Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Evening Post

I spent a good bit of the day over at the in-law's place making lefse. This is another Mid-West tradition that my wife grew up with and has told me about, but now I've witnessed it firsthand. Nanna (my mother-in-law) had already made all the dough when we arrived and so we basically just got to start rolling and cooking as soon as we walked in the door.

The way this usually goes down is that a whole family (really the women of the family) gets together before or during the holidays to make lefse. The family will make a whole shitload of lefse that will be divided up, handed out, and eaten throughout the holiday season. Being a guy who likes and respects rituals and such I find this kind of cool; an anachronistic food tradition being passed from one generation to the next.

Like many people these days, we belong to blended family. WifeRat's Mom passed away and her Father remarried many years before we met, so Nanna is actually WifeRat's Step-mother. Nanna has two daughters of her own, so between her and Gramps (what BabyRat calls my Father-in-law) they have five daughters. Thankfully everyone gets along, because if they didn't it could get messy in a hurry.

Why am I bothering to tell you all of this? Because with four sisters-in-law, basically any family gathering quickly turns into a hen party and this was no different. One of Nanna's daughters (who also has a daughter) lives in town and her other daughter was visiting for the weekend, so by the time everyone arrived I was outnumbered 6 to 1 because Gramps had beat a hasty retreat back to his office leaving me to my own devices.

Still, it was a good scene and a big part of what I came out here for. BabyRat knows that she comes from an African-American family with a proud military tradition (both of BigDaddyRat's brothers served as well) that has deep roots in the DC area. I came out here to teach her is that she has a connection to the land and farming and, even though many people will simply label her as African-American, she's also has Norwegian and Irish heritage that must be acknowledged and celebrated.


IK said...

Just to be clear: (1) lefse dough has to be made the night before and chilled, and (2) German too.
WifeRat (although I'm really not consenting to be called this)

Knockout Ed said...

1st of all, hilarious that your wife just put you on blast for that nickname.

2. My lady is also mixed. Black & German. She considers herself Black but she also wishes very much she had more of a connection to her mother's [German] side of the family. Her mom's parents passed away before her mother was 25. So between that, being American & some of mom's family having racist reactions to her parents' marriage she doesn't know her mom's side well at all. She is saddened by that fact.

So kudos to ya'll for doing right by your daughter.

Hill Rat said...

@IK - Become a regular contributor and I'll consider re-christening you Mrs. Rat. Until then, it's my blog and I give out the noms de blog here.

Kelly O said...

"Hen party": heh. ... I mean, heeeeyy now!