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A profitable hobby

By Staff | Mar 8, 2013

MICHELL HARTMAN said that an advantage of arranging Tupperware parties is that she has access to Tupperware and is probably her own best customer.

By CLAYTON RYE

“mailto:crye@wctatel.net”>crye@wctatel.net

SHEFFIELD – It was during the 1980s when the Carlson family needed to supplement the farm income that her mother, Cathy Carlson, decided to sell baked products to area businesses.

“I was the oldest child and you know what happens then,” said Michelle Hartman, who lives with her husband and children in Sheffield, a short distance from Coulter.

She became her mother’s kitchen helper.

THIS TACO RING is a favorite of the Hartman family. It is made quickly and is flavorful.

“I always baked with her, watched her, it was almost overwhelming,” said Hartman.

She and her mother delivered cookies, bars and cakes to a nearby truck stop, along with grocery stores in Latimer and Hampton.

Then mother and daughter opened a bakery in neighboring Latimer which lasted five years.

“We got burnt out,” said Hartman.

By then, Hartman was married and starting a family so it was time to quit.

They closed the bakery and decided each would work out of their home.

Today, Hartman said, she cooks “as a hobby.”

Her full-time job is arranging Tupperware parties.

When she starting taking pictures of her decorated cookies and putting them on Facebook, she began getting calls and orders for them.

Her specialty is decorated sugar cookies.

She said she has a collection of hundreds of cookie cutters.

With her husband, who works construction and daughters, ages 10 and 5, Hartman said, “I work my jobs around my family.

“I am working back to what my mom did,” she said.

A frequent question in the Hartman kitchen is by her daughters who will look at something she has baked and ask, “Are these for us for us or somebody else?”

Hartman said she wants to be remembered as a hard worker. However, Friday night is reserved for a meal out after a week’s worth of cooking.

When not cooking, Hartman’s spare time reading is cookbooks. She and her mother remain close and trade recipes frequently.

Her daughter, Ivy, told her mother, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you.”

That would make three generations of cooks and is what every cook wants to hear.

Best hot dip ever

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 8-ounce package sour cream

1 package dried beef

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon onion, chopped fine

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and pepper

Slivered almonds

Mix all ingredients in a medium or large bowl.

Top with slivered almonds and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with Fritos or crackers.

Potato and bacon soup recipe

8 cups diced potatoes

1/3 cup chopped onion

3 14-ounce cans chicken broth

1 10 3/4-ounce can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1 pound sliced and cooked bacon (crumbled)

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are tender

Makes 10 servings.

Taco ring

2 crescent roll tubes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Lay out the two tubes of crescent pastry, thick sides in.

Use some of the left over crescent rolls to make the center a bit thicker.

Brown beef and add taco seasoning.

Lay beef in a circle inside of the laid out crescent rolls

Add cheese to the top

Pull over crescent rolls and tuck in under meat and cheese.

Follow cook time on the pack of crescent rolls.

Add cheese, lettuce, tomato, black olives, sour cream or whatever you desire for your tacos, in the middle after cooking the ring.

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