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Scalloped Oysters

Posted by margaretpeterson - February 27th, 2016

My grandmother, Florence Peterson, made this dish for most holidays.  The memories are so sweet!  The table was set in the basement on the ping pong table and she kept the food warm on an old stove.  It took a while to develop a taste for oysters, but since my father liked them, we all thought there must be something good about them!  I felt very brave when I worked up to eating a whole oyster.  One thing I learned on my own about this recipe is that it tastes best when it is served directly from the oven.  Jeanne Theberath


Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.


1  1/2 sticks butter

1 quart oysters with its liquid

2 1/2 – 3 columns of saltine crackers

1 quart half & half

salt & pepper



  1. Butter a large casserole dish
  2. Crush the crackers with a rolling pin until they are very fine
  3. Spread a layer of the cracker crumbs in the dish
  4. Then spread a layer of oysters with their liquid (a 1/4 measuring cup works well for this)
  5. Lightly salt and pepper each layer
  6. Dot each layer with butter
  7. Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 until the pan is full
  8. Sprinkle the top with paprika
  9. Boil the half & half
  10. Pour half & half in casserole (it usually will come to the top of the casserole dish)


Taste of Home – The Fish Fry

Posted by margaretpeterson - July 24th, 2012

My mom has been an amazing cook for as long as I can remember.  My sister, Julie, is too, and she is the one responsible for getting Mom’s recipes in the Taste of Home magazine.  As I read the article again, I had to smile.  It brought back so many memories of our times up at the lake and of growing up in my parent’s house.  It really is true; my mother actually did bring my father his cup of coffee and newspaper every morning while he was waiting for breakfast!  And the breakfasts she made!  We would eat Denver sandwiches, blueberry pancakes or waffles before I went to school.  I don’t know why we were not overweight…although now that I think about it, it was a long walk to school.  Anyway, my friends could not get over all the meals we had at our house. My dad always said good food was not something the family was going to cut back on.  If corners needed to be cut, well, they were going to be cut in another area.  We were raised to eat three good meals a day, and to this very day, I rarely miss one.  It was a nice way to grow up.

Please click on the link for the article and the recipes for the fish fry dinner that is served every summer at the cabin up north.  The recipes include Mom’s Fried Fish, Crunchy Floret Salad, Parsley Red Potatoes and, of course, her Apple Crisp.  I will post more recipes on the blog in the future.


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Public Speaking

Posted by margaretpeterson - June 29th, 2012



As our family continues the adventure of sharing our mother’s book, it became obvious that the next step should be public speaking.   There are so many stories to share, and I thought if I could talk my sister, Kathy, into it everything would be fine.  I instinctively knew my mother would be up for it.   Kathy, on the other hand, was going to take a little convincing.     After a few talks, I finally told her I could not do this without her help.  At last, she agreed!


I approached the League of Catholic Women and we had our first presentation in January 2009.  We really wanted to go there, although I have to admit about two weeks before the event I started to feel a little apprehension. My biggest fear was that we would run out things to say, or worse, that they would want us to stop talking!  I shouldn’t have worried.  The women at the League are a wonderful and giving group of women with amazing personalities.  They made all of us feel like we were in our living room having a nice visit.   We left there feeling like we had made many new friends.  With our confidence in place we were ready for the next engagement.  Why is it, just when a person is feeling confident, the roof caves in?  I had carefully typed up my mother’s speech.  It was a really nice story about how she started writing spiritual poetry after she turned her life over to God.  The only thing was, was I typed this late one Sunday evening and did not proof-read it carefully enough.  So, there the three of us are, in front of a podium with microphone in hand, and I am calmly, confidently listening to my mother speak.  I absolutely wanted to crawl under a rock when she announced, “Jeanne, you forgot to type a sentence right here!  Now I don’t know where I am at!”   I remember saying, “Yikes!” near the microphone and trying to talk my mom into repeating the story from her memory instead of reading it from the paper in front of her.  I died a thousand deaths in those few seconds, however, Mother easily started telling the story as she remembered it and it all ended on a good note.


I have learned, people don’t expect us to be perfect and it is unrealistic of me to think we are going to be anyway.   I have my battle plan all ready for the next event.  It is to say a prayer first, do my best, never type on Sunday night, and let the chips fall where they may.



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Interview with Judy Merritt, Northwoods Press News

Posted by margaretpeterson - June 29th, 2012

Judy Merritt, Margaret Peterson, Father Pribyl


Poet at Our Lady of the Pines, Nevis, MN


Margaret Peterson, has been vacationing at  Royal Star Resort on 6th Crow Wing Lake and attending Mass at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church with her family for twenty some years now. She has also been writing poetry for the same length of time.  This year her annual vacation started with a book signing of her first published book of poetry, “The Pearl of Great Price,” after Mass last weekend.


The publication of the book was a family affair that involved her daughters Jeanne Theberath and Kathy Tyler and their husbands Peter and John.  “She has written over 500 poems,” she said. “It seemed a shame to keep them in a file where no one else could read them.”  Peterson said she was both frightened and excited to be signing books of her poetry. “It doesn’t seem real to me,” she said.


