Thanksgiving Countdown – Day 2: Tablescape & Lefse Starter

It’s another day closer to time devoted to family and thankfulness. The primary focus is on getting as many special elements of Thanksgiving dinner prepared ahead as possible so that I can relax and enjoy the day with the family. I have two tasks that must be done this evening.

I am a big advocate of not going to the store on the holiday since I believe that the workers should be able to be at home with their families. It is my own quiet protest that began when the grocer my husband worked for made the decision to open on Thanksgiving Day and stay open until 5:00 PM. My son still works for that company and will be at the store most of the day. So we have our holiday dinner much later than most do.

Task #1 – Plan the tablescape

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Not going to the store means that I need to take stock today so that any additional items may be picked up at the store tomorrow. Yesterday I made sure the tablecloth was ready. I plan my tablescape ahead so I make sure  that I have all the elements: 2 medium-size wire basket with gourds, mini pumpkins and mini colored corn to arrange in them; a cut-work table runner that looks like various colored leaves; 2 quart mason jars fitted with votive holders; green vase for the orange tulips my hubby will pick up tomorrow; napkins with a spool of ribbon to use a “napkin rings” with a sprig of rosemary and sage tucked into it.

I assembled it all in a basket and set it on the dryer in my utility next to the kitchen. I will also pull my dark green chargers from the stack in the butler’s pantry closet and set them near the basket.

By having all of the tablescape items together in one place, you can delegate the setting of the table and still be confident it will look the way you want it. If you are very exacting, you can actually write out directions complete with a sketch to place in the basket.

Task #2 – Lefse Starter

Lefse is a wonderful potato flatbread (much like a tortilla) that is a “must” for our holiday table. My husband’s grandmother was the expert lefse maker in our family, and I learned to make it the year she fell and broke her shoulder. The family thought it would be the first holiday without lefse but I couldn’t let that happen.

Rod’s Aunt Marilyn introduced me to this recipe made with Potato Buds. It turns out the same every time since there is no variation in the moisture in the potatoes. The potato mixture is made one day, and the next day the flour is added and the lefse is rolled out and baked on a lefse griddle. Tomorrow my daughter-in-love and I will have our annual Thanksgiving lefse making day, and I’m sure my little granddaughter will demand to help as well.

Aunt Marilyn's Potato Bud Lefse
Prep time
Total time
I have heard these called "Scandinavian Tortillas." It is a wonderful potato flatbread. We eat it with just butter but some add cinnamon and sugar. The prep time indicates the time the night before. It will take a while to roll out and griddle eighteen rounds of lefse.
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Serves: About 18 rounds
  • 4½ cups Potato Buds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Mix in large bowl and set aside.
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup half-n-half
  • 3 cups water
  1. Combine the last three ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and add to dry ingredients. Stir just until well-blended.
  2. (I have adapted the recipe a little form here.)
  3. Place potatoes in rectangle cake pan. Cover with paper towel to absorb condensation. Cover with foil, and place in fridge overnight or at least 10-12 hours.
  4. Divide into 3 batches. Remove one batch to mixing bowl and return rest to fridge. Add ¾ cup all-purpose flour and mix by hand until a smooth even texture. Measure into ⅓ cup portions and form into patties. Roll each pattie out very thin to about 14 inches round on a pastry-cloth covered board. Roll up on lefse stick and transfer to lefse grill that has been preheated to 500 degrees. Cook first side for about 30 seconds until brown bubbles appear, turn over and cook second side until bubbles appear. Remove cooked lefse and place in lefse cozy or folded towel.
  5. Wipe excess flour from grill and then continue to roll and bake until all patties are lefse. Cool completely. Fold in half, then half again and place in ziploc freezer bags. Store in fridge for up to two weeks or in freezer for up to six months.

As all homemakers know the “normal” daily tasks still need to get done as well as the holiday preparation. So those jobs have been the rest of the list each day.

Getting more excited for the holiday as I share my heart for home!