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Keep it simple

By Staff | Mar 23, 2012

Carol Boom works in her Lester-area kitchen, preparing her Mississippi mud dessert.


Farm News staff writer

LESTER – When asked about a prerequisite for recipes that she uses in her kitchen, Carol Boom, wrapped it up in one simple sentence, “Anything basic. If it’s full of unusual ingredients I don’t make it.” Then she laughed.

Boom was nominated as a farm cook by her cousin, who said Boom is a great cook and she always looks forward to family get-togethers where they enjoy sampling family favorites as they reminisce and catch up on family news.

Boom and her husband Chris live in Lyon County just to the northwest of the small town of Lester.

Carol BooM shaves chocolate to top the Mississippi mud dessert that she said her family craves.

The two will have been married for 30 years this September and have raised three daughters on the same farm where Chris Boom was born and reared.

“We grow corn and beans and raise cow/calf pairs in the pasture,” she said. “Sometimes we feed out the calves, and sometimes we just background them, (it) all depends on the market.”

Boom is employed as the relief postmaster in the Larchwood post office. She serves as church secretary at Bethel Reformed Church, president of the Lester Legion Auxiliary and a member of the Lyon County Historical Society where she is a board member and writes the monthly newsletter.

Boom said she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, yard work and, even though her girls are out of high school, she and Chris still enjoy attending sports events, musicals and plays at Lyon Community Schools.

The couple is proud of their girls. Kim, 25, has earned a master’s degree in business administration from Southwest Minnesota State and will be married this fall.

“Anything basic. If it’s full of unusual ingredients I don’t make it.” —Carol Boom Lester-area cook

Courtney, 23, will graduate from South Dakota State University this spring as a history major.

Ashley is presently a junior at SDSU majoring in business economics.

The Boom girls earned their Iowa FFA degrees while attending West Lyon High School.

“FFA really helped our daughter excel in college,”?Boom said, “and I am so glad they were involved in the program.”

Boom’s community activities, she said, doesn’t allow her time to mess around with recipes she isn’t sure will turn out.

She prefers the “tried and true” recipes, the ones she knows her family will enjoy.

Mississippi mud dessert

1 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

1 8-ounce package cream cheese (softened)

1 9-ounce carton Cool Whip

2 boxes instant chocolate pudding

3 cups milk

1/2 carton Cool Whip

1 shaved chocolate bar

Combine flour and pecans and butter and pat into 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.

Combine sugar, cream cheese and half carton of Cool Whip and pour over cooled crust.

Combine both puddings and milk and pour over cream cheese mixture. Spread with Cool Whip and top with shaved chocolate bar.


(Note: Any flavor of pudding can be used in this recipe.)

Pam’s hotdish

“I got this recipe from a gal in my card club,” Boom said. “She couldn’t remember the name of it, so on my recipe card I just named it ‘Pam’s hotdish.’ It’s a family favorite.”

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 1/2 pounds hamburger, browned and drained

1 15-ounce can pork and beans

1 can of tomato soup

8 strips of bacon fried and broken into pieces

Mix together and place in a 9-by-9-inch pan or 2-quart casserole dish.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until potatoes are done. (When mixing up, if mixture seems dry add another can of soup).

Top with cheddar cheese and bake until melted.

Double the recipe for a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Pumpkin chip muffins

“My mom found this recipe off of a can of Festive brand pumpkin many years ago,”?Boom said. “I’m always surprised how great the pumpkin and chocolate chips taste together.”

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin pans, or line with paper baking cups.

Beat eggs in a large bowl, then mix in sugar, pumpkin and oil.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Blend into egg and pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Transfer to the muffin pans.

Bake in the preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove muffins from pans, and cool on a wire rack.

M&M dream bars

2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup chopped peanuts

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon soda

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup butter, melted

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 cup plain M&Ms

Combine first six ingredients. Mix well.

Add butter. Mix.

Take out 1 1/2 cup crumbs for topping. Press remainder in 10-by-15-inch pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.

Mix sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in a small bowl.

Spread over crumb mixture. Top with M&Ms and remaining crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Yum almond bars


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix butter, flour and sugar as pastry. Pat into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar and extract together. Pour over hot crust and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.


1/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Spread frosting on cooled bars. Top with slivered almonds. Cut into squares.

Contact Robyn Kruger at rangerob@hickorytech.net.

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