Captain Obvious lives in the month of July…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-07-2015

Here are factual statements about July I will not speak about:

-it’s hot and humid

-we need some rain

-summer is half over and I don’t know where it went

Now onto the rest of the blog; it was important to get those pesky things out of the way. I will start off by chatting  about the garden-because let’s face it, a big part of my blog is talking about that behemoth. This is the first year I’ve made pickles during the first week of July; usually the dill is ready before the cucumbers, but this year, the opposite is true. I make five minute pickles and am on my fifth and sixth jars today. My biggest problem is keeping the naughty kittens out of them; they feel the need to climb the fencing like Jack in the beanstalk or treat the big leaves like a jungle. They do the same thing to the peppers in the front, prowling around them and pouncing on each other. I have lost many a pepper limb out there this year, but they are so much fun to watch and provide a lot of entertainment for us. The price we pay for entertainment, I guess. Here’s a picture of the cucumbers this morning:

cucsI go out every morning to either pick, train, or water. I keep them in the front for easy access and love it. Unfortunately, also easy access for the kitties…

However, when one looks at the kittens, it’s hard to get mad at them; we’ve given two away and kept one which our son named Garfield. He is an orange tiger and is a keeper as well as the two we gave away named Kit Kat since we couldn’t tell them apart. We gave them away since they are going to be long haired, and those kind of cats don’t survive long on our farm. They are making two other families very happy. It didn’t make us happy, but such is the circle of life.

garfieldkit kat

June was a crazy month, hence the lack of a blog. I’m just starting to catch up on paper work, feeding my family, and realizing the toilets won’t clean themselves. In the winter, my house is pretty darn organized and clean, but in the summer, the outside is my inside and the house suffers. It’s not like Animal House, but let’s just say the spiders are happy because I’m not chasing their webs on a weekly basis. We were looking for a cutting board the other day and couldn’t find it. When my son went into the rec room to pick up on Thursday before a Friday catering at the house, he found it under a towel. Then he remembered he used it to cut rhubarb from a week ago. Yep, it sat there that long.

I had to move the bunny protectors from the garden to my front flower garden; the kittens and cats seem to think the pots are for playing in and using as a waste receptacle. My flowers look imprisoned but I am certain they are thanking me. The gladiolas are a play toy for the kittens and they have bitten or hacked off several young ones. They will learn to co-exist-I’m not giving up on the kittens nor the flowers.

My son was off to 4-H camp on Sunday until Friday and was pretty pumped because a) it’s camp and who doesn’t love camp? and b) he doesn’t have to work/pick/wash/cater or do anything relating to plants and animals. This means when hubby is gone I have to monitor the cattle, a job I am not looking forward to doing. Mosquitoes and biting flies are fond of me and when one has to ride the four wheeler to check fence and heifers, some biting will occur. My ankles look like I have a contagious disease, but it’s me scratching the bites in my sleep until they bleed and make a mess. Does it stop me from wearing shorts or dresses in public? Nope. It’s a summer thing.

We were cleaning juneberries Saturday and there was a big, dead spider in the middle of my lab floor. I was going to pick it up and put it in the recycling pail when I laughed and realized I don’t touch spiders, dead or alive, so I told our son to do it. He’s my hero on a daily basis. He went in there to do it and came back out, telling me it was still alive. We went to investigate, and sure enough, if you touched it, it would move a few inches and then curl up again. I think it had a broken leg or two. Had I touched it, this blog wouldn’t be happening today; I’d have to be scraped off the ceiling and taken away…

I went out to pick raspberries today and put on a thick coat of bug spray…but it wasn’t the mosquitoes that were pesky-it was the flies. They were loud, buzzing around and occasionally nipping at my knees and ankles. How weird. It feels so good to pick berries; we didn’t have any last year so I have no problem picking them this year as often as possible. The basil looks incredible; tomorrow the first batch will get dried and/or made into pesto.  I harvested eight softball sized kohlrabi; in the past, they would have been woody, split, or bitter, but with the variety ‘kossak’, they taste really good at that size. Sure enough, they were crunch, tasty, and sweet.  We snack on them all day straight from the fridge. Yum!

Finally, catering has been a blast the past month. A large family reunion, an electric company outdoor cookie/refreshment, and a class reunion to name a few. Here’s the cookies for the electric company: NPlainsI’m really getting addicted to the catering gig…I’m catering a wedding next weekend and am really excited.

