Third place winner Betty Struebing

Betty Struebing

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup wild rice 1 pound Jimmy Dean sage pork sausage 1 cup celery, diced 1 medium onion, diced 1/2 green pepper diced few pieces pimento 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning 1 cup water INSTRUCTIONS: Wash rice and bring to a boil. Drain and bring to boil in fresh water again. Brown sausage and add vegetables and sauté. Drain excess grease. Mix all ingredients and place in baking dish. Add soup and water. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 ½ hours. Stir once or twice while baking. Can be uncovered the last half hour to brown slightly

A lucky, winning recipe


For 77-year-old Betty Struebing of Shoreview, her wild rice casserole appears to be a good luck charm.

“I’ve used this recipe once, probably 40 years ago, and it won first prize,” she says. “I’ve never submitted it more than that — 40 years ago and now.”

The recipe, which she was given from a wonderful former neighbor, is a favorite during the holiday season. Struebing says she has made it for many different occasions, and it’s such a favorite that people will always request she bring it to gatherings.

“They’ll supply me with the wild rice so I make it.”

Stuebing says she’s not one who reads recipe books. In fact, she says she has a hard time following recipes so she’s always modifying them, but when she finds a recipe people like, she says it will go into her memory bank to keep handy for whenever.

“It’s a tried and true or trusted recipe, I would say.”

Struebing says she tried to cook with her kids, doing a lot of from-scratch cooking when they were younger. These days she’s more about convenience cooking; it’s also something she does with her grandkids.  

Struebing says she cooks like her mother — she never had a recipe for anything, and that’s Struebing’s style.

It was when she was a young adult that Struebing started cooking with her mom. She says she always remembers asking how much of something Mom was putting into any given dish.

“She would say ‘just a pinch’ or ‘just a handful.’ It was never anything measureable,” Struebing says. “She was a great cook.”


—Hannah Burlingame

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