Bullheads And Beginnings

We are creatures of habit; the type of clothes we wear, the way we drink our coffee, and even the place we sit in church. I have sat in the front on the left since going to church in Appleton, MN. I tried sitting somewhere else in different towns, but always gravitate back to my comfort zone. Now I have left my comfort zone and am in uncharted water; it’s a little bit exciting and a lotta bit scary. OK, terrible grammar, but it makes the point.

For twenty-three years I have ‘had the summer off’ (if you are in the school system you are cringing because you know there’s no such thing!). I loved teaching; the thrill of August, seeing the students’ faces light up when they ‘get’ something, laughing (and crying) with co-workers over something the student did and in the past five years, discovering that high schoolers can be fun to teach!

Now a new love is tugging at my sleeve. NO! It is not Channing Tatum! Enough with him already! In the 70s and 80s, Grandma Behrens, my mom’s mom, used to come out to our farm daily to help mom with us six kiddos; apparently we were (and still are) a handful… Our dog loved it because she brought scraps in a cut out milk carton; she froze everything in a milk carton-butchered chickens didn’t go in a Ziploc-they went in a recycled milk carton, thus saving money. Those days were hard work and magical; canning hundreds of quarts of beans, learning how to make a pie crust, or going fishing with Grandpa and her for bullheads. That is a favorite memory for all of us; digging worms in the garden, getting our bamboo or regular fishing poles ready, catching the fish and having Grandpa take them off the line, and finally coming home to prepare them. The boys would go outside, flip over a telephone cable, and help him gut while the girls and Grandma would fry the potatoes, shuck the corn, and get the fish fried as it came in.  Both she and mom instilled in us a love of the kitchen.

My fondest memories involve the preparation of food we grew, raised, or caught, and so I took a giant leap and retired from teaching to begin a new passion: sharing my love of baking and canning with others. We are in the process (and my it is a long one!) of converting a metal quonset into a commercial kitchen and retail area. Central City Lumber of Carrington has been a huge help in designing it and as we speak, the state health department is approving the final plans. My writing skills are being put to the test in writing a business plan and applying for grants and loans. You will be along for the journey, watching the progress from start to finish. All the while my garden isn’t going to raise itself, so those adventures will still be noted as well.

Speaking of adventures, we are taking our farm dog (read between the lines-stinky, unbrushed, etc) to town for a shampoo and summer haircut for the first time ever. I’m not looking forward to her being in my car on the way there because I know she smells like something dead; she loves rolling in the d-deceased/decayed/decomposed- and running in the slough water. We all know how yummy that smells!  I am hoping to snag some more rhubarb from the town ladies; we picked some yesterday from my sister-in-law by Stanley (thanks, Gayle!) and would like to process it all at once to make more jam. My strawberries are blooming so it’s only a matter of time…

Grab a cup of coffee and start the day!

2 Responses

  1. Roseanne Mahoney

    Great memories – I think I have replaced “Cool Whip” containers for the Oak Grove Cardboard milk containers. Looking forward to the decorating phase of the project!

    1. Agreed; cool whip containers are the frugal person’s Tupperware-they are so versatile, are easily stacked, and if I leave it at someone’s house/church function/staff refrigerator, all is not lost! There are many in my fridge/freezer right now…You’re looking forward to the decorating phase because you will be a big part of it; let’s try to remember who did poorly in Mr. Warner’s art class-you or me?! ME!!

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