With that, it’s time to say goodbye. Still much to do and little time. If you haven’t seen the movie, Minions, you need to go. Now. It’s adorable for adults and children.

Family and the web it weaves…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-06-2015

Tags: ,

mom birthday

The past month has been a whirlwind for our family of eight and quite honestly, none of us have shared it on Facebook because we are not ones to bang the gong, so to speak. However, things are getting better and so a blog is in order. This picture was taken on mom’s 76th birthday on June 7th at the Monte hospital where Roseanne, myself, and Larry, along with our kids, were able to spend some time with her on that special day. It was a divide and conquer kind of day; three were with mom and three with dad in the cities.

Most of those around us know our dad has had multiple health issues for the past fourteen years and has been in the Montevideo nursing home since ’10. Mom has been his caretaker and living on her own in Appleton, successfully, until late May when she suffered a stroke. She was airlifted to St. Cloud, went through rehab there, and is now in the nursing home with dad, regaining her strength and ability to live on her own again. In the meantime, dad was taken to the Monte ER three times before being sent to the cities for more specialized treatment. This is where having five other siblings is a blessing; it might not have felt like that when we were younger and had to share EVERYTHING, but now that we are older and four of them live in the cities, it has made taking care of our parents a shared burden. Having Larry on the home farm has been instrumental as well.  The role reversal is a funny thing; one looked at these two parents as caretakers for twenty-two years (through college) and then we all moved on with our new jobs, lives, etc. Suddenly, they are in their twilight years and we are looking after them, scolding, cajoling, and cheering for their recovery efforts.  It was especially hard to see mom in a vulnerable state, since she is the glue in our family, keeping tabs on all of us, etc.

Things are looking up; dad is back in Montevideo and stealing Oreos from the nurse’s station, I’m certain, and mom is expected to be discharged soon back to her house. While dad will go back to his nursing home routine,  mom is going to need to scale her life back. She has too many irons in the fire and it’s time to let them go; it will be hard to learn she doesn’t need to plant a garden for a family of eight anymore, nor buy groceries to feed the hired hands who used to work for them.

I haven’t blogged for over a month, but between graduations, caterings, the ten hour drive to my parent’s (twice), and the garden/yard, there just hasn’t been time. The garden is shaping up after all that rain in May, but now June needs some precipitation. We got up early this morning to water, since the wind prevents any decent irrigating around here. It’s calm and cloudy-the perfect time to water. Plus, if we go through all the trouble of setting up the watering system, it’s sure to rain…like it is right now.  We have been fortunate not to have deer and bunnies as some do, but just to be sure, our son made some neat cages for us our first year here and I still use them as insurance. He took a roll of woven wire we got at an auction (the best place to get cheap fencing) and made them into a torture device for any critter trying to eat tender, young plants. Here it is:

gate for crittersHe made the top tines face upward so they can’t nibble through them; it was an easy day-long project and they have lasted almost ten years, so I’m going to use them until the day they aren’t productive. We got hit with the snow/frost in May and I lost all the vines, but the peppers survived and the tomatoes hadn’t been planted yet…thankfully. However, the wind has been giving us fits and I had to recover all the peppers/tomatoes for a few weeks while they got strong enough to handle the brute force of Mother Nature. This year the vines, peppers, and tomatoes are planted in black plastic, but the rest is soil, which we’ll mulch in the next week or two. I have been harvesting the cilantro, which grew up volunteer from last year; I simply replanted them in a row and that saved having to use seed.  This year we are doing the NDSU trials again with corn, potatoes, basil, golden beets, and gladiolas. I never do flowers, but thought that would be a fun one to try in my new flower bed. I am desperately hoping the strawberries do well this year; they didn’t last year and I need a crop. I am going to replant them next year and start over since the grass has decided it’s king. Grr. I saw last year the big thing was the gutter strawberry gardens; I wonder how they turned out if anyone did them…

For my ‘ew’ story of the day, my son was looking for a missing kitten (next blog) and was behind the evergreen bushes in front of our house where the cats like to lay out of the elements. He came out and felt movement on his arm; he looked at it and saw it was covered in baby spiders. I panicked just listening to his story. Our neighbors from four miles away would have heard my screams if that had been me. I wouldn’t have gone so far as to saw off my arm, but a long, hot shower would have been next while I talked myself out of the sawing part…