The book was named after Peterson’s favorite poem and is set up with poems printed on colored pages on the right hand side paired with photographs that “flow” with the theme of the poem on the opposite page. The color of the poem pages is coordinated with the colors in the photographs.  Tyler and her husband, John are gardeners with a yard filled with beautiful flowers.  Many photographs of their flowers accompany the poems in the book.


Theberath learned the “Photoshop” program, so she could process the photos Tyler sent to her each day. And Peterson just kept writing.  It is hard to tell which is more beautiful, the language of the poems or the photographs that accompany them.  “There’s a lot of beauty in one book,” Peterson said. “It has a wonderful flow.”  The flow can be attributed to a solid year and a half of work on the part of the people involved as Peterson kept writing and revising poems while Tyler and John were tending to the flowers and emailing photographs to Theberath as she “agonized” over every detail.  Theberath credited her husband, Peter for being her sounding board as he listened to her talk things out and together they would work through the details.


Peterson said they had always been a close family, but working on the book together offered another “dimension” to their relationships.  “It was wonderful how we all worked together,” Theberath said.  “And we all had so much fun.” The style of the poetry and look of the book is reminiscent of the old “Ideals Magazine.” The poems are grounded in the beauty of nature with God as its Creator. Many of the poems read like prayers or modern day Psalms. Some are tiny jewels of wisdom that can be read again and again.  All the poems and their accompanying photographs offer a quiet reflection of the natural world and its relationship to a spiritual world.


“A Pearl of Great Price” is a gentle and beautiful reminder to the reader on how important it is to take time for that reflection.


For more information on the book, visit the website


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A Religion Teacher

Posted by margaretpeterson - June 29th, 2012

Back in the early 1960s, it was impossible to obtain nuns to staff the school for religious education so the people of the parish had to try to fill in.  There was only one requirement – a car.  If you didn’t have a car, you cared for the children of a mother who did have one.  Unfortunately, I had a car.  A car is not a vocation.  First, I failed at teaching the first grade.  The high point of the year was when someone heard some mice running around in a box and I took them outside and let them go.  Everyone thought I was brave.  The next year I changed to fourth grade.  It was misery personified.  I asked the nun who was in charge if I could quit, as I had no vocation to teach.  She said, “I’ll decide that!”  She proceeded to sit in the back of the room at my next class.  It was amazing how quiet it was.  The Sister said, “You definitely have a vocation.”  I said, “No, I don’t.   I had you sitting in the back of the room and you’re wearing a black habit!”  My words meant nothing but there was one slim chance for escape.  If a person could be on their way to motherhood again, then they were excused!  To this day, I have a special love for our fifth child.

Quite a few years went by and when I finally realized I needed God completely, I turned my life over to Him.  Whereas before if someone told me I was pretty, I felt myself to be a success; now I had warmer, lasting feelings when I could help someone.  Joy was serving God where I was.  I didn’t even have to step out of the house.  Life was sweeter.

Three years later, I knew I had to go back to teaching religion.  I decided to teach the grade that was the worst – fourth grade.  Could the Sister have been right?  I couldn’t believe the difference in the classroom when I lived with God more closely.  I had a quiet class without the nun sitting in the back of the room.  It was great!  The following January, I woke up in the middle of the night and started thinking about the religion class.  I wondered how there could be such a great change in me and yet the only difference in the class was that it was quiet.  All of a sudden, I got a great idea from God of an example of life with Him and life without Him.  I could hardly wait to tell the class and they loved it.  The following week I wondered if God could please give me another example, and He did!  It evolved to every week praying and receiving examples just right for the class.  Examples like an airplane with and without wings.  God is the wings and we cannot rise high without Him.  After some time He added giving students a gold star on Wednesdays if they did a good deed every day just for the love of Him and have them tell the class the best deed of the week at treat time.  Also, the student should daily say, “I love you, God, please guide me” before they get out of bed in the morning so the day belongs to God and He can guide them through it.  Saints books were added that could be read in about twenty minutes and one piece of candy was given for every book read.  Actually, Jewish people operate on the same principle – after a child learns a passage in the Bible, they receive something sweet so they learn that the Law of God is sweet and to be treasured.

Some people wonder why I’m still teaching.  I say that after going to Mass on Sunday, this is the high point of my week.  A type of niche.  I treasure it, love the children, and will be sad when it is time to leave the world.

 No matter how many credits a person accrues in the field of religion, nothing compares with inviting God to come with you into the classroom and help you say what He wants you to say and open the children’s minds to receive it and retain it.  I’ve seen difficult children change into sweeties and I know it’s God’s grace!

 Maybe the nun was right.


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The Beginning

Posted by admin - April 23rd, 2012

My family tells me every serious author should have a blog. I think the word journal sounds much more eloquent; however, what is important is to keep readers informed on the latest activities regarding the book and to offer them an opportunity to read new poetry. My daughters, Jeanne and Kathy, will be contributing to the blog, and would also like to share family recipes with our readers. Thank you for taking the time to read my “blog.”


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