More Pie Plant Recipes

If you tuned in last week, I treated you to a few “Pie Plant” recipes from my “Pie Plant” article! Tut, tut if you didn’t take time to read all of the EE last week. For those of you reading this virtually on my blog, it means Edgerton Enterprise. Like Jen Psaki, President Biden’s press secretary, we’re gonna “circle back” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI7uqL6yclg to the recipes and give you some more pie plant recipes!

First up is my favorite rhubarb recipe to make for my husband. I only make rhubarb recipes, I do not eat rhubarb. Long story, you can catch that story here, with additional recipes from last year’s article/post, just in case you didn’t read that either. To which I am now giving you “the look” and tapping my toe in disapproval. You can easily redeem yourself by clicking on the articles and catching up. 🙂

This recipe comes from the Randolph Christian School “Homemade With Love” Cookbook, circa 2000. My old boss (old as in 1989 the year), Shirley Schueler who was and IS STILL a fabulous cook/baker; she was the head cook/dietitian at Continental Manor in Randolph, and I was a kitchen-waitress-dishwasher girl. Phew! Didn’t think I was going to make that sentence end … anyway, this recipe is from Shirley; short, sweet, and simple. You can’t go wrong with Shirley’s recipes… enjoy.

Rhubarb Crunch

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups rhubarb chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 T. flour

Mix together and put in a sprayed 9×13 inch pan.

Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • Mix together and crumble over the top of the rhubarb. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour.

Here is another great recipe from “The Kitchens of Family and Friends”, 100th Anniversary cookbook, 1st CRC Edgerton. Hildred Blom gave us:

Rhubarb Cake

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups cut-up rhubarb, cut FINE
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix sugar and rhubarb together and set aside.

Next prepare a yellow or white cake mix as directed on the box. Pour into a greased 9 x 13, take the rhubarb, and spread it out over top the cake batter BEFORE baking. *Take two cups of whipped crème or Half and Half, and pour over the cake batter and rhubarb. Bake 350° for 50- 60 minutes.* As I am reading the recipe from the cookbook, I feel like the creme should go over the batter and rhubarb. I even called Kathy Walhof to ask her opinion. We both agreed that it should go over the batter and rhubarb. Now I have to make this just to see how it turns out! Not sure if I will get to it before this article is due. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a delightful, quick, rhubarb recipe. Taken from “Table Blessings 100th Anniversary” 1st RC of Randolph. Florence Brouwer shares the following:

Rhubarb Dessert Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped fine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3oz package strawberry or cherry Jello

Make cake mix as directed. Put in greased 9×13 inch pan. On top of the cake batter put rhubarb, sugar, and Jello. Bake for 35 minutes at 350°.

Last up, we have a great recipe from the “Jung’s Centennial Cookbook” from Jung’s Seed Company, Randolph Wisconsin. Barb Zondag, Grand-daughter-in-law of J.W. Jung, Wife of Richard Zondag. There, you can go play “Dutch Bingo” from there!

Rhubarb Crunch

Image by rachel1754 from Pixabay

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 3/4 cup quick oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 cup cut-up rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mix the flour, oatmeal, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until crumbly. Press half of the crumbs into a 9-inch square baking pan, or a 7×10- whatever you have. Cover with rhubarb. Combine and cook cornstarch, sugar and water, and vanilla until thick. Pour over rhubarb. Top with rest of crumb mixture. Bake 350° for 30 minutes.

There you have it, friends. A bunch of great rhubarb recipes and I am going to have to stop right here with the recipes. I am drinking Pepto-Bismol just to finish this article; so upset is my stomach having to write the word rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb … uff!

Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a great life!

Camping Campfire Cuisine: Dessert

It’s time for camping! We did own a pop-up camper when we lived in Wisconsin. We enjoyed camping, especially Brad. I had a hard time with all the stuff that had to “sit out” in the camper and sometimes drove myself a little crazy constantly picking up and trying to find room for everything. But I did enjoy some great camping campfire cuisine and wanted to share a few recipes with the dessert theme.

Our most memorable camping was done at Indian Trails in Pardeeville, Wisconsin. If you have the chance to wander with your camper, go check out Indian Trails campground here. Lots to see and do. Indoor and outdoor pool, lake swimming, license-free lake fishing, kayaking, paddle boating, walking trails, and more. Not too far from Wisconsin Dells, this campground is pretty quiet early week and bustling on the weekend. Famous for their Saturday and Sunday donuts as well as their themed weekends!

Let’s get to some great campfire dessert recipes!

Campfire dessert!

Image by 4924546 from Pixabay

A little commentary here- this first recipe grossed me out at first. Warm banana! Who wants a warm banana? But after trying the banana boat, I was hooked. Fun for adults and little kids! And it’s a fruit, so everyone can check that off their list for the day! Great opportunity for EVERYONE to help make banana boats.

