Intern’s favorite recipes come from favorite cook: Mom

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By Sandy Bond

“My mom is a phenomenal cook,” Stuart Hughes said, retrieving a lunch of rice and black beans from the refrigerator in the break room of the Mobridge Tribune. “I can cook; I just choose not to sometimes because I’m not picky! One of the favorite dishes my mom makes is what we call Party Chicken. She usually makes it for my birthday, but it’s been four or five years since I’ve been home for my birthday.”
A senior at South Dakota State University at Brookings, Stuart is spending the summer as a journalism intern. Between college life and a tenure in Morocco and Spain, he admits he’s been quite busy. Right now, he is tweaking the Sitting Bull Stampede special issue of the Tribune.
The middle son of three born to Beth and John Hughes, he and his eldest brother Elliott, and youngest brother Evan were raised outside Brandon but graduated from Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls where their dad practices law. Their mother serves as the office manager for the firm.
The Hughes men folk enjoyed hunting and fishing as a family. Stuart received his first BB gun at the age of 8, and following a hunter safety program, he received his first 12-gauge shotgun, a Remington 870 Express, at the age of 12.
“We did a lot of hunting and butchering our own game,” he said. “ Hunting was what we did as the men in the family together.”
Their mom did not partake of the hunt and wasn’t particularly interested in cooking wild game. That was the men’s domain.
They have a dog, but their yellow Labrador and golden retriever Jesse is intrigued by so many things in life, she has trouble focusing far afield.
They found the deer hunting best in Brown County and pheasant hunting in Gregory County, and treasured time spent as a family. Time that is now hard to find with schedules growing more complicated.
“Since Elliott has been attending West Point we’ve haven’t been able to get together for hunting very much,” he said.
Elliott just graduated from West Point with a major in Arabic language and has been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
With a command of Farsi, the language commonly spoken in Iran and Pakistan, he will probably be based in the Middle East, Stuart said.
In 2010-2011, he and Elliott traveled to Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt to enhance foreign language studies.
“I arrived in Marrakech a few weeks before Elliott,” he said. “The unrest in Libya and Morocco was in full-swing,” he said. “Fifteen or sixteen people were killed by an IED a few blocks from my hostel while I was there.”
Evan, 20, is attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston with a major in music performance. His major emphasis is percussion and trap set.
“I’m the middle child,” he said, “Although I’ve never considered myself an extrovert, I’ve always been a curious kid-the type that always asked, “why.” I’m supposed to have a career in journalism.”
With an interest in English, after graduating from Lincoln High School, he entered the University of Nebraska at Lincoln before transferring to the University of Missouri at Columbia. About this time, he changed his major to journalism and set his sights on SDSU. One of his first assignments at the Collegian, he recalls, was a feature on a student enterprise, “Bum A Bike,” which was a bike rental for students.
“Journalism has allowed me to meet people I never dreamed I would, including Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul who was just great, very gracious and very real.”
He also met his son Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky.
One his greatest experiences was meeting the band Pearl Jam, Jim Murphy and Tony Hawk last October when they helped raised money for Wounded Knee 4-Directions Skate Park in Pine Ridge which was once a rundown tennis court and open field. Empowering youth and uplifting the community of Pine Ridge, in addition to the skate park, the area now includes a picnic area, playground, and basketball court and baseball diamond.  He has recently been terribly impressed with interviewing Lance Mcllvain, a second-generation professional bullfighter and rodeo clown.
“Sure it must be tough to be a bull rider and stay on the bull for eight seconds,” he said. “But that’s when the bullfighter job begins.”
Stuart concedes that he has cooked meals for girlfriends once or twice with some success. But his worst cooking catastrophe would certainly have been when he and Evan prepared a raspberry croissant for a wine and cheese party for friends. Rolling the dough a bit too thin and spreading the jelly way too thick, as the croissant baked it oozed out into the pan and onto the floor of the oven floor.  After a bit of wine and cheese and stimulating conversation with good friends, all was forgotten. Except mom still had to clean the oven!

STUART HUGHES’ MOM’S RECIPES

Monster Cookies
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 tsp. soda
12 oz. peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
12 oz. M&Ms
6 oz. milk chocolate chips
Mix peanut butter and butter. Add eggs. Add brown sugar and sugar. Add salt, vanilla and soda. Mix well. Add oatmeal and finally the M&Ms and chocolate chips. Mix well. Spoon out on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Party chicken
8 large chicken breasts
8 slices of bacon
1 package of chipped beef
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 to 1 pint sour cream
3 oz. cream cheese (optional)
Wrap each breast with bacon. Cover bottom of greased 8-inch by 12-inch by 2-inch baking dish with chipped beef. Arrange chicken breasts on beef. Mix soup, sour cream and cream cheese and pour over chicken. Bake uncovered for three hours at 300 degrees or 2 hours at 325 degrees.

Pesto
4 large cloves garlic
2/3 cup pine nuts
20 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 cup olive oil
Puree in blender on liquify. Serve on pasta. May freeze in ice cube tray. Two cubes make a meal. Good served over pasta or on pizza or with many other entrees, salads and appetizers.

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