Catering has taken over my life for the past few weeks and it’s been fun. Appetizers at the Garr dentist office opening, NDSU research, and the Birding Festival, to name a few. I made sack lunches one day and a dinner the next night with a North Dakota theme. Steele Family Bison provided the meat, and we served up red lentil pasta in white sauce, Aronia berry wonton cups, homemade pickles, homemade raspberry jam with Dijon mustard (amazing, by the way), and Juneberry or strawberry-rhubarb kuchen. We served over sixty and it was a fun night visiting with the birding festival attendees, who come from all over the country; I got to visit with a guy who lives by McAllen, TX, where I used to live, some nice ladies from DC, and a guy from Ohio who promised me an “All In” Cavs t-shirt in exchange for goods. I love a good barter!

BF beef BF kuchen2 BF wonton cups BF gang BF table Top: strawberry rhubarb kuchen bars, marinated Bison meat, kuchen, Aronia wonton cups, my awesome help, and bottom, a display table and samples

I am very blessed to have great help with serving; making the meal is not the problem, it’s the serving/clean up and there are about eight women whom I call to help, and a few distinguished men and women I call if it’s during the weekday and all my friends are working. They are what make this catering gig work and I appreciate them!

I will try harder to blog…my life isn’t so ‘life in the slow lane’ anymore…if I could invent something to read my mind and print the blog, you’d see one every day. To sit down, find/upload pictures, etc, takes time and by 8 or 9 o’clock at night I’m bushed.

With that, it is time to sign off. Have a great week and remember: your family loves you, warts and all.

Rings you shouldn’t wear…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-05-2015

Many a blog has focused on the weather; we had been fortunate to get a good, soaking rain this past week but now it’s cold out there! May is always such a weird weather month-it can be in the 80s one day and 40s the next. I am glad the garden hasn’t been planted yet; we are expecting freezing temps this week and tender plants will suffer. Mine are all still patiently waiting, warmed by the grow light and greenhouse effect going on in my living room. Someday I hope to have a real greenhouse, but this will have to wait and for now, my makeshift greenhouses do the job.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! There is more than one definition of being a mother, and it doesn’t necessarily involve giving birth. There are many a birth mother out there who have failed miserably at being a mom, just as there are women (and men) who haven’t gone through the birthing process yet have stepped up and given a child or animal a loving, safe environment.

This past week and upcoming week are all about the last indoor push before I am outside the majority of the day. Getting the office under control, typing minutes/paying bills for the various boards I’m on, and processing the last of the produce in the freezer are in the forefront. On Wednesday and Friday, onions were the star of the show. A friend gave me a large box of huge Vidalia onions and they were sweet and delicious, so rather than let them sprout, as onions love to do this time of year, I sliced them thick and made homemade onion rings to freeze. They go in a bowl of flour/baking powder/salt, followed by a buttermilk/egg wash, and finished off with a pureed bread crumb coat. Then off to the freezer for a day, and sealed in FoodSaver bags until we’re ready to deep fry or bake them. I forgot to take a picture of the onions before, but here’s a coating one followed by the final product:

onion1 onion2

We made 18 bags and the imperfect pieces were chopped ; we froze 14 four cup bags for future processing or meals. It feels good to get them off the list! Aronias and chokecherries are the last two in the freezer and hopefully something will get done with them this week.

We have four kittens now and the mama decided our front porch was the perfect place to have them. My ingenious husband built a dog house with a flat top so it can be filled with straw and used by the cats during the fall/winter/spring. Normally, we move it to the quonset in May, but since she had kittens on it and it will be cold next week, we will postpone that move until both are under control. We also had the dog get her yearly cut/shampoo and so she’s a little chilly right now-it’s a good thing the house hadn’t been moved yet. For those who are wondering why a flat roof when the rain would settle on it, it’s under our porch, tucked in a corner as a buffer against the wind. It’s actually a pretty good spot for them year round.

With that, enjoy your Sunday indoors; play a game, read a book, or work on a project that involves more than you-share the fun!