Banana Boats

  • one banana per person
  • bag of mini chocolate chips
  • bag of mini marshmallows
  • tin foil
  • spoon for scooping out some of the banana
  • bowl for the banana that was scooped out
  • knife for cutting back banana peel

STEP ONE: Take a banana a make to cuts length wise from the banana stem to the stalk on each side, top center of the banana- wide enough so you can dig out some of the banana with a spoon.

STEP TWO: Pull back the peel from the stem to the stalk BUT DO NOT remove the peel from the banana.

STEP THREE: Take a spoon and dig a trench in your banana by removing some of the banana flesh from the stem to the stalk and eat it or save it in a bowl for pancakes or muffins.

STEP FOUR: In the trench of your banana place mini chocolate chips- as much as you desire. I take a spoon and sprinkle them.

STEP FIVE: On top of your mini chocolate chips add mini marshmallows and then take the attached banana skin and put it back over the filled banana trench.

STEP SIX: Wrap in tin foil and carefully place on top of campfire coals for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the coals with tongs, open tin foil, and remove banana, place in a bowl, and enjoy!

Orange Cakes

More commentary- this recipe is a mainstay with the Scouts! It’s ridiculously fun to try and the flavor will surprise you! A bit more digging out of the fruit to make a bowl. Be careful with how hard you dig, don’t poke a hole in your cake bowl! Have fun!

  • An orange per person
  • 1 box of a cake mix flavor of your choice, pre-made so the batter is ready to go!- chocolate and orange are good, but so is French vanilla and orange! Decisions, decisions…
  • bowl for the orange fruit to eat or save for a fruit salad or breakfast treat
  • spoon for scooping
  • knife for cutting open the orange
  • tin foil
  • tub of store-bought frosting or powdered sugar

STEP ONE: Cut off the top 1/4 of an orange, scoop out the orange fruit from the inside of the orange. Be careful NOT to poke a big hole in the peel. 🙂

STEP TWO: Take prepared cake mix batter and pour into the orange peel bowl till 3/4 full. Replace the top orange peel cap.

STEP THREE: Wrap in tin foil. Keep your orange cake in an upright position and place over good coals. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn once or twice.

STEP FOUR: Remove from coals and enjoy by topping with store-bought frosting or powdered sugar.

Eat and enjoy!

Friends! I ran out of room… stay tuned for more Camping Campfire Cuisine next week!

Pie Plant!

What the world?! Pie plant?! Yes, that’s right, you read that right, pie plant. It’s a plant you make a pie out of. How rhubarb got to the United States is a bit of a mystery. The story goes that a Maine gardener acquired some rhubarb seed from Europe. And twenty-five years later it had gained popularity enough to be sold in local markets and used in pies- pie plant.

Rhubarb is thought to be a fruit, but I hate to break it to you, it’s NOT a fruit. Rhubarb is a vegetable. Wait! What? I know! You’re probably as shocked as I was. Rhubarb is a vegetable… just let that set in. Man! But let’s not let that bit of news set us back. This veggie sure has made its way into a variety of yummy recipes, particularly desserts, sauces, muffins, cookies, and slush.

Rhubarb roots

Image by Myshanah from Pixabay

Right now as I type, I can look out my north living room window and I can see knee-high rhubarb. This rhubarb is a transplant from my grandma Syens’ rhubarb patch in Wisconsin. Last week it was ankle length; the sun is magic!

Also noted out my window is some asparagus trying to skip ending up on my dinner plate. I better write myself a note and go pick it quick- scribble, scribble. There! I’m sure I’ll misplace this note and thus the asparagus bush will grow.

Sidebar- Within the last 6 months, I’ve started getting mail; fan mail of sorts. Which has been really interesting because cousins I have never met have been secretly playing “Dutch Bingo”, trying to figure out who this “Michele” from Edgerton Minnesota is, and “how” and “to who” was she related to folks in Friesland, Wisconsin. Hmm.

So from M. Stiemsma in IA who sent an article (I wrote about life in Friesland, Wisconsin) to the rest of the gang in CA; they finally figured out who I was. BINGO! That was fun, and yes my grandma Jennie Syens was an Alsum, whose mother was a Stiemsma. Sadie Stiemsma.

Rhubarb recipes

You’re probably curious to see how I am going to tie together my relatives finding me and this rhubarb article. Well, one of my newly found relatives sent me a recipe called “Pie Plant”. TADA! Thanks, M.S. for this interesting recipe.

Pie Plant- Recipe book from 1925

Once full cup pie plant cut fine, 1 cup sugar, 2 lbs.. flour, 1 egg, 1 tsp butter. Beat egg, add sugar and flour, and then butter. Line a pie pan with a good pie crust, turn the filling in and bake. When done cover with frosting. 1 egg with 2 lbs. sugar. Put in oven and brown. Very Good.

  • My cousin’s wife noted that she could not quite comprehend the “2 lbs. of sugar and 1 egg” for frosting. I can imagine that either!

Next up, a rhubarb slush recipe. I have never tried the slush recipe, but this year I am going to give it a shot! Betty Huisken gave me this recipe last year and it didn’t make it into the paper, but here it goes- Thanks Betty and Jean TeBrake.

