January 8, 2004 at 12:27 p.m.
For some reason, and perhaps writing about her today, is the reason I saved a note from her that she’d written especially for our children when we were visiting her in the summer of 1969 in northeast Minneapolis, where she lived. It reads: “Dear kids, The little robins that eat the apples out of Uncle Norm’s apple tree told me you were going to be here today. I said, oh what fun. I guess I’ll fix a treasure hunt for them. Now, the first thing you do is to get some lettuce from “Auntie Muggs” and ask your mom and dad to walk down to the end of the block and feed the bunny. And then come back and someplace in the yard you will find a package with your name on it. Happy hunting. Love, “The Fairy.”
The kids were ecstatic, doing what they were told to do and they all found their packages that contained edible treats. It is something they have always remembered, along with a train ride from Minneapolis to St. Paul, a ride on a big boat on Lakes Calhoun and Nokomis and several other special trips as they were growing up. And best of all, when invited to her home for dinner she made wonderful food that graced the table. She was very Swedish and on Christmas Eve always served lutefisk, homemade Swedish potato sausage and “grot,” a Swedish Christmas porridge, among many other foods. She was a marvelous person and we shall miss her greatly.
These are some of her recipes.
This casserole recipe is one our whole family makes often.
AUNTIE MUGGS’ CREAMY NOODLE CASSEROLE
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1-13 oz. can corn with liquid
1 can cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
1 c. cultured sour cream
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
4 c. cooked medium size noodles (about 3 c. uncooked)
In large skillet brown ground beef with onions; drain off fat. Combine soups and sour cream; add rest of ingredients, blending well. Turn into 3 qt. casserole. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees 45-50 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 6-8. Reheat any leftovers over low heat or in the microwave on 50 percent power.
CITRUS ORANGE GELATIN SALAD
1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, save juice
1-8 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained, save juice
1-20 oz. can grapefruit sections, drained, save juice
1/2 coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
1-3 oz. pkg. lemon gelatin
3/4 c. orange juice
Using one cup reserved juices, bring to a boil in a small saucepan. (If not enough juice to make one cup, add water.)
In medium bowl dissolve gelatin in boiling juice. Stir well until completely dissolved. Cool; add orange juice. Combine fruits and nuts into a 1-1/2 qt. mold or bowl. Pour gelatin mixture over; chill until firm. Serves 4-6.
More often than not, when we had cake and coffee at Auntie Muggs’ home she would use this frosting. Delicious and easy to make.
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. white corn syrup
two 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate cut in coarse pieces
Melt shortening in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add rest of ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover and boil 1/2 minute; uncover and boil another 1/2 minute. Remove from heat and cool completely. Beat with a wooden spoon (I use my small electric mixer.) until spreadable. Frosts a 9x13 cake.
This is Bud’s very favorite cookie and mine, too. And they were just called . . .
ICE BOX COOKIES
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. butter (they’re not quite as good if you use margarine)
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 c. flour
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
In large mixing bowl, cream butter with sugars; add egg and vanilla, beating well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture, beating well. Stir in nuts.
Divide dough in half shaping each into a roll about 2-inches in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and freeze for 2-3 hours.
When ready to bake, slice in 1/8-inch slices and place 3/4-inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees 7-8 minutes. Watch so they don’t get too brown. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
NOTE: If dough is kinda sticky, flour your hands when forming into roll.
Thought for the day: Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.