Hero Mother and Mothers of Invention: Mom’s Lasagna and Turkey Cobbler

My mother made good on her promise.

My mother was a hero.

In January of 1978 my brother Richard and his wife were flying home from their vacation, and would be stopping by my parent’s home to pick up Sam, their dog. Sam had been my dog, but since moving into their new home which was all decorated in white—white wool carpet, white sofa, white upholstered dining room chairs—and with me off at college, the dog had gone to live with Richard. I was six when my mother promised me that I could have a dog, but only if I could wait until I turned twelve. I didn’t mention the dog thing again until my twelfth birthday and then, surprisingly, my mother made good on her promise. I think she felt guilty that I would be home alone, with the last of my three older siblings heading off to college. The fact that my mother took me shopping for a puppy is the first example of my mom as a hero, since she was not a dog person (note the white carpet and white furniture). In addition to a lot of white, the new home had slick parquet floors, in a great open area which at its longest spanned 55 feet, and which sat atop 6″ of hollow-core concrete slabs. My dad was in the precast concrete business and there was a lot of structural concrete in the new home. After over 25 years (they had paid off the mortgage) in a 1920’s era home with the creakiest of floors, my father was proud of the solid floors in this new dream house. One could sneak from room to room in the new house without the slightest sound. There was no give to these floors.

Mom had prepared Richard’s favorite lasagna for dinner, and it sat on the counter waiting to go in the oven. A proficient multi-tasker long before they had a word for it, she phoned the airline to see when the plane would be arriving at O’Hare, and while on hold she took a minute to lay down the phone and run into the other room for a moment. Mom always had hot feet and instead of shoes or slippers she wore those nude-colored knee-high stockings. She had a drawer stuffed with hundreds of them in all shades of nudes and beige and taupe. As she ran into the other room, while the airline played hold-music, she slipped on the smooth parquet, and her hip landed right on that 6″ of immovable, hollow-core concrete, and broke.

Realizing that it was painful to walk, Mom crawled into the kitchen and somehow put the lasagna in the oven. She managed to get to the couch to wait until my brother arrived and called an ambulance. On her way out the door, on a stretcher, she told us when the lasagna would be ready and that we should be sure to check on it and sit down to eat it while it was hot. My hero.

An old recipe, with my regards to Dan Quayle.

–  –  –  –  –

I didn’t break anything, I only had a cold, and so I can’t claim to be anywhere in a league with Ruth Gordon. Yet even though I was feeling ill I felt compelled by that mysterious, maternal force to produce a meal.  The day before I had taken out the bag of frozen turkey scraps which had been in the freezer since Thanksgiving, and it was time to use them or toss them. As I lay in bed all day, feeling sorry for my pitiful virus, I contemplated the thawed turkey scraps and how I had planned on a lovely pot pie for dinner. Feeling the need to make dinner, and also feeling very lazy, I made a hurry-up version of a pot pie, making more of a cobbler than a pie. I made pot-pie filling as usual, poured it into a casserole dish, then mixed up a batch of biscuits in the food processor and glopped on bits of the biscuit dough on top of the filling,

Last night we had Turkey Cobbler for the third night in a row. Max asked me how much more of it there was and when I replied, sheepishly, that he must be sick of it, he said, “No, I could eat this every night for weeks! I love this!” I think I just invented Max’s favorite dinner, which I can make when he comes to visit me some day, when I’m watching his dog. I will endeavor to be a heroic mother. I will not, however, ever have a home that is decorated in all white.

With a father who loves biscuits and gravy, and a teenage boy's love of carbs, it makes sense that this is Max's new favorite meal.

Maralee’s Spaghetti Lasagna

My sister Maralee’s dinner tonight sounded so wonderful that I asked her to take a picture of it and write about it for my blog. This is from Maralee.

