When you’re flummoxed by life, make lefse. It’ll calm you down and help you figure things out — or at least help to put the problem aside so you can come back to it fresh.
Jigsaw puzzles are also calming. When you start one, you ease into a meditation that can turn into a fun obsession. Time slips away as you deliberately test your eye and memory. With so many pieces of the puzzle, it can seem overwhelming. So you shoot for small victories. You celebrate a corner piece, the establishment of your border, the coupling of that sneaky, amoeba-shaped piece that has tricked and eluded you for hours.
With lefse making and jigsaw puzzles, you can easily slip into a blissful time when your mind is devoted to just … one … thing.
Lefse and Jigsaw Puzzles
Every Christmas I make lefse, of course, but I also give Jane Legwold, my wife, a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. She loves them, staying up late and rising early until the puzzle is done. She pulls in me, the kids, and the grandkids, and finishing this thing — fueled by lefse and tea — becomes the Christmas Quest.
As Jane and I teamed up on last Christmas season’s obstinate puzzle, I said jokingly to her that there should be a lefse jigsaw puzzle. She sorta shrugged but didn’t dismiss the idea. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of a unique puzzle —a lefse jigsaw puzzle! — that helps the whole family learn about lefse equipment and some of the steps in making lefse. Very cool!
I compiled four colorful-yet-instructive lefse-making photos, and had a 504-piece sample puzzle made. Jane, accustomed to solving 1,000-piece puzzles, sniffed at the “Let’s Make Lefse!” puzzle, perhaps thinking this little thing would be a snap.
Well, it wasn’t and it earned her praise, which is high praise indeed. The rest of the family is less hardcore, so we liked that the 504-piece puzzle was challenging yet not overpowering. Most of all, we liked that the “Let’s Make Lefse!” puzzle — just like lefse making — was unusual, pretty, fun to do, and brought the whole family together.