Trained in special diets
BRITT – Blanche Chizek, 77, might be retired, but you wouldn’t know it.
Slowing down is not part of her life.
On the subject of retirement, she said, “It’s not that fun. My calendars are so full.”
She is living in the Hancock County community of Britt, moving into town from the farm.
The Chizeks were married in 1956, while she was employed at the Goodnature Store in Garner.
Bill Chizek was helping his father on the family farm. When the elder Chizek died in 1960, within months of Blanche’s father, the couple moved in with his mother Lillian, farming on their own.
Blanche Chizek said she continued working off the farm while helping with farm work, too.
While on the farm she worked in a local school’s cafeteria, 15 years at two jobs in Britt – a bakery and a pizza restaurant simultaneously – 12 years in food preparation at the Hancock County Hospital and at the Summit House, a retirement home in Britt.
Since her off-farm jobs were primarily food-related, Chizek said she credits these experiences, especially at the hospital, with teaching her the most about food, since special diets were common.
Chizek said she is known for her ability to make potato salad in large quantities.
“It is another job I do,” she said.
Her electric potato peeler allows her to peel 100 pounds of potatoes in two hours. She works alone once she starts and prefers it that way.
On the farm the Chizek’s raised beef and hogs. They had sheep and 200 chickens for eggs. A dairy cow provided milk for the family.
The parents of six children, the Chizeks worked a variety of different jobs to provide an income.
As a family, she said, they walked soybeans and detasseled seed corn. One summer they raised 1,400 broilers to pay for school expenses.
Bill Chizek did custom combining with Blanche Chizek’s assistance.
“I was right out there with him,” she said.
She stays active in living in Britt volunteering at the Summit House with activities, preparing some food, and providing nail care for residents.
She said she is fond of her nail duty as it provides company and care for the women living there.
She remains active in the church in her hometown of Duncan, just east of Britt, and volunteers at the hospital where she greets people and escorts them around the complex.
Her mother, Elsie Formanek, is 100 years old, Chezik said, and lives a block and half away in a nursing home.
“I see her every day,” said Chizek.
1 cup catsup
4 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tsp real lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
2 pounds hamburger
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Small onion diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Combine all ingredients. Form into meatballs about the size of a large walnut.
Brown all sides evenly over 350 degree heat. Drain meatballs, add to simmered sauce and continue in slow cooker for 30 minutes on medium.
Be sure to stir every 10 minutes so meatballs are evenly coated.
1 can corn (Chizek said she prefers frozen corn)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Little green pepper
Salt and dot butter
Beat eggs. Add corn and rest of ingredients.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
“It’s a family favorite,” Chizek said. The “kids always enjoy it.”
1 package German chocolate cake mix
1 1/2 cup quick oatmeal
1/2 cup soft butter
1 can coconut pecan frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
Mix cake mix, oatmeal, butter, and eggs to form crumb mixture.
Set aside 2 cups of crumb mixture. Press the rest into a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.
Mix ingredients for filling and beat for one minute. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle remaining crumbs over top of filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine
1 egg yolk
1 cup corn flakes crushed
4 to 6 large apples
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg white
Sift flour and salt. Add margarine and mix until crumbly.
Beat egg yolk and add enough milk to make 2/3 cup. Add this to flour. Mix like pie.
Divide pastry in half. Roll out 1/2 of pastry until it fits in an ungreased, 15-by-10-inch jelly roll pan.
Press dough up the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle corn flakes crumbs over bottom crust.
Peel and slice 4 to 6 apples and arrange them over the corn flakes crumbs.
Combine one cup sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon.
Sprinkle over apples.
Roll out the remaining half of the pastry and put over the top and seal the edges. Make no slits.
Beat egg white until stiff and brush over the top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until done or brown.
While warm, drizzle with the following glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon water
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