And So The Race Begins…

Pride of Dakota Day at the State Fair was a really good experience; the weather was beautiful, the crowds were in a pleasant mood, and we made some important connections in getting this business off the ground. I only had one child try to double dip in the jam and her mom caught her before I had to say anything. I did have some people pick up the used toothpicks (which I had in a tidy little ‘garbage’ can off to the side) but hopefully I caught everyone before they stabbed a piece of pound cake. I take that back; a really nice family from New Rockford whose two kids I subbed for my first year here stopped by to chat and sample. While I was talking to mom and son, the daughter went over and grabbed one. When I showed mom how to do it, I explained the garbage can and the daughter realized she had used someone else’s. I told her to grab a chip and some zucchini relish; the vinegar in it should kill any cooties. That was our funny moment of the day. I also entered the ‘Bake your best apple kuchen’ contest with four other ladies; we created five kuchens and Pride of Dakota cuts them up, puts them on a plate, and hands people a ballot and plate. I am thrilled to say I won and would like to give props to the lady whose recipe this is; Verna Bachmeier originally from Carson, ND. She’s my brother-in-law’s mom and introduced us to kuchen back in 1984- I consider her my third mom; I have about five women who get this honor and am ok with it.  Minnesotans don’t know what they’re missing and it needs to be my mission to get this product over to them.

The raspberries are coming in! I love harvesting them because I get to make all kinds of raspberry jams; jalapeno-raspberry, raspberry-cantaloupe, raspberry-peach and of course, raspberry! They are like a jungle this year but I was able to pick yesterday with a sleeveless t-shirt and not get stabbed, poked or desecrated.  My son and  I have worked out a deal; I pick the entire patch and he picks the peas, which I HATE picking, as well as the beans. I can pick eight rows in the time it takes him to pick his three rows; I will not comment on his speed because I appreciate him being out there with me. We have snow and regular peas, so after lunch he shucked the Lincolns and snipped the snow peas’ tops. Last night while I was making beet pickles (yes, the beets are ready, too) he blanched and froze both types. We love snow peas in the winter in our stir-fry. I sometimes question my son’s ethic background because he loves Chinese food; did he get switched in the hospital? If there is a choice between something delicious such as a juicy steak, heavenly dessert, or fresh baked bread, he’ll choose stir-fry or something of that nature. But I digress; the topic was raspberries and I will be married to them for the next month.

Today starts the farmers’ market season in Bowdon! This year I am having a different theme night each week featuring one or a group of my products being used in a dish, dessert, etc. Stop out weekly to see what’s cooking in my kitchen! This week I’m selling all the surplus product from all the state fair baking we did. It will be the only time you can buy salted caramels or fudge from me, so get out to Bowdon today.

I have several pictures, but technology is not cooperating at all this morning. Three times I’ve tried to upload them and I’m done; Yahoo obviously doesn’t like my pictures. I will try again later to get them into the computer; it’s a beautiful morning and I need to get out to the garden to pick the berries, fertilize and powder…because after I do that, it will rain and I will have to powder yet again. It’s a vicious circle. It’s already the middle of the week; are you getting what you want accomplished? If not, tackle things one at a time and give yourself a break if it doesn’t all happen. There must be a reason for it-besides procrastination.

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