Recreating Tradition.










I'm Norweigian. Mostly. Er, energetically anyway. Regardless of the actual percentage, culturally I am Norwegian. And today I'm standing here in my Norwegian great-grandmother's apron and thinking about holiday traditions.

Since going grain-free/gluten-free about year ago I've begun to long for the old standards. Especially during the holidays. Lefse. Krumkake. Rosettes. So this year I decided: grains be damned, I'm having a traditional holiday.

Today Lupine pulled out the rosette iron. My grandma's. Yes. We'll figure it out. Gluten-free rosettes sound easier than grain-free bread in my opinion.

Lefse. That's my real love. My Gram and I made it together each year until she died. During the last year or two she spent most of her time at her round kitchen table, entertaining baby Sage while I made the lefse alone. And then she died. And the lefse making fell entirely to me for my family. I missed her humor when I made it without her, and her coffee and request to "eat ourselves sick on the trims". Last year life got in the way and I skipped lesfse making altogether (the first year ever, perhaps). That felt like such a downer when Solstice and Christmas came and there was no lefse on the table. So this year I'm thinking… can I do it gluten-free? We shall see.

Tonight we stated slow. Thumb-prints. Grain-free, sugar-free thumbprints. I used this recipe as my jumping off place, subbing in 1/3 C of honey for the sweetener, a blend of homemade butter and coconut oil for the palm oil, and my homemade raspberry jam for store-bought.

The result? Yum. Even gram would agree.

(An unrelated side note: Thank you for your comments and emails after my last post. It was pretty heavy. I don't normally go into that shadow space but for this I needed to – it feels like an important part of my process towards healing. Sage is well this morning. His fever finally gone, and the promise of a quiet day together in the kitchen is lifting my spirits. xo Rachel)

10 thoughts on “Recreating Tradition.

  1. KC says:

    Those cookies cutters are incredible. If those don’t take you to another time and place! As far as your last post I think it was incredibly courageous to share it with us. I hope that by sending it into the universe like that will help dispel the darkness some. I know when something really is effecting me I write about it and usually feel better. I wrote you two comments when you posted but my browser refreshed both times and each time lost the comment. oh well.

  2. Cassandra says:

    I totally know what you mean here. I grew up with my grandma and her Eastern European recipes were all I ate. Unfortunately they are all heavy on the meat, and we are vegetarians these days. I miss the flavors and the comfort of those foods. Sort of tough to make chicken paprikash without the chicken lol!

  3. Robyn says:

    Rosettes! My great aunt used to make them every year at Christmas time. She’s gone now, but my mom still makes Chrusciki every year with her recipe. My sister and I helped every year until I moved out of state. I can still remember how the whole house would smell of them frying for days.

  4. Kate says:

    Mmmm…lefse, krumkake, aebleskiver…the holidays are here! 🙂

    Also, if you are ever venturing to the Twin Cities and take Hwy 61 the whole way, you may enjoy the Uffda Shop in Red Wing!

  5. Karla says:

    Ooh, those look good! I’m half Danish and I love some of our family traditions. Christmas morning I’ll be making abelskiever!

    I’ve been thinking about decreasing grains in our diet even though we don’t have any allergies, but I get overhwhelmed at the thought of spending more time than I already do figuring out labels and being creative with recipes.

    Question – why did you substitute for the palm oil? Isn’t that pretty good to begin with? Sometimes I use butter, but I also keep coconut oil and palm shortening in my cupboard.

  6. marni says:

    I love your words about baking with your grandma. I miss baking with my mom, or being in the kitchen with her while she baked, or watching her with my kids while they baked. It’s the thing my daughter Sage misses the most about grandma: baking fudge pie together!

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Palm oil is not sustainable, even those with certified sustainable labels. Im presently working on phasing it out of all LuSa products. Search palm oil orangutans for the dirty secret of palm oil.


  8. Marlo says:

    Rosettes!!! This reminds me that I need to pull out my rosette irons. So yummy. We aren’t Norwegian at all, but somehow we ate rosettes my whole childhood and now I have my own set. We didn’t get to them last year, but I am hopeful this year!

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