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Developing their own traditions

By Staff | Sep 21, 2012

BRITTNEY VAN VELDHUIZEN prepares a recipe in her rural Rock Rapids kitchen.



ROCK RAPIDS – Busy Lyon County farm cook Brittney Van Veldhuizen resides with her husband, Travis Van Veldhuizen, on a small acreage northwest of Rock Rapids. The young couple has a daughter, 9 1/2-month-old Kinzie Van Veldhuizen. The Van Veldhuizens are developing their own traditions of food and family time.

Brittney Van Veldhuizen grew up in a farm family of nine and said her biggest cooking challenge has been learning to cook for two.

“My mother always made large meals of meatballs, goulash, tater hot dish, meatloaf, roasts, which my hubby and I like, so I’m getting good at halving recipes or freezing half for a later date.

SEEING VAN VELDHUIZEN, the goat herd lines up along the fence anticipating being fed.

“Marrying into a Dutch family,” Van Veldhuizen said, “I’ve come to realize that those women know how to make a dessert I’m still taking lessons there.”

The family’s starting a Sunday tradition, she said, with “fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and we sit down together for a dinner of soup and smokies, and we always, always make a malt as our evening treat, Kinzie’s favorite food.

“We are pretty traditional and it’s our valued family day with just us.”

Van Veldhuizen works at the Sanford Hospital in Luverne, Minn., as a radiologic technologist, which she said she loves.

“The healthcare field is a very rewarding, but taxing profession, definitely not for everyone.

“We have weekends, nights and holidays spent away from family and, on top of that, I still have my farm chores.”

The young couple raises Boer goats, with 100 does.

“After we were married,” Van Veldhuizen said, “we wasted no time in finding a hobby and fell in love with goats. Our one Boer nanny turned into 50 more by the next year and then 100 this year.”

Travis Van Veldhuizen works for a company out of Hull caring for a unit of 10,000 hogs. Along with the Van Veldhuizens goat herd, they raise a number of stock cows and he has a snow removal business in nearby Sioux Falls, S.D.

“It definitely isn’t easy being a young farmer just starting out,” he said, “but every farmer has been there and it can be done.”

Pumpkin pie bars

1 box yellow cake mix

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup butter

Whipped topping of choice

Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture.

Drizzle butter over cake mix and spread evenly so it doesn’t pool in the middle. Sprinkle with pecans and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.

Delicious warm or cold topped with cool whip or ice cream. Its my new favorite “pumpkin pie”!

Corn Casserole

1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

1 egg (lightly beaten)

1 8-ounce can of whole kernel corn (lightly drain)

1 8-ounce can cream style corn

1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream

1 stick margarine or butter (melted)

Beat the egg and then add the butter until well mixed. Add sour cream and mix well, then add muffin mix and mix well enough so no clumps remain.

Then add the cream corn and mix well and then add the whole corn.

Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish (sprayed or buttered to prevent sticking). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Tomato tortellini soup

1 small bag tortellini (any flavor works)

2 10 3/4-ounce cans of condensed tomato soup or 2 pints of homemade tomato soup

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups milk

2 cups half and half

1 medium-sized can of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Additional shredded Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top when serving

Cook tortellini according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine soup, broth, milk, cream, tomatoes and seasonings.

Heat through stirring frequently.

Drain cooked tortellini and carefully add to soup mixture. Stir in cheese, being careful not to burn.

Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese when serving. Serves well with a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich.

Yield 10 (1cup) servings.

Fettuccine alfredo sauce (from scratch)

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup cream (or half and half)

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup shredded Italian cheeses, such as Parmesan, mozzarella, romano

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

1 to 2 tablespoons dried parsley or 3 tablespoons fresh parsley

4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir until well mixed (a whisk works best-mixture, it will seem gummy).

Slowly add cream and broth whisking after each addition until creamy.

Cook until smooth and slightly thickened and then add remaining ingredients.

Stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Pour over fettuccine (sauce is enough for about 8 ounces of cooked pasta).

Van Veldhuizen said she adds shrimp, scallops or chicken along with cooked broccoli for a complete meal.

Top with grated Parmesan cheese and pair with garlic bread.


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