Last week I was having the Crystal Lake Interfaith Clergy Group over to the synagogue for lunch, and I bought all the ingredients for lasagna.  Then it turned out we had some lasagna in the synagogue freezer, made by the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys in their social action group, and we had to use up before Passover.  So there I was—stuck with the ingredients, which I brought home.  Tonight I decided to use those ingredients to make lasagna at home, but there was one problem—we try to only use whole wheat pasta, and the leftover noodles were white!  This is how I came to invent a new dish:  Spaghetti Lasagna.  It’s a quick dish to make, and here is how I did it:

Spaghetti Lasagna

  • Barilla Italian Bake Pasta Sauce, 2 jars (or use your favorite)
  • Ricotta cheese, 32 oz.
  • Shredded Mozzarella, 16 oz.
  • Shredded parmesan, ½ cup
  • frozen chopped spinach, ten oz. package, thawed
  • sliced baby portabella mushrooms, half a pound, uncooked
  • spaghetti noodles, 1 lb., uncooked

In a 9×13 Pyrex dish pour a little of the sauce from each of the jars to cover the bottom.

Lay half the spaghetti length-wise to cover the entire dish—you might want to break some in half to fill in the ends.

Pour the rest of one jar of sauce over the spaghetti and place sliced mushrooms over the sauce to cover (some slices were too thick and I sliced them thinner).

Spread half the ricotta over the mushroomed sauce (I spread it by hand).

Sprinkle half the mozzarella over the ricotta, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan,

Lay the other half of the spaghetti over the cheese,

Mix the spinach with the rest of the sauce and spread over the spaghetti,

Finish off with the rest of the ricotta followed by the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Here we are, happy together in my kitchen, last year at Pesach.

Donna’s Black Bottom Cupcakes

For more tasty bakes, see my collection of family specialties:

You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries


My daughter told me that I see the world with my stomach, and I think she has a point. I connect food with people and experiences. That’s the case with these unusual cupcakes. Whenever I eat these I think about my exceptional friend, Donna, who first made them for me and Doug, in her kitchen in Alaska.

Doug and I had been married for six months when we moved from Chicago to Colorado. Doug had lived there before and with his long connection to wilderness adventures he was anxious to show me the sites he had loved. Once in Ft. Collins, we quickly unpacked our boxes and then got on a plane to Alaska. This would be our last grand vacation before the arduous years of Doug’s PhD work. We chose Alaska, where I had lived and worked for two summers, so I could show Doug the places I had loved.

Donna and I had both graduated together on June 6, 1980, and the day after graduation we were both on a plane for Anchorage. I spent two summers living and working there and then returned to my familiar world in Chicago. Donna never left Alaska. She and her family had a home just outside of Denali Park, and that’s where Doug and I headed for our vacation. We stayed in their friend’s cabin down the road, and joined Donna’s family each night for dinner. It was there that she made us these cupcakes. After growing up eating all of my mother’s delicious baked goods, it was unusual for me to be surprised by a dessert, but after the first amazing taste I wondered why in the world no one had told me about these before! I’d never tasted a cupcake that used two different batters—one like a chocolate cake, and the other like chocolate chip cheesecake. I seem to remember that Donna whipped up two more batches of these during the week.

Now when I make these, I am transported to Donna’s kitchen, her drawer filled with large bags of baking supplies, the snow in the woods, and I remember what an exceptional person she is and what a wonderful friend she has been.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

For the chocolate batter:

Mix together:

  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together:

  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1 Tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Add the liquid mixture to the dry, stir until blended. Using a 1/3 c. measure, spoon this batter into cupcake pans lined with paper cups.

For the cheese filling:

Beat together:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Stir in:

  • 1 c. chocolate chips

Top the chocolate batter with a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins., or until the tops are just touched with a tiny bit of golden brown.

This is what they look like before baking.

Cautionary note: this is one recipe where you really must use paper liners.

Updating Mom’s spinach dip

The tiny sweet bell peppers are a perfect edible garnish for the standard vegies.

