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Like most families, we have collected recipes, many of which come from other family members and passed from generation to generation. Below you will find recipes from my mother's collection of recipes. She has recipes from my grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, great-aunts, even one from my great grandfather's brother. I have identified with whom the recipe originated. For those relatives reading this website, if you have a favorite recipe from a family member you would like to share with readers, please send it to me,Carolyn Sowinski, and I will post it.

The following is a story written by my sister, Susan Mankell Muellner, remembering our mother and her recipes.

When Mom planned one of her famous meals or little lunches, she had a great collection of recipes to draw upon. They did not come from gourmet cookbooks, but were rather from Betty Crocker, various church cookbooks, and the result of many years of gathering recipes from neighbors, relatives, coworkers and friends. And I now realize that Mom's recipes were often more than a written list of ingredients.

Her Betty Crocker book was from the 1950s. I asked Mom why she kept this old cookbook instead of getting a new one. She replied that she knew where everything was in her old book. She has written notes and other recipes on the blank pages and it has seen a lot of use. Mom sent me many recipes over the years and she kept separate lists of the recipes she had sent to Carolyn or me. This tells me that she took her recipes very seriously.

Relationships with friends and relatives are key ingredients that she passed down. Were it not for them, we would not have the following recipes:
  • Rice Pudding from Eldora Peterson (neighbor)
  • Rhubarb Cake from Mary Ann Sogge (Mom's sister)
  • Baked Rice Hotdish (aka "White" hot dish) from Inga Jordin (Mom's mom)
  • Chocolate Chip Date Bars from Amphia Myhre (Dad's aunt)
  • Strawberry Cookies from Joyce Swenson (Dad's second cousin)
  • Swedish Fruit Soup from Cora Mankell (Dad's mom)
  • Sugar Cookies from Manda Swenson (Dad's great-aunt)
Perhaps my family's favorite of Mom's recipes is her Banana Bread Recipe. I do not know the origin and have seen no other like it. The main difference from other banana bread recipes is that it has a lot of sour milk/buttermilk. I have since passed this recipe to others and this in now their favorite banana bread recipe too.

Our favorite cake as kids was her chocolate cake made with cream (and no shortening). A requirement for this recipe was a trip to the pumphouse (where we kept fresh milk and cream cooled) for the cream as in "Susan, come and get some cream from the pump house." You need the 2-cup measuring cup and a bowl. Then dip the cup into the cream can kept in the well water to get the 1-1/2 cups needed and set it in the bowl so it doesn't spill on the way back to the house.

An important ingredient for canning and desserts was often an outing to pick fruit. We kids groaned when Mom announced a visit to Stene's yard and pasture to pick gooseberries (for sauce). The outing began with a visit with Ella and Clara Stene. We wore long sleeves because the bushes were prickly and carried tin lard pails for the gooseberries. I now realize that this was an opportunity for Mom to teach us how everyone's help is needed, the importance of neighbors helping each other and for her to have time with her kids while also getting a task accomplished...even though we complained the whole time.

We picked crabapples (for pickles) as Gerhard Swenson's. At picnics we provided watermelon and thus we had the rinds necessary to make watermelon pickles the next day. We drove on the field roads along the edges of the farm for chokecherries (for jelly). Mom climbed the ladder for the high berries and we picked the low ones. We didn't need to travel far for rhubarb or apples. We had rhubarb patches and apple trees in the yeard. The results were apple sauce, rhubarb sauce, apple butter and pies, including many for freezing.

When I now prepare a special meal, I invariably include Mom's recipes on the menu. And I have passed many of these on to others. Thought I didn't realize it at the time, I learned from mom as I watched her prepare special meals for many years. It takes practice to make sure that everything is done at the same time and this is an ingredient that is not written down.

Of course, many of Mom's dishes did not involve written recipes. that's how I learned to make Scalloped Potatoes. Someone once asked me for my scalloped potato recipe and I described "some flour," and "milk to almost cover the potatoes." Oh, and I also use my old Betty Crocker Book from 1977 rather than get a new one.

