Cooks' Exchange: Elks Auxiliary finds delicious ways to help

Cooks' Exchange: Elks Auxiliary finds delicious ways to help


When the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was established in 1868, it was to help those in need — especially veterans returning from the Civil War. The group’s motto “So long as there are Veterans, the Elks will never forget them.”

The charter for Madison Elks Lodge #410 was issued in 1898 and the group has served the Madison area for more than 120 years. Since 2017, they have been awarded more than $30,000 in grant funds from the national foundation allowing them to partner with Design for a Difference to renovate community centers, provide needed supplies to veterans at the Veterans’ Hospital, and provide backpacks to many homeless or underprivileged school children.

With great pride, Donna Ellis, who has served many times as Madison Elks Women’s Auxiliary president, reminds us of what the Auxiliary has accomplished since 1978 including raising money for charities and scholarships while also helping the lodge. Ladies were in charge of the coat room from October through April and during other special occasions such as April Style Shows, all of which brought well-earned profits with the largest donations for scholarships and Camp Wawbeek.

Other Auxiliary donations include Badger Honor Flight, Easter Seals, St. Vincent DePaul, Salvation Army, Community Action Coalition, Agrace Hospice, Juvenile Diabetes, American Family Children’s Hospital and DAIS Domestic Abuse Intervention Services. Dues to belong to the Auxiliary were minimal while also enjoying monthly meetings, social hours, dinners, and entertainment.

Although the Women’s Auxiliary is smaller today, it continues to operate with dedication and enthusiasm while completing plans for their annual Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale being held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16 in the lower level of the Elks Lodge, 711 Jenifer Street (where Jenifer and Williamson streets meet).

With plenty of parking, there will be many special vendors with a variety of crafts, baked goods...and me with my “Greenbush...remembered” cookbooks. Hope to see you there!

In 2004, Women’s Auxiliary #410 members compiled a 90 page soft-cover cookbook featuring favorite appetizers and desserts to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Today, members continue to share other favorites led by recent Auxiliary Co-Chair Past President Gloria Simley who claims her banana bread, found in a 1993 Vermont Lutheran Church Cookbook, is one of the best “good old” recipes in her own collection.

Banana bread

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

2 to 3 bananas, mashed

½ cup chopped walnuts

Granulated sugar, optional

Chocolate chips, raisins, or a bit of coconut are also optional and “add interest.”

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, blending well. Add baking soda, salt and flour and mix well. Mix in mashed bananas and walnuts. Bake in four greased 3x6-inch loaf pans for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Auxiliary Co-Chair Past President Carol Rohde has been making this salad for years as a favorite of everyone in her household, those who happen to stop by, or anyone who lives next door.

Hot chicken salad

4 cups cooked chicken, cut up

1 teaspoon salt

1 can of white water chestnuts, drained and sliced

4-ounce can of mushroom pieces, drained

¾ cup grated Cheddar cheese

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 small jar pimentos, drained and cut-up

2 cups celery, cut fine

1 teaspoon chopped onion

Crushed potato chips for topping

1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping

Mix all ingredients — except topping — together. Put in a baking dish, top with ½ cup shredded cheese and crushed potato chips. Refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until heated through.

We all have special recipes to prepare when entertaining friends and family and here is a favorite from Laurine Carstens.

London broil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon basil

¼ teaspoon rosemary

1 garlic clove, diced

½ onion, diced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 ¾ to 2 pounds of trimmed flank steak

Combine marinade of first eight ingredients in a glass cake pan. Brush both sides of trimmed flank steak with marinade and allow the meat to remain in the marinade covered with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, turning several times before broiling 3 inches from the heat. Broil 5 minutes, turn and brush with remaining marinade and broil another 4 minutes. Slice diagonally across the grain as thinly as possible. Spoon pan juices over the meat.

Serves 4 to 6. Note: This can be grilled outdoors, but needs to be watched closely for desired doneness.

Penny Tjugum was thrilled to share a recipe for fried doughnuts that belonged to Mayme Lange who made thousands, often selling them at her beloved Trinity Lutheran Church.

Mayme’s doughnuts

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

½ cup margarine

½ cup melted lard

2 cups buttermilk (she used Kemp’s)

4+ cups flour (an old-fashioned sifter full)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons nutmeg

Mix first five ingredients in the order given. Sift together flour, soda, baking powder and nutmeg and add to mixture. Roll dough onto well-floured table, adding flour if needed to roll. Roll ½ inch thick and cut with doughnut cutter. Fry in hot Oscar Mayer lard until brown. Turn and brown other side. Remove, drain, and place on cookie sheet to cool. When cool, dust with regular sugar or powdered sugar. As soon as they are cool, seal in plastic bags and freeze, if desired. Makes 7 dozen doughnuts

In the 1960s, during a West High football banquet, a Junior High parent gave this recipe to football coach Dick Falch whose wife, Helen, is happy to share what became one of his all-time favorites.

Apple squares

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup shortening

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons water

6 cups apples, pared and sliced

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift flour and salt in bowl; cut in shortening until mixed. Combine egg and 3 tablespoons water. Add to flour and mix well. Roll out half of dough to fit bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch pan. Fill with apples. Combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in saucepan. Blend in water; cook until thick. Pour over apples. Roll out other half of dough; place over the top and cut slits. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Frost with thin icing when nearly cool.

Just in case we needed another favorite recipe, today’s Elks Women’s Auxiliary President LaVerne Schwengel decided to make this family favorite that she’ll be baking and bringing to their Nov. 16th bake sale.

Coconut crunch cookies

1 cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

2 cups flaked coconut

11-ounce package milk chocolate chips

1 ½ cups finely chopped almonds

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Combine flour, soda and salt and gradually add to creamed mixture; mix well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips, and almonds. Drop rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. At 375 degrees, bake for 9-11 minutes.

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at


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