My mother made an extraordinary spinach dip. For the most part, Ruth was a “scratch” cook and baker, steering clear of prepackaged products: there was no Hamburger Helper for us, no cake mixes, and no t.v. dinners sitting forlornly on plastic t.v. trays. There were, however, those occasionally recipes, which I can only imagine were torn out of a Life magazine, or peeled from a product’s can, which used some questionable ingredients. The sauce for her famous stuffed cabbage rolls, for example, uses a jar of sweet pickle juice and a handful of ginger snaps, and the spinach dip uses a package of Knorr’s Leek Soup Mix, and a shake of McCormick Salad Supreme. For years when I made the spinach dip I stayed true to the recipe, but these days I try to use whole ingredients when I can, so when I made this for a New Year’s party I did a bit of updating, with no apologies to Mr. McCormick or Mr. Knorr.

Spinach Dip

  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 package frozen, shopped spinach, thawed, well drained, and squeezed as dry as possible
  • 1/2 c. fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp. sesame seed
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix all together at least one hour before serving. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Witches Brew Soup

This soup is packed with a lot of vegetables, and the sweet potato makes it lusciously sweet for the kids.

This was our Halloween brew, served up tonight to friends and neighbors before, during, and after trick-or-treating. I kept the pot hot and ready, along with a loaf of challah and some good butter. Traditionally I serve this to my kids and their friends as a way of infusing their bodies with mega-nutrients prior to trick or treating. This accomplishes three things: 1. They take in some vitamins in addition to all of the candy that they will later eat. 2. They’re full of the good stuff so that they’re not as hungry for so much candy. 3. It gives me the illusion of having some control over their diet on Halloween.

Plus this is such a fun pre- trick or treat activity! Print out the top half of the following recipe for them to refer to as they eat. Ask them to try and identify all of the ingredients while they are eating. (The “real” recipe follows.) Next year, invite the neighborhood kids in.

Witches Brew Soup

  • 3 cups fresh goblin toes, chunked
  • 1 cup diced hippo spleen
  • 1/2 cup lightly shredded eel skin
  • 2 cups abdomen of preying mantis, cut in half
  • 1 cup arachnid bodies
  • 1 cup frog kidneys (canned or fresh)
  • 2 cups irises of owl eyes
  • 1 cup frozen or canned devils teeth
  • 1 cup packed creeping violet leaves
  • 1/2 cup tortoise knee caps
  • 3/4 cup dragon’s dandruff
  • salt and garlic to taste

Saute eel skin in a little extra virgin olive oil. Add all of the ingredients in a big cauldron. Fill cauldron with enough fresh mountain river water (be sure it’s clean) to just cover. Boil for 3 hours. Serve hot. Enjoy!


Witches Brew Soup (serves 8-10)

  • 1 large sweet potato, chunked
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, cut in half
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2  carrots, sliced
  • 1 c. frozen corn, or one can
  • 1 c. packed kale, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 c. sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 c. brown rice
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in a little extra virgin olive oil. Add all of the ingredients in a big pot. Fill cauldron with enough water to just cover. Bring to boil, then simmer for 2 or 3 hours. After the vegetables are soft, use the back of a large spoon to smash some of the sweet potato chunks against the inside of the pot. This will thicken and sweeten the broth.

copyright 2010 Dori Gordon Walker

Swedish meatballs with an American accent


We ate our Swedish meatballs with plum jam and a side of Greener Greens.


Meatballs to Swedes are like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are to Americans—a kid’s lunch-time staple. We lived there for two years when Max and Molly were toddlers. They attended a morning preschool, and as we would leave each day the mothers would ask each other what they were fixing for lunch. More often than not, the answer would be kötbullar (shutte boo’-lar), literally, meat balls. They were sold precooked and frozen in plastic bags. Traditionally the meatballs are served with lingonsylt, or lingonberry jam.

Tonight I took some American liberties with the recipe: substituting ground turkey for beef; low-fat milk for cream; olive oil for some of the butter; and plum jam for lingonberry. The tart plum jam tasted remarkably like lingonberry!