The rumor is true…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-04-2015


I am a millionaire-tax free, I may add. I received a very official looking letter accompanied by a check for $1.2 million, tax free, and all I have to do is send THEM a check or cash for #11.99 to cover ‘fees’. I took the check to my bank today and told her I wanted it in dollar bills. She and I are good friends, so we both shared a chuckle over this, but seriously, there are people out there who would fall for this. Every thing about it looks legitimate, but if you are smarter than the average bear, you will see the issues with this offer. Unfortunately, we know not every one IS smarter than a bear based on the inordinate number of selfies on Facebook or videos on YouTube; if this was sent out to a million people and only 5,000 responded, one still makes almost $60,000. I am going to send them $12 in Monopoly money and tell them to keep the change. By the way, I hope no bears were offended in that comparison…

That little rain shower received last Sunday was a blessing; it greened everything up overnight and made things seem not so bleak. Another shower this week would be welcome-our garbage is piling up since we can’t burn. Even with recycling and separating non-recyclables plus composting, we still have four kitchen size bags to burn. It’s funny how spoiled you get out in the country; we throw the bags in the barrel, light it and move on. Yes, we watch it! Usually, I play fetch with the dog while it’s burning, so she’s feeling a little put off by the ban. Growing up, we used to throw it in a big pit dad had dug with the Backhoe and every once in a while we would get gasoline and light it-now THAT was a big fire. I swear, I felt like a pyromaniac, watching the big flames fueled by the gasoline. How we never burned down the house is a mystery.

This morning, as I was pouring my coffee, I looked out the window and saw four adorable little birds flitting around our front porch, pecking at the ground for food. My first thought was, “Why aren’t the cats out there?” but then I decided to enjoy the view until our black cat showed up and made a half-hearted attempt at hunting. They got away-shock. Actually, the cats are good mousers, but birds aren’t their forte; I’ve never seen them kill/eat one, but they bring the mice up often for our approval. Yuck.

Speaking of coffee, my consumption is slowly inching up, reminding me that once again, I am becoming my mother. I started with four cups, then five, and yesterday, made six cups; keep in mind my hubby isn’t home to help drink this and when I drink coffee, I usually have more milk and creamer than coffee. I love to have a little coffee with my creamer. I switched to unsweetened almond milk and that makes me feel a little better, knowing I’m getting calcium with the caffeine while lowering the calories, but still, it takes me the whole morning to drink it all. No, I am not an afternoon coffee drinker-I’d be up all night if that happened. And really, is being like your mother a bad thing? No…that’s why you love your mother.

It’s time to make the last of the raspberry chocolate spread; the raspberries will be officially out after today. While I love emptying the freezer, it makes me a little sad knowing I won’t have anymore until July. I got a large supply of aronias from a friend recently and need to work on them; they are the last berry standing (or resting) in the freezer. However, May will soon be here, and that means planting season where the cycle starts all over again.

With that, I challenge you to have a great Friday-because let’s face it, IT’S FRIDAY! Just the word brings a smile to your face!



Sounds of Silence…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-04-2015

After awaking to the howling, relentless wind for the past five days, I opened my eyes and realized how quiet it was; it took a moment to figure out it was the lack of wind, not my whiny alarm clock, which woke me up. My second thought was, ” Yea! I can finally hang clothes out!” My third thought involved coffee, which in reality, should have been my first thought.

Normally, spring is a beautiful time; the snow is gone, the green grass begins to peek, the buds form on the trees, and our cats mate on the driveway in front of our window. While the last one isn’t my favorite scene, the rest is, but this spring, the grass is still very dead looking. Our lack of moisture is catching up with us and it is a little sad out there. As I drove to a catering last night, I looked at the side of the highway and everywhere is brown, brown, brown. It’s time for those April showers!

Speaking of catering, last night I catered a fun bunch of ladies-Wednesday bowling league. They had their banquet last night and asked me to cater; they had the place decorated in a Western theme and it was a great experience-laughter, smiles, and friendships flowing everywhere. This is what mean girls miss-the importance of positive friendships. I feel sorry for them and am glad they weren’t around in the 80s (at least at our school) because having lasting friendships, I fear, is a thing of the past. We didn’t have texting and Facebook-we actually picked up the phone, called each other, and laughed for hours. We hung out together in basements, played games, watched MTV. and giggled, whispered, and shared secrets until late in the night. I have a ton of pictures of girlfriends, but I decided to dig one up from the past of my first friends-my mom and sisters. This gem is from the late 80s:


Theresa, me, mom, Roseanne, Kathy-we’ve changed so much I thought I better label us.

