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A lifetime of cooking

By Staff | Jun 3, 2011

Carolyn Pope said she wore out several models of a popular mixer making bread to sell at the farmers market for the years her children were in college.  She bought this model from a commercial bakery supply and has been very pleased with its performance.


Farm News staff writer

MASON CITY – Carolyn Pope grew up as the oldest of nine children which, she said, “meant a lot of food.”

When she was 11, her mother was ill for the summer and she became responsible for cooking duties. Her father encouraged her and she can summarize the experience saying, “Boy, did I learn a lot.”

By age 14, she knew she wanted to be a home economist and, after graduating from Mason City High School in 1965, she went to Iowa State University and received her degree in home economics.

Carolyn Pope displays a few of the many cook books she likes to collect. She is holding one of her favorites that was assembled by her church.

With her degree in hand she got a job teaching home economics at a middle school in Michigan. While in Michigan she went on to earn her master’s degree and traveled to Europe.

Pope’s father was the Minneapolis-Moline dealer and later her dad became Heimbruch Ag Service. On a trip home to Mason City, she met one of her father’s customers, a young farmer named Richard Pope.

This July, Richard and Carolyn Pope will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. They are parents of Kevin, 32, Adam, 27, and Martha, 30.

The two sons farm together near Mason City and Martha is employed by Iowa Resource for International Service in Ames. Martha Pope previously was in the Peace Corps and spent two years in Kazakhstan.

Richard Pope has retired from farming with his sons being the operators. Carolyn Pope works full time for Cookies, Etc., at the mall in Mason City, managing it and the Clear Lake locations.

Retirement is not one of her immediate plans.

“I love what I do,” she said.

The Popes believe in giving back to the community. Carolyn Pope has been active on the Cerro Gordo Extension Council, Mason City Chamber of Commerce board and remains active in her church.

One of her favorite activities each fall is Mason City’s Diversity Luncheon where a meal is served by ethnic communities that are found in Mason City. These include nationalities such as Greek and Mexican.

The Popes are representatives of the German heritage. They serve bratwursts, German potato salad, apple spice dumplings and pfeffernuesse – a German spice cookie.

One of Carolyn Pope’s hobbies is collecting cook books and she hopes to write a cook book of her own to leave as a legacy for her children.

The recipes she chooses, she said, she picks with the summer in mind when there are fresh vegetables and grilling is done as part of the preparation.

The last recipe is for a lemon chiffon cake, the dessert.

Blue cheese marinated onions

(Goes well with steak or beef roast. Carolyn Pope recommends putting this on top of a hamburger.)

4 ounces blue cheese crumbles

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon each sugar and salt

Dash of pepper and paprika

4 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings

Mix all ingredients in a covered container and refrigerate. For the first day, shake the container often. Will keep for weeks.

Marinated tomatoes

(Carolyn Pope chose this recipe to use up the abundance of tomatoes in late summer and create tomatoes “to die for.”)

20 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into thick slices

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried

2 teaspoons oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons salt

Slice tomatoes into a large bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients in a jar; shake well.

Pour over tomatoes.

Cover and refrigerate at least two hours to blend flavors.

Makes 20 cups or 24 servings.

Pork loin marinate

1 can beer

1/4 jar orange marmalade

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

Pierce pork loin roast in several places.

Place in large sealable bag and add marinate. Place in refrigerator over night. Grill.

Herbed pork roast recipe

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

2 teaspoons rubbed sage

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (5 pounds)

Combine the first seven ingredients; rub over roast.

Cover and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Refrigerate or freeze remaining pork (may be frozen for up to three months).

Yield: 12-14 servings.

Shrimp and scallop marinate

1 lime

1 lemon

3 tablespoons honey

8 scallops

8 jumbo shrimp

Combine juices of the lime and lemon and the honey.

Add the scallops and shrimp.

Marinate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Grill over medium heat until shrimp turns pink

Grecian potatoes

(Carolyn Pope said, “This is a savory way to prepare potatoes in the oven.”)

1/2 cup diced onion

5 cups sliced unpeeled red potatoes

1 1/2 to 2 cups water

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Place onions in bottom of 9-by-13-inch pan.

Layer potatoes in rows, overlapping.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over top.

Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Serves 4 to 6

Maple glazed ribs

(Carolyn Pope described these as “finger lickin’ good.”)

3 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into servings

1 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Place ribs, meaty side up, on a rack in a greased 9-by-13-inch pan.

Cover with foil.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes

Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the remaining ingredients except the sesame seeds. Bring to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the ribs. Remove the rack and return the ribs to the pan. Cover with sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes, basting occasionally.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Buckaroo grilled bread

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Dash of ground red pepper

4 1/2-inch thick slices round sourdough or other sturdy white bread, cut in half.

Combine butter and herbs. Brush on both sides of bread slices. Grill 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown

Lemon chiffon cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water

8 large eggs, separated

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice extract or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Have ready an ungreased 10-inch tube pan

Sift into a large mixing bowl the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Make a well and add, in order, the oil, water, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest and extract. Mix until smooth; scrape the bowl well and mix for 30 seconds more.

In a separate bowl with clean beaters, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar or lemon juice. Whip until very stiff. Fold 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it up, then gradually (in 4 additions) pour the yolk mixture back over the remaining whites, folding gently just until blended each time.

Pour the batter into the tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes, then increase the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes

Remove from the oven and cool the cake upside down over the neck of the bottle. When completely cool, run a thin-bladed spatula between the cake and the pan, and put the cake on a serving plate. Garnish as desired.

Yields one cake, 20 servings.

Contact Clayton rye at crye@wctatel.net.

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