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Roder finds joy in cooking

By Staff | Aug 29, 2014

DICK RODER serves up a slice of fresh-baked almond bread to his wife, Mary. Roder said the bread, plus the apple pie on the counter, are two recipes he enjoys making from his mother’s cookbook.

REMSEN – He’s a retired farmer, a former seed corn salesman, a gardener and a cook.

Dick Roder, of Remsen, said he answers to all those titles.

On the morning of Aug. 22, Remsen was busy in the kitchen..

A bowl of cucumbers awaited pickling. Ripening tomatoes on the enclosed patio were awaiting attention before the day was over.

Roder pulled a dish of his cheddar meat balls from the refrigerator and placed it in the oven.

DICK RODER said he starts early to prepare Mom Roder’s Lil’ Cheddar Meat Loaves, which are going into the oven for himself and his wife, Mary, at their Remsen home.

Nearby on the dining counter were what was left of the apple pie he’d baked the previous day for guests, plus a fresh-baked almond cake.

“I’m truly blessed to be able to enjoy doing the things I enjoy,” Roder said as his wife, Mary, joined him at the counter.

Born and reared on a farm north of Remsen, Roder recalled how he’d learned as a boy to relish joining his grandmother and his mother, in the kitchen.

“They were both good cooks,” Roder said.

Roder moved to town from the farm in 2003 and started putting his early learned cooking skills to work.

THE RODER FAMILY’S cookbook — “From Our Kitchen to Yours” — was assembled from a selection of nearly 800 recipes compiled by the family prior to the death of Dick Roder’s mother.

He also turned serious attention to vegetable gardening.

Mary Roder said gardening allowed her husband to get dirt under his fingernails, even though he left the farm.

Meanwhile, the benefit from his cooking, baking and freezing skills , as do their grown children – Ann, Bart, Rick, Glenn, Brian, Bradley, and Shelly, their 24 grandchildren and one great grandchild – and friends.

Dick Roder’s joy of cooking worked out well for the couple. Mary Roder worked for an attorney, prior to he retirement, and didn’t get home until 5 o’clock.

“I had always wanted supper at 5 o’clock,” Dick Roder said. “My taking on the cooking, with both of us liking to eat, seemed to be a good solution.”

Following his mother’s death in 2008, Dick Roder assumed other family cook duties, including baking cinnamon rolls on Sunday mornings.

Their son Gerald, who also shares a love of cooking and is referred to as the soup man for his frequent soup deliveries throughout the Remsen community.

Roder said as his mother started showing early signs of dementia, the family urged her to record her recipes. These were eventually compiled into a 800-recipe family cookbook titled, “From Our Kitchen To Yours – Our Family Favorites.”

The Roders will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary on Nov. 9.

They are active in their church – St. Mary’s Parish, in Remsen.

“She’s more active now than I am,” Dick Roder said, who is a former lector and parish board member. “She does the praying on the kneelers.

“I seem to be better off on my knees growing stuff and keeping people happy and praying in the garden.”

Almond bread

2 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk

1 1/8 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

11/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon almond flavoring

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sliced almonds for topping (optional)

Cream together sugar, eggs and oil.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together.

Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternating with milk.

Add vanilla, butter flavoring and almond flavoring. Beat 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour into 2 regular-sized greased loaf pans or 4 smaller pans.

(Note: Roder said he uses parchment paper rather than grease the pans)

Top with sliced almonds, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 /2 teaspoon almond flavoring

Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved.

While bread is hot and still in the pans, pour glaze over the bread.

Let sit 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Mom Roder’s Lil’

Cheddar Meat Loaves

For loaves:

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup quick oatmeal

1/2 cup chopped onion

Combine 1 pound ground beef with 1/2 pound lightly seasoned pork sausage

Beat egg and milk.

Stir in cheese, onion, salt and oats.

Add meat and mix well.

Shape into 12 small loaves.

(Note: Roder said he uses an ice cream scoop).

Place in greased 9-by-13-inch pan.


2/3 cup catsup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

Combine topping and spoon over loaves.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

(Note: Roder said if freezing loaves for later use, delaying topping until ready to bake.)

Summer haystacks

Brown 1/2 cup crumbled ground beef per person

Shredded lettuce

Fresh tomatoes, diced

Shred (or finely chop) several carrots

1 large onion chopped

1 green pepper slivered

1 large cucumber sliced or chopped

1 red pepper, slivered (optional)

1 chopped radish (optional)

Stuffed olives (optional)

1 bag Dorito chips

Shredded cheddar or American cheese


Crush 1/2 cup Doritos per plate

Cover with shredded cheddar or American cheese and browned beef

Microwave for 20 seconds per plate (just enough to melt the cheese)

Top with the lettuce and other vegetables.

Serve with salsa and/or dressing.

(Note: Roder said he serves the lettuce and other veggies in serving bowls so diners can choose which to add to their individual salad.

Pumpkin cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 cup salad oil

2 cups pumpkin

Mix well, adding pumpkin last.

Put into ungreased jelly roll pan and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(For a completely different cake, substitute 2 1/2 cups of grated carrots in place of pumpkin.)

If baking in 9-inch round pans, use three pans.


4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 stick margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

7/8 cup powered sugar

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Blend with mixer until spreading consistency.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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