I could blog for a while, but truthfully, I have a really bad headache and need to get rid of it. This white screen isn’t helping. With that, have a great day and enjoy the lack of wind.

Apparently, lightning does strike twice…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-04-2015

Sigh…there are days I need to ground myself and put me in the corner. Yesterday was just such a day. Last year sometime, I spilled coffee all over my wireless keyboard; if I go back in the blogs, I can probably find the day-it was traumatic. For the longest time, I had to put up with the q and 2 not working as well as the tab key; luckily, I have a touch screen and can pull up a keyboard on the computer, but let’s face it, it’s another step-and we all love more steps in a procedure, don’t we? My kids, feeling sorry for me, bought me a really nice wireless keyboard for Christmas and I loved it; I was careful around it, made sure to keep it away from the coffee, etc.-until yesterday, when a split second decision ruined yet ANOTHER keyboard. After I spilled, I immediately whipped it around and got coffee all over the newly cleaned carpet, ran to the bathroom and tried to wipe it off. Then I ran to my bathroom, got the blow-dryer, and tried to air dry the coffee out of it. The keys survived, but the space bar wouldn’t work; have you ever tried to type without spacing? Nightmare. My husband thought maybe using the air compressor would help, so he took it out to the shop and worked on it awhile. Unfortunately, that didn’t do the trick. Many keys wouldn’t work and worse yet, they kept repeating themselves. The scroll and number locks wouldn’t unlock and overall, it was a goner. Thankfully, I kept my old keyboard and am now back to using that; as punishment, I’m not buying myself a new one until I’ve learned my lesson. I wonder when that will be?

March went out like a lamb-for a whole day. Now April is fooling us by whipping the wind around everything; we thought about burning some boxes for a whole two seconds before realizing that would be a really. bad. idea. And no, I will not be planting my potatoes tomorrow as my grandpa did; no sense in wasting time and potatoes.

I made a pie today for a customer and had some leftover dough, so I found a smaller pan, threw in some home canned apples, sugar, flour and spices, dabbed some butter and put on leftover Girl Scout Samoa crumbs from that recipe a while back. I finished off with some dough apple cut outs and baked it. It turned out nicely:
apple crunch pie

I’m starting to like making pie a little more, but making more than a few at a time makes it a chore, and I don’t want baking to be a chore-I want to love it like a warm, fuzzy sweater. Bread? I can make many loaves and never tire of the dough. Pie? Making the crust is an exact science (no store bought here) and the insides (apples, etc.) take a lot of time. I need more practice and I’m certain the family won’t mind being guinea pigs for it.

Holy Week is in full swing and I love the next few days: the Lord’s Supper, the Crucifixion, and Easter Sunday. It goes from such sadness to elation and I love how the altar changes for each day. With that, someone here has to make supper and that task falls on me; thankfully, dessert is made. Have a Blessed Easter, everyone!


Frankenstein strikes again…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-03-2015


It is difficult for me to follow a recipe. Not because it’s confusing or complex, but for the simple fact I try to put my two cents’ worth into it. Sometimes it’s to make it better (in my mind), but most times, it’s to use what ingredients I have on hand rather than waste time and money going out to purchase a specific ingredient.

Such was the case last week. I had leftover caramel rolls that had dried out a bit from a catering job; let’s be honest, in my house, ‘leftover’ and ‘caramel rolls’ are never synonymous. Ever. But these were out for the entire morning before lunch was served and so I froze them as soon as I got home, thinking they would be good for something eventually. I also had a potpourri of things in the fridge/freezer I wanted to use- a cup here, a baggie there-all were begging to be used. In my kitchen, we eat from the freezers at least three times a week-what’s the point of freezing all of these things if you are never going to use them?! First I looked in the cookbooks to get some ideas, and two things came to mind: egg bake and French toast bake. My family loves both, so why not combine the two? I did, and let me tell you, the three of us ate half the pan in no time flat, and the leftovers were gobbled up the next day for a snack. As usual, the problem with me is the throwing things in without really measuring or writing it down, but I tried my best to keep track and jot things down as I added them, because I had a sneaking suspicion we would like this-and we did. My dad was notorious for this-we never quite knew what we were going to eat when he made ‘leftover hotdish’. Sometimes it was pretty good and sometimes, well, the dog and cats got to eat well that night. I am all for repurposing leftovers, but sometimes, cooked beets just shouldn’t be mixed with anything it can bleed on, like tuna hotdish…and keep in mind, I love beets. Here is what it looked like after our first pig-out:

egg bake

‘French Toast’ egg bake:

