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Trashing mom’s kitchen

By Staff | Oct 12, 2012

ELLEN BUEHLER, of rural Odebolt, spreads filling over her moon pie’s crust. Buehler has found that most of her recipes come with a story attached to them.



ODEBOLT – When many mothers do their best to keep their kitchen spotless, Ellen Buehler’s mother was encouraging her three girls to do the opposite.

“Our mom encouraged a well-used kitchen,” said the youngest of the Buehler girls from her rural Sac County home. “Bless my mom for letting us trash the kitchen with flour and dishes all over.

“Is it any wonder that my youngest son Barry has been able to make brownies blindfolded since he was 4 years old?”

ELLEN BUEHLER holds a recipe book that she authored for her sister, Esther. “My sister was always calling me and asking me for a certain recipe, so I decided to put together a cookbook of my favorite recipes to give to her,” said Buehler

Buehler and her sisters grew up learning to bake bread, meat, cookies and pies under the tutelage of their mother. Buehler also took instruction from her home economics instructor, Mrs. Teilbur, as well. “I learned to make a white sauce and bake pie crust from her.”

After marrying Roger Buehler more than 25 years ago, she used her talent to bake pies made from apples picked from a tree on their farm. Roger Buehler finishes cattle with his brother, Duane Buehler. Brownie-maker son, Barry Buehler, 23, an Iowa State University graduate, has returned to work on the family farm.

No stranger to farming herself, Ellen grew up driving tractor, walking beans and detasseling corn.

“My mom thought I’d have a rude awakening coming to a cattle and farrowing operation,” Buehler said. “We lived off of a blacktop and didn’t deal with livestock and didn’t venture down many gravel roads.”

Gravel roads, she said, was far from being the only change.

“Growing up,” Ellen Buehler said, “we were very much a traditional farm family with a good amount of Swedish influence.

“During planting and harvest, my mom was up at 4 a.m. making a hearty breakfast. At morning break, she loaded up our 1965 Chevy with coffee and other hot food for those who helped.

“Of course, there was lunch, afternoon break and evening meals, too.

“When I married Roger, I immediately thought I should do the same thing, so I loaded up the kids and food and took it out to the field. He told me he’d be home in about a half hour and just to take the meal back home.”

From that point on, her home-cooked meals were enjoyed only at home, she said.

Buehler, who enjoys creating a “Farm Magazine Picture Moment” has still been known time and again to bring meals to those who help on their farm. “Roger also had a single friend who really appreciated the gesture,” Buehler said, “so I got more than a few chances to do what my mom did for our family.”

The Buehlers have been involved in civic duty and other professions. Roger Buehler has been a school board member and is serving on the soil commission for Sac County. Ellen Buehler, who has an elementary education degree, taught preschool for several years and has served as a family worker for Head Start.

“I’m also extremely passionate about 4-H,” the seven-year leader for the Richland Robins and five-year 4-H committee member said. “We’ve had such a well-run club; all three of my children have benefited from a solid 4-H background.”

Now that all three of the Buehlers’ children are grown and the youngest is active in the cattle operation, Ellen and Roger are looking at taking serious time to travel, enjoying the fruits of their labor.

“It’s time to take some time for us,” Ellen Buehler said. “We met each other on a canoeing trip, and we still enjoy canoeing. There’s still a lot to do, and we need to get at it.”

Moon cake

(Ellen said her mother found this recipe in a farming magazine.)

1/2 cup margarine

1 large package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup water

3 cups of milk

1 cup flour

1 8-ounce package crean cheese, softened

4 eggs

1 large container of whipped topping.

Grease a jelly roll pan.

Bring margarine and water to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir well. Cool slightly.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

Spread the mixture in the greased pan and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.



Mix pudding with 3 cups of milk. Add softened cream cheese.

Spread over cooled crust. Top with the whipped topping.

Serve with chocolate syrup.

“I know that some people like to swirl the syrup all over the dessert before serving,” Buehler said, “and make it look very pretty.

“Others like to change the flavor of the pudding and use chocolate or butterscotch pudding. I have added strawberries on top of the dessert and then topped that with chocolate syrup.”

Perfect prime rib roast

(“I got this recipe from my mom,” Buehler said, who got it from Paula Smith, of Ottawa, Ill.”)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons seasoned salt

6 pounds bone-in beef rib roast

In a small bowl mix Worcestershire sauce, pepper, garlic powder and seasoned salt.

Rub this thoroughly over a rib roast Place the seasoned roast in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Turn the roast as often as possible.

Place the roast, fat side up in a large lightly greased roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

Uncover and bake another 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 150 to 160 degrees.

Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

“I usually grill the roast instead of baking in the oven,” Buehler said.

Chicken and dumplings

“I got this from Paulette Harskamp,” Buehler said, “published in the Albert City Covenant Church Cookbook.”

1 chicken or chicken parts

1 can cream of chicken soup

Onion salt (to taste)

3 cans chicken broth


1 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons shortening

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Cook chicken, adding a little onion and salt to taste. Cool.

Remove the chicken from the bones. Add soup and three cans of broth to chicken in a large kettle and bring to a boil.

Prepare dumplings and add to chicken mixture. Let simmer slowly with cover on for 10 minutes .

Put in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

“This is true comfort food,” Buehler said.

Cream cheese rolls

(This recipe came from Iva Mae Anderson, published in the Albert City Covenant Cookbook, Buehler said.)

2 tubes crescent rolls

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1 egg separated

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Nuts, chopped

Powdered sugar glaze

On a greased 10-by-15-inch pan, place one can of rolls, stretching to cover. Spread with mixture of cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and flavoring, beaten with an electric mixer.

Cover with second can of rolls. Brush with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Cool and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.

“For the second crust,” Buehler said, “I lay the can of rolls out on a very lightly floured pastry board and roll out then place on top.

“Also, if I am making for just our family, I cut this in half. It is best when it is fresh out of the oven.”


(This recipe came from Mary Wennell, which was published in the Albert City Covenant Cookbook.)

1 cup curly-roni

1/2 pound ground beef

1 cup shell macaroni

1/2 pound mozzarella cheese

1 cup mostaccioli or 2 cups tomato juice

Rigatoni noodles

1 quart Ragu spaghetti sauce with mushrooms

1/2 pound Jimmy Dean sausage

1/2 pound pepperoni, cut up

Green pepper, optional

Cook macaroni and noodles; drain.

Brown sausage and ground beef, drain.

To the meat add spaghetti sauce, pepperoni, tomato juice, 1/4 cup cheese, macaroni and noodles.

Put in 1 large casserole or 2 small casseroles.

Top with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

This can also be put in the crock pot and baked.

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