cover of book

Prairie Cooks: Glorified Rice Three-Day Buns
by Carrie Young and Felicia Young
University of Iowa Press, 1993
Paper: 978-0-87745-717-6 | eISBN: 978-1-58729-259-0 | Cloth: 978-0-87745-436-6
Library of Congress Classification TX722.N6Y68 1993
Dewey Decimal Classification 641.59481


Growing up in a Norwegian American community imbued with the customs and foods of the Old Country, Carrie Young recalls how her mother and her neighbors skillfully blended Scandinavian with what they always called the American style of cooking. Young recounts how her mother, Carrine Gafkjen—after homesteading as a single woman in 1904—cooked for a large threshing crew during harvest season. Living and cooking around the clock in a cook car the size of a Pullman kitchen, she delighted the crew with her soda pancakes and her sour cream doughnuts, her fattigman (Poor Man's Cookies) and her fabulous North Dakota Lemon Meringue Pie.

During holidays lutefisk and lefse reigned supreme, but when the Glorified Rice fad swept the country in the thirties women broke new ground with inventive variations. And the short-lived but intensely experienced Three-Day Bun Era (when the buns became so ethereal they were in danger of floating off the plate) kept the Ladies Aid luncheons competitive. Whatever the times, in good years or bad, there was always the solace ofKaffe Tid, the forenoon and afternoon coffee time, when the table was set with smor og brod (butter and bread) and something sweet, like a Whipped Cream Cake or Devil's Food Cake with Rhubarb Sauce.

This book will appeal to those who feel nostalgia for a parent's or grandparent's cooking, to those who have a longing for the heartier fare of times past. The author's daughter, Felicia Young, who has "cooked Scandinavian since she was old enough to hold a lefse stick," has compiled and tested the seventy-two recipes accompanying this joyful memoir.

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