Community, Recipes

Larry’s Lutefisk

When I wound up at SDSU, our Extension Director, Larry Tidemann, exposed his Norwegian roots occasionally.  With a Scots surname, I never pointed out that more of my recent ancestors are Scandinavian – mostly in self-defense.  The descendents of Scots make a point of eating Haggis – but Larry made a point of bringing lutefisk into the office, to share with all.  I think there were always leftovers.

As near as I can make out from the old, penciled recipe (unused these many years) you start with:

5 pounds of lutefisk
2 pounds of bacon
4 tablespoons of salt

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut lutefisk into servings and place in a baking pan (skin side down)
  • Sprinkle with salt and cover with aluminium foil
  • Bake the lutefisk in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Fry bacon on medium heat so the fat melts and the bacon gets crispy.

The pea stew (I think that’s the translation – 20 years have affected the lettering)  Quantities seem to be a matter of personal choice or availability.

2 lbs of dried peas
butter
Salt
Sugar

  • Leave peas in water overnight
  • Pour off the soaking water, cook in fresh water until tender
  • Add more water if it doesn’t get tender
  • Add butter, salt and sugar
  • Serve lutefisk with bacon and pea stew

I only ate the bacon – it wasn’t half bad despite the presence of lutefisk.  I can understand why the Vikings went to sea.

Community, Recipes

Back to School Bread

This versatile classic frequently receives compliments. It can be made into rolls and bread-sticks. With a little cornmeal it becomes pizza dough.

It also serves as the foundation of Lunch in a Bun, a popular menu item at Trego School. For lunch in a bun, each bun has a filling. Sometimes, it is taco meat and cheese. At other times, they are filled with pepperoni, ham and cheese, then served with marinara sauce.

These numbers in this recipe are reduced to result in a smaller amount of bread than is produced in the school kitchen.

Single Rise Dough

2 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
3 Tbsp. Sugar
3 tsp. Salt
1 cup Water
1 cup Warm Milk
1/3 cup Oil
2 Eggs
6-6 & 1/2 cups Flour or Bread Flour

  1. Decide on which mixing method you would like to use
    • If dissolving yeast in warm water, use a water temperature of 110 degrees
    • If mixing the yeast right in with the dry ingredients, use a water temperature of 115-120 degrees
  2. Mix as much flour as possible in using a mixer. Work the remaining flour in by hand and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic
  3. After mixing and kneading process is complete, let dough rest for 10 minutes
  4. Scale into proper size units (bread loaves, sandwich buns, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc.
  5. Mold your dough into the shapes you will be making. Pan into the proper sized pans.
  6. Proof the dough units until almost double in bulk. When touched gently, a unit that is fully proofed will full out the dent slowly.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes for loaves and approximately 15-20 minutes for dinner rolls and smaller units.

Community, Recipes

Using your Zucchini

As I visit our garden, I remember a time when my driver’s door closed, latched, and didn’t lock.  I went to drive home and found close to a hundred pounds of zucchinis in my back seat.  I kind of sniveled about this experience, and another county agent sent me this recipe:

Zucchini Jam

5 ½ C grated Zucchini 
1 (20 ounce) can crushed Pineapple|
6 C sugar                                            
2 (3 ounce) packages Jello (any flavor)
1 C water          
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Boil zucchini, sugar and water for 6 minutes.  Add lemon juice and pineapple.  Boil for 6 more minutes.  Add 2 packages of Jello, and boil for 6 more minutes.  Pour hot mixture into jars, put on lid and screw band.  Jars will seal without processing if you put the lids on immediately as you pour in the boiling mixture.

Recipes

Dumplings for Women

Jeeta Kant and I both did research on Hutterites – as did several others at SDSU.  In her Hutterite Community Cookbook, one of the recipes was “Dumplings for Women.”  I had meant to ask her the significance of a specific recipe for women’s food – there is also a recipe titled “Waffles for Women.”  It looks like I won’t get the chance to ask the question, or get an answer from her – and I doubt if the ingredients will provide an answer – but if you can figure out why these are women’s dumplings, hit the comments and answer the mystery.