RECIPES from Vivian's Collection:

From Alice Alvig:

1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt

Mix together and roll into balls. Roll in flour. Brown on the stove; Bake for one hour in 3500 oven.
Mix together and put 1/2 batter into 13 x 9 pan:
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add 1 can apricot pie filling on top of batter.
Add layer of remaining batter.
Bake for 40 minutes at 3500.

Powdered Sugar Topping: (assume this is added on top after baking)
2 Tblsp melted margarine
2 heaping Tblsp powdered sugar
2 Tblsp frozen orange juice (not concentrate)

From Millie Bergan:

2 cans cherry pie filling, spread in 13 x 9 pan
Mix together with pastry cutter:
1 white cake mix
1/2 cup butter
Put over cherries and pat out.
Bake 1 hour at 3500.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream

From Lorraine Broberg:

Mix together:
1 cup butter (or 1/2 margarine; 1/2 shortening)
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
1 cup crushed potato chips
1 tsp vanilla

Roll into balls, press with fork.
Bake at 3500 until brown around edges.

From Ella Christopherson:

2 eggs slightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup plus one Tblsp flour

Mix together and strain out lumps.
Fry in hot fat, using Rosette iron.

From Ione Christopherson:

2/3 cup butter, soft
1/3 cup shortening
5 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
little salt
2 cups flour

Work dough into a long thin roll. Cut into 1-1/2 in pieces.
Bake 10 minutes at 3250. Cool, then roll in a sugar cinnamon mixture (3:1 ratio)
Makes 5 dozen

8 pork chops (1 inch thick), brown in oil and place in 13 x 9 pan.
Mix together:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
t sp celery seed
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup vinegar
1 bay leaf

Bake uncovered at 3250 for 1 1/2 hours. Turn meat once during baking.

From Inga Jordin:

1/2 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (also onion, if desired)
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of celery)
1 can water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup shopped green pepper
Mix together and place in casserole dish.

Bake 1 hour at 3500and add crushed potato chips, bake another 30 minutes.

From Ellen Jordin:

Mix with pastry blender:
1 cup butter
2 Tbls sugar
2 cups flour
Pat into 9x13 pan.
Bake for 15 minutes at 3500.

6 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 cup cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 orange rind, grated
5 cups rhubarb
Pour over crust and bake 35-45 minutes until custard is set.

Top with meringue:
6 eff whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Brown in oven.

From Mary Jordin:

Soak overnight:
1 cup brown beans or kidney beans
3 1/2 cup water

Add and cook until tender (about 2 hours):
1 tsp salt
1 inch piece of a cinnamon stick

Add and cook:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2-3 Tbls vinegar
2 Tbls cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Makes 4 servings.
Heat 7 cups of apple pulp on stove.
Just enough sugar to make sweet (about 5 cups)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Put in oven to brown, then into jars. Cover with par-o-wax.

From Marjorie Larimer:

Mix together:
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (6 oz) lemonade concentrate (undiluted)

Slowly add:
1 carton (9oz) whipped toppping
juice from one lemon

This makes two 8-inch pies (use either graham cracker crust or cooked pastry crust.).

From Lillian Magnuson:

1.2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 squares melted chocolate
2 cups (or more) flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Refrigerate for several hours.
Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet.
Bake 3500

From Bette Mankell:

1 pint cream
1 cup sugar
1 pint buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
3 cups graham flour (or whole wheat)
5-6 cups white flour

Roll out thin (using more flour and lefse roller) and bake on a lefse grill, then on a cookie sheet
in the oven for about 10 minutes (3500)
Will become crisp when cool. Makes about 12 rounds.

From Cora Mankell:

Cook the following ingredients on stove (low boil) for until tapioca is done (30-45 minutes, stirring regularly):
1 lemon, sliced
6 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup raisins
1 cup prunes (or other dried fruits)
2 sticks cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup tapioca (To cut the cooking time to about 10 minutes, substitute 1/4 cup quick Tapioca)

Just before serving, add:
2 cups grape juice
1 small package strawberry jello dissolved in 1 cup hot and 1 cup cold water. (Cut this part in half, if you wish)
Cook until hot.
Boil until slightly thickened:
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
30 dates

Pour over 4 cups Rice Krispies and form into balls.
Roll in powdered sugar or coconut.
2 cups sugar
2 cups shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk ("sweet milk" listed)
6 cups oatmeal
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Mix, roll and bake in moderate oven.

