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My Perspective: Cookbooks sent all over the country

Brainerd woman, Hawaiian woman win cookbook contest

Sr Perspective Cookbook: volume 13

Sr Perspective Cookbook: volume 13

Every now and again, we get a note from someone halfway around the world commenting on an article, poem, recipe or joke in the paper. And on occasion, we get a note from someone with an interesting accent asking about a recipe in the cookbook.

Last November, just out of curiosity, I put together a little contest to see how far the cookbooks go after people pick them up at the stores here in Minnesota. I asked people to let me know when they sent their books to other states. They included their name and the names of the people they sent the cookbooks to. We are giving out $100 to one person out of all those people who sent the books to people in different states, and I am also giving out $100 to one of the people who received the book in another state … won’t they be surprised!

We received dozens of dozens of letters and emails. I know there are a lot of people who don’t enter contests like this, but of the ones who sent in an entry form, I learned that the books are being sent to Utah, Washington, California, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Oregon, Montana, Kansas, Pennslyvania, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio and Texas. After tabulating the numbers, the most popular destinations are Washington, California, Wisconsin and Colorado with more than five books going to each.

The winner of the $100 from Minnesota is Henrietta Erickson, of Brainerd. And the winner of the $100 from outside of Minnesota is Lynde Felsheim, of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (sent in by Henry Spinler, of Winthrop). Congratulations to the winners. The check (as they say) is in the mail.

In addition to the submissions we received, we also get orders here at the office and many of them are from out of state. In addition to many of the states above, we also sent to Indiana, Nevada and Florida.

There were a few letters sent in that really caught my eye. One was from Carrie and Warren Vadnais, of Millerville, who send cookbooks to several people out of state. But they also send one out of the country each year to a lady in England.

Another one that stood out was from Lu Anne Heglie, of Spicer, who sends books to two daughters (Autumn and Caitlin) and a daughter-in-law (Bobbie). Lu Anne thanked us for the books and said the three girls enjoy receiving them and trying new recipes. The three girls have husbands in the military, one in the Air Force, one in the Army and one in the Utah National Guard. Her daughter, Autumn, is the president of a spouses club and has numerous opportunities to share the Minnesota recipes with families from all parts of the United States.

Lu Anne mentioned that Autumn and Caitlin recently got together to make lefse for their families. They used a recipe given to them by their Grandma Heglie before she passed away. They have both been able to share lefse and the recipe with their military friends.

We received a great letter from Mary Pierce, of Rush City (formerly of Verndale). For the past eight years, she has given the Sr. Perspective cookbook to all five of her daughters at Christmas. This year, she wrapped and handed out 11 books to a larger group that includes daughters, granddaughters, girlfriends, etc.

“These cookbooks are something I look forward to each year, and some of my favorite recipes have come out of them,” she said.

She set up the 2016 Christmas Tasting Challenge to take place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Here is how the challenge works: All participants must pick a recipe from the 2015 cookbook to bring and share. No one can discuss the recipe with anyone. Feel free to try multiple recipes from the book throughout the year, but you can just bring one recipe. She added, “Do not worry about the resulting menu. So what if we have all punch and no food… or heaven forbid, there is no candy or cookies. And no worries if there are duplicates or triplicates.”

This sounds like a fun challenge! Thanks for sharing this with me. We will be sure to check in with you after Thanksgiving to hear how everything went at the Christmas Tasting Challenge!

School stories

Last fall, I asked our readers to submit school stories. I received a bunch. Starting this edition, I will be printing submissions from this part of the state. Other editions will be printing stories from their part of the state. I hope to have all stories printed in the next few months. To view submissions from other editions, visit

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