It's Norwegian For "Leftover Helper"

Laura Marrich
2 min read
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Forget turkey; Thanksgiving is all about the taters. Each November, we Americans take great pride in crowding every inch of available stove surface with pots of buttery, golden, lumpy (or smooth, if you must) mashed potatoes. Then we heap it onto our plates like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s glorious. I can almost hear my inner child singing "mashed potatoes" to the chorus of Handel’s "Messiah."

The leftovers are great as long as the gravy holds out. Inevitably, however, there’s a fatal error in the gravy-to-potato ratio. We’re stuck with pounds and pounds of dried-out, orphaned mashed potatoes, taunting us and taking up valuable space in our already-overburdened refrigerators.

Scandinavian folks are just as obsessed with potatoes as we are, and they’re well-acquainted with the leftovers dilemma. Unlike us, they don’t just give up and throw the whole thing out.

They make

is basically a Scandinavian tortilla, made with mashed potatoes in place of wheat or corn flour. In Minnesota–where the Norwegian-American population is so high you can actually buy lefse year-round in any super market–they eat theirs hot, rolled up with butter, cinnamon and sugar.


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