Spray a 9×13 pan and layer the bottom with dried sweet bread; I used caramel rolls, but you could use raisin bread, sweet rolls, or whatever you have on hand.
12 eggs
2 c whipping cream (half and half would work too, as would whole milk-you get the picture)
1/4 c sugar
Crack the eggs into a blender, add the next two and blend until smooth; pour over the bread
sprinkle 2 c cheddar cheese (or a mix of Colby jack, etc)
sprinkle 1 c crumbled bacon (bacon bits would work, I’m sure)
Now you have two options: cover and refrigerate overnight OR let sit in fridge for an hour (which is what I did)
Preheat oven to 350
Mix 1/2 c sugar, 1/3 c flour and 1/4 c softened butter together and sprinkle on top of mixture (if your bottom layer doesn’t have cinnamon you may want to add 1/2 tsp to this)
Bake for an hour and let set for a few minutes before serving.

The sweet and cinnamon of the rolls along with the crunchy topping mixed with the cheese/bacon made this taste REALLY GOOD. My topping was from a blueberry muffin recipe I had made and had leftovers in a baggie stored in the freezer. The same with the bacon and cheese-you could add more or less, depending on what you have on hand. Try it and let me know how it turns out. My family loves breakfast for supper.

For a while last week I thought maybe I could plant potatoes on Good Friday as my grandparents did, but this week put the kibosh on that. I do love not seeing snow in March; the wind the last two days has been howling, making it miserable outside, but today it’s still and sunny. The promise of a good day.

With that it’s time to fire up the ovens. Cookies and crusts are on the agenda. Tomorrow is Friday and that means the weekend-go out an enjoy the warmer weather!



I’m a blockhead now!


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2015



It took longer than planned, but the quilt is done! To be fair, it is a wall hanging, not a quilt, yet it had to be pieced together, thus making it a quilt in my mind. As you can see, Bison green and gold is the theme-that can’t be a shock to anyone. Now I will need to pester a sister-in-law to help me finish the back so it can be hung on the wall with pride. I went to Designer Fabrics last Sunday after church to get help with the border and another lady brought her finished quilt in-now THAT was a quilt; it was gorgeous, complicated, and something I will never be able to do. At that moment, I realized how people who don’t cook or bake must feel; I was so proud of my little wall hanging and the progress I made, just as someone who makes a cookie or bread for the first time must feel. Our son is interested in making one next winter with the arrow pattern since he is now into shooting a bow; I bought enough fabric since I didn’t know what I was doing so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I hung clothes outside yesterday which has got to be a record; we are usually knee deep in snow until April or gasp, even May, which made having outdoor fresh smelling clothes extra special. It was windy but extra clothes pins kept all but one item intact until we took them down a few hours later. Luckily the neighbors aren’t finding our underwear over there thanks to the wind…

We had 4-H today and as a club made four tie blankets for the Linus project; it was a lot of fun watching them work as a team to get them measured, cut, and tied. It’s important for children to do something for the good of others rather than the standard ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality.

Another sign we are getting older; my husband forgot our anniversary today. He saw his gift next to the coffee pot, where I knew he’d find it, and he said, “A gift for me? How nice.” When I stated it was his anniversary gift, the blank look he gave me was priceless. Ten years ago I may have been upset by this, but I take it in stride now. The man has bigger fish to fry in his mind and that’s ok. Speaking of fish, we had salmon for lunch and that was a great way to enjoy each other’s company, especially when our fourteen year old thinks it’s tasty, too. It is so easy to feed those two men; they eat everything and anything I put in front of them. To me, my son’s demeanor (which is mild like his dad’s) is the best anniversary gift a mom could have.

It’s 70 degrees out on a sunny Sunday; it’s time to cut this blog short and get out there to soak in some vitamin D since it’s supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow. Gotta love the weather!




