Cookies bring the story of Jesus to life

It’s easy for children to associate Easter treats with chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and brightly colored hard-boiled eggs. But, resurrection cookies turn a simple morsel of meringue into a powerful teaching tool by blending verses from Scripture with the five ingredients throughout the preparation phase. While these tidbits can be made at any time, the process coincides ideally with the Easter story if they are made during the evening of Holy Saturday.

Resurrection Cookies

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar

Zipper baggie
Wooden spoon
Tape
Holy Bible

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Place the pecans in the zipper baggie and let the children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. (Explain that after Jesus was arrested the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. (Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given common wine, sometimes translated as vinegar, to drink.) Read John 19:28-30.

Add the egg whites to the vinegar. (Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life.) Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. (Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers and the bitterness of our own sin.) Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. (Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us, he wants us to know that and he wants us to love him as well.) Read John 3:16.

Beat ingredients with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. (Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.) Read Isaiah 1:18 and 1 John 3:1-3.

Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. (Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.) Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. (Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.) Read Matthew 27:65-66.

At bedtime, discuss with the children that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. (Explain that Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.) Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! (On Resurrection morning, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.) Read Matthew 28:1-9.

 

Rejoice. The Lord Jesus has risen! He is alive!

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

 

St. Paddy’s Corned Beef Reuben Spread

Faith and Begorrah! If you love Reuben sandwiches, you are going to thank your lucky stars for this easy recipe!

My longtime favorite Corned Beef Reuben spread came to mind when I read that Bishop Donald Kettler granted a St. Patrick’s Day dispensation from the Lenten Friday obligation to abstain from eating meat because the Irish saint’s feast day — March 17 — falls on a Friday this year.

Usually I serve this warm, appetizing concoction with slices of old-fashioned dark pumpernickel or cocktail rye but it is also a delectable dip for crackers or chips. If you are into the “wearing of the green,” top with fresh, finely chopped shamrocks. (No, just kidding.)

It is delicious when prepared grilled cheese sandwich-style between two pieces of buttered pumpernickel or seeded rye. I’ve tried the cold leftovers spread on a tortilla, rolled up and sliced for pinwheel appetizers — refrigerating them rolled up in waxed paper or plastic wrap for a few hours or overnight makes for easier cutting.

I think the mixture would be great on top of a toasted everything bagel or baked potato. It could become a pierogi or lasagna filling, stuffing for a savory puff pastry or deep-fried in an egg roll. I haven’t tried preparing a Rachel version with pastrami or deli turkey but believe either of those would be “top of the morning, afternoon or evening” tasty, as well.

Dreaming of the possibilities for enjoying it could be nearly as much fun as finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or having three wishes granted by a leprechaun!

St. Paddy’s Corned Beef Reuben Spread
By Carol O’Jessen-Klixbull
(Who doesn’t love being Irish for a day?)

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweet Bavarian style sauerkraut with caraway seeds (do not drain)
3/4 pound corned beef (sliced at deli)
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
1 (4 oz.) jar horseradish sauce

Combine the softened cream cheese with the sauerkraut. Rough chop the corn beef and add it with the Swiss cheese. Stir in the dressing and horseradish sauce.

Spoon mixture into either a slow cooker or a casserole (grease container with non-stick cooking spray.) For slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 45 minutes or until mixture is hot and cheese is melted. For casserole, bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes or until mixture is hot and cheese is melted.

Serve with dark pumpernickel or rye bread, crackers or pretzel chips.

Yield: 6 cups

A note from Carol:

According to canon law, when feast days fall on Fridays during Lent (as is the case this year with St. Patrick’s Day), the local bishop can make the decision to grant a dispensation so that Catholics can fully participate in the celebration. As I mentioned earlier, this year Bishop Kettler granted a dispensation for the people of the Diocese of St. Cloud. 

I also want to share that Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl recipes are not only interesting to try during Lent but are a good reminder for us that many throughout the world are challenged by hunger and poverty. The program focuses on a different country for each week of Lent — providing stories, prayers and information to help us connect with some of those who are most in need, as the money saved from preparing these simple meals can be donated to this special Lenten program. The Visitor has featured Rice Bowl recipes from India, Zambia and El Salvador so far this year.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

Bishop Kettler shares mother’s recipe in honor of Crêpe Day, February 2

February 2 is the Christian holiday of Candlemas, called “la Chandeleur” in France. It is also “le Jour des Crêpes” (the Day of the Crêpes) in this European country known for good food and wine.

