NORTHWOODS COOKS: Celebrate Easter with a family feast

The celebration of Easter will be observed in many homes next Sunday, April 4. Ham is the traditional main dish on many tables, a tradition that dates back to sixth century Germany.

A ham garnished with pineapple slices and maraschino cherries adds a festive touch to the Easter dinner table. (Adobe Stock)
Ezume Images/Ezume Images -

These ideas for side dishes and desserts to accompany the ham come from the 75th anniversary cookbook from Bethany Lutheran Church in Nevis, which includes recipes from the 1960s to 1980s. There were no ham recipes in the church cookbook, so that recipe comes from

Easter Ham

7-lb. boneless ham

2 cups brown sugar


3 Tbsp. prepared yellow mustard, or as needed

8-oz.) can pineapple rings in juice, drained and juice reserved

1 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Score ham by making 1/2-inch deep diagonal cuts, creating a diamond pattern; transfer ham to a roasting pan.

Mix brown sugar with enough yellow mustard to make a smooth, pourable sauce.

Pour reserved pineapple juice over ham, followed by the honey.

Pour brown sugar mixture over honey and arrange pineapple rings decoratively atop ham, adding a maraschino cherry in the middle if desired. Secure pineapple rings with toothpicks.

Bake in the preheated oven until diamond pattern on ham splits open, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Baste ham every 15 minutes with pan drippings.


Fruit Salad

By Orpha Gunderson

1 cup pineapple tidbits

2 cups mandarin oranges

1 cup coconut

1 cup sour cream

1 cup miniature marshmallows


Drain fruit. Mix in remaining ingredients. Prepare a day in advance and refrigerate.

Golden Crescent Rolls

By Karen Maki

2 pkg. active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup shortening (part soft butter)

4 cups all-purpose flour

soft butter or margarine

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until smooth. Scrape dough from side of bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1-1/2 hours.

Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Spread with butter and cut into 16 wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at rounded edge. Place rolls, with point under, on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and let rise until double, about one hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush rolls with butter. Makes 32 rolls.

Swiss Cheese Green Beans

By Denise Reuther

2 cans whole green beans, drained

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp. grated onion

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/3 cup cornflake crumbs

1 Tbsp. butter

In a small saucepan, blend butter, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook while stirring until bubbly. Blend in milk.

Remove from heat and stir in onion and sour cream until well mixed.

Combine sauce with green beans and cheese and bake in a buttered 1-1/2-quart casserole. Mix cornflake crumbs with 1 tablespoon butter and spread on top.

Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Makes 6-8 serving

Chocolate Cherry Cake

By Ruth Lundstrom

1 pkg. fudge cake

1 can cherry pie filling

1 tsp. almond extract

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch pan. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon until well mixed. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20 to 30 minutes. Frost with boiled fudge frosting.

Boiled Fudge Frosting

By Ruth Lundstrom

1 cup sugar

5 Tbsp. butter

1/3 cup milk

6 oz. chocolate chips

In a small pan, combine butter and milk. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth.

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 or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.

Tried-and-true favorite side dishes and desserts came from this church cookbook. (Submitted photo)

Related Topics: NEVIS
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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