PEQUOT LAKES - While some people may go to Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes strictly for the baked beans, cooked underground overnight in large cast iron pots, others may have a hankering for something even tastier:
Fresh, homemade lefse.
Ruth Dickey, of Jenkins, is one of several ladies at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes who slave over hot lefse griddles each summer to make sure Bean Hole Days visitors visiting the church bake sale may leave with fresh lefse, a potato-based Norwegian favorite. The women not only make and freeze about 600 pieces of lefse ahead of time and sell it at the church bake sale, always held on Bean Hole Days, but they make about 180 lefse fresh on the spot for people who can't wait until they get home to try the Norwegian delicacy.
Dickey, 85, volunteers as a lefse flipper, rather than the person who rolls out the dough into perfect circles.
Ruth Dickey is one of several women who made fresh homemade lefse for Bean Hole Days in Pequot Lakes. Brainerd Dispatch » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"I'm always the flipper because I'm not a very good roller," Dickey said with a laugh Wednesday in the church basement as she flipped lefse circles on the grill.
Occupation: Retired. She worked for more than 20 years as a waitress at Gannon's Restaurant in St. Paul and worked for three years at World of Christmas in Pequot Lakes.
Favorite volunteer work: Being a lefse flipper at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes. The church ladies make lefse for sale at Bean Hole Days and also for the annual fall lutefisk supper.
Lefse made at the church for Bean Hole Days last week: Six hundred lefse were made in advance for sale at the church bake sale while about 180 lefse were made fresh for waiting patrons.
Favorite lefse condiment: Butter with brown sugar.
Dickey, who graduated from Walker High School, later moved to Bloomington and worked for more than 20 years as a waitress at the former Gannon's Restaurant in St. Paul. Her second husband, Howard Dickey, passed away April 15. He was 81. Dickey has three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Dickey began volunteering as a lefse maker around 1991, soon after she moved to Jenkins and joined the church. She said she enjoys the camaraderie of the other lefse ladies.
"I like the people that I work with and it's fun," she said.
In her free time Dickey enjoys gardening and raises organic raspberries for family and friends. She also brought in homemade raspberry and plum jelly for the church bake sale last Wednesday.
Dickey said being a lefse flipper is the easiest job in making lefse. She just has to make sure she doesn't let the lefse get too brown.
"I don't like it too dark, I like it nice and even brown," she said. "So it's done but not soggy."
Dickey said she doesn't make lefse at home but her mother and grandmother did. She always make sure to buy some at the church bake sale to bring it home, though.
When asked which is better, the Bean Hole Days baked beans or the church lefse, Dickey laughed.
"The lefse," she said. "The beans are good but I wouldn't stand in line for anything."
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