Swedish Meatballs (makes about 4 dozen)

  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, or a combination)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1-1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1-1/2 c. milk

Saute onion in 1 Tbs. of the olive oil until soft. In a large bowl combine meat, egg, milk, bread crumbs, parsley, spices and sauteed onion. Mix well with your hands and form into small meatballs (about 3/4″). Brown the meatballs in a little more olive oil, turning them to brown 3-4 sides. Either do these in two batches or use two large frying pans and do them all at once.

Remove the meatballs from the pan, and make the gravy. Dissolve the bouillon cube in a little hot water. Melt the butter, stir in the bouillon, coffee and flour. Slowly add the 1-1/2 c. milk to make a gravy. Add all of the meatballs to the gravy, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve with rice or noodles.

For the description of Greener Greens click here.

Sunrise Rye with Provolone and Tart Jam

I started eating rye toast this week, which is a sure sign that I am becoming an old person. My sister disagrees, since she has always enjoyed rye toast. Nevertheless, after surprising myself by ordering it at the local diner at breakfast on Monday, I actually purchased an entire loaf at the supermarket. Necessity being the mother of invention, I made today’s breakfast. Startlingly tasty, it’s a very youthful way to enjoy rye.

Sunrise Rye

Toast the rye bread and lightly butter one side. Cut a piece of provolone in half, lay it over the buttered side and place the toast under the broiler until the cheese melts. Top with a tart preserves (I used cherry-blueberry), or marmalade.

The circle of life: Round Challahs

Slices of the round challahs. Apple on the left; raisin on the right.

Last night as I said kaddish for my dad during the Kol Nidre service, I remembered all of the times I sat next to him and my grandfather as they stood in temple to say kaddish for their parents. The melodic cadence of the prayer was effortlessly recited by them both. But in that Reform temple of my childhood only the men said kaddish—a throw-back to more traditional practices. In my current, more traditional yet also more modern congregation, everyone recites the prayer, and I’ve been practicing for the past few years knowing that at any time it might be my turn, and I did not want to disappoint. There was no way to anticipate how emotional that moment would be for me.

My father died three weeks ago. Yesterday, before going to temple, I felt like baking again. And how fitting that the first thing I baked since his death were the holiday challahs, round to symbolize the circle of life and the cycle of the seasons; extra sweet so that we’ll all have a sweet year.

The round challahs are unique to both of the high holidays: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Our local Jewish Federation has a group that does outreach programs for the seniors in our community. Over the years I’ve been asked to bake dozens of very small, individual, round challahs to contribute to one of their outreach programs. For Chanukah, Purim and the High Holidays they distribute little gift bags to Jewish elderly shut-ins around town, and when my father first moved in with us two years ago, he began receiving these bags. At first I thought it was a silly gesture, after all, my dad had the real thing, right here in our home! He didn’t need the little hamentaschen, or the tiny challahs—mine were baked for him fresh! But to my surprise he loved the bags. He happily showed the contents to me when I got home from work, and he took great pleasure in having little candies of his own that he could share with my children. For Rosh Hashana he would receive a small bottle of grape juice, applesauce, honey, a small round challah, some chocolates, some raisins and a one-page summary of the holiday which he would read carefully with his magnifying glass. What a lovely mitzvah (good deed) this is!

Ten days ago, right before Rosh Hashana I was surprised by a gift bag which was brought to me by Lee, the former director of our local Jewish federation. She brought me a giant version of the bag that they make for the seniors, with enough of everything to feed all five of us, including a full-sized challah, made fresh that morning by Lee herself. She said that she felt funny bringing a challah to the challah baker, but my heart was not in baking that week, and her gift couldn’t have been more appropriate. I was so moved by that gift.

For the raisin bread, drizzle on some honey, sprinkle on raisins and cinammon.

Arrange a thin layer of apples for the apple bread. Or grate an apple and wring out the juice before spreading over the dough.

Roll it up. Use both hands and work evenly across the length.

Pinch the ends.

Make the coil. Place it seam side down, and tuck under the end.

Here the coils are ready to rise. They can sit together like this on the same baking sheet. It’s okay if they kiss a little when they bake!

Here are the just-baked breads. It’s okay if they come together while baking. Just gently pull them apart.

