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In the Kitchen with... Klint Requist
By Carol McGarvey | Photography by Ben Lochard
IN THE KITCHEN WITH... April/May 2018
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Klint Requist
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Check out these recipes from Klint Requist:

Cinnamon Rolls

Spritz Cookies

Swedish Black Pepper Cookies

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Ankeny baker keeps Swedish traditions and yummy tastes alive for his family, friends.

Those who know Klint Requist of Ankeny have a sweet deal, especially at the holidays. You see, he loves to bake, and others like to eat. And if you’re Swedish (or even if you’re not), please know that he’s also keeping alive centuries-old recipes and traditions.

In his own way, he honors the land of herring, lutefisk, lingonberries, sweet crepelike Swedish pancakes, all things almond and cardamom, Swedish meatballs, and St. Lucia buns. And of course, zagazup, a fruit soup made from prunes, raisins, pineapple, cherries, and tapioca.

Klint grew up in Stanton in southwest Iowa, known as the state’s “little white city” because nearly all the homes are indeed painted white. His father, Kirk, is the current mayor. Klint, the youngest of three, grew up with his mother, Garnet, and grandmothers who lived a few houses from each other. He learned to bake from all three. “I’m the youngest, so I think I learned by default,” he says with a chuckle.

He lives in Ankeny and works for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. From late autumn through the holidays, he will spend his weekends baking the delicious treats for others. A neighborhood friend from their growing-up years in Stanton, Karen Henderson of Waukee, and her husband, Bob, order a variety of goodies each year—cinnamon rolls, spritz, Swedish rye bread, brownies, a Swedish tea ring, and ostakaka (which is a Swedish custard).

“I couldn’t and wouldn’t even try to do it myself. His recipes are handed down from generations. I grew up on his grandmother’s rolls. Klint does this to relax and to keep traditions alive,” Karen says.

For about six years, he has been taking baking orders, and his client list grows each year. During the holidays, he keeps a refrigerator freezer full, another full freezer, plus some of his baked goods in his parents’ freezer in his hometown. His mother used to bake like this for friends, but now she focuses on Swedish rye bread. “She has it down to a science,” says Klint. “I’m still trying to perfect mine.”

When he makes ostakaka, the custard, he starts out by purchasing 16 to 18 gallons of whole milk and cream from Picket Fence Creamery near Woodward. He purchases foil baking pans in bulk so that people don’t have to return pans to him.

His extended family usually gathers for get-togethers several times a year. Last year at a family reunion in Branson, Missouri, his aunt, Karen Requist, and some nieces got him a Swedish chef hat, which he treasures.

About every two years, various family members gather to make Swedish potato bologna, using a 100-year-old cast-iron sausage press. “It starts with ground beef, pork, potatoes, and wet saltines, which, yes, is a staple of meat mixtures. It goes into a casing. Later you can boil or bake it. When family members run low on it in their freezers, we make some more.”

The Requist family also enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner—dried-beef gravy, carrots, mashed potatoes, corn, Swedish bologna and meatballs, and a huge variety of desserts. Then Klint can relax after making pan after pan of ostakaka, 35 pans or more of cinnamon rolls, and thousands upon thousands of spritz cookies.

Tack sa mycket. Thank you.

Var sa god. You are welcome.

A Christmas Tradition
Doppa I Gryta (Dip in Kettle)

This is what greeted us when we came to Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. She boiled a 7-bone beef roast, along with extra bones she got from the butcher, with 2 teaspoons salt, 10 whole allspice, and 4 bay leaves until tender. The more bones, the better the flavor.

She cooled the broth and skimmed off most of the fat and diced the meat into bite-size pieces.

Then she heated the meat and broth in her gallon-size slow cooker and placed it in the center of her kitchen table. By the side was a big plate of sliced white bread.

With everyone standing, we gathered around the table. We each picked up a piece of bread, dipped it in the broth, and wished everyone a Merry Christmas. My brothers and cousins liked to get a sauce dish and put the bread in it with some of the meat.

This is a Swedish custom kept by the Requist family of Stanton. Friends also stopped by to taste it and say Merry Christmas as well.

From Grandma Florence Requist; provided by Lori Requist, Klint’s sister from Urbandale.

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