Many influence Anita’s cooking

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By Sandy Bond

Anita Harrison has always loved the real estate business, from the construction to the design to the decorating.
“But my favorite part of the real estate business,” she said, “is the research. I absolutely have a passion for all the research it takes to figure out what the true market value is on property. That’s why I became an appraiser!”
Anita has become one of the city’s newest entrepreneurs with Harrison Appraisals, Inc., located in the northeast corner of the Mobridge Tribune building on East Grand Crossing.
Owning an appraisal company in Florida from 2002 until the market collapsed in 2011, she closed her office, she said, but is still licensed to appraise real estate in that state. In June of 2012, she moved back to South Dakota and moved her appraisal business here.
The youngest daughter of Darlene and Howard Harrison, Anita and her older siblings, Michele of Mobridge and John of Dallas, Texas, grew up on the farm near Trail City.
“I’m the baby of the family,” she said, “and always get (or demand) the most attention!”
She has several cooks in her immediate family to emulate.
“My mother is an amazing cook,” she said. “She used to cook for so many hired men on the farm that it would make a normal person throw their hands up and just give up! No matter how many people she had to cook for, there was always enough amazing food and her kitchen was always spotless. She still amazes me to this day.”
As a young girl riding the bus to the Trail City school, her mom would send homemade fudge nut bars that her brother, sister and she, “used to use as currency,” she said.
“Every other kid on that bus would trade anything to get their hands on one of these incredible treats,” she said.
Her maternal grandmother, Hope Chamberlin, was a great cook, she said, She had a huge garden and canned and froze everything. She was also a vegetarian.
“I never knew until later in life that the one thing that was missing in her meatloaf was the meat,” she said. “She called it nut loaf and nobody would have guessed that there was no meat at all!”
Another great cook in her life was the late Eleanor Turner, Anita’s ex-mother-in-law.
“She could whip up an impromptu delicious meal with just whatever she had in the fridge and in the pantry,” she said. “It used to just amaze me how she did that.”
Anita, herself, likes to cook tacos, spaghetti, meatloaf, and pastas.
“I don’t bake much because I don’t like to measure anything,” she said.
After attending school in Trail City from grades one through three, she transferred to Beadle School in Mobridge. After graduating from Mobridge High School she attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, majoring in music education. After moving to Florida, she attended the International Academy of Design and got into television broadcasting.
At the age of 40, she decided to do something she had always wanted to do, she said. She went back to school at the Aveda Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and got her cosmetology license.
Admitting to eclectic tastes in music, she loves the new country, absolutely adores the new pop (alternative) music, really enjoys classical music, especially from the romantic period, but has been known to “crank up the volume” when anything from the ‘70s and ‘80s comes on! The only music she doesn’t enjoy, she said, is rap (hip-hop).
“I just don’t understand it, and just can’t get into it,” she said.
Her favorite reads include novels by John Steinbeck, Daphne Du Maurier, Ken Follett, and Adriana Trigiani.
“I will read anything I can get my hands on,” she said, “I just love my Kindle.”
Her hobbies include playing the piano, singing, and she admits to being a crossword puzzle addict.
She adores visiting her children. Eric, 24, lives in Clearwater, Fla., and just married his high school sweetheart, she said. Alexis, 20, is a junior at South Dakota State University at Brookings, and Ashley, 17, is a senior at Palm Harbor High School in Florida, and will live with her brother and his wife until she graduates. Then she will attend SDSU.
“I volunteer for everything that I can get my hands on in our wonderful little city,” she said.
She is secretary of the Friends of the Scherr Howe (FOSH), and is a member of Rotary Club. With her sister Michele, executive director for the Chamber of Commerce, Anita volunteers wherever she needs her.
“And because my kids are grown and I don’t have anyone else to take care of, I work all the time,” she said. “I love my business!”

ANITA HARRISON’S RECIPES

Pistachio Dessert
Mix together:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Press with clean, floured hands in a greased 9-inch x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Mix together:
1 8-oz. cream cheese (left out so it is room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large Cool Whip container
Put on cooled crust
Beat together for 2 minutes:
1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding
1 pkg. instant coconut cream pudding
3 cups milk
Pour onto the cheese mixture and chill in fridge. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Easy and Yummy Potato Bake
2 bags of frozen Ore-Ida O’Brien Potatoes (thawed)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 block or 1 small block of Mexican Style Velveeta Cheese
1 large carton of French Onion Dip (my favorite is Heluva Good)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Mix soup and French onion dip until blended in large bowl. Add thawed potatoes and mix with a large spoon until blended. Mix in cubed Velveeta cheese. Pour in pan cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Stir and bake for another 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for the last 10 minutes until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup crushed pecans
1/3 cup flour
Mix potatoes, eggs, sugar, 1 stick of melted butter, and vanilla. Put in baking dish.
Mix coconut, brown sugar, flour, nuts and 1 stick melted butter. Put on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes uncovered.

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