CLICK HERE FOR MAIN STREET and the Root Sellers on Wishek's Sauerkraut Day coming up next Wednesday, Oct. 10.
It's like going home. A visit to the cemetery is a family history lesson and standing in line while waiting for lunch gives one an opportunity to catch up to relatives.
A bittersweet day of remembering my roots.
Last Friday was a red-letter day for mail at my house. I received not only one, but two handwritten notes, in the mail last Friday. A red-letter day. NO other mail, just real letters. There is so much to miss about real letters.
Of course, one was a thank-you note from my niece, but it was personal, the other was about the book, "Women Behind the Plow."
It was from Clayton Schaeffer, a pastor from Buchanan, who saw a Gottlieb Kaseman's obituary in the Jamestown Sun. He connected a few dots and found my address and wrote a lovely two-page letter about how he read the book and recalled the family from Wishek back in the day.
Weirdly enough, someone contacted me recently through Facebook about that book. It was shortly before my Uncle Howard died. This message said this woman, Lisa, was at a birthday party and one of her sisters, Kim, saw her maiden name on someone’s phone… (I hope I got that part of the story correct.)
So they asked, “Why is my name on your phone?" The person said, “It’s not your name, that’s my sister-in-law from Jamestown.”
“Well, that’s my maiden name, also” she said.
Then, the connections began.
It seems that the person contacted me on Facebook because we were both Kasemans. Her sister works with my brother Curt’s wife, Kim’s, brother’s wife. Follow that one home. The person who contacted me was I believe Kim Kaseman's sister, Lisa (Kaseman) Klatt, who is one of four Kaseman girls born to Lenis Kaseman. Len just happens to be the son of Gottlieb Kaseman, the person that Clayton wrote to me about.
And, yes, Gottlieb was my Grandfather Edward’s brother. He frequently attended family dinners at the holidays at my Grandparents home in Wishek. As a young girl, I was fascinated and slightly afraid of this one-eared old man. Gray hair grew out of the hole in the side of his head. We never saw that side of his head in photos of Gottlieb because he always turned slightly away from the camera.
There were many rumors about how that happened, none the least that frightened my mother so much that we were warned continually to “stay away from the pig pen. Don’t climb on the fence, don’t fall in, stay away.”
I had the opportunity to talk to Len, who I would have never known if not for the message from Lisa about the fact we were both Kasemans who had a common connection with the Sturmas.
So I asked Len to clear up the story about my Great Uncle Gottlieb.
When Gottlieb was a young boy, he was either napping or just playing the yard when the pigs got out of the pen. They would have been Bernard Kaseman’s pigs, Gottleib's father, my grandfather’s father, and father of the Kaseman family near Wishek. As one passed by the young boy, it chomped off the ear. For the rest of his life he had to live with this disability. There were never any complaints or negative comments made… it was just a fact of life.
Some days my heart aches for those times. Hard times I suppose for those homesteading families, but think about what had to take place for the connection to be made between Lisa (Kaseman) Klatt and myself. A serious of fortunate events and a chance glance at a cell phone. Then with technology, Lisa found me; while with a handwritten vintage way of communication, Clayton found me. So two things. I had the chance to visit with one of my dad’s cousins at the funeral of my Uncle Howard and maybe I will get the opportunity to join Clayton in the German Advent service he conducts in Bismarck. Another fond memory that will soon be extinct in this world.
Don't let that bread go to waste. Once your sourdough is past its prime, you can still use it for tomato and bread salad... jump back to the video on the home page here.
And, don't forget, farmers markets are loaded with wonderful tomatoes in all varieties. See bread tips under the bread header... oh wait? Are you a Bread Head? I'll let you know what kind of bread I'm baking bad for Saturday, Sept. 15.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, I will be at the TSC Farm Supply Store north Bismarck location to celebrate their farmers market promo... come see me there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Here are links to the latest Main Street Eats with Root Seller Sue
Sauerkraut (should have some more for sale in two weeks)
Foraging fruits and wild stuff.
SALSA on Prairie Public Radio - click here.
Don't forget - new batch of salsa available at the market on Saturday, August 23 - 8 a.m. till sellout.
It's Salsa Season.... so here is a recipe for fresh salsa with all kinds of garden ingredients.
If you have an abundance of tomatoes, there's a recipe for canning the fruits of summer below that. And did I really say "Cannable?" Listen to the broadcast and then try your hand at salsa...
Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo) Recipe
Prep time: 6 minutes
Yield: Makes 3 to 4 cups of salsa
When using fresh chile peppers always taste first before adding! Some peppers are hotter than others and you really can't tell unless you taste them. Just take a very small taste. You'll be able to gauge the heat of the pepper and will be better able to judge how much you need.
2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed
1/2 red onion
2 serrano chiles or 1 jalapeño chile (stems, ribs, seeds removed), less or more to taste
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried oregano (crumble in your fingers)
Salsa Recipes for Canning
6 cups peeled, cored, seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes
9 cups diced onions and/or peppers of any variety (See Notes below)
1 and ½ cups commercially bottled lemon or lime juice
3 teaspoons canning or pickling salt
Yield: About 6 pint jars
Salsa Recipe for Canning
20-22 pounds of tomatoes
3 cups onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup celery, finely diced
1 cup assorted mild peppers, finely chopped
1 – 4 hot peppers, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano leaf Buy oregano online.
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional, but recommended) Buy cumin online.
1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
3 6-ounce cans tomato paste (optional, for thicker salsa)
I receive many requests for the recipes alluded to on the Prairie Public Radio spots from The Root Sellers farm...
So, I'm thinking now that harvest is coming to a close - well not for a couple of months, I will try and get the info for recipes posted here. If I forget, please email me through the contact page.
This week I had a request for a cookbook and some pickles. Here is my Grandmother's recipe in her own handwriting... and the Gutes Essen Cookbook is available at Amazon.
And here is my pickle recipe.
In last week’s “Baking Bad” episode, Grandma Sue BB created some unusual combinations of sourdough bread including Borschst, caramelized onion and dill pickle.
This week, in search of a better sourdough boule with more evenly spaced add-ins, the garlic scapes were grated fine and mixed in with the dough as it rose the first time. Dill pickles pieces and juice from the jar were used in the dill pickle loaf.
As always, there will be plain sourdough boules; cheese and green olive; and caramelized onion flavored breads.
The Root Sellers will be at KMART tomorrow morning, Saturday, August 4, by 7:30 a.m. and set up ready to sell at 8 a.m. Unless you are there early, or claim a loaf today, be there as we sold out last week. Grandma Sue BB will also be bringing some fresh green beans, watermelon pickles, chokecherry jelly, sand cherry jelly, Nanking cherry jelly, strawberry and strawberry rhubarb; and Wickles, Hot C’s and cowboy candy.
Who knows what else will grow between now and then. So, plan on stopping by …
PS: Listen for Sue BB on Prairie Public Radio weekly; if you have a question, let me know and we'll address it on one of our programs. Main Street with Ashley Thornberg and Doug Hamilton HERE: This week, we talked about zucchini.
Lock your doors, its zucchini season in North Dakota. New gardeners have often times made the mistake of planting more than one hill of this prolific summer squash. That means overnight bushels of long green squash appear and panic sets in.
We don't like to waste anything we grow so we look for ways to make use of zucchini gone wild including passing it off on our unsuspecting neighbors.
People have a love/hate relationship with zucchini. It's easy to grow and very prolific, but there are those who do not care for its mild taste and smooth texture. You can eat it raw but it can be used in a multitude of recipes including as a substitute for ground beef in many vegetarian pasta recipes.
My recent favorite is zucchini noodles. You can buy a small spiralizer for $10 that works well for this soft squash. If you grate it you can use it in lasagna or spaghetti sauce and your family will never know they are eating a vegetable rich in Vitamin C and Potassium.
Prairie Road Organics offered a new variety of this summer squash -- Cucurbita pepo. "When farmers, Bill Reynolds & Donna Ferguson, discovered their favorite zucchini variety was no longer commercially available, they decided to develop their own reliable, open-pollinated (OP), organic replacement! With the support of Organic Seed Alliance and master plant breeder, Dr. John Navazio, they embarked on a six-year breeding project. The goal was a high-quality, OP variety with all of the traits of the best hybrids: uniform, dark-green fruits, open growth habit for ease of harvest, early and prolonged production, drought-tolerance, high yields, and high disease and pest resistance. “Dark Star” was born!" (www.prairieroadorganic.co)
Mild in flavor and quick to cook, you should try zucchini. Farmers markets offer an abundant variety of summer squash -- not to be confused with the rich winter squash which we will talk about in October.
