Recipes

Chicken Pot Pie

Preheat oven 375°

2 cans cream of potato soup*
1 16oz can Vegall mixed vegetables
2 cups cooked diced chicken**
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pkg prepared pie crusts
1 egg

Mix together first 6 ingredients, more milk if you feel as needed. Spoon into pie crust in a 9” pan top with 2nd crust pinching around the edges. Make 3 slits in the top and beat egg and brush it all over the crust.
Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown, let sit 10 minutes before serving.

*You can use cream of chicken soup instead or any cream soup on hand but the potato works nice.
**A roaster chicken works nicely, but also you can use the canned chicken it turns out great.

Community, Recipes

Improving a Can of Soup

There are few meals more easily assembled than a can of soup.  Anymore you don’t even need a can opener – a lot of them come with a pull ring.  Unfortunately, if that’s as far as you go, it isn’t that great a meal.

I shared Mom’s quick technique for improving chicken and noodles with Sam – and she asked if I could go through all I could remember.  Mom’s mastery of basing the soup off a can meant that getting a couple unanticipated dinner guests was never a problem.  A hearty soup would go along with slightly smaller portions and everyone would be happy and well fed.

That can of chicken noodle soup is a pretty thin meal – but half a handful of dried onions, a carved up carrot and a small can of chicken turns it into something resembling a meal.  A can of tomato soup, accompanied by a can of milk and a can of diced tomatoes (preferably with a bit of peppers) turns it into a near-great tomato soup.  We’re 500 miles from the sea, so there’s nothing wrong with beginning your clam chowder with a can, adding another can of clams, and making a decent clam chowder – decent only, because fresh clams are definitely better, but not available in the rural Rock Mountains.

She knew how to use cans to improve the quality of soup – that and a few other tricks.  I’ve picked up a few of them.

Community, Recipes

Chicken & Dumplings

This recipe warms your soul on a cold winter night. Your standard chicken soup with a little twist. Every time I make it I think of warm hugs, snow, and love from Grandma. The amounts of each depend on your taste and how many you plan to serve.

  • Precooked chicken-diced (you can use uncooked but some times it leaves a film on top)
  • Carrots, celery, or other vegetables you like
  • Minced garlic, chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste(be careful with salt as chicken broth can be quite salty)
  • Chicken Broth mixed 2/3 to 1/3 with water
  • Cook all of the above ingredients on medium until it boils
  • Cut butter or shortening the size of a walnut with 2 cups flour, a little salt, pepper and garlic powder (I usually make a double batch for six to eight people), mix in water until dough pulls away from the bowl…may be slightly sticky. Knead dough (five to six turns only so your dumplings won’t be stiff). Roll thin and cut into 1″-2″ squares. Drop into boiling water and stir frequently so dumplings won’t stick together. Cook for 15 minutes longer.
  • I like to add a little corn starch mixed with water at the end so the soup is a little more creamy.
  • Serve with rolls (there’s a yummy recipe I submitted earlier) with lots of butter!
Community

In Case You Missed It

This time last year, we were writing about the Health Hazards of Loneliness (many!), Irish Democracy (not exclusively Irish), trying recipes: Frybread (good) & Dried Corn Soup (we’re doubtful), and learning about the insects we see at this time of year, both indoors and outdoors (Crane Flies).

How unhealthy is loneliness?

Are isolation and loneliness actually bad for our health? Do they increase the risk of dying?

Irish Democracy

I started looking for a definition of “Irish Democracy.”  Found all sorts of descriptions of government in the Republic of Ireland – but nothing that described the unorganized ignoring of laws that lack popular support.  The term “Irish democracy” refers to uncoordinated, wide-spread civil disobedience.  An example is a sign in the window requiring face masks by order of Governor Bullock – and once you’re inside, you’re the only one masked. I started into a store, pulling my mask on.  The guy in a Stetson alongside me was humming “Desperados waiting for a train.”  I haven’t… Continue reading Irish Democracy

Fry Bread

South Dakota’s official state bread is Fry Bread – Probably the best I ever tasted was with wojapi when I visited the Lower Brule Reservation.  I was fortunate to meet, and get to know, Mike Jandreau, who was Tribal President.  His first question was, “What do you know about tribal sovereignty.”  I could answer competently because I had traveled with Joel Clarenbeau as he studied the topic.  The Lower Brule Reservation was settled under the leadership of Chief Solomon Iron Nation (1815-1894), a man who accomplished a great deal for his people.  I don’t have the… Continue reading Fry Bread

Dried Corn Soup

Once, when I visited the Lower Brule, I was served soup made from dry field corn.  There was no large explanation, just the opportunity for the wasichu to recognize how tough the times were in the first days of the reservations and the last days of the buffalo.  While it’s not five-star cuisine, the recipe probably has a place with anyone who stashes a couple bushels of dried corn in the emergency rations stash. 1 lb. lean boned beef, cut in cubes1 tbsp. bacon drippings4 c. water1 c. dried corn1/2 tsp. salt Brown meat.  Add water;… Continue reading Dried Corn Soup

Winter Crane Flies: widespread and little-known

As I was walking over to my in-law’s place one chill and sunny afternoon, I happened to spot a fly. A gangly, long-legged fly, seeming to bounce up and down in the brisk winter air. Unlike the cluster flies lining the edges of our ceilings, this one was fairly active, despite the temperature.

Community, Recipes

Banana Bread

What do you do with those leftover bananas that turn too brown to eat? Don’t throw them out! Simply put them in the freezer and when you’ve collected some, make this easy and delicious banana bread. I always double this recipe so I can get two loaves which take anywhere between six and eight bananas depending on size.

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 c mashed bananas
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl cream butter (slightly softened), gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in bananas (if they’ve been frozen and then thawed they are the best in this recipe) and nuts. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating only until blended. Turn into butter/floured bread pan. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out of pan on wire rack. **Hint** when preparing bread pans, instead of flour I use powdered sugar in the pan. You then get a sweet crust on the banana bread. A warm slice with butter is amazing! Enjoy!!

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.

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.

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!