Bruce Honey Days 2023 and Community Cookbook Honey Recipes

Joining me for this week’s episode of Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens are longtime Bruce Honey Days parade emcee, Mary Bjerke, and her husband, Russ, and their daughter, Christianne Beringer.

Many Midwestern towns host annual festivities in celebration of characteristics unique to their community. Like Uff-Da Day in Rutland, North Dakota, and Lake George Blueberry Festival in Minnesota. There’s also Tulip Festival in Orange City Iowa, Bacon Bash in River Falls and Lake Geneva Bacon Fest in Wisconsin, and Nebraska’s Testicle Festival in Ashland and Kool-Aid Days in Hastings. The city celebration we’re talking about today is the 32nd annual Honey Days in Bruce, South Dakota. Adee Honey Farms is headquartered there.

Mary shares the schedule for the 3-day weekend of events, kicking off with KCountry 102.3’s cookout in Museum Park at noon on Friday, July 28. The fun continues all weekend with traditional events like a parade and a craft show, and competitive activities like basketball, bean bags, volleyball, horseshoes, and baseball. Start your morning early on Saturday with Denise Ulvestad’s treasured honey protein energy balls at the 5K run, walk or pedal. Breakfast on Sunday is at the Legion for pancakes. The celebration continues all weekend with a car show, street dance, yard games, cow pie bingo, and wraps up with the town vs. country softball tournament on Sunday evening. 

Listen to episode 30 of Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens wherever you get your shows, or listen in the player below.

Mary and her family have been participating in Bruce Honey Days since its inception in the 1990s. They took a look back at the old photo albums and shared some with us.

Rentsch Volleyball

In this episode, Mary talks about playing Rentsch volleyball. Later I asked Christianne to explain it to me and this is her story:

“The Rentsch name is my mom’s cousin’s family—Marv and Judy Rentsch—from Bruce (Judy is mom’s first cousin, but mom is closer in age to their kids, Steve and Mike).  My parents played [volleyball] with Steve, Mike, and their spouses, and the Wilson family and an Ulvestad family when Honey Days started.

We kids never got to play until we were adults—but now the grandkids all play once they hit middle school. 

I’m not sure when exactly, but one year we decided we needed shirts and then came up with a wrench name for every single one of us to put on the back of the shirts. I’m Open End, my mom is Left Hand, Dad is Impact, Dustin is Dog Bone, etc. Even the little kids got shirts with wrench names.

The koozie, It’s time for a team drink, is our thing. After every win, Judy will yell, “Mary, what time is it?” and we all respond, “It’s time for a team drink! Woo!”

My mom’s maiden name is Hovey. Her younger brother, Rolfie, started his own team a few years ago and my kids play on that one too sometimes. Their team is Dumb Luck. We all just kind of wander back and forth between the two teams.”

Honey Days Events

Mary and Christianne tell us all about Honey Days. Here’s the schedule of events. You’ll also find this on the Bruce Honey Days Facebook Group.

2023 Bruce Honey Days schedule of events

Honey Recipes from Episode 30

If you’ve read or listened to episode 8 of Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens, you already have Mary’s meatloaf recipe.

platter with meatloaf and a plate with a slice of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans

Today, the family is sharing five recipes with honey as a main ingredient—sloppy joes, BBQ ribs, fudge sauce, barbecue sauce, all of which are in the South Dakota Honey Cookbook, published by the South Dakota Honey Industry Commission Department of Agriculture and South Dakota Beekeepers Association. And a recipe for Greek Loukamades.

I will be eagerly scouring antique and thrift stores for this community cookbook.

Recipes from Mary’s Copy of the Honey Cookbook

Sloppy Joes I made this recipe and I would definitely make it again. I like the flavor, plus it’s easy and I always have these ingredients on hand. Next time I will add liquid smoke and a little cayenne pepper.

honey sloppy Joe on a plate with chips and pickles on a picnic table

Because I don’t know how to follow directions, I used one pound of ground beef. But it was really good so I don’t know…I may make it like that again.

sloppy Joe recipe with honey

Sandy’s Barbecue Sauce Chili sauce is the only ingredient I’ll need to add to my pantry inventory to make this barbecue sauce. Notice the electric stovetop burner burn on the top?

barbecue sauce recipe with honey

BBQ Ribs Russ Bjerke tells us all about these in the episode. We’ll get him on an episode of his own because he is known for his cooking and smoking.

BBQ ribs recipe with honey

Honey of a Fudge Sauce This sauce is legendary! If you come to Honey Days for nothing other than ice cream with honey fudge sauce and sunflower kernels, I don’t blame you.

honey of a fudge sauce recipe made with honey

Greek Loukamades Plus, here’s the Greek Loukamades recipe that Mary and her family used the year they won the honey bake-off competition.

Also, be sure to listen to this episode for an announcement about the end of season 1.

Sweet wishes,


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.