Here’s Macey in his favorite chair, hoping for a hot plate on the dinner table and a taste of some hot, fresh challah.



For the dough:

  • 1 package yeast (2¼ tsp.)
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs. oil
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 4 c. (about) white flour

Mix together and brush on before baking:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. honey

Sprinkle with:

  • sunflower, poppy and/or sesame seeds, about ¼  cup total



  1. Proof the yeast: Mix together the yeast and sugar, add the warm water, stir, and let it sit for 20 minutes. It should get foamy.
  2. Add the rest of the dough ingredients, putting in just enough white flour to make a smooth, not sticky dough.
    Knead for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cover and let rise for about 3 hours, or until doubled in size. Shape into two small loaves or one large loaf. Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet or into greased loaf pans if you want sandwich-shaped loaves. Cover and let rise for one more hour.
  4. Brush with the egg/honey mixture and sprinkle with some seeds. Bake at 350˚ for 35–40 minutes. (Add 5–10 more minutes for a challah that’s stuffed and rolled, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent the top from burning.)


You can find more tasty bakes in my newly released cookbooks:

You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries

Dry Coffee promo

“You can’t have dry coffee,” was what my grandfather would say when reaching for one of my grandmother’s delicious cookies or pastries. Elegant rugelach and mandel bread, tart plum cake, delicate cream cheese cookies, and sweet babka—these fancy treats started me on my life-long love of baking. Along with those classics, this collection has challahs, bagels, bialys, plus modern-day luscious treats like chocolate cream cheese brownies, and the best chewy, peanut butter chocolate cookies I’ve ever had.Whether my grandfather was being ironic, or if something was lost in translation from Yiddish, I’ll never know. But ironic or not, a cup of coffee needs a good nosh, and this book is a compilation of our family’s best.

The Plate is My Canvas: Recipes and Stories from My Family’s Interfaith Kitchen

Plate promo shot

Written in the style of a family memoir, with stories from my family, this book includes all of the Jewish classics, from rugelach to latkes. Married to a Lutheran man, I learned to cook my husband’s family’s classics as well—with help from my mother-in-law’s handwritten recipes. Stunning photographs accompany each recipe. A perfect gift for an interfaith family.


The best food I’ve ever tasted was given to me by a friend.


One of the best meals I ever had was broccoli beef stir fry, gifted to me by my friend Jani.


The day that I lost my first pregnancy, about 16 years ago, Jani called to ask if we’d made plans for dinner. It really was the last thing on my mind, and so we numbly accepted our friend’s offer of a meal. Jani, with four children of her own, took the time to make the phone call, prepare something extra, and with her youngest boy in tow she walked the meal over to our house. I still can picture it: broccoli beef stir fry, sitting on a bed of rice, with some shortbread still warm from the oven. It almost brings me to tears remembering her kindness, but then I’m a sucker for the gift of a meal.

I remember the container of frozen vegetable soup that an acquaintance—someone I had struck up a conversation with in the grocery store and later had run into at the park—dropped by my house during the week before I had my second baby. It was the middle of summer and I thought that it was so odd to give soup in June in Albuquerque. But after I was home with Molly, my appetite soaring, that soup was amazingly satisfying and delicious. I could taste the care that went into the chopping of each vegetable. Superb soup.

I remember Bev knocking on my door the day we moved into this house, ten years ago. Moving across country with three small children had left us just a little bit weary! “Would it be alright if I brought over some soup for your supper?” she asked. It was a vegetable beef soup, so perfect for a February night.

And Leo, my brother-in-law. What a mensch. Leo took a week off from his life to stay at my house and take care of my dad while our family traveled. When we walked in the door after a long day of driving, he had a meal of barbecued chicken, along with three or four side dishes, hot and on the table just as we walked in the door.

If I don’t check my blog, I can’t tell you what I made for dinner last week. I don’t remember the finest meal that I ever prepared, but I remember with rich detail the meals that were gifted my way. From my friends, I hope, I’ve learned to pass it on. When we hear that a friend is in crisis the phone call can feel awkward, but go ahead and make the call, ask if they would mind if you stopped by with a little soup.

