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A half century of farm cooking

By Staff | Aug 24, 2012

KRUGER WASHES HER favorite tomato variety called “Rocky,” which a large and tasty Roma variety.

By ROBYN KRUGER

“mailto:obranger@hickorytech.net”>obranger@hickorytech.net

SIBLEY – Marilyn Kruger, of rural Sibley, has been an Iowa farm wife for more than 50 years – a half century of farm cooking that changes with the seasons.

“For years I did meals on wheels all alone,” she said, joking about the many meals she’s taken to the field throughout planting and harvest seasons.

Now, she said, her sons’ families are able to help with this, and Kruger said she appreciates their assistance.

OSCEOLA COUNTY FARM cook Marilyn Kruger shows off her tree lily, one of the many varieties of flowers and plants she grows in her country garden.

She and husband, Donnie Kruger, live north of Sibley in Osceola County. Longtime swine producers and grain growers, they are assisted by their sons, Todd and Jeff Kruger.

With daughter Kim Wiils, living just down the road, they have all stayed close and all remain involved in agriculture.

Marilyn does some “farming” of her own tending to a large vegetable garden and several flower beds which are her pride and joy.

“With so little rain this summer I have had to really get out there and make sure everything is watered,” Marilyn Kruger said, “But overall I think everything has really done quite well.

“I am freezing lots of beans and will soon be doing some salsa. Donnie has been bringing sweet corn from the field and I have frozen about 60 pint bags of corn,” she said.

KRUGER SAID SHE enjoys growing fresh vegetables like these tall, fruitful tomatoes in her vegetable garden.

She also freezes tomato juice and spaghetti sauce.

After filling her freezer in the summer, Kruger gets busy with her many hobbies. In her free time she enjoys sewing, quilting and making stained glass windows. She also enjoys traveling.

Kruger has come upon many recipes through the years that have become her go-to meals. These are meals she knows her family will always enjoy.

Homemade pizza

1 cup of warm water

KRUGER CHOOSES A few of her favorite recipes to share in this week’s cooks feature.

1 package of dry yeast (2 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of oil

3 1/2 cups of flour

Mix, knead and raise crust. Top with desired toppings. Put into a cold oven, set oven to 500 degrees and bake 20 minutes.

Shipwrecked casserole

4-5 potatoes, sliced raw

2 onions, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup raw rice

1 can kidney beans

1 can tomato soup

2 stalks celery chopped

8 slices American cheese

Arrange potatoes on bottom of greased dish or pan. Add onions, seasonings, celery, rice and uncooked beef?

Top with beans, pour soup over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hour. Last 15 minutes top with cheese.

FFA barbecue

1 pound hamburger

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon chili powder

Brown hamburger with onion and add the rest of ingredients.

Serve on buns. Recipe multiplied five times will serve 20-25 people.

Caramels

2 cups of white sugar

1 34 cups of (light or dark) corn syrup

2 cups of cream

1 cup of butter

Grease a 12by-15-inch pan.

In a medium-size pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, cream and butter.

Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer while stirring.

When the thermometer reaches 250 degrees remove the pot from the heat.

Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let the mixture cool completely.

When cooled cut the caramel into small squares.

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