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Growing up with self-sufficiency

By Staff | Jul 10, 2009

Alyce Seaba pauses for a few moments in her Goldfield-area garden to discuss her family’s interest in growing and hunting their own food. She was raised on a Jackson County farm where self-sufficiency was the way of life.

GOLDFIELD – Growing up on a Jackson County farm within a short distance of the Mississippi River and being one of five children have shaped Alyce Seaba into the cook she is today.

Her family’s farm was self-sufficient with a couple of dairy cows for milk. The family slaughtered its own livestock, had a smokehouse, made its own sausage and raised a vegetable garden to provide both fresh and canned food for the table.

Seven years ago she became a resident in Goldfield, in western Wright County and, today, she and husband Darrell live northwest of town. Alyce Seaba admits she is still adjusting to the flat land of Wright County after her years of living in the rolling country near the Mississippi River.

Seaba said her father was a man who took great interest in farming, but it was her husband who introduced her to fishing. Alyce Seaba’s cooking also reflects her husband’s interest in hunting as the Seabas are both avid outdoors people.

Seaba is a master gardener and the Seabas’ garden provides them and their friends with a large variety of vegetables. Alyce Seaba’s garden will typically include squash, zucchini, peas, cucumbers, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and string beans.

She said that joined the master gardener program as a way to meet people when she moved to Goldfield. Seaba serves as a horticulture judge at the Wright and Humboldt county fairs.

One of the year’s highlights, Seaba said, is spending a day at the county fair. She is a strong supporter of the 4-H program and describes herself saying, “I’m a fair person.” As a 4-H member, she showed the Angus cattle her father raised. She also took them to be judged at Chicago livestock shows.

Both Darrell and Alyce Seaba are hunters and a favored family activity is deer hunting on property in Marion County. Each year about 10 deer are hunted and included in Alyce Seaba’s cooking.

She said the couple makes its own deer jerky and, using tomatoes that Alyce has frozen whole from her garden, they will serve venison chili.

Another outlet for Seaba’s cooking is her co-workers at her job at the telephone office in Goldfield. She said with a smile, “They’ll eat anything.”

She said that food preparation has always been part of her life. Growing up on the farm, she noted, that “we ate like troopers.” The family’s meals were prepared and served immediately.

With seven family members, Alyce Seaba said, “I never knew what cold cake was.”

Chocolate zucchini cake

1/2 cup soft margarine

1/2 cup oil

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream, sour milk or buttermilk

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 1/2 cups flour

Dash of salt

2 cups diced zucchini

Cream the first four ingredients, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pour the batter into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Cream dressing

for cucumbers

1 1/2 cup Miracle Whip

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup vinegar


Alyce Seaba said this makes a large batch so you may want to freeze some of them for later.

3 pounds of ground beef

1 can evaporated milk

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cracker crumbs (1 sleeve)

1/2 cup onion

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoon chili powder

2 cups ketchup

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/4 cup onion

Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Contact Clayton Rye by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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