Crêpes — both savory and sweet — will be created in home kitchens and quaint little “crêperies” all over France to celebrate this special day.

St. Cloud’s Bishop Donald Kettler

Recipes abound for these scrumptious super-thin pancakes but the one that his French mother, Marguerite, followed stirs up special memories for Bishop Donald Kettler, ordinary of the St. Cloud Diocese. The options for filling them are endless though his family especially enjoyed them served with butter and syrup or sugar (or sometimes fruit) for breakfast.

“Delicieux”!

Crêpes

(Submitted by Bishop Donald Kettler)

4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

Heat a medium-sized skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat. Grease the pan with a small amount of butter or oil applied with a brush or paper towel. Using a serving spoon or small ladle, spoon about 3 tablespoons crêpe batter into hot pan, tilting the pan so that the bottom surface is evenly coated. Cook over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes on a side, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

A note at the bottom of Marguerite’s recipe advises, “You might add a couple more eggs.”

♥♥♥

Marguerite (Raiche) Kettler passed away at the age of 100 on October 13, 2013.

 

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

The Eighth Day of Christmas

‘Strong to the finish ‘cause I eat my’ … spinach lasagna

Connie Roehl’s Spinach Lasagna recipe, featured in the Christ Our Light Parish cookbook “Favorites From Our Table,” caught my eye as perfect “Meatless Monday” fare.

She has been preparing it for 20 years or more and says it is one of her husband Bruce’s favorites. She often makes two pans of lasagna at the same time — one of the traditional varieties with red sauce and this one. The spinach creation always disappears first.

Connie says that it should be baked a lot longer than the recipe calls for. She bakes it for at least an hour or more, which browns the butter and makes the dish more flavorful. It’s easy to reheat, as well.

Popeye was right when he said, “I’m strong to the finish ‘cause I eat my spinach.” On this eighth day of Christmas, I offer you eight good reasons to eat more of it. According to Medical News Today, this nutritional powerhouse can help with diabetes management, cancer prevention, thwarting asthma, lowering and maintaining blood pressure, keeping bones strong, nurturing skin and hair, aiding in efficient use of one’s energy and promoting regularity. (By the way, the Well-Being Secrets blog touts 34 science-backed health benefits for this dark leafy green.)

Spinach Lasagna

8 oz. lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
24 oz. cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. crushed, dried parsley
1/2 cup butter, softened
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
16 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, butter, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Layer noodles, cottage cheese mixture, shredded cheese, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. (*See Connie’s comments above.)

A note from Carol:

I prepared Connie’s recipe and definitely enjoyed it. I did make one change — I wilted two (10 oz.) packages of fresh spinach in a pan over medium heat on the stove. There’s no need to add oil or water to your pan as the spinach leaves release liquid when they come in contact with the heat. It only takes a minute or so — stir the spinach once or twice with tongs as it is wilting.

“Favorites From Our Table” was published in 2015. There are hundreds of good recipes to be found in the book’s 174 pages. To order a copy from Christ Our Light Parish, contact Michele at 763-389-2115 or micheles@christourlightmn.org. The cookbook costs $10 and an extra $5 for shipping and handling, if mailed.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

White chocolate, pistachio and cranberry fudge

In yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned Janet Brinkman’s array of scrumptious treats and shared her recipe for “Jeweled Fruitcake.” Here’s another of her recipes — a rich, creamy fudge made with white chocolate, pistachios and cranberries — Yum!

White chocolate, pistachio
and cranberry fudge

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roasted shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil.

Melt white chocolate chips.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Beat until smooth. Fold in dried cranberries and pistachios.

Refrigerate until firm — at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

There’s still time to bake fruitcake!

Any time of the year one might spy a tasty treat on the counter in the Pastoral Center’s kitchen. Colleagues in this building are ever so generous with sharing sweets and garden produce. But, a stroll through the kitchen around Christmas is especially gratifying as samples of holiday baking appear.