From Otto Mankell:

30 cucumbers in salt brine. Soak for 3 days then put in fresh water for 3 days.
Cut into 1/2 inch chunks and let simmer in weak vinegar plus 1 Tbsp alum for one hour.

Then Pickling:
3 pints vinegar
1 oz celery seed
1/2 oz bay leaves.
3 lbs sugar
1 oz pickling spice
Pour this hot mixture over the pickles. Repeat in 3 days. Then can.

From Vivian Mankell:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
2-3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
**or sour milk (add 1/2 tsp vinegar to 1/2 cup milk)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup nuts, optional

Mix in order. Bake in one bread loaf pan (spray with Pam) at 3500 for 1 hour.
RYE BREAD: (Vivian got the recipe from Muriel Bengtson)
Dissolve in cup:
2 packages or 2 Tblsp dry yeast
1 Tblsp sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water

Bring to a boil:
1 cup water
1 Tblsp salt
1/4 cup mollasses
2 Tblsp margarine or butter
2/3 cup sugar

Into an oversize bowl, add hot liquid to:
1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in
2 cups buttermilk

Add 2 cups rye flour
Add yeast mixture
Add 6-7 cups white flour

Let rise for 20 minutes, then shape into 3 loaves (spray loaf pans with Pam). Let rise 1 1/2 hours.
Bake 30-40 minutes in 3500 oven.
To soften the top crust, wipe shortening onto loaves just after removing from the pan.
6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup cream
2 Tblsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 1/2 to 7 cups flour

Mix together to a stiff, but not hard dough. Refrigerate to keep cold.
Roll out (use as little flour as possible) and use doughnut cutter. Deep fat fry.
LEFSE: (Vivian got the recipe from Marsha Kleven)
Night before, mix in an oversize bowl:
3 1/2 cups HOT water
2 sticks butter or Parkay margarine (melts in hot water)
2 Tblsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
9 cups Hungry Jack Instant Potatoes
Then add 4 cups cold milk, (add one cup at a time)
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake mix in 3 cups flour. Shape into baseball size balls.
Roll out thin (sprinkling flour on counter or lefse board) and bake on a lefse grill. Makes about 20 rounds.
TIPS: Use only Hungry Jack; Keep balls cool in fridge until ready to roll out (less flour absorbed when rolling)
Enjoy with butter and sugar; cinnamon sugar, or lingonberry jelly
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp baking soda, stir into cream
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
about 2 cups flour (use enough flour to make soft dough, but not sticky)

Roll out and shape into figure 8s.
Bake at 3250 until set, but not browned.
RICE PUDDING:(Vivian got the recipe from Eldora Peterson; submitted by Susan Muellner)
1 cup rice
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 cup cream
dash salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
raisins, optional

Soften raisins in hot water. Boil rice in a lot of water.

Make a custard: beat eggs and add sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in cream and milk and cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly, until the custard becoms thick (coats a spoon).
Mix custard in a serving bowl with the cooked (drained) rice and raisins (drained). Top with meringue made of 2 beaten egg whites and 4 Tbsp sugar. Brown in oven.

Variation: Use the whole egg in the custard and omit the meringue and bake at 350 degrees about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

MINT SURPRISE COOKIES: (Submitted by Susan Muellner)
1 cup butter (may use 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons water
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, water and vanilla. Add dry ingredients.
Chill dough.
Wrap about 1 T dough around chocolate mint wafer. Top with walnut half. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.

Note: the original recipe used round chocolate mint wafer candy, which is now hard to find. Use oblong Andes mint candies.
CHERRY WINKS: (Submitted by Susan Muellner)
3/4 c shortening
1 c sugar

2 eggs
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup dates, chopped
1/3 cup maraschino cherries, chopped

Shape in balls with 1 T. dough.
Crush 2 1/2 c. corn flakes. Roll balls in cornflakes.

