Cooking Keeps Them Close


by Sandy Bond

“Cooking is more than filling your body with the nutrients you need to keep going; it brings people together,” Dan Ofstehage said. “It is something you can do with others and for others.”

Sarah Ofstehage proudly proclaims she is a SAHM (Stay-At-Home Mom). Her husband Dan is the pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Mobridge.

She said she is lucky to have a husband who provides for the family so that she can stay at home with their two girls, Emma, 4, and Chloe, 22 months.

Sarah and Dan love doing everything as a family, including cooking. Their parents, all excellent cooks, were their inspiration, they said.

“Some of my fondest memories growing up were Christmas baking,” Sarah said. “We would spend hours making tons of goodies including sugar cookies and fudge; but my favorite were cherry Bing bars. I hope to make new memories with my girls.”

“I have memories of helping out in the kitchen, especially making homemade pizza and ice cream,” Dan said.
Emma and Chloe like to help out in the kitchen as much as they can. Sarah and Dan’s favorite foods to cook in a pinch are soups, pizzas and pasta.

“Emma loves it when we make a box of macaroni and cheese and add kielbasa,” Dan said.

The worst cooking catastrophe Sarah could recall is when she bought an Elmo cake pan to make Emma‘s first birthday cake.

“The pan was huge,” she said. “So I thought it would need two boxes of cake mix. I was wrong! I took it out of the oven – it was crispy on the edges and liquid in the middle.”

Luckily, she had another cake mix on hand and extra time so she was able to start all over.

“It turned out great,” she said, “and very cute!”

“I think what I love most about cooking,” Dan said, “is that time together with the people you care about; breaking bread with family and friends is always a good time.”

The daughter of Jeff and Linda Hansen, Sarah and her sister, Krisy and younger brothers, Cody and Nick, grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, where their dad was employed by the postal service.

Sarah graduated from Sioux City, Iowa High School in 1997, and attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
The son of Bernard and Glenda Ofstehage, Dan and his siblings, Steve, James, Peter, Andrew and Ellen, grew up on the family farm near Vermillion. Their mother was employed in the honors department of the University of South Dakota.
After graduating from Vermillion High School in 1997, Dan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota with a major in communication disorders.

“I have always felt a call to pastoral ministry,” he said, “but didn’t always want to admit it to myself.”

After he received his undergraduate degree, he said, he managed some group homes for adults with developmental disabilities in the Des Moines area.

Even though he enjoyed the work that he was doing and the people that he worked with, he continued to feel a pull to ministry, he said.
“After talking with friends, family, and my pastor,” he said, “I decided that it was time that I finally pursued this calling.”
He received his degree in theology from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2011.

Dan loves baseball and often listens to games while he is cooking, “finding a radio broadcast to listen to over the Internet.”

They are both voracious readers.

“I am always reading a book,” Sarah said, “with Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult being my favorite authors.”

“I read a lot,” Dan said, “I love getting lost in a novel. I also read a lot of theology. I have recently started reading more poetry and am appreciating it more and more.”

Wendall Berry, Dietrich Bonheoffer, and Henry Nouveau are a few of Dan’s favorite authors.

Dan looks forward to playing fantasy football, an interactive game over the Internet, which allows players to pretend to assume the role of managers of top football leagues competing against other “managers” of their respective teams.

“It’s a good way for friends from the seminary to keep connected, even though we are serving churches throughout the country,” he said.

They both enjoy listening to Jack Johnson and Adele. However, Sarah also enjoys Sugarland and Rascal Flats, while Dan’s tastes run to Wilco, Ben Harper, Ben Folds, Better Than Ezra, Pearl Jam, and Jimmy Buffett.

Now that they are going to live in one place for more than a couple years, he said, they look forward to starting their first garden this spring.


Mom’s Meatballs
3 lbs. ground beef
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
Minced garlic to taste
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped onion
Mix together. Combine all the ingredients and shape into balls. Place meatballs in a single layer wax paper or cookie sheet; freeze until solid. Store in freezer bags until you are ready to cook. Place frozen meatballs in a baking pan, pour on the sauce and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve on or with mashed potatoes.

Homemade Pizza
Pizza Crust
3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp. yeast
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Minced garlic
Crushed red pepper
Mix together so yeast is dissolved. Add bread flour. Add vegetable oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, minced garlic, crushed red pepper, whatever seasoning you would like in your crust. Knead by hand. Let rise until double or so in size. Grease the pizza pan with olive oil, spread dough on pan. Before topping crust, precook it at 425 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Add toppings. We like pesto, fresh mozzarella, spinach, and tomatoes. We also like barbeque sauce, chicken, red onions and cheddar cheese, although there are times when nothing beats a regular old pepperoni pizza! Heat until the cheese is melted.

French Dip
Cook beef roast in a Crockpot with onions and carrots until done. Cut roast in thin slices. Place meat on a hoagie roll. Melt Swiss cheese over sandwich. Prepare Au Jus according to package. Dip sandwich in juice.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1-2 cups leftover chicken
7 tsp. chicken soup base (or to taste)
7 cups water
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1/2 small onion (chopped)
1/2 pkg. wide egg noodles
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot, melt butter. Add celery, carrots, and onions. Sauté until onions are clear, do not brown. Add water and soup base. Add chicken and bring to a boil until carrots are tender. Add egg noodles salt and pepper.

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