Manic Monday Mishaps


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-02-2015


cookie messThat, my friends, is what parchment paper looks like when it meets the oven element. Yesterday was my typical baking day for Cornerstone Coffee in Fessenden and things were running smoothly. A batch of kuchen turned out beautifully, the first batch of cookies went swimmingly, and the banana breads (in honor of National Banana Bread Day) all turned out as they should.  At the last minute, a customer called and wanted a dozen cookies and since I was heading into town anyways, decided this would be No Problem. These two words are rarely in my daily vocabulary it seems because when things are going well, doom is around the corner snickering. Once every two weeks I spend one whole day making and freezing batches of cookie balls to pop in the oven for orders; I got out the last dozen of the almond joy cookies to bake and when they were done, reached in the oven to grab them, knowing I had to hit the road in ten minutes for town. Apparently I didn’t grab both the parchment paper and stone because the stone came out but the parchment didn’t-it went sailing down to the bottom of the oven where it hit the element and promptly started on fire. I grabbed the broom since I knew the smoke detector was going to go off, and sure enough, it did, so I went to open the door to let some ‘warm’ winter air in/smoke out when the OTHER alarm known as my whiney cats all stood outside the door and meowed in chorus. At this point, I just stood there and watched the fire burn, almost as if it were a fireplace; there was really nothing I could do but let the paper burn out. I would have left the lab and made a Bloody Mary, but I still had a town delivery for which I was now running late, and did not think drinking and driving would benefit anybody. How does the story end? Does the customer get their cookies? Will the fire ever stop burning? How does one recuperate from such a loss?! In my world, pretty easily.  The delivery was done, the cookies were remade when I got home and my lucky son got to bring them to school to drop off at the front office so the person could pick them up. When my son and I got home yesterday, he saw that mess on the sink and the first thing he did was look for a non-charred chunk to eat-it’s not like it landed on the floor…reason  number 431 why I love that kid-he knows under there is some good to be found! The point of my story is this: none of us are perfect, and although I love to bake and think I can do a lot of good with it, mishaps happen, and one should never be too proud to think they are above making mistakes. This is my wart and now you’ve seen it. Moving on…

It’s going to be a short one today; I have 25 loaves of various breads to make for a large order today and ‘knead’ to get busy. Ha! Great pun! Have a great day and don’t sweat it if the cookies in your life fall to the ground. Dust them (and you) off and move on-have a good laugh. I did.


Why rural life is Valentine’s Day everyday…


Posted by Brenda Gorseth | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-02-2015

I wanted to say why living in North Dakota is lovely, but I grew up in rural Minnesota and lived in rural Georgia, both of which were beautiful places to live. While Valentine’s Day is all about external shows of affection, living in a rural area is more internal, but for today, I will chat about some of the external ‘loves’ of living here by starting with the amazing sunrises and sunsets.

There’s the joke about seeing your dog run away for two miles if you live here, but doggone it (pun intended), how does one not love that view? It’s one of the reasons I love my commercial kitchen because that is what I see when I look out the window twenty million times a day; I never get sick of it. I’ve lived in a big city and never got to see either sunrise or sunset-the high buildings clogged the view. When we went to San Diego and stayed downtown, there was no sunrise to greet me. Thank you, rural landscape, for that daily gift of seeing morning wake and slumber.

While on the topic of dogs (were we?!) animals on the farm are another reason to love rural living. From newborn calves and piglets, to baby chicks and kittens in the barn, there is no better gift than life in all stages. I may grouse about our cats being whiney and irritating, but on a summer morning, nothing is better than sitting on the rocking chair on the front porch, cup of coffee in hand, and having a cat crawl into your lap to be loved. One can’t leave out the trusty farm dog; ours is a gem and watching her sun herself on the lawn or guard the house warms the heart. Daisy (and the cats) loved to hang out by the fall display and the cats constantly get into any object on the porch:

Finally, there is the rural family work ethic; whether it’s all working in the garden to bring in the harvest before the frost or peeling potatoes for a catering job, working together is no stranger on a farm. How many times we shoveled grain out of the bins or drove truck from the field to the dryer while growing up was innumerable, but it needed to be done. No whining, negotiating, or promise of money or trip; you did it because you were part of something bigger. Giving of yourself to help the greater good makes living in a rural setting a gift that never stops giving. After I snapped the picture this morning, these two claimed they didn’t sign a waiver of release, but I overruled that sad argument. These two are king of potato peeling, and I will even admit my husband and I had a peeling contest once-and he won.

Enjoy this day of recognized affection, but keep in mind Valentine’s Day should be every day in your heart; loving those around you, showing you care by doing, not giving, things-this is what we should aspire to do.