During times of stress, nothing tastes better than mom’s comfort food.

My mom, Elsie, lives in Moorhead, and these are some of my favorite recipes when I was a child.

My mom was an elementary school teacher, but chose to stay at home when we were young. After lunch, she would help us make buns from the recipe passed down from my Grandma Alma Nelson. The dough would be rising in a bowl on our kitchen counter. We loved the feel of the dough in our buttered hands and the bubbles that came up when we punched it down.

We made little balls and then rolled each one on a plate covered with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, then put them into metal mini-muffin tins.

Next, it was story time. We listened sleepily to magical adventures of long ago and far away. Mom would then put on some soothing music and tell us to rest and when we woke up there would be buns fresh from the oven. Nothing tasted better than those buns spread with butter by a knife from my play dishes and served on tiny plates with cups of cold, frothy milk.

Grandma Nelson’s Wheat Buns

2 cups all purpose flour

1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening or margarine or butter softened

1/2 to 1 tsp. salt

1 pkg. regular or quick acting active dry yeast.

1/2 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)

1/2 cup very warm milk (scalded then cooled to 120 to 130 degrees)

1 egg

margarine or butter softened.

Mix flour, sugar, shortening, salt, and yeast in a 2.5-quart bowl. Add water, milk and egg. Beat on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed scraping the bowl frequently for 1 minute.

Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic , about 5 minutes.

Place in a greased 2.5-quart bowl, turning the greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour, dough is ready if indentation remains when touched).

Punch down dough and form into buns. Brush top with butter. Cover and let rise until double (about 30 minutes). Bake into a 350 degree oven until golden brown, about 12 to 18 minutes.

Mom’s Meatloaf

1 lb. lean hamburger

1/8 cup chopped onion or 2 teaspoons minced onion

1 egg

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or panko crumbs

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

Mix egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, onions, salt and pepper together first. Then add hamburger (I put on disposable gloves) and mix it together with your hands. Put mixture in a loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

One good-sized potato for each person

About 1/3 cup half and half or whole milk

Shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese

4 or 5 slices of lean bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

2 Tbsp. minced onion

Pepper to taste

Prick potatoes with a fork several times and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When potatoes are done, remove from the oven and cut out an oblong piece from the front of each potato. Scoop out the rest of each potato and put this in a bowl.

Using a Kitchenaid with a paddle attachment on speed 4 or an electric mixer, add half and half or whole milk and mix until the potatoes are creamy, adding more milk or half and half as needed. Add crumbled bacon, minced onions, pepper and a small handful of shredded cheese. Fill each potato to the top, packing firmly. Sprinkle some more shredded cheese on top of each potato. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

Green Bean hotdish

2 (15-oz.) cans cut green beans, drained

3/4 cup milk

10.75-oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup

2.8-oz. can French fried onions

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium casserole dish, mix together green beans, milk, cream of mushroom soup and half of the can of onions. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle remaining onions over the top, and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Blueberry Dessert


3/4 cup flour

6 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. sugar

Mix above ingredients until crumbly and bake in a 9-by-9-inch pan for 20-25 min.


2-1/2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/3 cup water

dash of salt

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

In a kettle mix sugar, cornstarch, water and salt. Add blueberries and cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Cool in the fridge.

Mix 4 ounces of cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 cup of whipped cream together (make sure cream cheese is at room temperature). Spread on top of the cooled crust. When this has cooled add cooled blueberries. May be served topped with whipped cream if desired.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to lskarpness@parkrapidsenterprise.com or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.