A LITTLE ABOUT MAMA, BY ESTELLE STADEM RANGEN

PLAIN VIEW FARM, RURAL BRYANT, SD



GOD'S FOURTH LITTLE ACRE

"A LITTLE ABOUT MAMA,"

by Estelle Stadem Rangen


How Mama's Doughnuts Saved the Day


Norwegians are noted for their hospitality centering around the amber brewed coffee. It was always open house on Plain View Farm. Guests came and were welcome. This policy could create challenges, however. One time a truck load of relatives and friends came on a Sunday afternoon. We saw them coming over the south hill! "Oh,"Mama said, "what shall I serve so many?"

Before they arrived in the yard, she decided to make doughnuts! Now no one was allowed to work unnecessarily on Sunday at our place, for we honored the Lord's Day, but this was necessary! We didn't have a cake or cookie on the place--so Mama's stroke of genius took some fast thinking for a woman who wasn't usually pressed for time!

I can still taste those good hot doughnuts and plenty of cold milk brought up from the cistern and coffee for the adults. Perhaps, I remember this incident because NO baking was allowed on Sundays in our house, but, fortunately, Mama had taken that into account by preparing filling food that was FRIED, not baked --and a cook would have to know the difference.


Our Lo-Fat Ham


Baking we did on another day rather than on Sunday. Then we did the churning of butter and baking of the umpteen loaves of bread. Mama was never known to run out of homemade bread. Mama won the reputation of a superb cook. Many guests would ask her for dessert recipes. There were few left-overs from her table, you can imagine.

What there was, peelings and bones, went to the hapless hogs. They weren't the pampered porkers you see today!

As for her cooking skill, it stood her in good stead when she first came from Norway as a young girl immigrant. Mama has told us that she worked in various homes in order to learn the English language. I think she learned most of it in Norway, however, and what actually happened during her time of adapting to a new country and its ways was that the people in the homes learned how good her Norwegian cooking could be.


The Queen Sat Sideways


How we remember the potato lefse, flat-brod, yule kake, head cheese, pickled tongue, blood bologne ("blod klub"), fruit soup, lutefisk, dumplings in milk, potteklub, grotte, fattigmon, and velling--and on and on. Mama would sit sideways at the table; possibly she acquired the position from her frequent pregnancies and of having to wait continuously on her brood. She would pour the hot coffee in a saucer, blow some ripples to cool it and sip and all was well. The kitchen was Mama's fortress and a genius she was.


Mama's Garden of Eden


Mama had to be strong and capable to survive those hard years with her large family, years that included the Great Depression and world war, but cooking was not her total interest and expertise. She was the queen of pots and pans, but she was aso adept with a green thumb, growing prolific vegetable and flower gardens.

Our big dining room bay window too had its assortments of flowers plus the large fern which substituted many a year for our Christmas tree. For special events the rusty coffee and Crisco lard cans holding Mama's indoor flowering plants were treated to a fresh paper covering.

Even into her nineties, she grew many beautiful, blossoming plants, for she could not live without lovely plants gracing her home.


Pillsbury's Best


These sacks Mama sewed into pillow slips, sheets, dish towels and diapers for the baby. Even with Mama's lye soap the red and blue ink that was stamped on them was next to impossible to remove. The result was that "Pillsbury's Best" was prominently displayed on the seat of the baby.

Whoever heard of store-bought diapers, anyway? Mama's hair was always fine and red. Little curls on her forehead with the rest gathered into a roll at her neck. Redheads have the reputation of being fiery; not Mama. A more mild, patient person we've never met. Oh, there's spunk there! Fire, too, when it came to sticking up for the truth and right way!


MAMA'S RECIPES

FOR MORE ABOUT HER LIFE:

MAMA'S OWN STORY


RELATED PAGES LINKED BELOW

FOR THE NEXT GOD'S LITTLE ACRE

MORE ABOUT FARM LIFE:

GOD'S FIFTH LITTLE ACRE


FOR THE SIXTH GOD'S LITTLE ACRE

BUYING, BARTERING, BUTCHERING, AND BANDS:

GOD'S SIXTH LITTLE ACRE



THE SPIRITUAL SIDE:

GOD'S SEVENTH ACRE



MORE RELATED LINKS BELOW


You Are The Reason We Did These Pages!

TALES FOR A LILLE TUPIN

Plain View Heritage Home Page

GOD'S LITTLE ACRES WRITTEN

--by Estelle (Stadem) Rangen ("Rixa")

(c) Butterfly Productions, All Rights Reserved

PUBLISHER/FOUNDER/WEBMASTER, JERRY L. GINTHER, PASSED TO GLORY, JULY 2011, & EDITOR: Ron Ginther