Janet Brinkman, director of human resources, brought in a lovely assortment earlier this week. Her “Jeweled Fruitcake” was filled with scrumptious fruits and nuts — moving way beyond traditional fruitcake “territory.” (While many recipes suggest that fruitcakes should be baked at least one month before they will be served, Janet said this one does not need to age but the fruits and nuts need to steeped overnight in some “good spirits” and that the measurements of all the fruits in the recipe are approximate.) There’s still time to bake it before Christmas Day!

Jeweled Fruitcake

First day:
Soak the following fruits and nuts in brandy and rum overnight:

2 cups dried apricots
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
8 oz. mixed candied fruit
8 oz. red candied cherries
8 oz. green candied cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups walnuts (don’t chop)
1 1/2 cups Brazil nuts (don’t chop)

1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup rum

Ingredients for second day:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla

On second day, heat oven to 300°F. Grease 8 or 9 mini loaf aluminum foil pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients, eggs and vanilla. Fold in fruit and nut mixture. Spread in pans. Bake the loaves for 55 minutes at 300°F. Remove loaves from pans and cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Sweet Ministry

At a recent Learning Over Lunch session for employees of the diocese, Deacon Mark Barder, director of the planning office, delighted us with his passion for creating fudge. He has spent a number of years honing his Creamy Velvet Fudge recipe and technique. As an early Christmas present, Deacon Mark generously agreed to share his distinct process with readers of the “From the Heart” blog.

“The older I get, the less I need. Of the many things that I have done in my life, making candies, fudges and other sweets during the Christmas holiday is one of my favorite things to do (besides lighting my house with Christmas lights!). It has taken a long time to perfect one of these recipes — fudge.barder-deacon-mark

 I decided after all these years of making fudge to relinquish my recipe to family, friends and strangers. I am confident if you follow it, you will WOW the socks off of anyone who tastes it.

 Enjoy, share and savor this delectable recipe.

 Merry Christmas!

Deacon Mark

Creamy Velvet Fudge

Prepare two or three loaf pans by pressing a large sheet of parchment paper in each. (Paper should extend over top of pans.)

Place in large plastic bowl (combine and set aside):

1 (3-3.5 oz.) bar sweetened chocolate, broken into small pieces (Ghiradelli, Godiva, Cadbury)
2 (12 oz.) packages chocolate chips(* See tips section.)
1 cup butter, softened
7 oz. container of marshmallow cream
1-2 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. of another flavoring, if desired

Place in a metal pot fitted with a candy thermometer:

5 cups sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, shaken very well

Over low heat, bring sugar and evaporated milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Do not scrape sides of pot!

The mixture will boil at 221°F. When the mixture reaches 234°F to 236°F take it off the heat and pour it into the bowl with the chocolate, butter and other ingredients. Again, do not scrape sides of pot!

With a hand mixer, beat the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour the fudge into the prepared bread pans. (Use heat resistant spatula.)

Cool it overnight. When cool, take the fudge out of the pans by lifting the parchment paper. Wrap the blocks in plastic wrap.

Yield: Approximately five pounds.

Deacon Mark’s fudge-making tips:

  • I prefer a plastic bowl for mixing the ingredients as plastic helps to dissipate heat.
  • Any flavor of chocolate chips — milk chocolate, dark, mint, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc. — can be used. Don’t use generic chips. *
  • Generic marshmallow is cream is OK, but do use not marshmallows as they are coated with a fine sugar that does not dissolve.
  • Use a high-end vanilla.
  • Other flavorings such as mint, rum, maple, almond, etc. may also be used to modify the fudge flavor.
  • I use a metal pot with a copper bottom for cooking the fudge.
  • Use a hand mixer — do not use a stand mixer with a metal bowl for combining the ingredients. The metal bowl is too cold for this process.
  • Consider investing in a high-quality, digital candy thermometer — it’s an important tool in the candy-making process.
  • I use a bamboo utensil to stir the sugar and milk while it is heating.
  • I prefer gas heat as it is easy to control.
  • If you plan to add nuts, take the mixture off the stove at 234°F.
  • For French mint fudge, heat the mixture to 236°F.
  • If your fudge is grainy, the mixture did not reach the 234-236°F temperature.
  • The fudge will keep one to one-and-a-half months. Do not refrigerate it. Refrigeration dries it out and alters the taste. I have been told it can be frozen but I have never tried this.
Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things "food."
Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Caramel-Crowned Pumpkin Squares: an easy recipe to be thankful for!

