Heartland Cuisine: The S.D. Central Chapter of Credit Unions

COURTESY PHOTOS The group donated a large variety of food and miscellaneous paper products to the Helping Hands food pantry in Huron.

On Oct. 19, the South Dakota Central Chapter of Credit Unions will join credit unions around the world to celebrate the 75th International Credit Union (ICU) Day to celebrate the spirit of the global credit union movement.

The SD Central Chapter is honored to be part of this tradition, and while the official ICU Day is celebrated on Oct. 19, however some credit unions celebrate the entire week. They invite both members and nonmembers to visit a local credit union to help celebrate the Credit Union Difference.

The ultimate goal of ICU Day is to raise awareness about the work credit unions are doing around the world.

A credit union is a not-for-profit financial organization owned and operated by its members for the benefit of all who belong. As not-for-profit financial service cooperatives, credit unions return earnings to their members through savings rates, great services, and low borrowing rates.

The South Dakota Central Chapter of Credit Unions is made up of six credit unions, which include Dakotaland Federal Credit Union (FCU), M-O FCU, HB Telco FCU, Huron Area Education FCU, Dakota Rail Line FCU, all of Huron, and Oahe FCU of Pierre.

Also, the Pierre branch of Black Hills FCU is an associate chapter member. The Central Chapter holds meetings and workshops with programs to educate credit union employees on various topics.

The Chapter takes pride in contributing to community projects portraying the ‘People Helping People’ philosophy.

The Central Chapter holds an annual food/supply drive and donates the items to a local food pantry around the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. They also raise money for the purpose of giving back to the community.

Some recipients of these donations have been: People’s Transit (Huron), Hope Therapeutic Ranch (Huron), Huron Special Olympics, Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Center (Pierre), Students Against Destructive Decisions (Redfield), Jan Manolis Family Safe Center (Huron), YWCA (Huron), Huron Area Hope & Blessings (Huron), and the Beadle County Humane Society (Huron); in addition, items have been purchased for the Angel Tree gifts.

Central Chapter members hosted a mini golf fundraiser at Putters & Scoops in Huron. The proceeds from this year’s event were donated to Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP), an organization of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need.

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Dip
2 (12.5 oz each) cans chicken
3 blocks cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 (4 oz each) cans chopped green chilis    

Drain one can of chicken, but leave juices on other can of chicken. Drain both cans of green chilis, then place all ingredients in a crockpot on low. Stir often until cream cheese is fully melted and ingredients are combined. Serve with tortilla chips, bread, pita crackers, or item of choice.

Sausage & Cream Cheese Breakfast Bake
1 lb. hot breakfast sausage
8 oz cream cheese
30 oz frozen shredded hash browns
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook sausage until no longer pink. Stir together cooked sausage and cream cheese. Set aside.

Cook hashbrowns in skillet until lightly browned. Place hash browns in bottom of lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with sausage/cream cheese mixture and shredded cheddar cheese. Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over hash brown mixture.

**Cover and refrigerate at this point if baking later.**

Bake, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes.

Each Wednesday in October, Central Chapter members gather to fill bags with food and snacks for United Way’s Backpack Program. The bags are then distributed to local schools and given to students who request assistance.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup peanut butter
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBLSP strawberry jam (or grape, etc. as preferred)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.

Add eggs, peanut butter, melted butter, and vanilla – mix well.

Spread batter into 8”x8” greased pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Let cool. Spread jam on top of baked bars.

Grape Salad
2 pounds red grapes
2 pounds green grapes
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup pecan pieces

Clean and dry grapes and remove them from the stems.

In a medium mixing bowl beat the softened cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer until smooth. Add in the vanilla and mix to combine.

To the cream cheese, add in the sugar and sour cream, continue mixing until well combined and smooth. It will have the consistency of soft frosting.

In a large serving bowl add the grapes and pour in the cream cheese dressing. Fold the dressing around the grapes until they are all covered.

Just before serving sprinkle with the brown sugar and pecans on the top of the salad.

Members of the Central Chapter volunteering for the Adopt-A-Highway Project to clean up garbage in a two-mile stretch of ditch along the highway south of Huron.