Deanne Ness

Deanne Ness, seated left, displays a pan of bars she made for Bake and Take Day. She’s pictured with her siblings Colleen Kightlinger, standing left, Brian MacNeill, Jeanette Kleinsasser and Lynn MacNeill and her mom Alice MacNeill.

Growing up on a farm near Tulare, South Dakota, Deanne Ness’s mom would bake for holidays and special occasions and share the desserts with neighbors and friends.

Ness, now living in Huron, continues the same tradition. She makes Christmas candy and Valentine cookies for the holidays and bakes all sorts of bars throughout the year. Ness shares them with her co-workers at the hospital, church members, assisted living residents and even her hair dressers.

She gets special requests for her Christmas toffee, and she’s known for her buttermilk brownies.

South Dakota Wheat created Bake and Take Day contest to encourage people to do just what Ness and her mother have done for decades and to promote foods made with wheat.

On March 23, home bakers of all ages were invited to embrace community spirit by baking home-made goodies and sharing them with others.

Ness was excited to learn about the contest and has participated for several years. This year, her name was drawn as a winner in the adult category.

Contestants who wrote in to share their Bake and Take activity were entered into a random drawing for $50 cash in one of four categories. With Ness, the winners were:

Youth Individual: Taya Kirstine

Youth Group: Milesville Ranger 4_H Club

Adult Group: Fossum Family

Ness shared her Bake and Take Day entries with her siblings who were visiting from Florida, Oregon and Minnesota. She took some to a 93-year-old to share with the caretakers who stay with her, and some went to friends in her mom’s assisted living complex who are no longer able to bake for themselves.

Ness said she’ll use the prize money for another hobby – crafting wooden ornaments, which she gives to people as gifts much like her baked goods. The smiles, hugs and kind words she receives from others makes her day, Ness said.

“It gives me a good feeling,” she said.

Deanne’s Buttermilk Brownies

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

Put sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl

1 stick margarine

1⁄2 cup Crisco oil

4 Tablespoons cocoa

1 cup water

Microwave on high for three minutes and add to the sugar and flour mixture. Mix well.


1⁄2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well. Put in 10 x 15 pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


1⁄2 stick margarine

2 Tablespoons buttermilk

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

2-2 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar

In heavy pan, bring above ingredients to a rolling boil. Add powdered sugar. The mixture will be a little runny, but it will set up on the brownies. I put them in the refrigerator.

Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor


Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska.