For fourteen years, Dave and Martha Dobratz have been leading lefse classes at Ingebretsen’s. They’ve shared their hard-won knowledge, encouraged people to make mistakes (“We want to show how to fix the problems that are sure to happen when you’re on your own,” says Dave), and let people know that the “perfect lefse” is the one you like best. “Thick or thin, Russet potatoes or red, it’s personal taste,” says Martha.
The Dobratzes have retired from teaching cooking classes, but they graciously accepted the invitation to speak at Lutefisk & Lefse Day, Saturday, October 21, to share tips, techniques, their favorite recipe, and give assurance that you, too, can create lefse and memories for your family.
Martha was a young adult when her parents learned to make lefse, so it wasn’t a tradition passed on in childhood. However, the love of the process as well as the product took root. “Dave and I started attending a lefse party with friends. We all learned together at the party. We did that for about 20 years,” she says.
When Dave and Martha taught, they wanted their classes to be as enjoyable as the parties they attended. “Making lefse is a fun thing to do together. We wanted to recreate that atmosphere in the class,” says Dave. “The most gratifying thing about teaching was getting people to relax and talk and laugh together.”
Martha adds, “It was also gratifying seeing mothers, daughters, sisters, families, all coming to class together because they are intent on continuing the tradition.”
They admit that often when driving to class in rush hour traffic, tired from prepping the evening before and the day of work just completed, they wondered why they agreed to teach yet another class. “But, by the end we’d leave buoyed and high, happy that everyone had a good time,” laughs Martha.
Though there won’t be hands-on practice making lefse, you will have a good time listening to David and Martha discuss how to make lefse and to have fun while doing so. Dave previewed the talk with these words of wisdom: “It’s all about the delicate balance of flour and moisture.”
Find out how to achieve that delicate balance and join David and Martha this Saturday in the Classroom at the main store at 10:30. You will receive their favorite lefse recipe and notes. Questions are encouraged. The talk is free and no registration required.
If you have taken a class from the Dobratz’s, we hope you will stop by and let them know about your successes (it’s OK to talk about the failures, too) making lefse and thank them for their work keeping the lefse griddles hot for another generation.