Exploding sweet potato balls earn Lynn a blue ribbon

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By Betty Street

Lynn Kuehl with a batch of fresh-baked banana bread.

Lynn Kuehl with a batch of fresh-baked banana bread.

The South Dakota State Fair Special Foods judge declared Lynn Kuehl’s (she was Lynn McClellan then) 4-H recipe for sweet potato balls a blue ribbon winner as far as taste was concerned. Grading their appearance was another story, however.
In this baking contest, two people shared each oven; and Lynn’s competitor kept opening and closing the oven door to check on her own creation. So instead of the central marshmallow of each sweet potato ball lightly drizzling out during baking, the uneven heat caused them all to explode. Hence, the judge thought their taste top-notch, but could not grant Lynn a very high score on appearance.
Lesson learned: leave the oven door shut and observe through the window as your recipe bakes!
That incident occurred when Lynn was 16 years old. Now she is a grandmother and in her thirtieth year of school teaching. Lynn’s life has undergone many important changes over the years, including changing grades to teaching a kindergarten class in Mobridge since last December.
When asked what drives her to teach children in South Dakota, Lynn said, “This is what I want to do and this is where I want to be. That’s why [all] our kids do so well in South Dakota.”
She said, “I’m very excited for school to start. For kindergarteners, school is still fun. They learn something new every day and so do I. It’ll be a big class this year, 23 to 24 kids. And the things first graders learned 12 years ago, kindergarteners have to know now.”
In fact, Lynn enjoys teaching so much, she said she wouldn’t retire “until it’s not fun anymore.”
Lynn and husband Llewellen have two children, Brett and Breanne. Brett works at Jerome Distributing here in Mobridge and is married to Lori (Iron), who works as a paraprofessional at Freeman Davis School. They have two sons, Kadin, age 2½ and Korbin, six weeks old.
Breanne, better known as Breezy, currently attends Bismarck State College majoring in business.
As Lynn’s personal and professional lives have changed over the years, so, too, have her cooking practices. For one thing, with Brett not home any longer, the family doesn’t go through six gallons of milk every week. Now Lynn only cooks for two and she looks for recipes that cook up swiftly and simply, and more emphasis is placed on nutrition.
The exception to that statement is Lynn loves to bake. She finds baking a great stress reliever, but she knows she mustn’t keep all those sweets on hand. When her colleagues or the cooks at school find extra goodies, they know Lynn most likely is the source.
Stressful days for Lynn mean sweeter days for the staff at Freeman Davis. Is it an equal tradeoff?

LYNN KUEHL’S RECIPES

BBQ Pork
Sauce:
½ cup catsup
1½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. Tabasco
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1 cup water
½ tsp. mustard
1 Tbs. brown sugar
Place pork roast or country-style ribs in roaster. Add sauce. Cook in 325 degree oven for 2-2½ hours. Adjust size of roast to fit number of servings needed. Recipe does not do well in Crock-Pot.

Crispy Chicken
½ cup crisp rice cereal, coarsely crushed
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
In a shallow bowl, combine cereal, flour and seasonings. Place butter in another bowl. Dip chicken in butter, then into cereal mixture. Place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear. Yield: 4 servings.

Chicken Rice
1 chicken cut up
1 cup dry rice
1 pkg. dry onion soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup water
Place rice in greased roaster. Place chicken next. Sprinkle with dry onion soup. Mix together cream of chicken soup with water and pour over all. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours.

Mrs. Lynnette Kuehl’s Chocolate Drop Cookies
(From Classroom Cookbook)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups flour
4 Tbs. cocoa
1 cup nuts
Cream together sugar, butter, milk and eggs. Add all dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoons on greased pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (No air pans.)
Frosting:
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs. cocoa
2 Tbs. melted butter
Warm coffee (enough to make it spreadable

Sweet Potato Balls
3 cups cooked sweet potatoes
¼ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. milk
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. lemon rind, grated
8 large marshmallows
½ cup crushed corn flakes
Mash sweet potatoes. Add butter, sugar, milk, salt and lemon rind. With spoon, scoop up about ¼ cup of mixture. Place marshmallow in center of scooped potatoes and cover it with more potato. Shape in balls and roll each in corn flakes. Place each one in buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until marshmallows begin to ooze. They can be frozen and reheated.

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