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Cooking: It’s more than feeding

By Staff | Dec 19, 2014

SARA WINKLEMAN said she loves the help she gets from her children in the kitchen. Here, her son Garrison assists.

LEDYARD – A rural Ledyard family farmer said she has always enjoyed her time spent in the kitchen, but the end result isn’t always just a meal for her family.

Sara Winkleman said she not only cooks for her farmer-husband, Brian Winkleman, and the other farm workers quite often, but shares her food with those who are sick, mourning or elderly.

“It’s amazing how food has connected me with people,” said Winkleman.

In addition to the joys she has sharing her cooking, Winkleman said she finds the time spent in the kitchen a source of therapy.

Since being diagnosed with a rare form of multiple sclerosis, Winkleman said that being in the kitchen preparing meals and other goodies helps her to get her mind off of things for a short while. It’s relaxing.

SARA WINKLEMAN and her family grow a large garden and productive apple trees. Pie is one of the items she makes with her apples. Winkelman said she makes just about everything with apples except apple juice.

Winkleman said her children, Grace and Garrison, help her in the kitchen, and although her measuring cups may end up in the bath tub and other utensils not always put away in their right spot, it is time spent with them she really enjoys.

“I really like to cook with the kids,” she said.

Winkleman said she enjoys trying new recipes and creating her own.

Although her husband prefers the traditional “meat, potatoes and a vegetable,” Winkleman said, she isn’t your simply that type of cook.

When it comes to creating her own dishes, Winkleman said she samples certain foods, tastes certain ingredients and if they seem to go blend well, she’ll put them together.

“It’s amazing how food has connected me with people.” —Sara Winkleman Ledyard-area farmer

She said it does take some trial and error.

The Winklemans raise cattle, hogs and chickens on their farm. They butcher the family’s meat. They raise many of their fruit and vegetables in a large garden, canning and freezing much of their produce.

Apples are grown in abundance on their farm, Winkleman said.

She said she does just about everything with those apples.

Winkleman said she attributes some of her love of cooking to her stepfather, Jerry Baade.

THE WINKLEMANS raise and butcher much of their own meat, including chickens. Pictured is Sara Winkelman’s creamy chicken.

Together, they share recipes and offset each other in the kitchen making items the other might not.

“He has a lot of patience in the kitchen,” said Winkleman. “He will make bread from scratch, and I do more of the quick bread and things like that.

Creamy chicken

1 pound of bacon

Four large chicken breasts

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 pound of sour cream

Spray the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Line up chicken breasts that have been wrapped in bacon sprinkled with seasoned salt.

In a bowl, mix sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. Winkleman said she adds a pinch of garlic salt and adds salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sour cream and soup mixture over the top of the chicken.

Extra bacon can be added on top if desired

Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until bacon on the top is a little crispy and the chicken is cooked.

Freezer apple pie filling

12 cups thinly sliced apples

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup corn starch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

5 cups of water

Lemon juice

Toss apples in lemon juice.

Put water in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.

Add all with apples in the water and bring the mixture to a boil.

Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat and let it simmer until the apples are soft.

Cool mixture for 30 minutes then bag and freeze.

Use any pie crust with the filling when ready to use.

Oreo cookies

2 chocolate cake mixes

2 sticks of margarine softened

4 eggs

Mix together. Batter will be stiff.

Roll into balls about the size of a walnut.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Watch carefully as these will burn easily.


1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened

3 2/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons margarinesoftened.

Mix together and put on cookies after they have cooled.

Peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick butter softened

2 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups peanuts – crushed

1 pound or 1 1/4 bags of Hershey’s Chocolate Chunks

Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and butter in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda.

Mix this with the peanut butter mixture and stir until just combined.

Mix in peanuts and chocolate chunks. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least three hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter cookie sheets and shape cookie dough into one-inch balls.

Place 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake until cookies are light brown and dry to the touch, about 12 minutes.

Cool on the pan for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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