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Finding common ground

By Staff | Jan 16, 2015

DON AND MICKEY FEILMEIER said they enjoy spending time in the kitchen together.

HARCOURT – Newlyweds Don and Mickey Feilmeier have found a common ground in their marriage – the kitchen.

“We enjoy being together, working alongside each other,” said Mickey Feilmeier.

The Feilmeiers have taken their love for preparing food a step further, by raising and growing much of their own food.

They raise ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and sheep – and a large garden – trying to be as self-sufficient as they can on the farm.

“I have always wanted to try to grow my own food and to be self-sufficient once I was retired to help save on money,” said Don Feilmeier.

BAKING PIES is a favorite kitchen pasttime for Don Feilmeier. He makes his own pie crust using lard, but says to cut back on the flour to keep the crust from being too dry.

He said raising a large garden is something he used to do in the past, and he and his children would raise the goods and sell them at the local farmers market.

The garden has some new plantings that, in time, the Feilmeiers look forward to harvesting: plums, peaches, cherries, apricots and currants.

They also canned their own pumpkins this year, made their own sauerkraut and canned potatoes, onions, radishes and salsa.

An early season hail storm jeopardized their 2014 garden, so the couple is hoping for a better growing season next year.

In addition to their fruit garden, the Feilmeiers also raise an abundant flower garden, filled with geraniums, poinsettias and rain lilies.

Don Feilmeier, who learned his way around the kitchen as a youngster with five siblings, and again while raising seven children, said he loves to cook and bake, especially pies. Pecan pie is his favorite.

“Always use a little less flour than what the recipe calls for otherwise it might end up too dry,” he said.

Mickey Feilmeier, who is also retired, said she prefers baking and has met a goal since her retirement of learning to how to make homemade cinnamon rolls. She said she has always loved to making homemade angel food cake and rye bread.

The couple takes time out of the kitchen for their hobbies which include scrapbooking and quilting for her, and he keeps busy creating fun for their grandkids out of anything he finds around the farm. Both enjoy having the little ones come for a visit.

“He makes fun out of nothing,” said Mickey.

Don has built their grandchildren a tree house, a grocery store and a jail, plus a variety of other wooden toys.

Potato doughnuts

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup milk

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mashed potatoes (instant may be used)

2 eggs beaten

5-6 cups sifted flour

1 pound powdered sugar

6 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon vanilla

Dissolve yeast in water. Combine milk, shortening, sugar and salt. Cool until lukewarm.

Stir in yeast, potatoes and eggs.

Gradually add enough flour to make soft dough.

Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny.

Place in a lightly greased bowl. Turn dough to grease top. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Roll to 1/2 inch thick and cut with a 3-inch doughnut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir powdered sugar, water and vanilla together. Mixture will look thick like cream.

Fry doughnuts in deep fat at 375 degrees. Drain on absorbent paper.

Drop hot doughnuts into powdered sugar glaze.

Cool on cooking rack.

Makes 42 doughnuts.

Bing bars

2 cups sugar

2/3 cups evaporated milk

Dash of salt

12 large marshmallows

1/2 cup margarine

Combine and boil for five minutes.

Then add:

6 ounces cherry chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour into a 9-by-13-inch pan and cool completely.

Next layer:

12 ounce chocolate chips

1 tablespoon margarine

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter

10 ounce crushed roasted peanuts.

Melt all together and pour over first layer.

Pecan pie

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup white syrup

2 tablespoon margarine

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup pecans

Beat all ingredients together then fold in pecans.

Pour into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until set.

Beef and noodles

Cook one bag of Reames noodles with half water and half beef broth. Cook until liquid is absorbed.

Add cooked stew meat or cut up roast beef using however much you would like.

Add one can beefy mushroom soup and one can of golden mushroom soup and salt and pepper to taste.

(Remember the soups are salty).

Note: Chopped onion can be added while cooking the noodles.


3 pounds ground beef

Large package mozzarella cheese

Large carton cottage cheese

2 6-ounce cans tomato paste

2 10.74-ounce cans tomato soup

2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce

Oregano, garlic salt and basil to taste.

Brown ground beef with a little salt.

Mix the soup, tomato paste and tomato sauce in a large Dutch oven.

Add seasonings and meat.

Layer with lasagna noodles, cottage cheese and mozzarella.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Pork and bean bars

(This tastes just like spice cake.)

1 16-ounce can pork and beans

1 18-ounce can pineapple (undrained)

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

4 eggs

1 cup oil

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a blender, blend beans and undrained pineapple.

Add the rest of ingredients to this mixture.

Bake in a greased and floured jelly roll pan at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

When cool, frost with cream cheese icing.


1 3-ounce package softened cream cheese

1/2 cup margarine softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until smooth and spread on bars.

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