By Leah Holder
Stepping into the kitchen of the United Methodist Church, it is evident that both the kids there and Kathy Baumann enjoy the weekly gathering of the youth group. The kids are there to share fellowship and learning, while Kathy is there to share her skills in the kitchen.
From 10 to 18 kids usually attend youth group at the United Methodist Church and Kathy feeds them all.
“She’s not available to any other churches,” said Pastor Darla Hadrick.
“Not on Wednesday anyway. Or some Sundays…or for special events,” Darla added.
It is clear that Kathy is an important member of the Wednesday night gathering.
Kathy grew up in Selby and attended school there until graduation in 1969 when she left to attend St. Luke’s School of Radiology in Aberdeen. She had heard about the school’s low tuition (first year tuition was only $150 ) and once she started, she fell in love with the science. She graduated as an x-ray tech in 1971 and worked at St. Luke’s, Webster, Dakota Midland, and Ellendale Hospital and Oakes in North Dakota during her 46 years in the field. She retired a few years ago and came home to be closer to her family.
Kathy shares her home with her dog, Spike.
“My sister decided that I had to have a dog after I retired,” said Kathy.
Her sister mentioned to a friend in Oakes about being in the market for a dog and the woman had the perfect critter in mind, a Chihuahua puppy who was the lone survivor in his litter, a helpless little guy with bleak prospects.
“Me, being the dope I am said, well I’ll have to see him first,” laughed Kathy. “I mean how stupid! Anyone shows me any puppy, I don’t care if it’s going to get this big (indicates several feet off the floor) and I’m gonna say absolutely!”
The little boys that cared for Spike in his early life were heart-broken when she took the dog home, and Kathy sometimes stops there so they can see how well he’s doing.
Kathy has always loved to cook and the roots of that love stretch deep beneath her family tree. Her grandmother, a cook for the nursing home in Selby for many years, was famous for her fare as well as her good and kind nature. She was well known for providing a table full of food on a moment’s notice and humbly apologizing for “there not being much to eat.”
“Grandpa would say ‘Ma that’s really good’ and she’d grab a napkin or whatever was handy and write it down,” recalled Kathy.
When her grandmother passed, Kathy found journals of recipes her grandmother had written and made books of them, copying them for the family.
She takes pleasure in many things. Kathy grows flowers, paints ceramics, she cooks at Shorty’s, likes meeting people and loves photography. She is especially fond of nature photography and her pictures have won blue ribbons in the Mobridge Art Show.
“It was my grandmother that gave me her love for cooking. I like cooking all types of meals, but I really like cooking like my grandmother would-meat, potatoes, veggies and desserts,” said Kathy.
She also loves to bake “basically everything” and recounts a time when she and her sister decided it would be better to bake the year’s Christmas cookies together instead of in their own kitchens.
“We ended up with 127 dozen cookies when we got done,” said Kathy “Everyone in the neighborhood had cookies!”
Kathy Baumann’s Recipes
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup crushed bananas
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
Cream together sugar and shortening, add eggs and salt, mix. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Add bananas last. Bake in 2 greased bread pans for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Walnuts can be added if you wish.
1 cup salad oil
2 cups sugar
1 15-oz. can of pumpkin
2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix ingredients together and pour into a lightly greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool.
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
3/4 stick butter softened
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cup powdered sugar
Mix together until fluffy. Spread on cooled bars.
6 cups chopped apples
1 rounded tbs flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Combine ingredients in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and top with the following.
3/4 cup quick oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp soda
1/3 cup butter
Mix together until crumbly and pour over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until apples are soft. Serve with whipped cream.
Corned Beef Hot Dish
1 12-oz. can corned beef
1/2 cup Velveeta cheese
1 cup milk
3/4 cup buttered bread cubes
6 oz. macaroni cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onions
Mix all ingredients and turn into a greased casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.