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Marketer, educator, cook

By Staff | Dec 17, 2010

Preparing the cashew brittle requires careful temperature control as Jackie Dohlman demonstrates watching the temperature as the mixture is stirred.

By CLAYTON RYE

Farm News staff writer

HAMPTON – Jackie Dohlman grew up in the town of Afton, in Union County, on a traditional farm that included a cow-calf operation. She graduated from Iowa State University in animal science in 1980 and started working for Farmers Co-op of Iowa Falls serving livestock producers in the Hampton, Bradford and Iowa Falls area.

One of her customers was a farmer from Hampton named Roger Dohlman.

This many years later, Roger and Jackie Dohlman are the parents of three children – Becky whose husband is a Marine and lives in Hawaii, Nathan who recently moved his family to the Hampton area from Kentucky after serving seven years in the Army, and Danielle, a junior at Wartburg College.

Jackie Dohlman, of Hampton, holds a plate of Christmas treats she has prepared. Below, she has included the recipes for the cashew brittle and Aunt Jeannie Mutschler's easy peanut clusters seen on the plate. The cribbage board and deck of cards, she said, is how the Dohlmans spend the winter months.

The Dohlman’s have four grandchildren.

Jackie Dohlman is a vendor at the Hampton farmers market where she sells produce and baked goods using the cashew brittle and Danish rye bread recipes she furnished for this article. The peanut cluster recipe is a family favorite, she said.

Serving on the board of the Harriman-Nielsen Historic Farm, part of the Franklin County Historical Society, was where Dohlman learned baking Danish rye bread. She also bakes the rye bread for fundraisers and will bake it for orders.

She completed the master gardener program six years ago and started a junior master gardener program where 10 children from grades 4 through 7 do “hands on horticulture” at the flower garden of the Harriman-Nielsen Historic Farm located across Iowa Highway 3 from the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Thirteen years ago, while volunteering at the Franklin County Historical Society Museum, she was encouraged by Verald Brown and Dave Flint, two other volunteers, to apply for a job at the Franklin County Extension office as the 4-H youth coordinator.

A plate of Christmas treats prepared by Jackie Dohlman.

Dohlman was hired and said she thoroughly enjoys her work with the youth and volunteers. The job is always changing and has no routine, she said.

She said she is always looking for volunteers to help with new 4-H activities and wants to add new ones such as gourmet cooking, bicycling and any outdoor adventure.

Dohlman described one of the events at the Franklin County Fair events held on Saturday during the fair’s run. The event is a mystery bag cook-off where eight teams each bring an electric skillet and three items of their choice from a list of approved condiments.

They are given five additional ingredients and 30 minutes to create something using them. Fifteen minutes after starting the event, one additional surprise ingredient is added for them to include.

Dohlman said this is a popular event and people will stand in line to taste what was prepared.

Aunt Jeannie Mutschler’s easy peanut clusters

1/2 bag almond bark

1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips

Melt and add 2 9.5-ounce bags salted peanuts.

Mix and drop onto waxed paper.

Malinda Johannsen’s Danish rye bread

2 1/2 cups warm water

1 package yeast

3 cups white flour

1 cup quick cooking oatmeal

1 cup hot water

3 cups rye flour

1/2 cup melted shortening

1 1/2 tablespoon salt

2-3 tablespoon molasses

Combine warm water and yeast.

Let dissolve.

Add enough white flour to make a sponge-like consistency and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine oatmeal with hot water and set aside.

Combine rye flour, shortening, salt, molasses, and enough lukewarm water to moisten.

Combine sponge, oatmeal, and rye mixture and beat until well mixed.

Add white flour and knead for 30 minutes.

Let rise until doubled.

Make into loaves and let rise until doubled.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Makes six small loaves.

Cashew brittle

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

1 cup butter

3 cups cashews

1 teaspoon baking soda

In a large sauce pan, combine sugar, corn syrup and water.

Over medium heat, cook, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Bring to a boil, blend in butter.

Begin to stir frequently when syrup reaches thread stage – 230 degrees.

When temperature is at 280 degrees, a soft crack stage, add cashews.

Stir constantly until hard crack stage, or 300 degrees, is reached.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.

Mix well.

Pour into two buttered baking sheets or jelly roll-sized baking pans.

As candy cools, stretch it out thinner by lifting and pulling at edges with forks.

Loosen from pans when cooled and break hardened candy up.

Store in an airtight container. Makes about two pounds of cashew brittle.

Contact Clayton Rye at crye@wctatel.net.

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