June is Dairy Month!

Meeker County’s claim to fame is certainly agriculture with the Farmers Shipping Association which started in 1908.

In 1912, this association that shipped cattle by rail made $171,190.57, or $4,389,487.00 in today’s money. The REA, Meeker County Light and Power, was the first rural electrification loan from the Federal government under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act in January 1936. Then in the mid-1960s, LaVon Grotto made a cab for his John Deere tractor out of cardboard and changed how farmers farmed.

But the two people who changed dairy, not just in Minnesota but the whole United States, were Alfred Anderson and John Brandt. Alfred’s culture for sweet cream butter and his wrapping the butter in wax paper appealed to people’s taste buds and to women who cooked. The sweet cream butter did not spoil so fast, so it could be shipped.

Then John Brandt’s selling that butter all the way to New York and back made Meeker County’s Land ‘O Lakes a household name. Alfred went on the also develop cleaning products for the dairy industry, and Anderson Chemical was formed!

As a 10-year-old, my mother said I needed to enter the June Dairy Recipe Contest for Brown County 4-H. I have the recipe card in my beginning cursive. There were mistakes, and my mother made me recopy it. I put this one in my new recipe box which I still use. So, I had to make the recipe for my mother’s lady friends when they came for afternoon coffee. They sampled it and pronounced it good. My mother thought there was something missing. A lady friend said she always liked a little pineapple with her cottage cheese so that was added!!! I actually won the contest and received a new Mirror Cookie Press (aluminum with copper ends), which I still have in the original box. I made this a few weeks ago and my 9-inch pan is slightly smaller, or more shallow. I had to put some of the mixture n a small baking dish.

Cheese Tart

Crust:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup sifted flour

Cream butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and flour. Blend thoroughly. Press with a floured hand into a 9-inch pie pan.

Filling:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 pounds cottage cheese, drained

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 c. well drained crushed pineapple

Cream butter and add sugar, continue beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well after each one. Add vanilla and cottage cheese and beat well. Stir in flour. Add very-well drained pineapple, may have to press a spoon to get the juice out. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into cottage cheese mixture. Pour into pie pan and bake 350 F for 45 minutes. Will be a soft yellow color when done. Chill before serving.

Another recipe that was a favorite many years ago was Broccoli Soufflé. I also made this recently, and I think it is pretty tasty, but you do need to like broccoli!

Broccoli Soufflé

20 ounces of frozen broccoli*

16 ounces of drained cottage cheese

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup melted butter

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, pepper

Combine all ingredients and place in greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Baking time may vary with depth of baking dish.

*May use partially cooked fresh broccoli.

This recipe is from my mother, and she gave me extra, little hints. Her favorite pie was my grandmother’s sour cream raisin pie. She made this recipe frequently and loved this filling. On the top of the recipe card she wrote, “Rich but delicious! My favorite!”

Sour Cream Raisin Bars

Part 1:

1 3/4 cup oatmeal

1 3/4 cup flour

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon soda

Mix these five ingredients well, like for pie crust. Save 1 1/2 cup for topping. Pat rest in greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake 350 F for 15 minutes.

Part 2

4 egg yolks

2 cups sour cream

1 1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups raisins

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the ingredients in Part 2 together in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then reduce heat to medium high. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until mixture begins to thicken.

Stir constantly so it does not scorch. Pour on baked crust and sprinkle 1 1/2 cup of oatmeal mixture on top. Return to oven and bake at 350 F for another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

P.S. Freezes well and will keep in the freezer up to 6 months!

This recipe is from a patient’s mother. The daughter was in ICU after brain surgery. She had trouble keeping food down, so the mother asked to bring her favorite homemade fudge topping with ice cream. Back then we did not ask anyone for permission. We were hoping the patient would be able to keep the ice cream down! The mother brought topping for the nurses and the recipe. I admit, I haven’t made this for years, but I think I put one tablespoon of cornstarch in with the flour.

Hot Fudge Topping

1 1/4 cups whole milk (or half and half)

2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat milk and chocolate over medium heat until chocolate is melted. Mix together sugar, flour and cornstarch. Add slowly to milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook until thick. Remove and add butter and vanilla. Serve warm over ice cream.

Can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated.

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