No planning, just good food


By Betty Street

Joyce Mulloy

Joyce Mulloy

Joyce Mulloy really enjoys working with elderly folks. She must, since in her words she’s worked “off and on” since 1983 at Mobridge’s Golden LivingCenter.
That’s about 30 years of driving 40 miles each way from her ranch home near Timber Lake. She treats residents with dignity and respect and cares for them with smiles and humor. Having Joyce on your wing means there’s more joy in your space.
The daughter of Rita Ullman and Donald Schott, Joyce was born and raised on a farm/ranch near McLaughlin, so she is not a stranger to ranch work. And after graduating from McLaughlin High School in 1982, she attended Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City for a year and obtained LPN certification.
Joyce said she met husband Jim at a community dance in Timber Lake. When asked how long they dated before marriage, she said she “chased him a little bit first.” That was in 1982. Their first child, Christina, was born in 1987, and the second, Melissa, in 1991.
Working full time and being a working ranch wife, Joyce doesn’t have much free time, but what little there is, is spent in riding horseback or out in the yard.
Joyce is “not one to plan two days ahead” while working in her kitchen. She said much of what she cooks is made out of hamburger, like casseroles, spaghetti and hamburger gravy, a “lot of seat-of-your-pants stuff.”
The first time she made soup, Joyce asked for help from a sister-in-law, who advised her to buy turkey legs. Make soup out of turkey legs, she was told.
So that’s what she did: she put water, noodles and turkey legs in the pan and cooked them for a time.
That batch of turkey soup went to the dogs.
Nobody told her about seasonings for soup.
One learns through experience.
Joyce can’t remember the last time she purchased a cookbook. She looks up tons of recipes online, specifically on Pinterest. Joyce really enjoys browsing through recipes on her computer. But then she “goes back to the old stuff,” which she has made before. These are tried-and true methods and these dishes are generally made out of what she has on hand. It requires a well-stocked pantry and sometimes a lot of ingenuity.
Of course, she has to make up her mind by 6 p.m. about what’s for supper tonight because that’s when the stores close in Timber Lake. So no running to town for last-minute ingredients. And Timber Lake stores aren’t open on Sundays, either!
The recipe below for Biscuits and Gravy is one of Joyce and Jim’s favorites. She said you couldn’t go wrong with it. The Sour Cream Cookies recipe came originally from Joyce’s late grandmother, Lydia Schott, and the Brownies recipe is from her mother, Rita Ullman.
But Joyce’s favorite recipe is the One Pan Kuchen. She has a friend from Montana who brings her a big carton of huckleberries each year. Joyce keeps the berries in her freezer until she makes the kuchen; and when it’s served, there aren’t any leftovers.


Biscuits & Gravy
2 lbs. hamburger or sausage. Brown meat and drain fat off.
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. beef base (if using hamburger)
Mix until meat is coated.
Add 4 cups milk. Bring to boil.
Can be put over toast, potatoes or biscuits. Fast and easy.

Sour Cream Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups sour cream
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. vanilla
4 tsp. baking powder
7 cups flour
Mix together. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Frost.

6 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups Land O’Lakes butter, melted
3 tsp. orange extract
1/3 cup milk
Mix together. May need to add more milk.

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup melted margarine
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
7 oz. coconut
Mix first seven ingredients together. Pour mixture into 9×12 greased pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Then mix together: 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed milk with 7 oz. coconut. Spread on brownies when done. Return to oven until slightly golden (about 10 minutes). Cool and frost.

Brownie Frosting
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbs. margarine or butter
6 Tbs. milk
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bring mixture of first three ingredients to boil. Do not stir after mixture begins to boil or will be grainy texture. Boil for for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mix until melted. Frost brownies.

One Pan Kuchen
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
Mix into dough. Grease 9×13 pan. Spread dough in pan and up sides about one inch. Set aside.
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 1/2 Tbs. flour
3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Combine first 3 ingredients. Add 1 egg at a time. Add cream and then cream the mixture. Pour over crust.
Add fruit:
You can use any kind of fruit. My favorite is Montana’s famous huckleberries, about two cups. Canned peaches or blueberries are also good.
Combine 2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 Tbs. sugar and sprinkle on top of fruit.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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