Friday, February 25, 2011

Home is where the Welcome Mat is.

February 13, we finished packing up our 5th wheel trailer and we headed south to Arizona.  We plan to travel for two months, then return home to get our garden soil ready for planting.  In Northern California where we live, May is the time for planting.  I must have a vegetable garden.  I would feel like I wasn’t living up to my German Russian culture if I didn’t.

Traveling, to visit family and friends, is another one of those cultural things I love to do.  When I was a kid my parents would pack up the car and we would head for Scottsbluff, Nebraska to visit aunts, uncles and cousins.  We also made two trips to Rheine, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Again, it was about family, the Kreutzers and Liebrechts.

I have fond memories of those trips.  Dad would get us up at 3:00 a.m., and we would be on the road at 4:00 a.m.  Like clockwork, we would barely be out of town and Dad would say to Mom, “I’ll have a salami sandwich and coffee now.”  This sort of tradition is ingrained deep in my traveler's soul, because soon after Mike, my husband, and I are on the road, out comes the bread and sliced hard salami.

Visiting family and collecting stories is my passion.  I always hope they will have photos to show me.  In this age of technology, I can scan them into my computer, and then share them.  When I do workshops on “Writing Your Family Stories”, I urge others to visit and collect those family stories before they are gone. 

Hopefully, my family members will want to do German Russian cooking.  For example, make sausage, Kartoffel und Knepfla, maybe even Kafilta.  Speaking of cooking, I better head over to my sister's.  Maybe I can talk Gladys into making sausage today.

Until the next post, keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Dakota Women Make Mints

Making mints is not a German-Russian tradition, at least not that I know of.  However, it is a Dakota "thing".  These delectable morsels are easy to create, and a good excuse for the women to get together.  We chat and giggle about the upcoming event.   Birthdays, wedding and baby showers, weddings and anniversaries wouldn't be the same without these special mints spiced with peppermint.

The party we are excited about is my mother-in-law, Rose's 90th birthday.  Today, February 4, is her official birthday, however, we will have the celebration tomorrow afternoon.  All her children, grand-children, great-grand-children, friends, and neighbors will be here. 

If you want to make these fabulous candies, here is the recipe.


l - 3 oz. package of cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
food coloring

Mash cheese, add flavoring and coloring.  Mix in sugar and knead with hands until like pie dough.  Roll into marble sized balls, dip into granulated sugar and press firmly into molds.  Remove from mold at once on waxed paper.  Let dry 24 hours.