Recipes in my collection often elicit a sweet memory — the event where I first tasted it, the person I received it from or someone in my life who especially likes that dish. Most foodies can probably relate.

When I asked Visitor columnist Rita Meyer about featuring her Caramel-Crowned Pumpkin Squares recipe in the Meire Grove “St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cookbook,” she recalled getting the recipe from her friend Margaret Arnold, a parishioner of St. Anne’s in Kimball. Rita contacted Margaret who reminisced about acquiring the recipe from a friend in Edina at a dinner party around 15 years ago.

bars2They were a definite hit with The Visitor staff when I baked a pan to share at the office. I agree with Margaret that they are a scrumptious alternative to pumpkin pie at this time of year. Rita thinks it’s a delicious recipe, too. She admits to loving “anything pumpkin” and told me that the recipe for “Pumpkin Chip Cookies” on page 31 in the cookbook is also one of her favorites. (Hint: She always makes them with milk chocolate chips.)

Caramel-Crowned Pumpkin Squares

Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves

Topping:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Whipped cream, as desired

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Crust:
Mix ingredients (in a food processor, by hand with pastry blender or on low with electric mixer). Press crust into bottom of 13 x 9 x 2 inches pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Filling:
Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly. Pour over crust. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Topping:
Combine ingredients. Sprinkle them over the pumpkin filling. Return to oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.

Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

bars1St. John’s Cookbook was published in 2014 and features 140 pages filled with great recipes from parishioners. It sells for $12 a copy (with an additional $6 for postage and handling). If you want to order copies by mail contact Rita Meyer at 320-987-3113 or ritameyer@meltel.net. Or, if you are passing through Meire Grove, stop at the QPC (Quality Plus Convenience) gas station to skip the shipping costs. They are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

 

 

 

 

Can’t Help Falling in Love Baked Beans

Angie Loecken, a friend and longtime colleague, is retiring from the diocese today. She’s worked for the diocese, mostly in the Office of Marriage and Family, for more than 40 years and literally touched thousands of lives during that time through all the programs and events that she has organized, coordinated and staffed.

Angie for blogThe epitome of her given name “Angeline,” she’s sweet, thoughtful and caring. I’m going to miss her. Angie is fun to chat with and usually offers visitors to her office a little something sweet from her candy jar before they depart. She’s also been generous in sharing treats with our building staff over the years — pear apple pie, rhubarb custard bars, cakes, brownies, cookies … yum!

I’ve especially enjoyed sharing recipes with her. She’s a good cook and baker and credits her mom, Laura (Gilman) Housman, for passing on her culinary skills.

And, her mother imparted a love of genealogy, too, insisting that Angie research her family’s history — the Gilmans arrived on the East Coast from Hingham, England, in 1628. A long-ago “cousin” Bridget Gilman married a Lincoln and our 16th president was one of her descendants. (Angie affectionately calls him “Cousin Abe.”) Another early “cousin” Nicholas Gilman from Gilmantown, New Hampshire, helped to write the Constitution and also signed it.

Discovering that she was a descendant of Moses Gilman, a Revolutionary War soldier from New Hampshire, qualified Angie to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution — a distinction she truly treasures. She is the regent of the Sarah Steele Sibley DAR chapter, based in St. Cloud.

Angie is sharing her special baked bean recipe today — one she’s made “hundreds of times” for potlucks, graduations and family reunions. I’ve given it a special name based on her never-ending passion for Elvis Presley. “Elvis’ music has always soothed me, especially his hymns,” Angie related.

She saw The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in person in May 1977 in Minneapolis. He died Aug. 16 that year. She bought special licensed bubble gum at the performance that night and has never opened it. Still has her tickets from the show, too, and quite a collection of newspaper and magazine clippings featuring her flamboyant “idol.”

