Sense of Community

Our ongoing, 10-part Community Journalism series airs quarterly

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters come together to produce 10 stories, four times a year;  see past espisodes of our Sense of Community series here.

Mike Smith / KSMU

Today we meet, talk, and cook with Yolanda Lorge, who in 1987 with her American husband, moved from Mexico City to Springfield, Missouri, and will share some of the stories behind the table traditions of her youth. Yolanda was born in the northern city of Juarez. But at age 5 following the death of her father, with her pregnant mother and eight brothers and sisters, Yolanda moved to the city of Morelia in central Mexico.

Michele Skalicky

Shishki is a Christmas dish that dates back to Czechoslovakia where Francis and Albert Skalicky’s ancestors are from.  Their mother and father, Albert and Mary, were full-blooded Czech.  Albert’s father came over from Czechoslovakia and his mother's grandparents came over.   It was Mary’s grandparents, who came to the U.S. from Czechoslovakia, and they were part of a Czech community in Polk County in the early 20th Century.

Shishki is made from a potato dough that’s rolled into small pieces and fried, then coated with honey and sprinkled with poppyseeds.

Michele Skalicky

Cornbread dressing has been a staple on Jeannette and Don Erter’s Thanksgiving table for many years.

Jeannette isn’t sure how far back the recipe dates, but she’s pretty sure it can be traced at least to Don’s great-grandmother, Leitha “Leithy” Darby.  It was Leithy’s daughter, Grace, born in 1896, who taught Jeannette to make the dish.  Grace was Don’s grandmother (his mom’s mom), and they called her Granny Cotten.


As our Sense of Community series “Table Traditions” continues, we head into the kitchen of Jane Ann Johnson, of Ozark, who shares her Texan great-grandmother’s cornbread recipe.

“It's probably a recipe that would give a cardiologist a heart attack. But I'm fortunate enough to be married to a cardiologist who loves it, so I get to make it still,” she said.

She uses bacon drippings in the batter and in the cast iron skillet the cornbread is cooked in.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU


Join KSMU this week for our Sense of Community series, "Table Traditions," looking at 10 family recipes handed down through the generations.  

Christine Temple, of Springfield, shared her great-grandmother’s recipe for

Risgrynsgröt, a Swedish rice pudding in which the predominant flavor is cinnamon.

“My great-grandmother was born in Sweden and she came to the United States through Ellis Island in 1912 when she was 16 years old,” Temple said.

“My mom was pregnant with me when she passed away, so I never got to meet her,” Temple said.