Lila has held many jobs, would love to own restaruant
By Betty Street
Lila Schmidt is a talented woman. She crochets afghans, scrubbies, potholders, the tops of kitchen towels, and handle covers for cast iron skillets. Lila sews as well and for many years stitched much of her own wardrobe. Now most of her sewing skills go into making quilt tops. Lila also is a master weaver and has made numerous rugs for sale and as gifts.
Furthermore, Lila has a passion for gardening and is a member of Mobridge Garden Club. Physical limitations demanded that she garden from containers on porches both front and back this season, although the plantings in back did the best, she said.
In addition, Lila loves to cook. Having developed gluten intolerance in the last five years, she has researched the best and most nutritious recipes and methods to cook for herself and husband Wayne, a carpenter who works out of their Mobridge home.
A retired bookkeeper, Lila now has time for her various hobbies. However, before her marriage with Wayne (this year they will celebrate their 30th anniversary) Lila said, “I did a lot of jobs in my life.”
She kept books for a plumbing firm and processed checks at Cargill and Peavey while living in Minneapolis. For a time she was a waitress in Michigan, but the 200 inches of snow they had that year made her want to leave that part of the country. She came to Mobridge to work as a bookkeeper for Neil Cahill. She also worked as a motel maid for a time, which is where she learned to clean, she said.
“One thing I always wanted to do,” said Lila wistfully, “was to own a restaurant.”
Born and raised in Minnesota, Lila is from a large family. She is number seven of eight sisters and four brothers, and Lila and Wayne are aunt and uncle to 92 nieces and nephews. Lila said she knows and remembers the birthdates of her siblings, but there’s no way she can keep track of those for the next generation!
Lila said for the most part she had a happy childhood. Her favorite memory is from one Christmas after her oldest sister was out of high school. That sister told Lila she would get exactly what she wanted for Christmas, and Lila did: a brand new nightgown. New clothing was very rare in their large family, which is one of the reasons Lila learned to sew so well.
Lila and Wayne have no children of their own, but they were foster parents to more than 45 children between 1989 and 1994. The longest any of the children stayed with them was six months. Over the years, they have tried to keep in contact with a couple, but it was hard to do and most efforts did not meet with success.
Her most memorable cooking disaster, Lila said, occurred when she was cooking for a sick friend. They were making a huge pot of chili and the recipe called for four tablespoons of chili powder. Lila misread the spice label and added four tablespoons of red pepper instead. Her friend called after she went home and said the mixture had had to be packaged up in little bags and stored in the freezer, to be taken out one at a time as the seasoning for a single batch of chili.
Lesson learned in case that restaurant dream becomes a reality!
LILA SCHMIDT’S RECIPES
Sunday Pot Roast
2-3 lb. pot roast
3-5 bay leaves
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large onions cut in fourths
12 baby carrots
2 stalks celery cut in thirds
5 potatoes, cut up
Place all ingredients in Crock-Pot. Cook on high 5-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
2-3 stalks fresh broccoli
1 small onion
½ cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
¾ tsp. Mrs. Dash
1 cup milk
½ tsp. salt (optional)
¼ tsp. parsley
1 tsp. seasoning salt
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Wash broccoli and cut off flowers; set flowers aside. Strip broccoli stalks of outer layer and chop in small pieces. Cut up onion. Boil broccoli pieces and onion in water until tender. Blend broccoli pieces, oil and water in blender until liquid, then return to pan. Add milk, butter, broccoli flowers, spices and bring just to boil, but do not boil. Mix cornstarch with enough water to make runny paste. Add to soup and bring just to boil. About 4 servings.
Chicken Rice Hot Dish
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
3 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 can mushrooms, drained
½ cup water
½ tsp. parsley
1-3 Tbsp. Tamari (soy sauce)
Sauté onions, celery, garlic and mushrooms until glossy, about 5 minutes. Add rice, chicken, water, parsley and Tamari. Cook 10-15 minutes longer until flavor is cooked through.
Chocolate Candy Cookie
6 almond bark chunks
1 2-oz. dark chocolate bar.
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup nuts, mixed or whatever you like
½ cup sunflower seeds
Melt almond bark and chocolate in a double boiler or microwave oven and stir until smooth. Mix in Rice Krispies, nuts and seeds. Drop by spoonsful onto wax paper. Store in tightly-covered container when set up.