Bread Pudding was First Lesson


by Sandy Bond

Growing up on a farm six miles west of Bowdle, Dorothy Manke, the fifth of six children born to Herman and Pearl Erbe, would rather clean than cook. Her sister Velma did a lot of the cooking, she said. Today, living on the “Manke place,” the farm that she and husband Ted called home, she would much rather cook than clean, she said, “because I like to eat!”
Born in 1922, Dorothy readily recalls the Dirty Thirties.

“I remember hearing that the grasshoppers would be so thick that they would shut out the sun,” she said. “I can’t say that I recall that, but I vividly recall the dust and the dirt and the Mormon crickets. I remember hundreds of them that we stepped on when we walked the half-mile to the Spring Lake Country School.”

After graduating from the eighth grade, Dorothy lived in the girls’ dormitory while attending Java High School. After graduating in 1940, a sense of adventure inspired her to accompany her visiting aunt and uncle back to Oregon where they were engaged in harvesting fruits and berries.

“I was fascinated that we could go along the road and gather a breakfast of blackberries and raspberries,” she said.
She returned to the farm that fall but traveled to the West Coast the next year, visiting another aunt and uncle in California, and found employment at several resorts.

She met Marvin “Ted” Manke at a dance at the Selby Opera House in the late 1930s.

One of thirteen children born to Albert and Dora Manke, Ted grew up on the family farm eight miles southeast of Selby. After graduating from Selby High School in 1936, he was in the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in the Black Hills. He later served in the U.S. Army based in Fort Lewis, Wash.

Dorothy found that after several years on the West Coast, the Dakotas were calling her home.

Ted was still in the Army and Dorothy was still working in California when they renewed acquaintances. After Ted was honorably discharged, he returned to farm with his dad, Dorothy returned home and they began dating. However, Dorothy returned to California.

“Ted meant business,” she said, “and he was ready to get married.”

One day Dorothy received a diamond ring in the mail.

Dorothy said yes and returned home again and began working at the Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Service. They were married February 20, 1943, and moved to the Manke farm living with Ted’s folks for about a year and a half. During that time, Ted’s mom, Dora, coached her in the culinary arts, she said, with one of her first lessons being bread pudding. Ted’s folks moved into Selby in the fall of 1944, and left the farm to them.

Ted and Dorothy were blessed with two daughters. Betty was born in 1949. She just recently retired from a career as a registered nurse in the Minneapolis, Minn., area and now lives in Aberdeen. Mary was born in 1957. She and her husband Jay (Livermont) live in Pierre where he manages the family business and she is employed by Black Hills Special Services.
Ted and Dorothy continued to farm until 1991, when they retired. Ted passed away in 1998. Dorothy continues to live on the “century farm” with her calico cat, Callie. She is a member of the New Freedom Baptist Church in Selby and enjoys attending church functions.

“I do enjoy yard work,” she said, “even mowing; it gives me a sense of satisfaction to see what I’ve accomplished.”
And, although she lives alone, she still loves to bake and shares her goodies with her many friends and neighbors. She enjoys making tried and true recipes, but is quite a recipe clipper; she has an extensive recipe collection gleaned from Jo Hall’s “Just Folks” column from “The Mobridge Tribune.”

– Sandy Bond –

Sunflower Bars

3 cups sunflower kernels
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter

In a large bowl, combine the sunflower kernels, coconut, and rice cereal. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and syrup. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter until well blended. Pour over sunflower mixture; stir until coated. Press into a greased 13-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch pan. Cool; cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Flax Muffins
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups ground flax
1 tsp. nutmeg or cardamom
1/3 cup molasses
1 ½ cup buttermilk
1 ripe banana (mashed)
2 handfuls of nuts or raisins

Mix all ingredients. Bake in muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 8 big muffins with a fairly full cup (muffins don’t rise much).

Banana Bread
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pecans (chopped)
3 eggs
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 cups mashed bananas
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in nuts. In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moist. Pour into 2 large greased loaf pans. Bake for one hour. Done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Heavenly Hash
½ cup sugar
½ cup evaporated milk
1 Tbsp. white corn syrup
1 8 oz. pkg. chocolate chips (semisweet or milk)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, evaporated milk, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Add walnuts and marshmallows. Using 2 spoons, drop candy by spoonful onto wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Chill until set. Yields 12 to 18 candies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

No-Bake Flax Snacks
¾ cup ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp. oat flour
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. cloves
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
½ cup rice syrup (sold in natural food stores)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Combine first four ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add peanut butter and rice syrup, and knead mixture thoroughly by hand. Tear pieces off and roll them between your hands into 1-inch balls. Place balls on waxed paper. Dust very lightly with powdered sugar if desired. Serve immediately or chill for future use. Makes 24 1-inch balls.

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