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Growing, cooking their own

By Staff | Apr 5, 2013

THIS IS A sampling of the fruits, vegetables and meats Connie Rose cans each year.



OWASA – When Connie Rose, who lives east of Owasa in Hardin County, stops at the grocery store, her list has two items on it – sugar and salt.

Not milk? No, because husband Don milks the family cow every day.

No butter either, because Connie Rose makes her own butter from the daily dairy collection.

THIS LOAF OF whole wheat oatmeal bread, plus homemade butter and jelly, are all products of Connie Rose’s kitchen.

Doesn’t everybody need flour? Yes, but she buys wheat berries from the Amish and grinds her own flour.

How about fruits or vegetables? The Rose family has a garden and apple, cherry and pear trees.

Connie Rose cans 1,000 jars of each year including grape juice, jelly, pears, Virginia pickles, chicken, ketchup, beet pickles, relish, tomato juice, apple sauce, spaghetti sauce, green beans, apple pie filling, salsa and chili sauce.

Not all food is canned. Some of it is frozen and dehydrated.

How about meat? The Roses raise their own broilers and have stock cows and hogs for beef and pork. Oh yes, there are sheep, too.

CONNIE ROSE and daughter Esther prepare to serve the chocolate chip bars they have made.

Rose called the family’s farmstead “Old McDonald’s Farm” as they “have a little bit of everything.”

She grew up on a dairy farm east of Steamboat Rock where they milked 80 cows.

As her mother was helping outside so much, Rose said she was pretty much in charge of cooking by the time she was in the fifth grade.

She said she had no regrets leaving dairying, but when her children requested a dairy cow for the family, because they prefer the fresh cow’s milk, she decided one cow would be acceptable.

It isn’t just their family the Roses cook for (the children are all cooks, too), but they prepare food for their neighbors, especially in times of trouble, and for missionaries who have visited them from Singapore, Japan, Jamaica, China, Russia and Africa.

Rose said the missionaries are most impressed with the ham and sweet corn they are served.

Food preparation and preservation are family events held throughout the year for the family of seven.

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Roses butcher 60 chickens for three families – the two grown children and Connie’s family with the three children in school living at home.

In late July, there is a family event to freeze sweet corn.

Another gathering is for their apple press to make apple cider.

At Christmas time, a few days are spent making treats for family, friends and neighbors.

Rose’s food activities are not limited to the kitchen as she is a judge for food and nutrition at county fairs. She is especially pleased when a young man has a food project and shows up to be judged.

This year she will be co-superintendent in the food and nutrition open class at the Hardin County Fair.

Rose said her goal in cooking is to serve nutritious meals the family likes to eat.

She avoids preservatives, preferring to can her food. Her other goals are to be efficient and maintain food safety.

She said good nutritional meals require planning. Rose said she plans a week ahead.

Rose said she likes to experiment and use common ingredients in her cooking.

“You don’t have to have fancy appliances or tools to be a good cook,” said Rose.

Don and Connie Rose are parents of Sarah, 31, whose husband is Karl and lives in Kansas with their five children.

Their son, Jonathan, 28, lives in Cedar Rapids.

At home are Tim, 17; Lydia, 15; and Esther, 13.

Rose said the children like to say, “If you leave our house hungry, it’s your own fault.”

Chocolate chip bars

3 sticks margarine (1 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix, dry

1 1/8 cup brown sugar

3 1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 12-ounce package real chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream margarine and sugars together, add eggs, beat well. Next add dry pudding and mix.

Then add soda and vanilla, and beat.

Add flour, beat well and then put in chocolate chips, beat gently. Spread into greased 12-by-17-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 27 to 32 minutes until golden brown on top.

Let cool and cut into 35 bars. Store in an airtight container.

“These freeze well if they can make it to the freezer,” Rose said.

“A secret to this recipe is to bake it until it is almost done,” Rose said, “then remove from the oven and cut the bars while still hot. Put them in a covered container; close the lid while they cool. It seals in the moisture. We also use Mexican vanilla.”

Whole wheat oatmeal bread

3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar or honey

7 1/2 cups boiling water

1/2 cup oil

Heat water in microwave 4 minutes. Pour over oats and brown sugar in large silver mixing bowl. Add oil. Stir.

Let cool to 100 to 110 degrees. Pour into mixer bowl, then add:

1 1/2 cup red wheat (ground with flax, 1/3 cup for whole batch-opt)

3 tablespoon sea salt

2 tablespoons dough enhancer

1/3 cup gluten

5 more cups red wheat (see note below)

5 1/2 tablespoons yeast

Mix on manual.

Leave outer ring on, turn machine on low.