Angie loves cheeseburgers and fries — Elvis’ top “dinner” picks, which were usually served at 5 or 6 a.m. after a performance. (The King generally ate them in bed. But Angie doesn’t and neither did Cousin Abe.)

Can’t Help Falling in Love Baked Beans
Angie Loecken

Homemade Barbecue Baked Beans1 small onion, diced
3 lb. hamburger
¼ cup brown sugar
1 lb. bacon, fried and drained
1 (4.3 oz.) pkg. Hormel Original Real Crumbled Bacon
1 (Number 10-size)* can Bush’s Original Baked Beans
1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. yellow mustard
2 tbsp. Liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Fry onion and hamburger together. Drain off grease. Sprinkle brown sugar over hamburger. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a greased roasting pan and bake at 325°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

*A No. 10-size can contains three quarts.

Angie’s kitchen notes:

  • For a potluck following day, prepare and bake the beans in roasting pan for 1 hour at 325°F. Transfer them to a slow cooker and refrigerate overnight. Reheat in slow cooker.
  • To stretch the recipe for a larger crowd, add one or two more (16 oz. or 28 oz.) cans of Bush’s Original Baked Beans. Don’t add more liquid smoke!
  • To make the recipe smaller, use two or three (28 oz.) cans of beans instead of the No. 10-size.

A comment from Carol:

Angie’s Hamburger Bread Dressing recipe was featured in “Food, Faith and Fellowship,” a Visitor blog I wrote a few years ago, as was Cheesecake Supreme, a treat Angie’s son-in-law Carl and granddaughter Hadley baked for her in honor of Mother’s Day that year.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things "food."
Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”

Captivating hummingbirds inspire ambrosial confection

When the middle of April rolls around, I start anticipating the annual return of hummingbirds to our house. And, by early May the Ruby Throated males begin to arrive to claim their feeding territories. It’s always exciting to spot the first one scouting out his familiar “fueling station” by our kitchen window.

Throughout the spring and summer I enjoy preparing sweet nectar for our feeders and watching the awesome flying antics of these diminutive creatures. Sporting plumage that literally shimmers in the sunlight and weighing one-eighth ounce, on average, their heart beats around 1,200 times a minute while they are feeding.Hummingbird

I’ve read that they are the only birds that can actually hover — amazingly beating their wee little wings up to 220 times a second. Often referred to as “God’s tiny miracle,” they can fly backwards, straight up and down or even side-to-side at 30 miles per hour. (They’ve been clocked at up to 63 miles an hour when in flight!)

Recently, while paging through the diocesan Centennial Cookbook, published in 1989, I came across a recipe for Hummingbird Cake, submitted by Clara Scheierl, a member of St. Louis Parish in Paynesville. I was intrigued by the recipe’s name and could tell by the ingredient list — including pineapple, bananas, cinnamon and nuts — that it is scrumptious. Learning it is topped off with cream cheese frosting left no doubt in my mind!

It was interesting to trace the cake’s origin and engaging moniker to Jamaica, where it was named after the Red-billed Streamertail, a hummingbird indigenous to the island.

Clara is mother to Father LeRoy Scheierl, pastor of St. Peter and St. Paul parishes in St. Cloud, and Deacon Richard Scheierl, deacon at St. Augustine Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. She and her late husband, William, had four other sons and two daughters.

Their daughter, Debra Schreifels, remembers her mom always having something sweet waiting for her and her siblings when they got off the bus after a day at school. Her mom was a great baker and, over the years, made a multitude of cookies, cakes, pies and bread — generally fitting seven loaves in the oven at once.

Of course there are many variations of this cake, but after Debra’s endorsement of her mother’s expertise, Clara’s recipe seems a delicious place to start.

A Piece Of Hummingbird Cake With Pecans And Cream Cheese FrostinHummingbird Cake
Clara Scheierl

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
2 cups diced very ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13 X 9 X 2-inch pan (or three 9 X 1 1/2-inch round cake pans).

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla. Gently stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Fold in pineapple, nuts and bananas.

Pour into prepared pan/s and bake until set in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean — 45-60 minutes for 13 X 9 X 2-inch pan or 25-30 minutes for round pans. (Don’t overbake. The cake should be moist.)

Ice with cream cheese frosting, when cool.

Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things "food."
Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”