And, if you can't face a sauteed zucchini there are tons of recipes of pseudo jams, jellies and apple pies made with zucchini that has grown past its prime picking time of about 5 inches long. There are also many recipes for disguising zucchini in cakes, muffins and quick breads. The best recipe I have ever made came from Bernice Kiefer Nagel, who loved zucchini but it was never grown in the garden on the farm where she grew up.
If you find a zucchini in your car you have to try this recipe.
Zucchini Fruit Bars
¾ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup shredded coconut
¾ cup chopped dates
¾ cup raisins
2 cups unpared coarsely shredded zucchini.
Beat until creamy butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Sift together four, salt and baking powder. Stir in coconut, dates, raisins and zucchini.
Spread the mixture into a greased 10x15-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until top is richly brown.
1 tablespoon butter melted
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Beat all ingredients except nuts together until well blended. Spread over warm bars evenly. Sprinkle finely chopped nuts on top.
Cool thoroughly and cut into bars.
A short discussion on farmers markets on Main Street. LISTEN HERE.
If you are not shopping for fresh at markets, you should be. This is prime time for cucumbers, green beans, dill, jams and jellies and more.
(If you would like to listen to the interview with Ashley Thronberg and Doug Hamilton on Prairie Public Radio - CLICK HERE)
Who doesn’t like frozen sweet treats? And, today there are so many flavors to pick from that we could eat ice cream every day. There’s no less than six days celebrating ice cream in June.
On a few Saturdays, which was always baking day at my house, my mom would hand me a quart jar with a dollar bill in it and ask me to bike over to the Schlittenhard farm. It was the closest farm to the east end of Gackle. I would exchange the jar for one filled with freshly-separated cream.
That cream was for caramel rolls or kuchen most of the time because ice cream was a very special treat at our house. We didn’t have our own cow so we ate something called Ice Milk. Yep, it was less expensive than store-bought ice cream and had less calories.
According to Wikopedia, Ice milk is a frozen dessert with less than 10 percent milk fat and the same sweetener content as ice cream. Ice milk is sometimes priced lower than ice cream.
However, in 1994 a change in United States Food and Drug Administration rules allowed ice milk to be labeled as low-fat ice cream in the United States. And of course, the price for low-fat anything is slightly higher than the real deal these days. It’s all in a name.
Again, there’s nothing better than real ice cream; which is so easy to make. The ingredients are simply cream, milk, sugar and flavoring. I love vanilla the best especially when made with real vanilla beans.
If you like really rich ice cream there are several recipes made with egg yolks. The color is creamy yellow and the flavor is very rich. This ice cream is cooked like a pudding, and then chilled before freezing it in the ice cream freezer. The other stuff can simply be mixed, chilled and then put in the ice cream freezer.
For those of you who feel they cannot justify a 5-quart ice cream machine, or find rock salt, or just don’t want to bother sharing your creamy concoctions; you can invest in a small $50 Cuisinart. The inside container is kept in the freezer until it is needed and it makes about 1 quart of homemade ice cream. They don’t take up much space and are well worth it if your family loves ice cream.
In my experimenting with the flavors in the handy recipe book that comes with the unit, I have also developed some of my own. At Christmas I make Egg Nog Ice Cream and in July, cinnamon ice cream has become my favorite.
If you don’t like exotic flavors, You can add just about anything to the cream mixture you have around the house like snicker bars or peanut butter cups chopped in pieces. Some of the recipes that I have tried are S’mores, peanut butter, rhubarb and chokecherry ice cream.
My old standby is vanilla made with the bean. That’s because you can easily add nuts, chocolate, caramel, etc. etc. etc. to plain old vanilla and you can change your mind about flavors on a whim.
Besides vanilla bean vanilla there are several other ways to make a great vanilla ice cream.
There’s French Vanilla, Vanilla and New York Vanillas out there. I did a little research to see what the differences were and I found a couple of vintage ice cream recipes.
In these two recipes I found from 1907 for French Vanilla and New York Vanilla, the French Vanilla has cream and egg yolks in abundance. The New York Vanilla has half milk and half cream and fewer whole eggs for a little less rich ice cream.
So, if you love ice cream, I would recommend you give it a try. Oh, and if you are fortunate to score some real cream, you know the kind that comes from real cows with no added ingredients, my Aunt Laverna and Uncle Clifton suggest adding a tablespoon of brandy to your ice cream recipe to minimize the raw “cream” taste. Oh so they say.
Italian Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
French Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
New York Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
If you only want a quart, here’s a recipe for rhubarb ice cream since rhubarb is abundant. If you have strawberries you can also make topping for rhubarb ice cream and then wow, enjoy.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.