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Grandma’s Meals

Vegetables were a last minute dish in our house as we grew up. A can of corn, peas or beets were the usual. Raw celery, carrots and sometimes green onions were frequently available before dinner. In the summer of course, there was fresh corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, and cooked fresh peas, beans, beets and carrots. Carrots were always added to the bottom of the meat roasting pan. Grandma liked creamed vegetables, e.g., peas, onions, cabbage, etc., which was a Swedish favorite from her home. But, the added preparation time usually left these recipes for special occasions. Later on, her favorite vegetable to serve became broccoli, with cheese sauce or lemon.

Grandma usually prepared a “green salad”, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes with homemade French or Russian salad dressing. She sometimes fixed a peach or pear salad. A few leaves of iceberg lettuce placed on individual salad plates, one to two peaches or pears placed on the lettuce, topped with Miracle Whip and sprinkled with paprika. Sometimes creamed cottage cheese was added on top of the fruit as well.

“The Boys” consumed massive amounts of mashed potatoes and gravy. Some form of meat was served at every dinner. Grandma didn’t prepare a large amount of meat, so you had to be fast — contributing to our poor table manners.

Frequently homemade bread or rolls were a part of the meal. Milk was always the beverage.

Dessert was usually reserved for Sunday dinner. Grandma put a cake in the oven as soon as the roast came out. There were usually homemade cookies around, if one wanted something after other meals.

Lunches taken to school were always the envy of our friends. Cold roast beef, chicken, meatball or meat loaf sandwiches on homemade bread, fruit and homemade cookies.

Irene Ethel Quist Johnson

  • Born: January 26, 1914
  • At Home: Waldo, Minnesota, a farming community north of Two Harbors
  • To: Olaf & Anne Sofia Quist
  • Graduated High School: May 29, 1931

She was the youngest of six children.


  • Arthur Willhelm, 4/9/1905 – 10/31/1987, 82 years, wife – Emelia
  • Axel Edward, 4/12/1908 – 10/24/1989, 81 years, wives – Violet & Rene
  • John Millard, 11/28/1910 – 4/20/1990, 79 years, wife – Olga
  • George Milton, 7/4/1912 – 1/18/1987, 74 years, wife – Peg


  • Alphild NMN Nylund, 11/21/1906, husband – Gilbert Nylund

Bernard Isaac Johnson

  • Born June 18, 1911
  • At Home: Knife River Valley, Minnesota, a farming community north of Two Harbors
  • To: Isaac & Louisa F. Johnson
  • Graduated High School: May 29, 1930

The youngest of the family.


  • Sigfried R., 9/30/1900 – 1/20/1965, 65 years, died of heart disease, wife – Emma
  • Leonard, 1907 – 11/6/1968, 61 years, died of stroke, wife – Jeanette
  • Axel, died in 1945 of emphysema, he was in his forties
  • Gunnard, died in 1921 in an accident at Ore Docks, he was 17 years old

Wedding & Biography

  • Wedding Day: August 5, 1936 at 5pm at West Side Baptist Church in Duluth, MN
  • Officiate: Rev. J. Alfred Erickson, Minister of the Gospel
  • Bride WarL A floor length gown of coral crepe
  • Corsage: Talisman Roses & Sweet Peas
  • Attendant: Mrs. John Quist, sister-in-law
  • Attendant Wore: A floor length gown of aqua crepe
  • Corsage: Orchids & Sweet Peas
  • Groom’s Attendant: Mr. John Quist, brother of the bride
  • Wedding Dinner: Parents of the Bride’s home at 6pm, 30 guests attended
  • Honeymoon: Mr. & Mrs. Johnson immediately left on a wedding trip to Winnipeg, Canada
  • First Home: 727 Ninth Ave., Two Harbors, MN
  • Wedding Dace: October 5, 1936 at Felix Hall in Waldo, MN
  • Gifts: The couple received a monetary gift of $100 from family and friends
  • Wedding Gift Purchase: Twelve place settings of Noritake China, hibiscus pattern no. 3942 and Community Plate Silver, coronation pattern


  • 1937: Together they founded Benna’s Garage, a Hudson and Terraplane car dealership
  • 1947: They acquired a Dodge-Plymouth dealership
  • 1966: They moved on to Ford Motor Company – this dealership continues on today as Benna Ford with two locations in Two Harbors, MN and Superior, WI
  • 1969: Retired
  • 1973: Moved to Sunrise, FL

Grandpa suffered with cancer and died July 21, 1984 at the age of 73. Grandma went home to be with the Lord during the early hours of October 13, 1995. She was 81 years old.


