MINOT – Hester Gilpatric gives back to the community in many ways, from her heart and her kitchen. Many people in her various groups know where to turn if they need something whipped up for a special gathering.

“It is a special skill to be able to cook for large groups,” Gilpatric says. “It’s not the same as cooking for a family and it takes a bit of planning.” For this longtime volunteer, cooking for the masses is one of the best gifts the Minot woman can give. “I love giving away my food. First, I just love cooking, itself. But to see people enjoy what I make is wonderful.”

Whether it’s making six dozen doughnuts to be sold as a fund-raiser at a local high school or helping prepare the meal at the annual Grange harvest supper, Gilpatric is there.

“I grew up with the Grange and learned to cook through the 4-H club. So even as a young girl, I learned to cook for many people.” Gilpatric continues her commitment to the communities and organizations she grew up in. She’s also one of the founding members of the Minot Historical Society. “We started the group before the town’s bicentennial a few years ago and I’ve been president ever since.”

Her cooking was featured in the newspaper a while ago. “About 30 years ago, the Journal ran a column called ‘Favorite Recipe.’ A friend of mine was a photographer at the paper and asked if I’d be willing to share one of my recipes. So George Wardwell came over and snapped a picture of me cooking sweet and sour chicken, which was the recipe that was featured.”

Gilpatric and her husband, David, have four children and four grandchildren. She’s an active member of the Court Street Baptist Church in Auburn, where she sings in the choir. She’s also a member of the state board of American Baptist Women.

Also, each month she gets together with a group of friends for a friendly card game. “Each month, someone different hosts the group. The person hosting always provides refreshments and a prize for the winner.”

And, what does Gilpatric contribute when it’s her turn to be hostess?

“A dozen doughnuts, of course!”

Her suggested Easter menu is: beef stroganoff, mashed potatoes, honey and butter whipped carrots, tossed salad with blue cheese dressing, French bread with butter, baked pineapple with whipped cream and a choice of milk, juice, soda or water.

Blue cheese dressing
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

2 cups mayonnaise (not salad dressing)

¼ cup vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
Mix all ingredients together. Either serve right after making, or dressing can be chilled for up to one week (if it lasts that long).
Beef stroganoff
2 pounds top round roast, cut in ½-inch strips

1 cup flour

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 stick of margarine

12-ounce package of sliced mushrooms

1 package dry onion soup mix

1 clove garlic, minced

2 sliced onions

1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/3 cup sour cream
In bowl, mix flour with salt and pepper. Dredge meat in mixture. Melt margarine in heavy fry pan. Brown flour-covered meat in fry pan but don’t crowd the meat strips. You may need to brown them in several batches and then put into an oven baking dish with mushrooms, garlic and onion soup mix. Cover with one can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup. Cover dish tightly and place in low oven – 300 degrees – for about six hours. Just before serving, stir in sour cream.
Baked pineapple
½ cup margarine

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 large (16 ounce) can crushed pineapple

5 slices white bread
Whipped cream for topping
Drain pineapple. Cube bread and set aside. Cream sugar and margarine. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pineapple. Fold mixture into bread cubes. Bake in a greased 1½-quart casserole at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream.
Chocolate doughnuts
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups flour, sifted

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3 squares baking chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Mix eggs and sugar very well. Add chocolate and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with buttermilk. Cover and chill for easier rolling. Roll out on floured board, cut with a doughnut cutter and fry a few at a time in deep fat at 380 degrees. Delicious! Makes about two dozen.
Hester’s note:
I chill the dough overnight.

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