Monday, December 29, 2014

Time Travel

Reissner's Meats and Grocery has been on the main street of Hastings, Minnesota, since 1908. Today Dick Reissner represents the third generation of the Reissner family butchers and storekeepers. When you open the old door to walk inside and see Dick at the counter in his well-used butcher apron and white handlebar mustache, you feel as if you have stepped back in time.

The Polish and Swedish potato sausage are made by Dick with the old family recipes. Same with the wine sauce for the pickled herring.

It's the only place around for us Scandinavians to get the Christmas lutefisk. The lutefisk is not the same as years ago, Dick admits. It's improved -- it doesn't smell up the whole store when he brings it out to package up for a customer!

 

We came for Grandma Ruth's lefse, a sort of Norwegian potato tortilla. It is the very best lefse short of my grandma's, thin and dry. And an absolute must to have at Christmas time, at least in my family.

This lefse is made with real potatoes, not the reconstituted dry potatoes in a box, and it is rolled out by ladies, not machines. You can tell the difference. Most people eat it with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar rolled up inside, but it is delicious with just butter as well.

 

 

23 comments:

  1. My hubby is from South Dakota, and I've eaten lefse made by his aunt. I actually have the recipe, but have never tried it. What a fun butcher shop. I remember when the butcher's used to take orders at the meat counters in the old grocery stores, and the butcher who was resident there.

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  2. What a fabulous shop, thanks for sharing with us

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  3. That looks such an interesting shop with plenty of personal service unlike the big supermarkets.

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  4. How lovely. We have some lovely old shops in our city but over the years they have been painted vile colours with clashing neon signs........? Some of our cities like Leamington Spa have to keep the shops in certain colours and signs within a certain size. I'm all for keeping these buildings as they were and let them decorate new build malls in whatever colour like like.

    Oh I'm such a whinge bag!!! lol x

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  5. A very interesting place and how great to have that kind of continuity. Your description had me immediately looking for a recipe for lefse! Yum!!

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  6. What a neat shop, it is great to shop at the local stores and support them. The lefse with cinnamon sounds yummy..I wish you and your family a very happy, healthy New Year!

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  7. Well with my excellent Canada/Mexico/US all states and provences atlas, I located this Hastings - I / 6.
    Unfortunately I never got to that immediate area when visiting, close but not Hastings. You'd hardly forget the name,
    historical - The Battle of Hastings!
    What a quaint grocer / delicatessen shop - looks like time stood still. Really 1950's atmosphere inside.
    So much nicer than a bloody supermarket where courtesy is reduced to mouthing - "Have a nice day" - and that without
    even looking to see whether you are splattered with blood, throat cut etc etc!
    A few more, make that many, Dick Reissners, around and I am sure we would all be far better off.
    Interesting article, Cynthia.
    Cheers
    Aussie Col
    PS: A sauna day, after our lovely cool, rainy few days, is predicted and believe you me (6.20 am) - the weather bureau for once is spot on.

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  8. The lefse looks scrumptious even in a plastic bag. It is nice to have something culturally special to keep up important traditions. A house full of excited children (post below) must have added a lot of joy to your Christmas.

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  9. I have never heard of lefse a tradition it seems with you. The way you describe 'taste' nice. Butchers shops are few and far between these days here.

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  10. Cynthia it is very nice shop and I must admit it is definitely journey to the past. In Poland we don't have those shops now only the biog stores or corner shops. But your is definitely fantastic traditional food

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  11. Lefse is delicious and how wonderful you have found a shop that makes it with REAL potatoes!

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  12. Places like this are extremely rare. They make some really good stuff. I hope people value it.

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  13. How wonderful to have this place and wonderful photography as well ~

    Happy New Year,
    artmusedog and carol

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  14. Great place! Love older stores and storefronts.

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  15. What a fun place to visit! My husband likes lefsa, our daughter and son in law make it. I can take it or leave it...leave the lutefisk too..:)

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  16. What a wonderful old place. I particularly like his home-made signs and amateurish Christmas decorations!

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  17. What a wonderful place. Why do folk use supermarkets when there are such traditional and family owned places which offer quality good foods and good old fashioned service?

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  18. what a cool store. I would to visit and shop there one day.

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  19. I can imagine it must be wonderful to have your native products in a shop nearby.

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  20. Sure wish there were more little stores like that. I would love to walk in that one.

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