  • Donald Bernard, 12/22/1938, wife Joan
  • Robert Allen, 2/28/1943, wife – Sharon
  • Russel Dean, 10/31/1947 – 4/13/1949, drowned at 2 years old
  • David Axel, 3/8/1950, wife – Mary Lou
  • Dale Everett, 7/14/1955, wife – Tracey


  • Elizabeth (Betty) Arloene, 1/13/1945


  • Lori Ann
  • De Ann
  • Linda Mae, husband George
  • Christine Renee
  • Leila Fay
  • Gina Marie
  • Patti Jo
  • Michelle Lynn


  • Shawn Michael
  • Bryan Christopher
  • Leif Eric
  • Daniel Everett
  • Christopher Ryan

Great Grandsons

  • Jacob Joseph, son Ryland
  • Michael George, wife Diana, daughters Nina & Nicole
  • Bradley Martin
  • Andrew
  • Lane

Great Granddaughters

  • Teresa Jean, husband John, daughter Emma Jean
  • Melissa Mariko, husband Jesus, son Linus
  • Michelle Fay, husband Max
  • Jessica
  • Ryan

Grandma’s Parents


Olaf Ferdinand (Zvist) Quist

  • Born: December 16, 1874
  • At: Almebada, Fosingmala, Sweden
  • Immigrated to America, May 1893
  • Destination: Carlton, MN
  • Citizenship: April 1899
  • Moved to the farm: Waldo, MN 1910
  • Retired: January 1948
  • Died: 1970, passed on his 96th birthday


  • Farmer, 50 years
  • President and Board Member, Lake County Farmer’s Co-op Creamery, 21 years
  • Treasurer, North Shore Fire insurance, 32 years
  • Road and Overseer, Township of Waldo and Lake County


Anne Sofia Finne Quist

  • Born: September 2, 1881
  • At: Maxmo, Finland
  • Married: September 25, 1902, Grandpa 28 & Grandma 21
  • At: Swedish Lutheran Church, Two Harbors, MN
  • Died: July 21, 1971, 91 years

Great Grandma and Grandpa Quist each had ten brothers and sisters

Grandpa’s Parents (“Swede-Finns”)


Isaac Johnson

  • Born: May 8, 1880
  • At: Molpa, Finland
  • Immigration to America: 1900 & 1902
  • Moved to Minnesota: 1902
  • Arrival Destination: Michigan
  • Died of heart disease August 7, 1948, 68 years


  • Michigan Lumber Camp, Farmer and Employee until his death for the D.M. & I.R. Railroad Coal Docks, which began operation September 1918


Louisa F. Pott Johnson

  • Born: February 9, 1881
  • At: Molpa, Finland
  • Married in Sweden in 1899, Grandpa 19 and Grandma 18
  • Died of a stroke on November 19, 1968, 87 years

Grandma’s Favorite Hymn:

Softly & Tenderly

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me
See on the portals he’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me
Come home, come home
You who are weary, come home,
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling, oh, sinner, come home!
Oh for the wonderful love He has promised
Promised to you and to me
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me
Come home! Come Home!

Other Notes

My name is Michael Muranaka, and I am the great-grandson of Irene Quist Johnson. She was my mother’s grandmother. I’ve only met her a few times as a young child, and I don’t remember her personally, but my mother, Linda Muranaka (née Johnson) remembers her fondly. I do remember the day that she passed in 1995 – my mother received the news via telephone as we live in California and she in Florida. I remember my mother being very upset by the news, and we were unfortunately not able to attend the funeral.

All of the information from this website was taken from a cookbook that was compiled by my Great Aunt Elisabeth Hassett, which she printed and gifted to members of the family during Christmas of 1997. Any notes/anecdotes contained within recipe pages were written by her.

The book has since seen a lot of use! A few years ago I thought it would be a good idea to get all of these recipes online, and it’s finally happening. I plan on making some of these recipes myself and taking photos, however if anyone has photos, notes, stories, or anything of the like they think should be on the website feel free to email me.