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Billings Liberty and Vine Country Store hosts Norwegian cooking class

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-06 19:24:22-05

BILLINGS — At Liberty and Vine Country Store, people had the chance to learn how to make lefse, a traditional Norwegian potato flatbread. It gives Susan Olsen an opportunity to share her Scandinavian culture in a delicious way.

Olsen learned how to make lefse from her grandmother.

“Oh, I’ve done this since I was little. My grandmother was very Norwegian,” said Olsen on Sunday.

She said she’s just one member of a flourishing Scandinavian community here in Billings.

“I had no idea how many Scandinavians there are, and they come from North Dakota, from Wyoming. I mean they come from everywhere,” Olsen said.

She’s taught Norwegian cooking classes in the city throughout the years, but this was the second year she’s been able to teach folks how to make lefse at Liberty and Vine.

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Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made from potatoes and cooked on a large, flat griddle. Special tools are used in making lefse, like long wooden turning sticks and special rolling pins.

Traditionally, many eat the dish with butter and sugar.

For class participant Kristen Kosakura, it gives her the opportunity to learn more about her Norwegian roots.

“My grandmother used to make lefse and I never got to meet her. She passed away before I could meet her,” Kosakura said.

Kosakura got her grandmother’s recipe from her dad, and thanks to the class, now knows how to make lefse.

“Over the ages, we keep losing parts of our culture, so I think it’s important to hold on to that and pass it on to our children,” said Kosakura.

That’s precisely what Beth Bries is doing with her daughter, Elliana.

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“Our family is very heavily Norwegian; my mom’s dad was a first generation in America. So, we make lefse every year at the holidays,” Beth said.

12-year-old Elliana has been making lefse since she can remember.

“Just like to learn about my heritage and stuff,” said Elliana.

However, no one enjoys the class as much as Olsen loves teaching it.

“When they learn how to do this, it’s just a delight ‘cuz then they can go home and do it too,” Olsen said.

She'll be teaching one more lefse workshop in December as well as a couple of crepe-making classes. Visit
Liberty & Vine Country Store | Facebook if you'd like to learn more.