‘Too many irons’ cause mishap


By Betty Street

Diane Droog with husband Preston

Diane Droog with husband Preston

Her worst cooking mishap just wouldn’t come to mind, but she knows she’s turned the oven off instead of the timer, and that happened at least once. She also burned noodles by boiling all the water out of the pan. “I had too many irons in the fire,” said Diane Droog, meaning she was going in several directions at the same time and just lost track of what was going on where and for how long.
This is easy to do in Diane’s busy life. She is co-owner of Droog Auction Service with her husband of nearly 53 years, Preston, where she does “cashiering, advertising and et cetera,” she said. The et cetera includes bookkeeping plus helping clients organize for their auctions, which may be a complex and lengthy process. It depends on what the client wants to do.
Then Diane is “into horses.” She also gardens and takes care of the landscaping around her and Preston’s home. Diane raises a very prosperous vegetable garden, which she generously shares, and she cans tomatoes and pickles. She collects china teacups and the Painted Pony series, the latest of which is the Iron Horse. She loves cats and is active in her church and especially with her family.
Diane grew up on a farm southwest of Pollock; the exact place is under Lake Oahe now. She lived in Old Town Pollock and New Town Pollock both. She was in sixth grade when they moved into town, where her father worked for Ted Vander Vorste.
The year 1960 was a big year in Diane’s life: she graduated from high school in Pollock, in September moved to Mobridge and started work at the First National Bank, and married Preston Nov. 26.
Diane and Preston have five grown children, Darren, Kerry, Lane, Shana and Kallyn, and all of them live with 110 miles of Mobridge; and all of them have kids of their own.
Diane sews a recycled blue jeans quilt for each of her grandchildren as they graduate high school. When the quilt is finished, she takes it to Country Junction in Mobridge and has it machine embroidered with pertinent information like the name of the high school, year, class flower, motto and so forth. She’s made 10 so far and has four to go.
Diane’s favorite meals to cook include the “good old German recipes,” although the one she likes best is her “Crock Pot with a roast, carrots and potatoes.” After that, her favorites include baked custard and chicken soup (see below), stuffed peppers and pigs in a blanket
The chocolate chip cookie recipe (also below) has received 4-H purple ribbons both at the county and state levels. The recipe was a wedding gift from Preston’s mother, Angie Droog.
A generous lady with a busy life, Diane still has time for a cup of coffee with friends or inviting guests over for supper and relaxation. There is always time for fellowship.


Chocolate Chip Cookies
(From Preston Droog’s mother)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour + 2 Tbsp.
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream first three ingredients together. Add egg and vanilla, then add dry ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Recipe may be doubled.

Baked Custard
(From Diane Droog’s mother)
1 quart milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten slightly
1 tsp. vanilla
Nutmeg or cinnamon
Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Scald milk with sugar and salt. Stir slowly into beaten eggs and add vanilla. Strain into custard cups or large baking dish, dot with butter and add a dash or two of nutmeg or cinnamon on top. Set cups/baking dish in a shallow pan of hot water to come almost to top of cups/baking dish. Set on center rack in oven and bake in moderately show oven (325) until done, about 30 minutes. (This short baking time is possible only if the custard mixture is actually hot when poured into the cups/baking dish and placed in the oven.) Just before baking time is up, begin to test for doneness, and continue baking only until custard tests done. Be careful not to over-bake, as baking too long or at too high a temperature will result in wheying the custard.

Baked Corn with Cornbread
(From Cindy Slider)
1 can cream-style corn
1 can regular corn, drained
1 small box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 stick margarine or butter
1 small onion
3 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cans of corn and cornbread mix and set aside. Chop onion. Melt margarine in small frying pan and sauté onion. Add to cornbread mixture. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Pour mixture into 9”x13” pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add 8 oz. sour cream dropped by spoonfuls over corn. Add shredded cheddar cheese. Bake another 15 minutes and serve.

Chicken Soup
(From Grandma Josie Dienert)
1 boiling chicken cooked until partly done
Put chicken in roaster along with onion and bake until brown and done.
1/2 cup rice
4 medium carrots, chopped
Cook together until done.
Celery leaves
Bay leaves
Strain broth and add above ingredients, plus chicken meat.
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
Flour to make very stiff dough, approx. 3 1/2 cups
Use teaspoon or small cookie scoop and take off pieces and put into broth. Cook until noodles come to top of soup plus a few minutes more.

Carmel Roll Topping
(From Jo Schmidtgall)
1 cup cream
2 cups brown sugar
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. syrup
Bring to a boil, put in pan and put rolls on top. Place in refrigerator overnight and cook in the morning.

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