Rhubarb Slush

  • 16-20 cups rhubarb chopped- cover with water, cook unit soft- this should take 15 minutes. After cooking, strain. Measure 9 cups juice. Heat this juice to boiling and remove from heat.

Add and stir:

  • 1 – 3 oz. package strawberry jello
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 – 6 oz. frozen orange juice
  • 1- 6 oz. frozen lemonade.

Cool and put in plastic ice cream bucket and freeze. Stir occasionally while freezing to keep everything from separating. Serve 2 parts slush to 1 part 7-Up, ginger ale or similar white soda.

Streusel Rhubarb Dessert Squares- Mary Buys original recipe VIA Betty Husiken

Image by Michael Kauer from Pixabay
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine and use a pastry blender or fork to mix until crumbly. Press into bottom of 9 inch, ungreased, square pan. Bake in preheated oven 350° for 15 minutes.

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb

Combine and blend well. Pour over partially baked crust.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon ( Mary and Betty say they use more)
  • 1/3 cup margarine

Combine ingredients using pastry blender or fork; mix until crumbly, sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown.

Put on a pot of coffee or get some hot water for tea. These are great recipes to try out this rhubarb season! I’d stay away from the “pie plant” frosting with 2 lbs. of sugar- diabetes guaranteed! Man… I think I need a new pancreas just talking about it!

Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a very rhubarb filled life!

My Swedish Death Cleaning Experience: Part Two

This week we continue on with: My Swedish Death Cleaning Experience: Part Two….

The linen closet was by far the most fun. Sorting through all the old bedding, comforters, and sheets. I took stock of what I did need for guest beds and then I brought the rest downstairs to the giant rummage pile.

This is what I did, methodically going in and out of every room, closet, and drawer till my basement began to tell me I had enough for a rummage sale. Brad said he would give $100 to NOT have a rummage sale, but I waved him off telling him “It’s the last one!”

Ready or not!

It would have been very smart to do cleaning as well. I was well into the basement before I realized and said to myself “DUH! Why aren’t you cleaning too?” I guess I got so caught up in the success of the death cleaning, which really should be renamed “Swedish Death Sorting”. Oh well. I was having great success, why put a rumple in it all?

I finished the upstairs by sorting through my kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Some of the items I encountered, especially in the kitchen, have a tendency to be used seasonally, as well as a great once in a while, so that made some of my decisions harder to make. I leaned towards the thought if I haven’t used it in 3 years it’s out! Watch, I’m gonna need it in 2 weeks.

The bathroom/laundry room cupboards didn’t have too much of a haul. Mostly expired over-the-counter medications, half-used bottles of stuff I don’t use anymore, and items that were displaced found their way back to their original “home”. I did find an old cast for my hand, which I broke chasing the dog up the hallway. That’s a story for another day.

Basement here I come

Image by Deedee86 from Pixabay

This was the final frontier in my Swedish death cleaning. I knew this was to be less work than upstairs, but I still was having a great deal of fun. I started with the box of kids’ toys. Sorted through and left a smattering of toys for different ages that were in general gender-neutral. Next was the dolly box. Sorted out my Cabbage Patch Kid, clothes, bottles, and miscellaneous toy baby stuff. Left two babies, some clothes, and a bottle and put them in a storage tote.

I went to the utility room and sorted through old lawn chairs, golf clubs, kids’ outdoor toys, and almost 30 years of private papers and alike. Luckily, First State Bank Southwest had the shredding truck in town. I loaded a large storage container full and with great glee brought it to the shredding truck! YAHOO!

The next stop was the fruit cellar. That proved to be a bit of a challenge. I stared for quite a bit thinking about what I should tackle first. Hmm, canning? Or, maybe coolers and lunch boxes?. Well, maybe seasonal decorations? No. Outdoor gardening stuff? Yes! So I sorted through all the plastic seedling containers I kept from having bought plants at greenhouses. Sorted through my seeds for spring planting. I got rid of a bunch of tree tubs and 5-gallon buckets. Cool!

Back away from the hunting closet

Feeling accomplished I headed into the basement entry foyer where I tackled the dresser full of caps, winter hats, mittens, scarves, and work gloves. Sorting through I kept what was necessary and what wasn’t in that great of shape I threw out and the rest went to the rummage/thrift box.

The last closet left was the hunting closet and the outdoor work clothes closet. Outdoor work clothes were sorted and most of what went left for the burn pile. Onto the hunting closet, but it was here I met a bit of resistance from Brad. I was looking at his multiples of things:

  • Hunting boots- 3 pairs. Hmm, guys really are like girls; a different style for different occasions sometimes in the same color. Noted!
  • Hunting jacket/coats- S E V E R A L. Some for spring turkey hunting, some for deer hunting, some rainproof for turkey hunting, some rainproof for deer hunting. Insulated deer hunting coat. This is valuable information.
  • Hunting vests-4. One even had a seat pad built into it; that’s interesting, hmm. Pheasant hunting vests with different types of pockets for storing dead pheasants. He better not send that through the wash!
  • Warm seat pads- M A N Y. I guess he learned his lesson when he sent the last one through my washing machine. It exploded in the washing machine, and then I exploded when I found he washed it. It was like “52 Pick Up”, except try a million tiny ball pick up. So not funny.

