Apparently there is a Women's half marathon coming to Minnesota in August 2012. While I haven't decided if I want to run this or not, I thought I'd help some of you prepare for this event with a small lingo and food lesson.
Uff Da. Pronounced Oooffff Duh. It's a Minnesota thing. The longer you hold the "O" sound, the harder the task or more extreme the connotation is supposed to be. It can be used in a variety of sentences or it can be an expression all of it's own. Around here you can easily say, "Uff da it's cold outside!" Or, if you lift something heavy or have done something hard, you can throw out an uff da without anyone even batting an eye. When some people hear I'm training to run a half marathon, I've heard, "Uff da, that's just crazy!" Really, it's a super handy all purpose expression. There are more swell local expressions, but let's start with that until you get it mastered....
Another favorite Minnesotan thing is lefse. Yum, yum and super yum. I grew up eating the flatted potato concoction and love it. Mr. P tolerates it but it doesn't get his salivary glands flowing like it does mine. In my mind'e eye, I picture lefse being invented because winter was coming and there were a bunch of potatoes around. I suspect the conversation went like this, "Well Mabel, how do you propose we eat this winter?" "Uff da, Edith, use your noggin and figure out how to make something out of all these gosh darn potatoes, would ya?" Yep. Just like that lefse was born.
This time of year there are groups of little old ladies and various families that get together and make batches and batches of lefse. My mother made a big batch last Christmas, but it's long gone now or I'd consider sharing. Or not. It's mine. Get your own. I'm selfish with my lefse. It's best right off the griddle when it's warm. I like it best with a smidgen of butter and sugar on it. A true northerner also knows how to roll their lefse. To help you out, I've included a photo of a rolled lefse here. Feel free to practice with all your soft taco shells in the future....