard it broke my scooper.  Waah.  I later discovered that each flavor produces its own kind of problems - hard or soft - but that the mint was one of the harder ones to roll.

Anyway - after four hours, we had a TON of truffles.  I didn't take my camera along, unfortunately, but I will if I'm ever invited back!

I think I went home with about 40 truffles!  We had mint (green), butter cream (yellow), raspberry (red), caramel (brown), and Bailey's (white).

We took these to a Sunday dinner at my parents' house.  Reviews were mixed on favorites.  Mom and Ellie really liked raspberry.  My kids loved the mint.  I'm not a huge truffle fan, but those Bailey's ones...slurp.

What was ridiculous?  We ate these in about a week.  Not our finest moment of 2012.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lefse 2012

This year's lefse making day was a doozy!  My mom's friends joined us for the first time and the kitchen was full!  The night before  Mom made eight (!) batches of lefse the night before and her fridge was STOCKED. We all got there and set right to work.

You roll lefse on special boards covered with a broadcloth like material and coated in flour.  LOTS of flour. To begin with, Tracy and mom's friend (and neighbor from the old 'hood), Sue, were in charge of rolling out the balls of dough.  Every year we get better and better at creating actual circles.  Tracy remembered right away how to get the lefse from the board to the stick.  Some people had a harder time with this at first ("some people" = Kerry).

Maddie and Jake's first post was the griddle.

Maddie pretty much stayed here all day.  For some reason those first few pieces weren't coming off the griddle like she planned and were getting massacred.  Fortunately they were still edible and we all decided this was a tasty batch of lefse!  Jake ventured into other areas, eventually hitting every job.

Mom's job was to cut and roll the dough into the balls.  This involved a lot of kneading.  I helped out in this area after awhile - but you get a lot of sticky fingers and I couldn't take pictures at the same time.  Jake joined in the fun after awhile too.

As I mentioned - Jake took part in all aspects of the morning.  He said he can't decide is grilling or rolling was the best job.  He leaned toward rolling though he thought he was better and grilling.  I will say - he had the most bizarre way of rolling.  It wasn't so much rolling as attacking in all manner of directions.  We all took some time to just watch his process.  His pieces ended in circles, but not without being beaten to death first.

You'll notice we didn't waste time hitting the liquor.  Mom had made a pot of chili for everyone so between jobs we all had a nice little break for lunch.  Marcia is in the top picture with mom.  She'd never made lefse before and helped out with different jobs.  She was a little less than enthused with the rolling part.  At one point Tracy offered to take over for her.  Marcia was leaning against the counter "one-handing" the rolling pin and more kind of tossing it across the dough.  She was only too happy to give it up.

Pat rounds out the quartet of "giggle girls".  I don't think she likes to cook normally, so she was only too happy to have the job of brushing the excess flour off the lefse pieces.  She started the afternoon here and ended here and is now a professional flour brusher.

Sue and Pat's husbands joined my dad for the afternoon and watched the Vikings game.  This was the first Bears game this year where the Vikings lost.  Not an overly enthusiastic group.

We've learned over the years what NOT to wear.  Hence the aprons, short sleeves and light colored clothing on a few of us.  Jake didn't get that memo and his pants were covered in flour.  Live and learn.

Unfortunately we didn't think to take a picture until after Tracy had left.  This process took a little longer than we anticipated and she had to get home.  By the end of the afternoon we'd made 80 full sheets of lefse.  We each got to take home 42 half pieces and I am slowly working my way through them all.  Occasionally I share with the rest of the family.

Thanks, ladies, for joining us!  Thanks, mom, for making all the dough the night before and hosting this huge mess so we could all enjoy some deliciousness!