Add slowly:

10 1/2 to 11 cups white wheat

Leave a little sticky. Knead for 2 for 5 minutes. (Leave on outer ring). Pour out of bowl onto greased surface. Let rise for 20 minutes (cover with towel).

Cut into 4 or 6 pieces with pizza cutter. Throw down each piece seven times to remove air bubbles. Shape into loaf.

Place in greased loaf pans. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes (small pans), 30 minutes (large pans).

Brush butter on top of loaves after baking (optional). Cool on cooling racks. This freezes very well.

Yield: Six small loaves or four large loaves

(Note:) If adding seven-grain flour, subtract 1 1/2 cups red wheat and add 1 1/2 cups seven-grain wheat flour.

Peanut marshmallow clouds candy

1 20-ounce package white almond bark

1 16-ounce jar dry roasted peanuts

3 cups puffed rice cereal

2 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup peanut butter

Break almond bark into pieces in microwaveable bowl.

Melt almond bark part way (level 90 for 2 to 3 minutes), stir in peanut butter, then lightly fold in marshmallows (carefully, you don’t want these to melt), microwave another 10 seconds on level 90.

Pour over cereal and peanuts in a large bowl. Stir just until coated. Spoon out onto waxed paper.

Cool. Store in airtight container.

Pink champagne salad

8 ounces cream cheese

3/4 cups sugar

15 ounces crushed pineapple, drained

10 ounces frozen strawberries, with juice

2 bananas, peeled, sliced and quartered

8 ounces whipped topping

Blend cream cheese with mixer. Stir in strawberries and pineapple. Gently stir in bananas. Fold in whipped topping.

Freeze in gelatin ring mold or in 9-by-13-inch pan.

This needs to freeze 8 hours or more. This can be made ahead, it will keep for about 2 months in freezer.

Let thaw a few minutes before using.

Ground pork

and noodles

2 pounds ground pork

5 slices of bread, torn into pieces

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 tablespoon minced onion

salt and pepper

4 bouillon cubes

1 16-ounce package of noodles

3 cups boiling water

Stir together ground pork, bread, milk, eggs, onion, salt and pepper. Form into meatballs about 2 inches in diameter. Brown on both sides.

Heat together water and bouillon cubes until dissolved.

Pour over browned meatballs, simmer until liquid is almost gone and meatballs are cooked.

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Drain, rinse and add to meatballs.

May be made ahead and kept warm in crockpot. Top with soy sauce.

Serves 6

Crockpot meatloaf

1 1/2 to 2 pounds hamburger

2 eggs, beaten

1 quart chili sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, chopped

2/3 cup crushed cracker crumbs

1 stalk celery, cut up

Stir together above ingredients, adding only 1/2 cup of chili sauce.

Lightly grease the inside of crockpot. Form meat mixture into a loaf shape in crockpot.

Cover with the remainder of the chili sauce.

Add potatoes and carrots, peeled and cut up, enough for the family (4-5 potatoes, 3 carrots).

Cooking time varies. High for 3 to 4 hours, or low for 6 to 8 hours.

Serves 6

Note: Chili sauce may be substituted with 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce, adding 1 tablespoon, brown sugar, a few more onions, and a little green pepper and more chopped celery.

Rhubarb cake

1 stick butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/4 cup flour

1 cup sour cream

2 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut fine

1 teasponn soda

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs, salt, vanilla, soda and mix.

Add sour cream and flour. Mix.

Add rhubarb, mix gently. Pour into greased 9-by-13-inch pan.

Across the top, sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mixture made of 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Banana bread muffins

1/2 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix. Then add vanilla and dry pudding mix.

Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in mashed bananas. Pour into greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until knife comes out clean.

Top with 1 tablespoon melted butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan.

Alternative: Pour into muffin tins, 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 22 minutes. Top with butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Yield 12 to 15 muffins

Wrap individual muffins in plastic wrap and freeze.

Southern corn bread

3/4 cup yellow com meal

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons oil

Mix all ingredients just enough to blend well.

Pour into a greased 8-by-8-inch pan. Bake at 425 degrees for about 17 to 20 minutes, just until knife comes out clean.

Serves 6-8. Goes well with chili.

Doubled batch fit a 9-by-13-inch pan. Keep leftovers in refrigerator.

Energy bars

1 stick oleo or butter (8 tablespoons)

6 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup peanut butter

Melt in large saucepan on stove.

Stir in:

2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal

2 cups quick oatmeal

3/4 cup fruit bits

1 cup chopped peanuts

3/4 cup golden raisins

Press into 10-by-15 1/2-inch buttered pan.

Cut into 2-inch squares . Wrap individually in foil or plastic wrap.

Store in Ziploc bag. Can be frozen, but don’t need to be, as they will keep for a few weeks.

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