Burn baby burn

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Having quite a pile to burn I knew that I had one more item that needed to be added. I grabbed our old high school yearbooks and tossed them on. There! The pile was complete. Now for a match to light the pile. With the pile lit, I felt a sense of relief watching stuff burn and letting go. Stuff that held me, that served no purpose. Stuff that clogged up my home, sometimes my heart and mind.

Memories are good to keep in your heart and mind. Having a physical item as a memory can be a blessing but it can also be a curse. It was fun to sort, to reminisce, and then to let go. People are not in the “things” we possess.

Till next time friends. Here’s to Swedish death cleaning and the release you’ll find in letting go of your “stuff”.

Young “Mother Hubbard’s”Baking Day Recipes Continued…

This week we continue on with more recipes from this booklet… All credit given to the Hubbard Milling Company.

Formula For Jiffy Flour/Foundational mixture

Ingredients

  • Mother Hubbard Flour- 4 quarts
  • Baking powder- 1/2 cupful
  • Salt- 3 level tablespoonfuls
  • Lard-2 level cupfuls

Method: Sift the Mother Hubbard Flour with the dry ingredients several times. Work in the lard until no chunks are visible. Pack in mason jars or other convenient receptacles with covers, NOT air-tight, and keep in a cool, dry place. The refrigerator is the best place to store it, as a good refrigerator is always dry as well as cool.

When ready to make quick breads or hot breads some of this flour may be mixed with milk or water and eggs, if the bread to be made requires eggs, and made into any kind of quick bread desired.

An egg beaten into the milk or water for any biscuit dough increases the food value of the quick breads. All breads when mixed and placed in their respective pans for the oven may be held over in a cool place a few hours or overnight then baked immediately before serving.

Dainty Muffins

Three cupfuls of jiffy flour and 1 egg beaten in 1 1/2 cupfuls of milk and 2 tablespoonfuls of sugar. Drop in well-greased muffin pans. Brush tops with melted fat. Bake in a moderate oven, 400° Fahrenheit, 25 minutes. Makes a dozen large muffins with peaked tops.- Hey, we got a temperature and a time with this recipe! Yahoo!

Quick Raisin Bread

Image by Décio Guanabarino Silveira Guanabarino from Pixabay

Measure 3 cupfuls of jiffy flour and stir into it 1/2 cupful brown sugar. Beat 1 or 2 eggs into 1 1/2 cupfuls of milk and stir into a stiff dough. To this add cupful of cleaned, seedless raisins. Turn into loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes in a moderate oven. If the pan is not the covered kind. – Stop right there. MARIE!- Seriously… a covered bread pan? This I will have to investigate!

And just like the Christmas commercial of Santa bumping into the M&M and Peanut M&M exclaiming, “They do exist!”, eureka I found one! Man! What one doesn’t learn.- Please continue Marie- If the pan is not the covered kind, place a cover over the bread for the first 20 minutes. – Michele here, a piece of tin foil would work or flip a bread pan over the top of the other one. Problem solved.

Foundational Cooky Recipes

A quick note: don’t call the Edgerton Enterprise office to tell them I misspelled the word “Cooky”. That‘s how Marie spells it. Don’t mess with Marie and the 1920’s grammar. Marie looks like she could “pound” you a good one. Now, on to our cooky/cookie recipe.

There is no need for so much duplication in cooky recipes. Two Foundation Recipes will afford all the variation necessary for sugar cookies.

  • No. 1 Foundation Cooky Recipe is made without eggs, although eggs may be added.
  • No. 2 Foundation Cooky Recipe is made with eggs and is a richer cooky.

Variations can be added to either one equally well. FAT may be as preferred- butter, lard, margarine, or clear drippings. SUGAR may be brown or granulated. If powdered sugar is used measure about 1/5 more than granulated. FLAVOR will come from spices, extracts, nuts, fruit that may suit your taste. FLOUR will be a bread flour (Mother Hubbard- you knew that was coming) is used for all cooky purposes. If a soft or pastry flour is used more will be required than these formulas call for, or about 1/5 more.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Foundational Cooky Recipe No. 1- eggless

Ingredients

  • Sugar- 1 1/2 cupfuls
  • Fat- 3/4 cupfuls
  • Soda- 1 teaspoonful
  • Buttermilk- 1/1/2 cupfuls
  • Mother Hubbard flour- 4 cupfuls

Method: Sift the flour with the soda if sour milk is used or with baking powder, if sweet milk is used. Work in the fat, stir in the sugar, brown or white, add the buttermilk or sweet milk as the case may be, and mix lightly. Anything in the shape of flavor, nuts, and fruits may be added to this cooky mixture. If time permits, chill before rolling out.

