A Link to the Beautiful Doxology, Sung by Mama Bergit Stadem Countless Times: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all ye creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen."


Another Song Mama Bergit Loved

"Let Us Break Bread Together"

And This Could be Mama Bergit's Favorite Song:

"Have Thine Own Way"

When not cooking, you could be sure Mama was praying! Or was it the other way around? This picture entitled "Praying For You" is taken from an original watercolor by the nationally-known portrait painter, Mr. Bart Lindstrom, which he reproduced and sent to all the Stadem family members

At 93 Bergit Must Hold Cooking Record

No file of good cooks would be complete without the queen of them all-Bergit (Grandma) Stadem. Ninety-three years old but she still takes care of her own home, gardens, entertains, wouldn't miss a day of church, joins the church women in making quilts and keeps her kitchen fragrant with cooking and baking aromas.

She has been making "superb" desserts and other recipes for years, according to those who know her, but admits shyly, "I'm getting a bit forgetful...and some of my recipes I've made so long I have them in my head, I don't have them written down."Her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Leroy (Liz) Stadem, came to her rescue, sharing some of Grandma's best that she had written down some years back.

Bergit was born in Mandal, Norway, by the sea. Her father, a farmer, died when she was not much more than a baby. She remembers bits of things while she was growing up but the first thing that often comes to mind is the coffee. "We always used cream in our coffee in Norway," she says smiling as her guess for black coffee. "We always looked for the little cream pitcher when we were served coffee."

Bergit's mother died when Bergit was 17, and an older brother, determined to be a pastor, found little opportunity in Norway and so made his way to America to study. Bergit and Tina her older sister couldn't keep the farm going with their parents both gone. When Bergit was 18 they sold their home at an auction and also left for America.

A neighbor from Mandal had become a minister at Bryant, S.D., and Bergit went there, working in various homes to help improve the little English she knew. Her name Bergit was difficult for Americans to pronounce and she soon gained the name of "Bessie" instead.

On Aug. 19, 1908, she was married to Alfred Stadem and they made their home near Canton, S.D. In 1911 they moved to a farm near Bryant, then to another farm near Bryant where they built a large home and planted a grove of trees. "Plain View Farm" was printed on the barn in big letters.

So proud of her nine children, seven girls and two boys, Bergit admits that she prayed before her fifth daughter was born that if God willed, he would give her a son--not for her sake but for the neighbors. But after six girls, the seventh was a son and so was the ninth, Leroy, who is presently serving as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mobridge.

Her eyes twinkle as she recalls, "The men were working down at the barn when I came out on the porch and waved the white towel...a signal that the baby was on the way and I needed help."

One of her daughters is amused at the mention of Mama's towels. "Just a good square flour sack with the edges sewn up and bleached, folded diagonally into a triangle, and Mama had her usual apron. She sewed these sacks into pillow slips, sheets, dish towels and diapers for the baby. Even with Mama's lye soap, the red was next to impossible to remove. The result was that the 'Pillsbury's Best' was prominently displayed on the seat of the baby."

Grandma came to Mobridge in July of 1971 when her son moved to the city. Independent, she enjoys having her own home where she can putter to her heart's content. If she wants something high in her cupboards she hops on a stool to reach it. If she can't find a recipe she wants, she will often try a new one. She's quite a woman!

Date Loaf Cake

1 cup dates, cut up 1 1/2 cups boiling water 1 1/2 tsp. soda 1/2 cup shortening (or 3/4 cup oleo) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 3/4 cup flour 3/4 tsp. soda 1/2 tsp. salt Mix dates, boiling water, and 1 1/2 tsp. soda. Let cool. Mix into remaining ingredients. Topping: 1 cup nutmeats, chopped 1 6-oz. pkg. butterscotch chips 1/3 cup white sugar Sprinkle on top of loaf cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Honey may be substituted for the sugar in this recipe.

Grandma's Corn Custard

1 can corn (cream style) 2 well beaten eggs 1 pint milk 2 heaping tbsp. flour 2 tbsp. sugar 2 tbsp. melted butter Mix and put in casserole dish. Bake 45 minutes in moderate oven.

Never Fail Sponge Cake

5 eggs 1/2 cup cold water 1 1/2 cups sifted flour 1 1/2 cups sifted sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1/4 tsp.salt 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder Separate egg whites and yolks. Beat yolks well, add 1/2 cup cold water into egg yolks. Add sugar, beat again. Add flour, baking powder and salt sifted together. Add vanilla. Beat egg white stiff. Add cream of tartar when they are foamy. Fold whites into batter. Pour into angel food pan. Bake for 1 hour in slow oven.


5 cups mashed potatoes 1 tsp. salt 2 tbsp. butter or cream 3 cups flour Add all ingredients except flour while potatoes are still warm. Cool and add flour. Roll thin and bake on lefse grill or pancake griddle. Bake on first side until quite bubbly and brown spotted on bottom, then turn and bake on the other side. [the top of a wood-burning stove is the best place to bake lefse--editors]

Never Fail Pie Crust

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 egg

5 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. vinegar

1 cup lard or 1 1/2 cups shortening

Blend dry ingredients

with lard or shortening.

Add liquid.

Mix well.

Can be used at once or stored in

the refridgerator.

Grandma Stadem's Apple Crunch

Put about 7 apples, sliced as for pie,

in bottom of pan.

Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and cinnamon

to taste and cover with:

1 scant cup flour

5 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt

Cover apples and bake until golden brown

or until apples are done.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

--By Jo Hall, the Mobridge Tribune
Nov 9, 1978
(permission to publish granted 1998 by Travis, Editor, the Mobridge Tribune)

A Link to another site on the Web

This Having To Do With More Norwegian Recipes


The Word "Smorgasbord" is the link to the Recipe Section


"Saga of God's Little Acres"

"To Our Linking Level"

"PAPA'S Letter of The Events Of 1947"

Butterfly Productions


Tribute to Bart Lindstrom, The Story of "Praying for You" Picture



"Mange tusen takk" ("many thousand thanks")

for stopping by, and God Bless you!

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