VAN METER – For Bob and Marge Fogler tending to their berry patch is no easy feat.
The couple’s farm, located south of Van Meter, is home to numerous varieties of berries.
“We have strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, black raspberries, elderberries, blackberries and red raspberries,” Marge Fogler said. Not to mention the apple, pear and peach trees on the farm, along with a modest garden.
All of the fresh berries lend themselves well to Marge’s baking for her grandkids.
“William (a grandson) loves the blackberry-apple fantasy pie I make,” Marge Fogler said.
With juicy, plump berries fresh off the vine, it’s hard to imagine anyone not enjoying the tasty sweets Fogler concocts in her kitchen.
The pies also freeze well, which comes in handy when one picks pounds of berries from the patch.
“I like to make some to have on hand for a pot luck,” Fogler said. “I freeze them unbaked, and they’re ready to go.”
She can’t tell you how many pies she’ll make and freeze in a year, but the number of berries are never in short supply. The grandmother of two makes not only pies, but cobblers, jams, jellies and syrups as well.
Fogler learned the art of cooking and baking from her mother and grandmother.
“There were lots of falls I remember peeling white peaches,” Fogler said, “and canning them. Grandma also made cake and frosting from scratch and she always made the best bread.”
While Fogler hasn’t been able to replicate her grandmother’s scrumptious bread, the blackberry patch that’s been on the farm since Fogler and her parents moved there in 1940 has lent itself to many desserts.
To keep birds out of the berries, the Foglers placed ceramic owls on the posts near the fruit a year ago.
“They worked really well last year,” Marge Fogler said, “and this year the foliage is so thick the birds can’t get to the berries.”
As for the Foglers, they could be picking red raspberries from early spring until fall frost.
“A few years ago it snowed in October,” Bob Fogler said. “It was a heavy wet snow, and Marge was out there picking berries in a field of white.”
Just as the weather can be unpredictable, so can the measurements in Marge Fogler’s dishes.
“I just judge by the texture,” Marge Fogler said of her meatloaf recipe. “It’s kind of stiff and holds together. For baking, I just add a little of this and substitute a little of that. I sort of make them my own I guess you could say.”
From Weight Watchers
1 3/4 cups of sugar, divided
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
8 cups of sliced ripe plums, or 6 cups of plums and 2 cups of apples
2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cups (makes it a little more like cake on the top)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large egg lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine one cup of sugar and two tablespoons of flour in a large bowl; stir well. Add plums (add apples), and toss well to coat. Spoon mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, buttermilk and next four ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over plum mixture, spreading gently to edges of dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar over batter.
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cobble warm or at room temperature. Serves 12.
Blackberry-apple fantasy pie
Pastry for double-crust pie
1 cup of sugar
4 teaspoons of quick cooking tapioca
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 cups of fresh blackberries
2 cups of peeled, sliced apples
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
Prepare pastry and divide in half. Form each half into a ball. On a lightly floured surface roll one ball of pastry into a 12-inch circle. Transfer rolled out pastry into 9-inch pie plate.
In a large bowl, stir together sugar, tapioca, cinnamon. Add blackberries and apples slices. Toss gently until coated. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
After the mixture has stood for 15 minutes, spoon the filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Trim the pastry so it is even with the edge of the pie plate. Moisten the edge of the pastry with water.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle. Cut slits in the pastry to let steam escape. Place pastry on the filling and trim the top crust to a half-inch beyond the pie plate. Fold top pastry and crimp edge. Cover edge with foil to prevent over-browning.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20-25 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Cool on wire rack. Makes 8 servings.
1 1/2 of pound hamburger
1 pound ground pork or pork sausage
2 cups of cracker crumbs
1 cups of milk
1/4 cup of onion
1 large stalk of celery
1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
1 can of tomato soup
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoons of dry mustard
1/3 cups of vinegar
Combine meat mixture until stiff and holds together. If too loose, add more cracker crumbs to mixture. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a little water and place the meat mixture in the pan.
Mix together topping ingredients.
Cook meat mixture uncovered at 350 degrees for a half an hour, or until grease rises to the top of the pan. Take pan out of oven and pour fat drippings into a container for disposal. Then pour the topping mixture on the meat and continue cooking for another half an hour.
Contact Lindsey Ory at email@example.com.
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