Foundational Cooky Recipe No. 2

Ingredients

  • Mother Hubbard flour- 4 1/2 cupfuls
  • Sugar, brown and white- 3 cupfuls-* I’m thinking you pick one, brown or white.
  • Soda- 1 level teaspoon
  • Fat- 1 1/2 cupfuls
  • Eggs- 4

Method: Sift the flour and soda together, mix in the fat as for pastry. Add the sugar and then the beaten eggs. This is more easily handled if chilled. IF packed in a cracker box or other mold and chilled for three or four hours or overnight it can be sliced very thin for crisp cookies or thick for soft cookies, making a square cooky.

Recipe for Little Folks

Nuts and Karo Roll

To a cup of powdered sugar add three level tablespponsfuls of maple karo and one-half cupful of minced peacan or peanuts.

Take large slices of fresh bread and spread this filling. Roll them up tightly and hold with toothpicks. When set and firm, cut each roll into three pieces.

Friends, that wraps up our nearly month-long article tour of Young “Mother Hubbard’s” Baking Day recipe booklet. There are many fun recipes in this booklet, perhaps I can share a few more near the holidays. Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a very good life!

My Swedish Death Cleaning Experience

If you read last week’s article you were introduced to Swedish Death Cleaning. My Swedish death cleaning experience was a fun adventure and I highly recommend it. I would say it’s never too late to start your Swedish death cleaning. And that doesn’t mean you are going to die; it just means you have such love, concern, and respect for your family and friends that you’re not going to leave them to sort through and figure out what to do with all your stuff.

The beauty of Swedish death cleaning is you get to go through your stuff and decide who you’d like to give it to, what is to throw away, what to donate and of course, you’ll have a few keeps. In my Swedish death cleaning experience I did a great deal of throw, a generous amount of donating, and some keeps.

Start with something easy

Image by Mohammed Salem from Pixabay

I decided I needed to pick a room to start. I knew from reading Margareta’s book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself, that:

  1. You should not Swedish death clean directly after a death or traumatic event. This may not be possible depending on your situation/timeline, but do your best to avoid it- give it time.
  2. Do not start with pictures and letters- things will get too emotional and you’ll spend hours reminiscing.
  3. Grab four boxes and mark “keep”, “throw”, “donate”, “gift”.
  4. When looking at an item ask yourself: Am I really making use of it or do I just possess it? Does it make me happy? Do I feel guilted into keeping an item? Would this item make someone else happy?
  5. Be ready to get emotionally stuck on a few items. Find a box to “hold” them, and return another day when you’re feeling less emotional.
  6. Remember, there may be letters, pictures, items you WOULD’NT want other people to see or to know about. Be wise and consider what damage may be done by them finding these things and properly dispose of them.

This looks like a good place to start

The room I chose to start my Swedish death cleaning experience was in my bedroom. My plan of attack was to begin in the drawers and then work my way into the closets. I brought trash bags and boxes. I must be honest and tell you I do enjoy cleaning and I am an organizational nut. This was right up my alley and I was anxious to start.

I knew what drawers to tackle first. Opening the drawer where letters and cards lived I grabbed them did a quick sort and kept a few meaningful cards and a letter from my mother and quickly trashed the rest. Not wanting there to be any “may I should just…” I hastily walked to the fireplace, open the door, and threw them in. In seconds the flames consumed them and there was no going back.

Working through the drawers I sorted out old socks, pantyhose (who wears them anymore?), slips (ya, these too?). Then I moved up to my Grandma Westra’s old jewelry case and sorted out all the jewelry I no longer wear and put that in the thrift box. Next to Mr. B’s side of the bureau. Pretty simple to do, he isn’t a hoarder of stuff. Found some holey socks and got rid of them into the fireplace as well.

Closets were next

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Closets seem to have lots of hidden places for junk. I made the work of sorting through old sweatshirts, jeans, shirts, sweaters, and T-shirts. The box for thrift/rummage was quickly filling. I began to feel a sense of accomplishment watching the hangers pile up on the bed. The closet shelves were unloaded and I determined that most of that was too sentimental to make a decision on, but I would return in one month to give it another go.

Onto the nightstand drawers. Once again Mr. B had very little to sort through so that was quick and then onto my drawer. I tend to hoard pens and elastic hair bands. Sorting through the drawer I pulled out a treasure trove of elastic hair bands and returned them to the bathroom and the pens to the kitchen.

The linen closet was by far the most fun in my Swedish death cleaning experience. Sorting through all the old bedding, comforters, and sheets. I took stock of what I did need for guest beds and the rest went to the thrift/rummage pile which was steadily growing.

SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING PART TWO.

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish death cleaning? WHAT is that?! That’s what I said to myself when I stumbled upon an article and several YouTube videos about this new way to declutter. It looked fascinating and a bit terrifying. I’ve moved from a 1400 sq. ft. home to 3820 sq. ft. – I’ve got some “stuff”. Then there are the barns… we won’t even go there.

