homepage logo

Self-sufficiency is key

By Staff | Jan 10, 2014

BELINDA GREEN, of Harcourt, works on preparing a meal on Monday in her home. Green said she enjoys growing and serving what she raises.

HARCOURT – Belinda Green, of rural Harcourt, said she feels at home on the farm and takes on the role of farm wife with joy and honor.

Green learned the skills of being a farm cook from the women in her family.

“Both my grandmothers and my mom were farm wives and always good cooks,” said Green

She said when she was growing up she considered it a big treat to spend time with her grandmothers – Minnie Poppinga and Gracie Ahlrichs, of Palmer – and has taken what she learned from them into her kitchen.

“They were always very conservative, they used what they had,” said Green. “The foundation comes from them, they lay it down for you and you don’t realize that until later.”

GREEN SAID SHE likes to prepare basic meals that involve easy-to-find ingredients such as this meal she is preparing — meatloaf, baked beans, cookies and homemade apple pie.

After teaching on and off for 14 years in the Manson Northwest Webster School District, Green said she is now enjoying her role as farm wife and works hard, alongside her husband, Frank, at raising practically everything they eat.

The Greens have a large garden, where they raise a variety of vegetables and fruits and also fruit from the farm’s orchard. They raise chickens, enjoying the eggs, and they butcher their own horses for meat.

Green said she works hard at keeping their meals healthy as they can by trying to cut back on sodium and fats and by raising what they eat, that makes the task of healthy eating a lot easier.

They do such a good job raising all of their food, Green said, she only needs to go to the grocery store for a few basic ingredients.

“We really try to incorporate healthy items, we do the best we can with what we have and what is available,” she said.

One way Green will keep recipes healthier is by using her own soup mixture that is low in sodium.

Green said she enjoys baking and makes her own pie fillings.

When she bakes or cooks, she said she likes to keep things basic, creating home-cooked meals that require easy, simple steps, recipes and ingredients.

Healthy soup mixture

Green said this can be used in recipes that call for canned soup.

2 cups dry milk

3/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup sodium free chicken bouillon

2 tablespoons dry onion flakes

1 teaspoon basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook 1/3 cup of soup mixture with 1 1/4 cups of water and stir until thick, or three minutes in the microwave.

Enchilada bake

2 pounds ground meat

1 chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

2 cup cheddar cheese

1 3/4 cup water

1 package cream cheese

12 corn or flour tortillas

Brown and drain off fat. Combine water, tomato paste, 1 cup of cheese, and cream cheese; mix and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and set aside. Add meat with onions and green peppers.

Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Roll up about 1/4 cup of meat mixture in each tortilla.

Place seam side down in a sprayed 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

Pour sauce over rolled tortillas.

Sprinkle with an additional 1 cup of shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees in oven for 30 minutes.

Below are recipes for a meal the Greens would typically enjoy.


4 pounds ground meat

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 cups of cracker crumbs

1/2 cup of ketchup

1/2 cup of salsa

4 tablespoons of mustard

1 teaspoon of pepper

Mix burger, eggs, milk, onions, green peppers, crackers, ketchup, salsa, mustard and pepper in a large bowl.

If the meatloaf is not creamy enough, add more milk.

Put in a sprayed 9-by-13-inch pan with a lid and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 11/2 hours.

Baked beans

2 cans pork and beans

1 can of kidney beans (no salt added)

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup of green peppers, chopped

1 teaspoon of liquid smoke

2 teaspoons of Grey Poupon mustard

1/2 cup ketchup

In a slow cooker, empty cans of beans and add onions, green peppers, liquid smoke, mustard and ketchup.

Cook on high heat for 3 to 4 hours and stir occasionally.


1 butternut squash

Wash the butternut squash and cut in half, lengthwise.

Take the seeds out of the middle of the squash. Place the cut halves down on a platter and cover with pastic wrap and microwave for 20 minutes.

Uncover and top with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Lettuce salad

1 head lettuce

1 onion

1 green pepper


Craisins (50 percent less sugar)

Wash and cut the lettuce. Cut the onion and green pepper and add to the lettuce salad.

Sprinkle pistachios and craisins on the top of the salad, add dressing and enjoy.

Bevy’s butter cookies

1 cup butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Beat butter until smooth and add the rest of the ingredients. Roll dough into balls and bake at 350-degrees for 12-15 minutes. When done baking, roll cookies in powdered sugar and cool.

Grandma Minnie’s

apple pie filling

4 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup corn starch

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

10 cups water

Cook all of the ingredients until thick and bubbly, stirring often.

Add two teaspoons of lemon juice and 28 cups of apples.

Mix and put into quart jars, leaving one inch of head space per jar.

Process 20 minutes in a water bath. Make sure to keep the water boiling. Take out of water and put on towel. Place a towel on top of jars until the lids pop and cool.

This will make seven to eight quarts of apple pie filling.

Grandma Grace’s rye bread

1 medium potato (cooked and mashed)

2 1/2 cups water (in which potato was cooked)

2 1/2 cups white flour

1 1/2 package of yeast

Mix, setting aside, letting it to rise until bubbly.


1 cup molasses

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup shortening

Orange grind (grated)

Fennel seed (crushed)

Cool, and then add three cups or less of rye flour, using enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Add rest of the ingredients, when made into loaves, let rise and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour.

Just before baking, pierce loaves with a darning needle.

This recipe makes three loaves.

Cranberry salad

1 3-ounce package of red Jell-O, dissolved, in one cup of hot water and 1/4 cup sugar, then add 1/2 cup cold water.

Wash and grind one cup of cranberries and pour into a 7-by-12-inch pan. Pour Jell-O mixture on top of cranberries and chill in the refrigerator.

1 3-ounce package of lemon Jell-O dissolved in 1 cup of hot water and let cool.

Add 1, 4-ounce package of cream cheese and a 1/2 cup crushed pineapple and cool.

Then add one cup of whip cream.

Set in refrigerator to thicken and then pour over hard mixture and refrigerate for several hours.

Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page