Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The wind, I remember when.........Uff'da!

This morning doing chores, the winds have picked up, big gusts of winds that can suck the breath right out of a person. Winds with such force, walking into them plasters your clothes tightly to the outline of your body, leaving nothing to the imagination. Somewhat like a wet tee shirt contest.
The alpacas are happily munching on their hay, with an occasional low soft humming, as the winds whip over their shelters--so content and oblivious to the weather. Here in Colorado, the normal temps in March are in the 30's at night, and the 50's during the day. We usually get a foot more of snow in March, but with the intense heat of the sun at 5280 feet elevation and the warm weather, it is reportedly here not longer than a day or 2. We shall see.
Anyway getting back to the wind.....it brings me back to another time, long, long ago, when I was just a little girl-unleashing memories, that will forever be a part of me. Staying with my Grandma Carrie, out on the farm in Stephen Minnesota. I loved my time with Grandma, and being out on the farm. I remember her hanging clothes out on the line. She had an old wooden clothesline, and on the top of the wooden ends was a square open box. In the spring of the year, the box was usually lined meticulously with twigs and a Morning Dove would be sitting tight on her clutch, the only thing giving her away was an occasional blink of an eye. The clothesline was near a stand of stately Cottonwood trees, with trunks so large, even the biggest man could not wrap his arms around them. And when the winds would blow, the fluttering of those leaves was like magical melody to ones ears, and would easily lull even the fussiest baby into a blissful deep sleep. Not to mention the Cottonwood seeds that would fill the air with a winter like scene, riding the wind, and holding on for dear life, only to settle stubbornly on someones screen. I used to wait for my uncles to get off the school bus, under those stately Cottonwoods.

I remember Grandma making lefse. Standing at the kitchen sink, which overlooked the back yard. Off in the distance the well pump could be seen, it was located on a green wooden platform. My brothers and I used to look through the slats of the green wood, and we could see the water below, hiding whatever lurked below those dark waters. A pebble or two would not rouse them from the deep. Here is an old picture that my mother had, my Grandmother, and my mother as a child on the left, and my aunt Marlys on the right, you can see the old well and the grove behind them.
Behind the pump was their farm grove. I remember when my brothers and I used to make grass huts out in those woods, and the time my brothers decided to light a candle in one of them..... No one was injured, by the fire anyway, and the fire was put out before the woods were burned down. But that is another story, for another time.....
Anyway, back at the kitchen sink, my Grandma is mashing or ricing the potatoes and I watch in awe as she rolls out the dough-consisting of potatoes, butter , cream, sugar, salt and flour, into a large round, very thinly rolled, and then transported to the hot lefse iron. The finished lefse is white and round, with brown circles scattered throughout, I think where there were air bubbles. Then cooled, and can be folded in half, and then folded in half again, giving you four pieces of lefse, each one pie shaped. My favorite way to eat lefse is slathered with real butter, and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and then lightly heated up. DELICIOUS! They say that russet potatoes are the best for making lefse as they are dryer, but I don't think that my Grandpa planted russets, only the good red potatoes.
Here in Colorado, and also when we lived in Arizona, when we would go to the grocery store and ask for lefse, they would ask what it was, like we were from another country. They never heard of potato sausage, rosettes or krumkake either, can you imagine that? We did find a small grocery store in Ault Colorado that specializes in Scandinavian foods, they have lefse(brought in from Mn) and also potato sausage, but not as good as we are used to or that my grandma used to make. I have decided to start making my own lefse, and have been searching for an iron. I found a neat site giving the history of lefse, and to order supplies and even lefse itself. Supposedly, Norway has only had potatoes for the last 250 years, they went to war with Ireland, and the Norwegians kept all the potatoes that the Irish threw at them, then they made this bread type lefse from them, they were a perfect side with their lutefisk.(we can get that at Ault also) The website is lefsetime.com if you want to go back to your roots! Uff'da!

This is a picture of our homestead, looking out a window from our two story house. These are the animal shelters and the hay barn, all with a low profile to withstand the winds of the prairie.
In the background you can almost see the farmer trudging behind the draft horses, tilling the soil, readying it for the planting season. The flock of seagulls flying around him as he kicks up buried treasures of sleeping grubs and flies and what ever has been hibernating in the soils. Toiling from sunrise to sunset, bringing to market potatoes, so we can make lefse, and listen to the winds as we gaze out our kitchen windows, and think of days gone by, and bask in our memories. No stately Cottonwoods however, but they are growing.
More later..........

1 comment:

  1. Hi Liz!
    Your writing is wonderful. Sandwiched between many years in Colorado, I lived in MN for over 20 years. Your blog stirs the fondest of my memories there, as well as of my prairie life here, north of Wellington, a little ways just west of you.

    I just finished reading your blog from its start, and will check back regularly to keep up. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing the link.

    Bye for now -- I'm looking forward to seeing you next week, my dear Red Hat Friend :-).

    PS - Oh, dear! I have to select a profile, and I am new to this blogging business. Haven't a clue what to put here. I'll pick one and see what happens... I hope this works.

    ok, Google Account doesn't work... Here goes with another... Nope, don't have a livejournal account... and another. Gee, I can't just post a comment as a non-account-nobody?! Trying again...

    One more time -- it looks like if I give an email address it might take my comment. I worry about spam, so will use an old hotmail address. Here goes - fingers crossed...

    Later: I bit the bullet and signed up with Google. Here's the scary part -- It already knew me! I didn't have a password, but it let me "change" it. So now I have a Google account, complete with password. I don't know how to get my name right. It uses my hotmail email name. But I think this is going to work! I've actually commented to a blog! The fact that I didn't know how to do this makes me feel OLD.