Author Margareta Magnussen rocked the world of nearly everyone with “stuff”, collectors and hoarders, with her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter. Döstädning, death cleaning in Swedish, is a new minimalism phenomenon sweeping the world.

This simple art of cleaning and decluttering your home BEFORE you die has some folks “on their ear”. I was so fascinated by it, I decided to try it myself. The concept is simple, you sort through your belongings and rid yourself of clutter and unwanted items. According to Margareta, we all have:

  1. Hoarding instinct- kitchens and kids means multiples of things
  2. Cluttering instinct- the habit of our abundance, we like choices
  3. We Fear Death- emotional about our items, want things to live on

We also have a tendency to place emotions on things, creating angst at the thought that an item may mean something to someone else when in reality it probably doesn’t. I am going to link you to a YouTube video here of Margareta Magnussen in an interview talking about her own personal Swedish death cleaning.

What are you going to do with all this crap?

Image by andreas N from Pixabay

I believe Margareta would be in total agreement with me when I say that Swedish death cleaning is ongoing. You never stop sorting through things. Not only should you begin with this new state of mind, but one would hope this would become a constant; challenging every purchase before you make it.

Some thoughts to query as you clean and go forward living:

  • Do I really NEED this item?
  • Will, what items I currently possess give someone else happiness?
  • Are there items that I have that have emotional ties for me? Death or trauma can make parting with the object hard, so give yourself time to think and revisit the item. Sometimes items have very unhealthy emotions attached to them and therefore you need to get rid of them.
  • What is this item currently doing for function in my life?

Traumatic events make parting with things hard

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

I believe my husband was well aware of my collecting capabilities when we moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota. I bawled while packing up our things in Wisconsin and was so torn by throwing anything away, or giving away items, that he gracefully told me to pack it all and I could think more about my stuff once we settled in Minnesota.

Packing and moving to Minnesota was certainly hard to do, but I was really challenged by sorting through and packing up my mom’s stuff after she had left for the nursing home- that was very hard. I discovered I had a great deal of emotion and memories tied up in the “stuff” of my childhood home.

You can do this!

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Once again, as I sorted and looked at “stuff”, it became overwhelming. I knew I couldn’t keep it all. What I felt a tie to I kept and loaded onto the U-Haul trailer. What I didn’t, got placed in the thrift store box or the “burn pile”. Once we got home, we unpacked everything into the garage to sort through when I was feeling better. It took about a month, but I finally came to peace with what I needed to do and I began to sort through, keep or give to the thrift store and even gave away some nice items to close friends.

I recently Swedish death cleaned my home and I was very happy with the results. The thought that I have streamlined my home and made the process, upon my death, of cleaning up a quick one, makes me very happy and content. I certainly don’t want to burden my husband and family with the arduous task of figuring out what to do with my “stuff”. By all means, if I have left something to my friends and family that they do not want they have my permission to get rid of it!

Here is hoping you do some Swedish death cleaning of your own. Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a very neat, clean and uncluttered good life!

Young “Mother Hubbards” Baking Day Recipes

1920’s Young “Mother Hubbard’s” Baking Day Booklet

As promised two articles ago, I am going to give you some lovely recipes from the 1920’s Young “Mother Hubbard’s” Baking Day. Marie Cole Fisher seems to be “handing off the baton” to the “new”, young “Mother Hubbard” as they busily examine some muffins. I searched high and low for the name of the young lady posing as the “young” Mother Hubbard, but alas, I couldn’t find one mention of who she was.

Marie starts out the booklet by regaling the importance of buying quality flour. Mother Hubbard Flour was the best flour you should buy. Most of her recipes, logically, of course, center on bread, bread’s, muffins, biscuits, and foundational doughs.

Memorization ahead

She encourages you to memorize her measurement chart and that ran me right into the word “avoirdupois”. I thought it was a funny word, so I looked it up, and the Cambridge Dictionary gave the pronunciation and definition. Avoirdupois was a measurement system used by both the UK and the USA for measuring 1 lb. The UK expired its use of this system in 2000- 1 lb equals approximately 454 grams. Avoirdupois is a derivative from the Old French/Anglo-Norman word avoir du pois.

You can try to throw the word “avoirdupois” around at your next coffee, along with the word “bugbear”. At the very least they will have suspected you of working a crossword puzzle or starting French class- either of which puts you in good standing. See?! The Edgerton Enterprise is vested in keeping your mind nimble and in good working order.

Recipes!

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Raised or Light Bread/Foundational Recipe/Straight Dough Short Process

That was a mouthful! Marie recommends this “process” because the housewife, or in today’s culture, “baker person”, can control temperatures better during the day, thus your recipe stands the best chance of being “right”. Marie also notes daytime baking allows for other “work” to be done as well. In other words, multitasking with children and other household chores. A tip of the hat to Young “Mother Hubbard’s” Baking Day booklet for the following recipes:

Ingredients- Warning this makes a lot of dough, be ready to spend the day at home and ready to make lots of bread, rolls or sweet dough

  • Mother Hubbard flour- 3 quarts flour/ translated 1 quart flour is equivalent to 1 pound (454 grams) avoirdupois, if you have a digital food scale at home I’d go ahead and measure out your flour with that.
  • Water, boiled and cooled until lukewarm, 1 quart*
  • Sugar- 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls
  • Salt- 2 teaspoonfuls
  • Melted lard- 3 tablespoonfuls
  • Yeast, compressed, 2 cakes

Directions

Thoroughly dissolve yeast, salt, and sugar in a quart of water, add the three quarts of flour and partially mix the dough. Then add the melted lard and mix the dough thoroughly.

