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Let’s Cook: An enchanted bazaar

By Chuck Repnow - | Nov 14, 2020

Due to the pandemic, several events have been crossed off our fun-for-fall list. We certainly missed attending Minot State Homecoming, Hostfest, and various fall suppers. When fall comes calling, we note on the calendar several church bazaars that we would enjoy attending. Darting about to the various locations gives us a chance to enjoy autumn’s tapestry — especially the many scarlet and gold umbrellas along the Mouse River and DesLacs Valley.

Church bazaars are like houses that have a front porch swing — they are welcoming. They are like flannel sheets on a cold winter’s night–they are cozy. They are like trips to the county fairs — they are fun-filled. Jan, Lydia and I were recently taking a pleasant trip in memory back to the good old-fashioned days of 2019, when life was lived in simple ways. We recall what fun we had attending several church bazaars and the contentment that springs from seeing the assortment of homemade baked goods, stitched crafts, treasures in Grandma’s attic, and the tasty lunch. Let us not forget the conversation that we will enjoy at the decorated tables complete with placemats.

Let’s take a moment and recall the wonderful annual lunch that has been served at the Des Lacs United Methodist Church Bazaar. Upon opening the door of the City Hall/Community Center, you are greeted by the aroma of scalloped potatoes baking, fresh carrots merrily steaming, and a warm hello from several ladies. This is the place to let your eyes wonder–in fact, right over to the loaded salad table. Keep moving because you will soon discover many homemade pies just waiting to be enjoyed. You know that plenty of camaraderie will be relished until the last morsel of pie has disappeared also with several refills of coffee.

Now that you know lunch will be simply delicious, you can browse around at the other elements that are ready to dazzle. There will be quilted pieces that contain squares that look like sun-washed aspens, a glow of pumpkins, unique Christmas crafts, and various baked goods and candy that remind you that fall is in full swing.

This is what we are missing this year. In a recent visit with Rachel Axness, one of the coordinators for this bazaar, she informed me that due to the pandemic they decide not to have this annual event that draws a good crowd. The Des Lacs United Methodist Church has been in worship for over 100 years, and Axness mentioned that the bazaar has longevity also.

Not being able to attend this event disheartens us. It also reminds us that we are blessed when people put forth the effort to host events like this. Axness remarked that the bazaar is a “true fellowship” not only for those attending, but for the church members as well. She went on to say that church members often keep the same tasks from year to year and look forward to this pleasant time of reflecting a warm glow in the community and beyond. Some of the recipes that appear each year are from members who are no longer living. Seeing their favorite salad brings back memories. We look forward to a time when we can again go to this bazaar of inspiration. In closing, let us be reminded as the trees give a coverlet to a weary earth whose toll is now at rest, may we be covered with contentment of simple joys and memories as we look forward to a brighter spring.

Rachel likes to bring pies to the bazaar, and she often makes between 14 – 20 pies for the event. She offered several fine recipes from this wholesome event. I took time to make her Sour Cream Raisin Pie and the Clockwater Salad–both are easy and delicious.

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

This is a recipe for a single pie.

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup raisins

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 egg yolks

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix cornstarch, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in heavy saucepan. Stir in sour cream. Stir in raisins. Lemon juice and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for one minute.

Pour into baked 9-inch pie shell and cover with meringue when filling is hot. Bake until the meringue turns a toasty light brown.

Meringue

3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg white and cream of tartar in mixer on high until foamy. Beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat! Beat in vanilla, cover the hot sour cream raisin mixture filling making sure you seal on the pie crust, so the meringue does not shrink.

Bake until the meringue turns a toasty light brown.

Clockwater Salad

1 head of lettuce

1 cup of celery

4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

1 10-oz pkg. of frozen peas

1/2 cup of green pepper, diced

1 small onion diced

8 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled

1 1/2 to 2 cups of Miracle Whip

2 tablespoons sugar

4 oz shredded cheese

Tear clean and crisp lettuce into bite-size pieces and layer in a 9×13″ glass cake pan. Layer the rest of the ingredients in order given. Add sugar to Miracle Whip and spread over layers. Garnish with shredded cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. You can also dot on salad dressing and serve the remaining dressing in a side dish.

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