Cold Room

Cold Room

A cold room, or “root cellar”, is an underground room (often found under a front porch) that is built to maintain a constant, cool temperature without allowing what’s inside to freeze. Jars of tomatoes, beans, salsa, sauerkraut, beets, pickles, jams and jellies, and fruit sauces, all ready and waiting.

The Relatives Came

The Relatives Came

This past weekend, two of my favorite summer events took place: the 4th of July and our Glienke Family Reunion. What’s a Glienke (pronounced glink-ee)? If you don’t live in NW Iowa, that is a reasonable question. My mom’s maiden name is Glienke, so my brothers 

Entertaining Angels

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

Runners. I don’t really get them. I admire them greatly. I sometimes wish I were one. They are fit, have cool t-shirts from all the 5K’s and 10K’s they’ve done, they can eat whatever they want. The only way I get one of those cool t-shirts is if my son decides to “donate” one and it mysteriously ends up in my drawer. Somehow I doubt that anyone believes that I managed to run a marathon though.

The Hamburger Story

You know how innocent stories can get embellished over time?

“Back in my day we had to walk to school uphill … both ways!”

In honor of National Hamburger Day, I’m going to share one such story from my family’s history that has taken on a life of it’s own. It happened so long ago that no one remembers the honest truth. And that includes me … it pains me to admit that but I was only 5. Even that may not be the honest truth. My brothers say I was 10. THAT is a lie.

And so it begins …

Spring Salad

For lunch today I decided to utilize some of my unique finds from last weekend’s farmers’ market: the radish microgreens and the Peter Rabbit sea salt blend (flavors of radish and dill). Along with my first picking of fresh spinach and some chives from my garden, I had a great start to a new salad combination.

Or so I thought.

I put the salad together, drizzled it with avocado oil and lemon juice and sprinkled it with pepper. I took the first bite and thought, “Wow! I’m really on to something special.” And then it hit me.

Fresh greens, onion, radish … this is the salad of my childhood.

Field Work

Even though I have not lived on a farm for over 25 years, the sight of tractors, planters and farmers working the ground brings out the farm girl in me. A few days ago, I drove to my favorite place to walk and clear my head. All along the way I saw either work in progress or work completed. The tell-tale, perfectly straight lines in the soil extending from fenceline to horizon speak of a farmer who took a deep breath and said “One down.”

Foodventurous: Opening Day

I woke up this morning to three wonderful things: a hot cup of coffee, a gorgeous sunrise, and a picture of Mike Matheny on!

My girlfriends talk about Kenny Chesney, Justin Timberlake, and Matt Damon. Don’t get me wrong … these are handsome men. But there is something about a man in a white uniform who can own a baseball cap.

In case I have lost you, Mike Matheny is the manager of my beloved St. Louis Cardinals. And don’t worry … my husband knows all about my crush. I like to make him and my boys roll their eyes when a game is on and I hush them whenever the camera crew gets a shot of Mike.

Passover Picnic

This past week I participated in a truly remarkable picnic. No, it wasn’t outside. No, there wasn’t any potato salad. It was a Passover Meal.

Every other year, on Maundy Thursday, our Lutheran church hosts this meal as a remembrance of Jesus and his disciples honoring the tradition of the Passover in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery.

This meal was prepared by a devoted group of members, eaten without plates or silverware, and accompanied by an explanation of the food and a message by our Pastor.

Life Lessons: Cherry Pie Soup

Earlier this week, my posts focused on the fusion of the mathematic infinite constant Pi (3.1415…) celebrated on March 14 (3/14) with all things pie (for those of you non-food-nerds). The first post highlighted the “Never Fail Pie Crust”. Then we filled that flaky crust with an experiment-turned-new-favorite Apple Pie recipe.

Now I will throw myself under the food truck and share one of my family’s favorite “Mom’s Food Fails” stories. It happens. Not everything that is made with heart, with love, with effort, turns out well. The beauty of these failures is the story that lasts forever.

Sweet Potato “Fries”

According to the National Food Day calendar, today is National Sweet Potato Day. I love sweet potatoes in every form: casserole, soup, baked, risotto, pie. Seeing sweet potato fries on a menu makes me very happy. My guys? Not so much. But that just gives me ammunition …

Two years ago at Thanksgiving, I told my husband and two boys I was going to make one pumpkin pie and one sweet potato pie to see if they could even tell the difference. They were confident they were up to the challenge…