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Markets, Classes—Back in Business!

Mehmet Erden, center holding Timmy, and Havva Ertugrul, right, and me last weekend at the Plate & Parcel Holiday Market at Wagner’s Greenhouse 6024 Penn Ave. S in Minneapolis. These two are my favorite customers at my favorite market.

Oh, it’s good to be back! Back at the Plate & Parcel Holiday Market and back doing my lefse classes in person and on Zoom. In both cases, we’re being safe in terms of the virus and we are still having fun.

Lefse Classes

I’ve had one in-person class and one Zoom class so far, and more scheduled as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas. My in-person classes are limited to two people who are vaccinated and willing to wear a mask. My first included the team of Diane Chehadeh and daughter Jolie Chehadeh (pictured below). Usually, my classes have six students who often don’t know each other. They quickly get to know each other; that’s how lefse makers roll. The nice part of a two-person class is that it’s a bit more relaxed and intimate because the students know each other already and they can get down to having fun learning to make lots of lefse to take home. Sometimes, a memorable line is spoken or sung in humor or in appreciation of, well, of the potato, in this case. Jolie said this beautiful line about the the aroma and appearance of the spud: “Potatoes are autumn on a plate.” Nice!

Diane Chehadeh, left, and Jolie Chehadeh thriving in my first in-person lefse class of the season. Marks were worn except briefly for this photo.

My Zoom classes require that students have lefse-making equipment, or at least equipment that will work in making lefse. I send a list of equipment needed as well as my recipe to students in advance of the class. The advantage of a Zoom class is reach. My in-person classes are local, but with Zoom I pull in students from all over the country and even the world. My first Zoom class this year included Kristin Rogers and son Wyatt, pictured below, who live in Lewisville, Texas.

Kristin Rogers and son Wyatt were happy rollers in my first Zoom class of the lefse season.


Vendor tables are more spaced than they were two years ago at Plate & Parcel Holiday Market , and tickets and masks are required. In addition, air circulation is very good in Wagner’s Greenhouse, where the market is every Saturday and Sunday in November and December. Old friends stop by to talk lefse, and strangers who don’t know lefse always are captivated as they watch me roll lefse. I know they are not watching me but watching lefse being rolled. It’s a show stopper!

My favorite story from the market is when my grandson, Zo, took a break from helping with sales to ask if he could roll a round of lefse. I said sure. Two customers stopped and asked about one of my products. It wasn’t long, however, before I lost eye contact with them. They were nodding politely to my comments but were mesmerized by Zo rolling behind me. I didn’t dare turn around for fear that I was going to see a train wreck of a round being rolled. The customers soon had an astonished look on their faces, and one of them said: “I can’t do that!” I had to turn around, wincing in anticipation. There was a perfectly round lefse on the rolling board! Zo, who doesn’t roll lefse much, had pulled off a feat that many lefse makers never do.

The epilogue to this story was after the two customers moved on, I congratulated Zo who said, “Papa, you know what I’m doing here for you, right?” He smiled and rubbed his thumb to his fingerstips, signaling he wanted a tip for pulling in all the amazed customers. I gave him one, proudly.

Grandson Zo rolling lefse recently at my backyard Lefse Market. He and granddaughter Amaya help at the Plate & Parcel Holiday Market, which is gratifying for me and profitable for them.
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