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Farm girl loves to cook everything

By Staff | Nov 13, 2008

Farm News staff writerLEMARS – Since she grew up on a farm and married a farmer Jeannette Schroeder enjoys cooking up good, hearty meals. Many of her meal ideas center around the types of food produced on her family’s farm, in central Plymouth County.Beef, pork and vegetables from a large garden find their way to her kitchen table. “My mother taught me quite a bit,” said Schroeder, who was the daughter in a family of nine children. She can’t say she has one favorite area of cooking. She likes to cook everything.When farm papers and magazines arrive, one of the first pages she turns to is the recipe section. Schroeder likes to try new recipes that her husband and any visiting child will declare as “that’s a keeper or one you can throw away.”An extensive recipe book collection is another source of recipe ideas. Her two favorites were printed by her church in nearby Oyens. One is “Cook with St. Catherines” in 1981 and “St. Catherines Centennial Cookbook” in 2000. She has two family cookbooks that see a lot of use. “A Collection of Recipes – Grandma’s Kitchen” featuring recipes of her mother-in-law Florence Schroeder. The “Sitzmann Family Favorites” cookbook was compiled by her sister. Both cookbooks not only have favorite family recipes but also family history and pictures.A longtime favorite from the Schroeder cookbook is apple fritters. “It has been tradition through the years that we make them when it’s time to fill the corn silo,” she said.Of their six children, three sons live within three miles of home. It is fairly easy for grandchildren to stop in. Of course, the first place they head for is the coffee can in the cupboard. Delicious homemade cookies are stored there.Her other three children live just far enough away that a visit often lasts overnight or for a few days. They laughingly blame her for the three to five pounds they gained just from all the good home cooking. It is always a treat to have some of mom’s cooking.During harvest Schroeder generally brings dinner out to the field. She buys sectioned Styrofoam trays that she fills with a casserole, salad, vegetable and dessert. The men are always in a hurry and this enables them to just keep going. She shares harvest cooking chores with her daughter in laws. They take turns depending on which field is being harvested.These Schroeder family recipes are sure to please.Hamburger broccoli casserole4 cups (1/2 of 30-ounce bag) frozen round potatoes. (Jeanette often uses sliced potatoes from potatoes she has baked the day before)1 pound (or more) ground beef1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed1 can Durkee French fried onions1 medium tomato, chopped1 can cream of celery soup1/3 cup milk1 cup shredded cheddar cheese1/4 teaspoon garlic powderPlace potatoes on bottom of 8-by-12 pan or casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 400 degree for 10 minutes. (This step can be eliminated if cooked potatoes are used.)Brown beef in large chunks and drain. Place beef, broccoli, 1/2 can onions and tomatoes in potato shell. Combine soup, milk, 1/2 cup cheese and seasonings. Pour over beef mixture. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and onions. Bake uncovered 2 to 3 minutes longer.Ground pork casserole4 cups sliced potatoes3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese1 tablespoon minced dried onion1 pound (or more) ground pork. (Jeannette prefers to brown the meat first.)1/2 up sour cream1/2 cup cracker crumbs1 can cream of celery soupButter 2-quart casserole. Put sliced potatoes in bottom. Add cheese to cover potatoes. Sprinkle onion on top. Mix meat, sour cream, cracker crumbs and celery soup. Spread this on top and seal around edges. Bake, covered in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Onion bake6 cups sliced sweet onions1/4 cup butter1 can cream of chicken soup3/4 cup milk1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce1 1/2 cups croutons3/4 cup grated cheeseSaute onions in butter until tender. Spoon into 1 1/2 quart casserole. Combine milk, soup and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over onions. Top with croutons. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Good as a side dish with ham.Quick apple dumplings2 medium Granny Smith apples1 8-count package refrigerated crescent roll dough1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 cup butter1 cup sugar1 cup orange juice1 teaspon vanilla extract1/2 cup very finely chopped pecansPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dishPeel and core apples. Cut each apple into fourths. Unroll and separate crescent roll dough. Wrap each apple section in a crescent roll. Place in pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.Combine butter, sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over dumplings. Sprinkle pecans over top.Bake 30 minutes, or until crust is golden and beginning to bubble and apples are just tender when pierced with a fork.To serve, spoon some of syrup from the baking dish over dumplings. Serve with ice cream if desired. Serves 8.Pumpkin pie cake From the Sitzmann Family Cookbook1 29-ounce can pumpkin4 eggs1 13-ounce can evaporated milk1 1/2 cup sugar2 teaspoons cinnamon1 teaspoon ginger1/2 teaspoon nutmegTopping1 package yellow cake mix1 cup melted margarine1 cup nutsBeat all except topping ingredients and put in ungreased 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over mixture. Pour melted margarine over cake mix and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, no longer. Top with whipped cream if desired.Butterscotch meringue bars3/4 cup butter1 cup brown sugar1/2 cup white sugar3 egg yolks1 teaspoon vanilla1/4 teaspoon baking sodapinch of salt2 cups flourMix ingredients and press into 9-by-13-inch pan.Topping6 ounces butterscotch chips1/2 cup shredded coconut3/4 cup chopped nuts3 egg whites3/4 cup brown sugarSprinkle with butterscotch chips, coconut and chopped nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add brown sugar and spread on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.Contact Renea Vander Schaaf at suncrest@netllcwb.net.

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