Grandma’s kitchen training leads to ribbon at state fair


As a sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade science teacher at Mobridge-Pollock Middle School, Gena Dubois finds the area attractive because it is less than a three-hour drive to her parents’ farm in Wolsey.

The eldest daughter of Kurt and Maureen Dubois, Gena and her younger sister Dana, now 24, grew up on the family farm. Her mom is a cook at the Wolsey-Wessington School District.

“My grandmother is a wonderful cook and baker,” she said. “She instructed all of her grandchildren in kitchen skills, and all seven of us are South Dakota State Fair Junior Homemaker Award winners because of her guidance with baking, canning, and crafts.”

Probably, she said, her worst culinary catastrophe was when she and her grandmother made an angel food cake from scratch, a feat in itself. They hand-sifted “tons” of flour, cracked and beat a dozen eggs and mixed the cake together.
“However, we forgot to put the pan on the lowest rack in the oven,” she said. “It didn’t rise well and burned. Our second attempt was a success.”

Her favorite things to bake are cookies, pies, and bread, although she finds herself making a lot of pasta dishes because they are fast and easy.

After graduating from Wolsey High School in 2004, she received her bachelor’s degree in biology and ecological science from Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, in 2008, with plans to secure her master’s degree or doctorate and pursue a career in research. She was employed as a lab technician for a few years at the University of Minnesota and at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

“I didn’t enjoy it enough to go to graduate school, so I looked into teaching,” she said.

Doane College had a 14-month graduate program to certify individuals in education who already had their undergraduate degree. She is six credits shy of receiving her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching is a better fit for her passions, she said. She enjoys learning and sharing knowledge with others.

She completed her practicum at Lincoln East High School and student teaching at Lincoln North Star High School.

She adores all types of animals but can’t keep any in her apartment.

She has many interests including photography, movies, traveling, playing softball and volleyball, botany, ecology, bird watching and nature hikes.

Her favorite reads run the gamut from classic to contemporary. Her favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling.

She loves to listen to Iron and Wine, Mat Kearney, The Civil Wars, Adele, Mumford & Sons, The Killers, Matchbox 20, The Fray, and Fleet Foxes.

– Sandy Bond –

Scalloped Corn
1 onion (chopped)
½ cup butter
1 can cream style corn
3 eggs (beaten)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ green pepper (diced)
1 can whole corn (undrained)
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 cup sour cream
Mix together corn, muffin mix, and eggs, sauté onion and green pepper in the butter. Then add to corn mixture. Pour into a 9-inch by 12-inch glass baking dish. Mix sour cream and cheese together and spread over corn. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Rice Krispies Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
Mix well and then add:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Stir in shortening mixture and then add:
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 cup Rice Krispies
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes.

Waffle Cookies
1 ½ cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup cocoa powder
Mix and bake in waffle iron. Frost when cool.
½ stick butter
¼ cup hot water
4 tsp. cocoa powder
Powdered sugar
Beat ingredients well until smooth.

Triple Apple Pie
5 ½ cups tart apples (peeled and thinly sliced)
¼ cup apple cider or apple juice
1/3 cup apple jelly (melted)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
In a large bowl, combine the apples, cider, and jelly. Combine the sugar, flour, tapioca, and salt. Add to apple mixture and toss gently to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie pastry. Add filling and dot with butter. Place second pastry over the filling and cut slits in the top. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until crust is golden brown.

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