Dumplings for Women

Makes 4-6 servings

¼ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 quart meat broth

  1.  Cream together butter and egg
  2. Stir in flour and baking powder
  3. Drop into 1 quart boiling broth, cover and boil for 20 minutes.  Do not lift lid during cooking.

RIP Jeeta. 

Demography, Recipes

Fruit Soup

For many years, the Census differentiated between Germans and Germans from Russia.  While there were significant historical differences between the two groups, by the time I was doing the demographic work for South Dakota, the largest difference I could see was the menu.  This recipe, for Plumemoos, a fruit soup served cold, is a hot weather dish passed to us from the Germans from Russia.

            Plumemoos

2 qt      water
1 c.      sugar
1 c.      seedless raisins
1 c.      dried prunes
1          29-oz can of peaches
1          cinnamon stick
1          package red jello
1 qt.     Purple grape juice

Cook dried fruit, sugar and cinnamon stick til fruit is tender.  Add jello to hot soup and stir to dissolve – this will color and thicken the soup when it has cooled.   When cooled, add grape juice to taste.  Serve cold – a wonderful, soothing soup for a hot summer day.

Recipes

A Tater Tot Hot Dish

Some dishes are local staples.  I recall stopping in at a restaurant in Scotland, South Dakota, where the population is mostly of German descent, and they were cooking Haggis.  With a Scots surname, I didn’t get a choice in what I ordered – I was given “Haggis”.  Robert Burns wouldnae hae recognized it – by the time the South Dakota ladies had modified the recipe, it was downright tasty – worthy of a second helping.

Brookings, on the other hand, was a spot where tater tot casseroles showed up with amazing regularity – weddings, funerals, potlucks – the tater tots were a staple.  This recipe comes from the KBRK Cookbook – p 27, and was contributed by Margie Cole. 

2 lbs hamburger
Onion
Cream soup, any kind
tater tots

Brown hamburger and onion, drain.  Stir in soups, add a little milk and mix with hamburger.  Pour into a 9×13 pan and cover with tater tots.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Community, Recipes

Corn on the BBQ

I like cooking my corn on the BBQ. Especially during hot summer days! This is a great method to cook it. Keeping part of the husk helps prevent it from burning the kernels and it turns out tender and juicy. They can even be made up in advance so it’ll get you out of the kitchen sooner. Try it for your next summer get together!

  • Ears of corn
  • Peel back husks, remove hair and the outside husks, but keep several around the corn leaving them connected.
  • Butter each cob
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Put tender husks back around corn
  • Wrap in tin foil
  • Put on BBQ for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Enjoy!
Community, Recipes

Green Chile- A Recipe from Trinidad

One of the fun things about Trinidad, Colorado was the preponderance of foods that you just don’t find in the northwest.  This one, from the St. Joseph church cookbook, shows chile without a single bean.

1 ½ lb. pork or beef
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp flour
1 small can green chiles

Dice meat and fry.  When browned, add minced garlic and flour.  Stir and brown.  Add chopped green chiles, stir.  Add enough water to cover and cook as you would gravy.

A simple recipe, and green chile is an experience worth repeating.  As with the other Trinidad recipes, it might be good to start with a can of green chiles marked mild.  If that’s OK, move on up to the hot.

Community, Recipes

Mexican Cornbread

In the mid-eighties, I taught at Trinidad State Junior College, where I learned that the names Carson, Bowman and Simpson belonged to Hispanic students.  I recollect one beginning student hanging back at the end of class, to ask “Mr. McCurry, did you notice that we were the only white people in this class?”  I hadn’t noticed – I’ve known my students as individuals rather than by race.  Anyway, this recipe comes from Trinidad, Colorado – the notes say it was from Mary DeKleva, and I can’t say if it’s cultural appropriation of not.

1 cube melted oleo
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup white flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 can hot diced green chili
1 cup american cheese grated and melted

Mix ingredients together.  Bake in 350 degree oven in a 9 x 9 pan, for forty minutes.

A suggestion for lightweights might be to start with a can of mild diced green chili – southern Colorado and northern New Mexico have a tendency for some downright hot peppers in the food.  I learned to enjoy it, but I was never sure the delicacies weren’t a test my students gave me.  “Try this, Mr. McCurry – my grandmother made it.”