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Family roots deep in country

By Staff | Jun 8, 2012

Margie Braaksma, of Sibley, said she uses a plethora of church cookbooks for meal planning because, “they contain the best tried and true recipes with ingredients I usually have in my pantry.”

By ROBYN KRUGER/Farm New staff writer

SIBLEY – Margie Braaksma grew up as a town kid in Sibley, but her family roots are deep in the country.

She and her husband, George Braaksma, and son, Ted Braaksma, are grain farmers who enjoy traveling and meeting new people as they look to add a new antique tractor or car to their growing collections.

“My mother was a country girl and we grew up working a large garden plot, and always helped our country cousins with the butchering of chickens and those kind of things in exchange for meat to put in our own freezer.

“My mother was a wonderful cook. She cooked at several local restaurants and for a local nursing home as a job to help feed her seven children.”

Braaksma DISPLAYS one of her quilts.

Braaksma said her mother taught her many things in the kitchen using basic ingredients with items that were on hand.

It’s a good thing too, because Braaksma is a busy woman.

After working for the local postal system for more than 26 years, she now works with Rick Echter, who runs the local floral shop and greenhouse.

She is an avid gardener herself and raises a small flock of chickens for eggs and the enjoyment of having them.

After a summer of growing plants, gardening and the fall harvest, she keeps busy quilting.

A member of a local quilting club that meets monthly, she has created many quilts and has used her favorite farm animal, the chicken, as the theme of several.

The Braaksmas enjoy fresh garden produce and most of time snack on fresh veggies and fruit.

“George grew up eating meat potatoes and vegetables,” she said. “Potatoes are something he likes to see at each meal. So I make a lot of potatoes.

“On busy days it might just be potatoes chips but he gets his potatoes!”

Braaksma enjoys whipping up a quick casserole that contains all of the trinity of ingredients her family likes best – meat, potatoes and a veggie.

“Casseroles and sandwiches come in very handy in the harvest season,” she said. “I like to serve him hot meals in the field. Hot just seems more substantial to me than a cold sandwich.

“I rely heavily on my collection of old church cookbooks. They contain the best tried and true recipes with ingredients I usually have in my pantry.”

Braaksma has included many of her family’s favorite recipes including one of her mother-in-law’s favorites, World’s Greatest Cookie.

World’s greatest cookies

I cup of peanut butter

1 cup of butter

1 cup of white sugar

1 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Mix and bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Potato casserole

5 pounds peeled and boiled potatoes

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1 stick of butter

1 cup of half and half

1 tablespoon salt

Beat well.

Place in greased casserole dish dotted with butter and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 10.

Pork and bean casserole

1 pound hamburger, browned

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup of cubed American cheese

2 cups of diced potatoes

1 16-ounce can of pork and beans

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of catsup

Cover the top of casserole with sliced bacon.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes covered.

Uncover and bake 15 minutes.

“THOSE” sandwiches

2 dozen snow flake (potato) buns.

24 Swiss cheese slices

Deli ham – amount to your liking

Make sandwiches with the above ingredients and set side-by-side in two 9-by-13-inch cake pans.

In a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil:

2 sticks of butter

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons mustard

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Set aside to cool.

Spoon sauce over sandwiches. Cover for 2 hours or overnight.

Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Uncover and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes to brown.

Easy hot tuna buns

1 can of tuna

1 can cream of chicken soup

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix well and put on buns.

Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until heated through.

Iowa corn bread

2 cups of Bisquick

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup of corn meal

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of buttermilk

1 15-ounce can of cream style corn

2 eggs slightly beaten.

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients and combine.

Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan or a 9- to 10-inch cast iron skillet and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Contact Robyn Kruger at rangerob@hickorytech.net.

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