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Lefse – A Family Tradition

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Lefse – My family has a Scandinavian history.  Growing up, I remember making lefse with my grandmother.  I always remember it being a Christmas time family activity.  My mom, sister, and I would spend a Saturday at “Bobbie’s” house making lefse.  Lefse is similar to a flour tortilla but it is made of potatoes, whipping cream, butter, and flour.  It is rolled out and cooked on a super hot griddle.  There are special lefse “flippers” and a technique to flipping.  Best of all, my kids look forward to making lefse when school gets out for Christmas break.  We spend several days cooking and always watch “The Sound of Music”.  I love that I am creating memories with my children as well as caring on the tradition of making lefse.  I also love that Lefse requires 2 dairy products to make – Butter and Heavy Whipping Cream.  YUMMY!!!!

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My Lefse rolling pin, flippers, and board.

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This is the lefse after it has been rolled.

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The special griddle that cooks the lefse at 500 degrees.

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A major problem – my husband and kids eat the lefse as soon as it comes off the griddle. This is why I do 35 pounds of potatoes and it takes me several days to cook all of them.

 

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Why I Love Dairy Cows

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“Let’s go cow tipping” or “Chocolate Milk comes from Brown Cows” or “Strawberry Milk comes from Red Cows”.  We have all heard these funny ideas people have about dairy cows.  I am sure you have seen a t-shirt highlighting one of these “myths” or “urban legends” about cows.  As of today, I have been married to my dairy farmer husband for over 16 years.  In all of those years, I have never witnessed a “cow tipping” event.  What I have seen is the love and dedication dairy farmers have for their animals.  From the newborn calf struggling to take its first breath, an older cow having a tough time getting up from her stall, or a new cow in the milking parlor that refuses to go in and get milked for the first time (FYI – the first time is always the toughest) most dairy farmers have a level of compassion that is unbelievable.  I wish more people could see this and understand this is the norm and not the exception.  With that said, my children’s 4-H animals are like members of our family.  We are lucky that we can keep them in a barn where we can interact, play, pet, and talk with them every day.  If you ever have a chance to watch a 4-H dairy show at your local fair, please take the time to watch.  You will be amazed at the amount of love and dedication these kids have for their animals.  Remember, you may not ever be able to “tip” a cow, but you never know when you could ride one like a horse 🙂

2014-07-02 09.31.18Brownie – My daughter’s show heifer who was quietly enjoying a day in the sun.

The Year of the Family Farm

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The headline of the article was “The UN has declared 2014 the year of the Family Farm”.  Kind of exciting to see this kind of publicity or recognition for a farmer.  Our family farm is a 3rd or 4th generation dairy (depends on who is answering the question).  My husband and I operate an organic dairy in partnership with my in-laws.  They started the dairy over 40 years ago in Enumclaw, Washington.  Many things have changed over the years but one thing is constant.  A family farm represents a piece of history.  Fewer and fewer families are farming, but the ones that remain have struggled through some pretty difficult circumstances. (Just ask your local politician why there has not been a renewal of the Farm Bill?)

As we begin 2014, remember to say thank you to those friends you know that run a family farm.  It is not the easiest way to make a living or raise a family.  Holidays, birthdays, and vacations always seem to take a “backseat” to the farm.  In the end it is the farm that keeps many family members connected.  In this era of cell phones, youtube, and instragram it is a nice break to feed a new born calf or chase some heifers that busted through your neighbor’s fence.  Brings you back to what is important – hard work and perseverance.  Qualities we all need to cherish in this crazy overstimulated world we have created.  Image

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