Set in a warm place and as nearly as possible keep dough temperature at 80° Fahrenheit. Let dough rise for an hour and a half or two hours or until it is quite light. Kneed it down well and let rise again for 45 minutes or one hour. Knead again and let stand for 30 minutes when it may be molded into loaves. Place in an oven in about an hour or when loaves are at least double their original size. ( Michele here, I think that was the baking instructions, there was nothing additional with time or temperature- you’re on your own kid!) *A pint of lukewarm milk may be used instead of one pint of water and will make a more nutritious and tastier loaf.

The length of time the dough should stand before the first and second kneading depends on the temperature of the dough and stiffness. If the dough is quite cool and fairly stiff, two hours will be required for the first rise and one hour for the second. If the dough is 80° or a trifle more, not more than one and one-half hours should be allowed for the first kneading and 45 minutes for the second.

Sweet Roll Dough

Image by bethany121 from Pixabay

This recipe has you starting with your base dough from above. I’m sure by now you can see Marie figured you knew what you’re doing. No hand-holding or coddling here. It’s all business! Tighten that girdle, here we go!

To the foundation, bread dough may be added sugar, spices, fat, eggs, and fruit or nuts to make into the desired rolls, rings, coffee cake, doughnuts, and all forms of sweetbreads with yeast mixture as the base. To the foundational dough, butter or lard may be added in the proportion of 4 level tablespoonfuls to half of the mixture, with half a cupful of sugar. Eggs may be added beating them first. Either part of the egg may be used for instance the white may be beaten stiff and worked into the rolled dough when very white light tolls are wanted.

Friends, I’m going to have to stop right here. Next week I will bring to you Marie’s “Formula for Jiffy Flour” and some quick recipes to use with it along with “Dainty Muffin” recipes and “Foundational Cooky Recipes”. Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a good life.

Young “Mother Hubbards” Baking Day: Part Two

Friends! In my haste to you have contact me at my email, I instead gave you my website. Ha! You could have snooped around and found my email from the site, which was not my intention. So, let’s give this another shot! If you have any suggestions about what recipes you’d like to see or have a recipe to share PLEASE email me at: michele@mandyandmichele.com.

I took you on a bit of a rabbit trail last week, which was fun and you can read about it here, but today we will talk about this beautiful little cookbook I found. It was hiding in a bin with an old children’s tea seat from Japan.

As I glanced at the cover I immediately fell in love with the picture. I love her dress, and I thought it was terribly cute her husband (I can think that because in the day that was something only your husband would have done) had his hand on her hip. Kind of a blusher photo- Oooo my!

Anyway, I snapped up the recipe book and small teapot collection, paid at the checkout, and eagerly headed home. I so enjoy taking a “trip back in time”, thumbing through looking at the pictures, the different fonts, the vernacular they used for that time period, interesting recipes, and just the general feeling of peace and happiness in a time long forgotten.

Marie Cole Fisher was the editor of the “Kitchen Clinic” for the St. Paul Dispatch, as well as a baking expert and consultant. Marie also wrote this little cookbook. She looks pretty stern, so no slouching when you read this. Sit straight and shoulders back! The young woman up above is “YOUNG” Mother Hubbard. I guess the old “Mother Hubbard” wanted to retire.

Bread is the staff of life

Here we have Marie with the “Young” Mother Hubbard. Marie is imparting all her kitchen wisdom as a very attentive young woman looks on. Throughout the book, Marie sells you the beauty of using a quality flour made by Hubbard Milling Company, “Mother Hubbard” brand flour.

As I continued to pour through the reading I bust out laughing at the following paragraph from the book:

“Flour is sensitive. It readily absorbs odors or gasses and moisture and its strength is killed by exposure to high temperatures or to fumigating gases, such as formaldehyde or Sulphur gas.”

– Marie Cole Fisher

Fumigating gases? Marie! For crying out loud, do you store your flour in your garage or your basement? Perhaps we should check on Marie’s credentials in the area of “expert”?

Baking anecdotes from Marie

It wasn’t very far into the book I caught sight of some interesting anecdotes and baking insights from Marie, or from that era. Here are some that gave me a chuckle:

  • “Sugar the spur-salt the bridle”
  • “Lard seems to be better for this purpose than butter (making bread), as it acts more satisfactorily on the gluten.”
  • “Pancakes baked on a griddle are better if the griddle is not too hot and is not greased. The grease or fate can be mixed with the butter. No smoke of burning grease will then make the baking of griddle cakes a bugbear.”- I italicized the word bugbear. Bugbear?!

