Jade, Kari cook for crowds


by Sandy Bond

Kari Pfannenstein has found her forte is cooking for the masses.

“When we lived in Bagely, Minn., I cooked for the community Christmas dinner for two years in a row,” she said. “I had to plan, buy, and prepare a meal for 350 people. It was an incredible way to spend Christmas.”

Her culinary repertoire, she said, has come a long way since attempting no-bake cookies. For some reason, they never set up.

“We used them for ice cream topping because, just like syrup, they could be poured over ice cream,” she said. “I love to cook, but baking, not so much.”

When her husband, Jade, was asked by Burger King management in Minnesota if he would like to transfer to the Mobridge franchise as assistant manager, several of his friends were “absolutely green with envy,” Jade said. “Kari and I didn’t have any idea why until they told me the Mobridge area is famous for its phenomenal pheasant hunting and fishing.”
In February, Jade and Kari and their two sons Peyton, 4, and Keaton, 2, moved from their home in Cokato, Minn., to Mobridge.

Daughter Alyssa, 20, is employed as an aide at Devine House, a resident care facility for disabled adults.

“She is moving to Mobridge next week,” Kari said, “and will be working with her dad at Burger King.”

Kristina, 18, is presently a student at the Model College of Hair Design in St. Cloud.

The son of Keith and Sandy Pfannenstein, Jade grew up in the St. Cloud area. While attending high school, Jade earned a few extra dollars as a crewmember at one of the St. Cloud Burger King franchises. Kari and Jade had met in junior high, but started dating when they were seniors and working at Burger King.

“I fell for the dimples,” Kari said.

The daughter of Pam and Bernie Evans, Kari grew up in the St. Cloud area where her father was a prison guard at the Minnesota Department of Corrections at St. Cloud.

“After I graduated, my dad gave me the ultimatum: college or the military,” Jade said.

At that point in time, he said, he couldn’t envision spending the next four years in college, so he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He became an aircraft mechanic assigned to the aircraft carriers U.S.S. Eisenhower and U.S.S. Washington. He was just 30 days shy of entering officer candidate school after serving in the Persian Gulf. A 30-day leave gave him the opportunity to rethink his future.

“When I left the Navy, I got a lot of grief,” he said, “because my cousin, Tim Pfannenstein, was a naval commander who is now serving at the Pentagon.”

While Jade was serving in the Navy, he and Kari were married.

Returning to Minnesota, Jade learned the art of tile and carpet installation. They opened their own business in 2006. Primarily engaged as a homemaker, Kari was briefly employed as a prison guard at the St. Cloud facility.

“Prior to that, I’d always been a bit naïve,” she said. “I believed that everyone was inherently good, just a victim of circumstances. I must say, that experience changed my mind. Some people will never be rehabilitated.”

With Jade constantly traveling to accommodate his assignments, the family was offered the position of caretakers of a campground in Cokato, Minn.

Although the kids loved it, it was too demanding on the family.

Deeply spiritual, Kari knew that “God must have a plan for us,” she said.

The family stopped at a Burger King in St. Cloud for a bite to eat one afternoon and Jade was startled to see his old crew member from when he was in high school. Troy Hannan was now a district manager. They discussed their plight and three days later Jade was back at the franchise.

“Jade cooks for me on occasion to give me that beautiful gift of a night off,” Kari said. “He will research the Internet and find recipes and make something really special that I have never made.”
– Sandy Bond –

Party Chicken
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices uncooked bacon
1 jar dried beef
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I use 98% fat-free)
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
Black pepper
Layer a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan with dried beef. Season chicken with pepper. Wrap in bacon and place on top of the dried beef. In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese and soup cream until blended smooth. Pour over the chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Serve over rice.

Pork Etta
3 lb. pork butt roast
Brown roast in oil and cut 3-inch-deep slits on top of roast.
Seasoning Mixture:
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. rosemary leaves
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 tsp. oregano flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion salt
Pour seasoning mixture into slits in roast. Place roast in roasting pan and add 1 cup of water. Cover and roast at 325 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. Cut fat off roast and shred pork with fork. Serve on buns.

Tasty Partridge
4 partridge split in half
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fry in 2 Tbsp. olive oil for 5 minutes. Remove partridge from frying pan.

Pear Sauce:
1 16 oz. can pear halves (juice reserved)
½ cup white wine
1 cup half and half
Dash of paprika
Pan drippings
Simmer for 10 minutes. Place partridge in baking pan and top with pear halves. Cover with pear sauce. Broil until brown.

Pepper Beef
Short Ribs

2 Tbsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. paprika
Mix all ingredients and rub into beef short ribs. Roast in 200 degree oven for 3 or 4 hours.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup diced onion
Sauté onion in oil in medium saucepan.

BBQ Sauce:
1 tsp. paprika
1 ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. Worcester sauce
½ cup catsup
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Bring ingredients to boil and pour over ribs. Roast for additional 2 hours.

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