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Cooking when not farming

By Staff | Nov 1, 2013

LINDA FRIEDRICHSEN, equally at home in the field or kitchen, prepares to frost a fresh batch of her yardsticks just out of the oven.

HOLSTEIN – Farm fields were wet as Linda Friedrichsen stood by the kitchen counter, the aroma of almonds spreading throughout the sunlight kitchen in her farm home near Holstein.

She took two pans of her “yardsticks” from the oven.

“They’re a family favorite here,” Friedrichsen said. She spoke as the yardsticks, a pie-like dough filled with sugar, butter and water and almond flavoring, cooled before icing.

“I’m not sure where I got the recipe,” she said. “I’m always looking for something new to try in magazines, Farm News and other publications and, of course, on the internet.

“On the other hand, when I realize something isn’t going to be good as I thought, the recipe immediately goes into the wastebasket.

“When our (three) children were growing up they always enjoyed trying my new recipes and that made preparing them even more enjoyable,” Friedrichsen said. “If they liked what I made I kept the recipes.”

She said she’s hopeful her seven grandchildren will also look forward to their future role as her recipe taste-testers.

I hope others will enjoy them as we have and do,” she said. “I’m happy to share the recipe.”

“Opportunities to bake,” she said, “come less often with the fall harvesting.”

Taking on the responsibility of hitching the tractor to the grain cart and hauling in the year’s crop, she said, was like being in the kitchen, something she enjoys.

Spring means helping her husband, Don, and sons, Allan and Dale, to get their fields planted. Her planting job is running the field cultivator in front of the planter.

The daughter of her late parents Floyd and Theo Nielsen, who farmed in the Pocahontas area, Friedrichsen said she learned her cooking and baking skills as a youngster.

Her childhood experiences helped her, she said, throughout her adult life.

4-H, she said, helped her as a 35-year club leader for the Logan Stars and subsequent Logan Hot Shots 4-H Clubs.

“The 4-H club work meant working with children and the opportunity to show them different ways of doing things, of learning important things they would need in the future,” Friedrichsen said. “It meant a lot to me to be able to help them learn.”

Her own children were likewise active in county club work, including son, Dale, who continues his involvement on the Ida County Extension Council.

Friedrichsen is the co-chair of the Ida County Fair’s open class competition.

Almond yardsticks

Mix as for pie dough:

4 1/2 cups flour

3 sticks soft butter or margarine

Add 1 package dry yeast dissolve in 1/2 cup warm water and two beaten eggs.

Mix well.

Roll out into 2 12-by-8-inch rectangles

Spread center third with 1 stick butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon almond flavoring and 1 tablespoon of water.

Fold edges over and pinch edges slightly together.

Place in a jelly-roll pan. You may have to cut to fit pans.

Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cool. While still warm, spread powder sugar frosting over yardsticks.

Cut into 1-inch strips.

Whole wheat bread

2 packages dry yeast

2 tablespoons of molasses

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup dark syrup

4 cups warm water

1/2 cup honey

4 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 to 6 cups white bread flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water with white sugar. Let stand until it starts to rise.

To 4 cups warm water add syrup, honey, brown sugar, molasses, and salt. Stir to dissolve.

Add whole wheat flour and stir well. Add dissolved yeast mixture and beat well by hand.

Add melted butter and 4 cups bread flour and beat well.

Add more flour as needed to make a stiff enough dough to knead.

Knead well about 5 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl in warm place until doubled in size.

Punch down and shape into loaves.

Makes 5 to 6 large loaves or 10 small loaves or a combination. Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on size of loaf. Freezes well.

Hamburger, French fried onion patties

Add 1 small can of French fried onions to 1 pound of hamburger

Shape into patties, grill or fry.

Ground beef stroganoff

1 pounds ground beef

3 tablespoons flour

1 large onion diced

1 1/2 cups beef stock

1 can mushrooms, slices or pieces

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

3 minced garlic cloves

1 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked and drained

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In large skillet, add ground beef, onion, mushrooms and garlic.

Cook until ground beef is browned.

Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Do not drain.

Stir in flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add beef stock and red wine vinegar.

Stir, bring to a boil and let simmer until thickened.

Stir in sour cream, add noodles: mix well, and serve.

Quick plum, blueberry dessert

Place in 2-quart baking dish:

4 large dark plums, cut into wedges

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix well and microwave 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream.

Fresh apple cake

Beat for 2 minutes:

cup butter

cup oil

2 cups sugar

Add 1/2 cup applesauce

3 eggs (one at a time)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix together:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Save 3 tablespoons of flour mixture and mix 3 cups chopped apples (do not chop fine)

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mix well.

Fold in chopped apples.

Pour batter into well-grease Bundt pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn onto a plate and let cool on cooling rack.

Freezes well.

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