Time out while I quickly tell you what bugbear means. Bugbear, as defined by the Cambridge dictionary, means a particular thing that annoys and upsets you. If it’s one thing I love the Brits for, it’s their interesting vocabulary and their lovely dialect.

  • They spelled the word cookie as “cooky”… two entirely different ways to say a double O.
  • She uses the word “muss” and “jiffy”
  • Marie uses a great deal of “foundational formulas”
  • Then this dandy, “pie-plant”. Whaaaat?

Pie-plant got my attention. What in the WORLD is pie-plant? So to Duck Duck Go, I go. Pie-plant is rhubarb. Rhubarb comes from Europe and was grown by Maine gardeners in the late 1700s. You can find a “pie-plant” recipe in the 1890 Riverside Cook Book. I would love to get my hands on that!

Once again I have run out of space. Next week I will give you a bunch of 1920 era recipes… get ready to enjoy! Until next time, here is to good food, good friends and a good life.

Young “Mother Hubbards” Baking Day

If the title of my article has you wondering if I’m going to tell a story, you can rest easy, this isn’t as story. This is actually a baking book. Hubbard Milling, Mankato, MN; seemingly had the genius idea to ride the notoriety coattails of the nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard”. Hubbard Milling Company invented “Mother Hubbard” like Chris L. Rutt invented “Aunt Jemima”. Each company used their iconic character to represent their products and sell, sell, sell.

It was very hard to find any information on the Hubbard Milling Company of Mankota, MN. Sparse would be the word I would choose, and incidentally, I ran into another Hubbard Mill. Forgive me as we take a quick rabbit trail, this was interesting so I thought I would share.

Off on a rabbit trail…

Hubbard Mill washboard

The Hubbard Mill was a sawmill company owned by three brothers Will, John, and Tom. These brothers decided to have a side “gig” going by making and selling washboards. The three brothers also had stakes in the Northwest Timber Company. Some folks just fall into success and money.

These washboards were technologically advanced, having threaded maple rollers that rolled in opposite directions. These opposite moving rollers gave the housewife a great advantage of a lighter touch, less scrubbing toil, and cleaner clothes.

This new washboard creation was made possible by the machine they invented to make the rollers. In effect, they had the market on the machine that made the successful technology of the washboard. Genius!

Their product had the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. The mill made approximately 500 washboards and day. This volume productivity gave them a huge problem- sawdust. So they implored local farmers to haul as much as they wanted away for “free”.

This is the way we wash our clothes

If you were washing clothes, this was “THE” washboard to have. Mother Hubbard Washboard salesman used the following line:

“Good Morning, madam. This is the Mother Hubbard Roller Washboard, the easy way to wash that the world has been looking for. Your old board has friction on a dead, flat surface and it has always been a woman-killer. Ours has a moving surface producing friction by means of 11 wood rollers with right and left screw threads. The motion is easy and produces 451 friction movements at each stroke up or down. Water passes through the threads, carrying the dirt back into the tub. Easier on hands and the clothes last longer.”

http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~mgholler/genealogy/hubbard/Hubbard%20Mill.htm

According to the “Hubbard Family” website, which you can adventure to here, these washboards “were the hottest selling door-to-door item in the 20th century.” They eventually moved their milling operation to Mendota, WI where it lived out a very lucrative life till technology struck again in 1935 with the invention of the electric washing machine. In case you have some Hubbard blood in you, the rest of the Hubbard clan wants to hear from you. Feel free to drop them a line here.

We now return you to the original purpose of this article

Phew! Back to “Mother Hubbard” with the Hubbard Milling Company of Mankato, MN. As I said, it was hard to find information on this mill, but I did find out that Rensselaer D. Hubbard, was the founder of the Hubbard Milling Company and their beautiful mansion was sold to the Blue Earth County Historical Society. So, if you’re on 1-90 and heading past Blue Earth, MN stop in, that is if they are open… COVID. Need I say more?

Rensselaer, as a young man, tried to enlist as a Union soldier in the civil war. Due to a severe attack of pneumonia, he was deemed unfit for service. From there he began a journey of hit and miss with his entrepreneurial spirit, finally landing with firm financial gain founding the Hubbard Milling Company in 1878, becoming one of Minnesota’s largest flour milling companies.

If you remember, I wrote an article about the book “Tempt Me”, regaling Minnesota’s food history through story and picture. I mentioned that Minnesota was the center of the world for flour production. Rensselaer Hubbard built his wealth in the flour milling business and later expanded into livestock feed, pet food, and specialized feeds. Hubbard Feeds still lives on today as a subsidiary company, bought up by a Canadian group.

Looks like I’ve run out of writing space, so my apologies for leaving you hanging. I promise I will get to Mother Hubbard and Young Mother Hubbard along with some fun “old” recipes and interesting insights, some of them got me laughing! Till next week, here is to good food, good friends and a good life.


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