Press a 1/4 maraschino cherry on top and flatten cookie slightly.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. makes about 5 dozen

From Amphia Myrhe:

2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup shortening, melted into milk
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 cakes yeast or 2 Tblsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water with 1 tsp sugar
Flour, about 10 cups. (enough flour so dough isn't sticky)

Raise ball of dough until double.
Make into dinner rolls.
Raise until double (30-45 minutes)
Bake 20-25 minutes at 3750
Bring to boil:
1 cup dates, cut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening

While still hot add 1--6 oz package chocolate chips
Cool mixture, then add:
2 eggs
1 cup water
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Bake in jelly roll pan (assume 3500) for 30 minutes.
Roll the cooled cut bars in powdered sugar.

From Mary Ann Petteway:

3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups dates, cut
3 Tblsp margargine or butter
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup walnuts, cut

Mix together, put in loaf pan.
bake 1 hour at 3250

From Marlys Schilz:

Mix with hands and form into balls:
1 stick butter or margarine
1 box (16 oz. powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies

Dip balls (use fork or toothpick) into chocolate coating:
1--8 oz bar Hershey's chocolate bar
1--6 oz package chocolate chips
1/3 bar of parafin wax

Makes 7-8 dozen.
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs
3/4 cup orange juice
8 slices bread
sugar and cinnamon

Melt butter on large cookie sheet or cake pan.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on butter.
Beat eggs, add juice.
Dip bread slices and put on the pan.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 4250

From Mary Ann Sogge:

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (part butter)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/2 cup rhubarb

Put into 13x9 pan. Sprinkle with mixture of 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
Bake 50 minutes at 3500

From Manda Swenson:

Mix with pastry cutter:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (part butter) or lard

Mix separately with egg beater, until lemon color:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine two mixtures. Mix well. Roll into balls and flatten with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
Bake at 3500

From Joyce Swenson:

1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 package Strawberry Jello
2 tsp sugar
14 oz. finely grated coconut

Mix and chill. Shape to look like strawberries.
Roll in red sugar and the remaining jello powder.
Make grean leaves with green frosting.
Keep refrigerated.

From Petra Swenson:

Beat 2 eggs and 2 additional egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream
1 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Mix. Roll out thin. Cut into diamond shapes, with a small cut in the middle of each diamond.
Deep fat fry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

From Clara Westerberg:

2 lb hamburger
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup cracker crumbs

Bake 2 hours (assume at 3500)

Recipes from other people's collections:

From Carolyn Sowinski:

Mix in order:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin

3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each of allspice, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon

Bake in 3500 oven.
For 2 loaves (spray with Pam), bake for 1 hour. or
For 24 muffins bake for 18-20 minutes.
APPLESAUSE SWEET BREAD: (best if made one day ahead)
Use an oversize mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer.

Mix together for 3 minutes on medium speed:
1 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp margarine
3 cups sugar

Add and mix:
1/3 cup evaporated milk
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add and mix for 3 minutes:
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking soda

Add and mix for 2 minutes:
3 1/2 cup applesause

Add and mix until blended:
5 1/3 cup flour

Place batter into 9x13 pan (spray with Pam). Top with mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Bake at 3250 for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or longer) until toothpick comes out clean.
This recipe fills the 9x13 pan!!
LASAGNE:(adapted from Kathy Mattson's recipe)
Brown and drain off fat:
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 garlic clove, chopped
3 lb jar of Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
Cook 15 Lasagna noodles
Cheeses to use: 2--8 oz packages shredded mozzarella, 2 packages Monterey Jack,
1 package sliced Provolone (about 12 slices)

Layer in 9x13 pan: noodles, sauce, each of the cheeses and repeat 2 more times.

Bake at 3750 for 30 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.
If you make this ahead of time, store in refrigerator and add at least 15 minutes baking time.
Mix together:
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Add the flour mixture:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda

Spread in 9x9 pan (spray with Pam).
Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake at 3500 for 20-25 minutes
(Double batch: 9x13 pan for 30-35 minutes)

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Genealogical Charts

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Last updated: January 10, 2009