This is Jani’s recipe:

Broccoli and Beef

Cut a piece of steak into bite sized pieces. Marinate it in soy sauce, a bit of rice wine, some sugar, oyster sauce (if you have some). Set aside.

Chop up some garlic (1 or 2 cloves), ginger (1 or 2 slices chopped into slivers) and green onions. Set aside.

Cut up broccoli and any other vegies you have on hand. Set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of peanut or vegetable oil in a large pan or wok. When hot throw in the ginger, green onions and garlic. Stir fry until fragrant. Add beef. Cook until barely done. Remove, and set aside.

Add a bit more oil to the pan (1/2 T.). Throw in the broccoli. Stir fry until they are all coated with the oil. Add a bit of water and cover. Steam until almost the way you want to eat them, then add the beef. Stir fry. When it is nearly done you can add soy sauce, a bit of sugar, some rice wine, more oyster sauce, some slices of green onion. Stir around and serve with rice.

Boundary Water biscuits: the time I took Doug camping.


I learned a lot from Doug on this camping trip. Who knew that one could bake in a camp fire?


One of our first dates was a week-long trip to the Boundary Waters in upper Minnesota. By then we had a pretty good idea that we liked each other, but this was still an important step in our courtship. This would be my fourth trip to the wilderness canoe area, and I wanted to impress Doug with my mastery of all things outdoors: handling a canoe, putting a worm on a hook, starting a fire with one match, reading a wilderness map—I wanted to take him camping. It’s hard to clearly remember, but I don’t think I had yet grasped the depth of Doug’s mastery of the outdoors. Here was a man who, aside from being an Eagle Scout, had been a back country guide in New Mexico, a white-water canoe guide in Maine, had run Colorado’s rivers as a rafting guide, had earned his EMT in his spare time so that he’d feel better prepared during rock climbing emergencies, and possessed copies of his mother’s best recipes.

We had an idyllic week. Mysteriously, there were no black flies or mosquitoes. On one golden evening as we sat on a rock edge over looking the water, watching the sunset, the sky became darker and we were captivated with the brilliance of the Northern lights. Really, it was magical.

As for showing off my mastery of the outdoors, I gave up map duty on day one after getting us quite lost. Only by asking some fisherman did we find out that we were in the lake named, aptly, Lake of Confusion. Yet, I was a good sport in the middle of a down pour and impressed Doug by saying how fun it was. I made a passable camp fire, and was able to successfully feign indifference while putting a worm on a hook.

However, nothing could compare to Doug’s expertise with camp-cooking. He nursed the fire until the coals were evenly hot, mixed up some brownie batter from a homemade, dry mix we had concocted in his apartment in Chicago, then poured it into an aluminum pan which he then placed inside a dutch oven. Doug then buried the entire thing in the coals, creating a campfire baking oven. What a delicacy to have fresh, hot brownies on a wilderness trip!

And on one chilly morning, once again I was amazed by Doug’s camp-cooking ability. Using the dutch oven, he baked up some of his mom’s flaky biscuits.

I guess we each passed each other’s wilderness test. This morning, over 20 years later, using our regular stove, Doug mixed up a batch of biscuits in our kitchen. If you ask any of our kids, they’ll tell you, “Dad makes the best biscuits.”


Doug had everything covered: brownies in the oven; coffee on top.



Doug and Dori, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, August 1989.



Here's a picture of the brownies, just coming out of the camp fire. (I was taking pictures of food, 20 years ago, while camping?)


Dorothy’s Soft Crumb Biscuits

  • 2 c. flour (Doug uses 1/3 whole wheat flour)
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbs. shortening (Crisco)
  • 2/3-3/4 c. milk

Cut shortening into dry ingredients. Add milk all at once. Stir until just mixed. Turn out onto floured board. Knead about 20 times. Pat out on a floured board, about 3/4″ thick. Cut and bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 mins. Makes 12-14 biscuits.


You can see how flaky these are.