I wish to make a request of the students to whom the Bulletin is sent.Would you please help us produce a paper that is relevant? I hereby give you the following assignment: Tell us about an interesting project, paper or piece of research work that you are at present working on -- be sure to include the subject and maybe a little about the instructor. Thanks.
True Confessions of an Executive Chef
Installment Six: Kitchen Characters
By Douglas A. Anderson
A couple of years back, when I was still "working the line," I had the rare and unusual pleasure of working with a young garnishee (Salad chef) named Noah. Noah was a high-spirited, intelligent young man, with a quick wit and a keen interest in teeing off adults. Noah was not afraid to voice his opinion. If a song came on the radio that he thought was a little soppy, he would close his eyes, wrap his arms around himself and dance in front of the radio with an idiotic smile on his freckled face. I will always think of him towering over me like a Redwood, dreaming up his next prank or quip. Please understand that he was a good chef, and his mischief was not malevolent, just plain goofy.
One day, as chefs often do, Noah cut his finger. It wasn't exactly a gaping wound, but Noah was a little shook up at seeing his own blood on his cutting board. A little more so than I realized, because when I was getting bandages I heard a distinct and predictable thud. Noah had fainted dead away, not from blood loss, but from plain, old-fashioned squeamishness.
A couple of months ago, as many of my "students" do, Noah stopped in for a visit. He seemed really eager to show me something. He pulled down his hooded sweatshirt and revealed his "implants." He had plastic knobs surgically implanted around his collarbone and wrists, for total aesthetic purposes, or more correctly, to shock people. The result was grotesque bumps around his neck and wrists, and a great deal of shock appeal to adults, including me. I had no idea what to say, but he seemed so pleased with his new "additions" that I refrained from voicing my shock and disgust.
Only after he left did the irony of the story really strike me. Wasn't this the same overgrown infant who had fainted at the sight of his own blood?
This week's cooking Tip: I'm sure you've heard about not washing mushrooms. This is general knowledge, and good practice, but might seem just a little gross considering what some mushrooms are grown in, under and around. Some wild mushrooms, like Ceps and Black trumpets grow best when covered with wood chips soaked in horse urine.(Mm-mmm.) Do what I do, Buy a pastry brush, and brush your mushrooms clean. That way, you preserve their delicate flavor and nobody has to look at a speck of mud in their cream of Porcini soup.
Snippy Answers to Silly questions
Last week a reader (Okay, it was Mom) asked "Where do I find shallots, capers and sea salt?" Here's where rural areas and fine food don't mix that well. If you're not near a Sam's or a Byerly's, you're pretty much up the river. Unless you happen to have a son who is a chef...
Next Time: More Kitchen Characters
Visiting Fargo Family
We went to Wyatt and Jolene's today, for Rylie's belated first birthday celebration, as we missed her party while we were gone. Just ended up giving her a token gift for now, as Wyatt had mentioned summer items and the selection was poor for that. Figured she wouldn't care if it came later. For now we gave her a little musical rolling push toy and a watering can.
It was so fun seeing her toddling around, she'd barely been standing alone, the last time we'd seen her. She has the cutest little smile, she wrinkles up her nose creating little dimples on her nose and her pretty blue eyes absolutely sparkle! She is such a little dolly! She is getting her first tooth and made another first today-managed to make a straw work-yeah!
Chris and his girlfriend, Jessy, came over about an hour after we arrived. We all visited and watched Rylie playing. Which included Daddy pushing her around on her new tricycle. I'm impressed with these new fangled kinds, it has a handle for Daddy to push and steer, while he walks behind her. Sure beats the bending over the tiny little things, as I used to have to do! Rylie just beamed each time they came around the circle from the kitchen, proud as she could be. Wyatt had to remind her to hang on once in a while, as she figured out how to make the little bell ring and wanted to do that too...which caused her balance to be shaky.
When Caity came in saying she was hungry and Chris agreed that he was very hungry, the process began about where to go to eat. We teased Jessy that we should eat at Space Aliens, being she works there and has spent five days there this last week -- NOT where she would have chosen to eat. It was tempting as they had "all you can eat" ribs. Finally, we all decided on an Oriental restaurant that Wyatt mentioned was nearby. Great food, huge selection, glad all the "kids" and grandkids enjoy that kind of food, as we love it.
We had a great day!
Dorothy asked me to write about our trip for her newsletter and I've been trying to figure out how to condense 18 days and 4100 miles into something that will fit. Decided it's not going to happen, and life is too busy here in the land of subzero temperatures and frozen livestock fountains too get it all done at once. So, I've decided to write when I can. Dorothy, you can edit, shorten, and put this in as a series if you want. If you find it boring, throw it away, and for the rest of you, don't read my blathering if it causes you boredom/sleepiness or envy. You, too, can do a trip like this if you ignore your bank loan and convince yourself that you deserve it.
We left home on Thursday, January 22nd, at half-past high noon, leaving behind 21 below temperatures, Ben and Becky with instruction lists pages long, and taking along as much of our household as the van would hold, including Cat Who Barks. I can't think of one interesting thing to report about our first day's travel, which ended at a motel in Cameron, MO, except that we talked to each other more than we had in the last several months.
At the motel in Cameron, we began what would become a daily rite after we ran out of relatives to take us in. D went in and talked the innkeeper into the best possible deal on a room, then sent me in to do the paperwork. I think she told them we were broke farmers migrating south (mostly true); they seemed to feel sorry for me.
We reached Don and Dorothy's in Springfield on Jan 24th (our 9th anniversary, please hold your applause for our 10th). Springfield was having the kind of weather Don doesn't usually admit happens there, 21 degrees same as Minnesota, and snow on the ground. (I guess their 21 was above zero, ours in MN was below, if we want to split straws). We spent a couple of days there eating Don's good cooking and being toured around to points of interest in Springfield: Bass Pro, IHOP, hospitals, clinics, and places Don and Dorothy have lived. They were wonderful hosts!
Since I qualified as an expert by being over 100 miles from home, I did a little reorganizing on Don and Dorothy's computers. Don's hard drive took 13 hours to defragment, possibly setting a world record. (end of part one -- next week "On to Texas")
I don't really have lot of news for your bulletin but I enjoy it tremendously. I read today's bulletin and really liked the family history you provided. I guess my only question for you would be if you have any stories about the accomplishments, successes or achievements of any of our female ancestors? I would enjoy hearing more about them.
"Anty" Elizabeth Dake McCalla
A Woman of Yesterday
Who Broke Through to a New Day:
To my siblings and I, our Aunt, my Dad's sister, was always "Anty." She grew up during the times when women married (if the fates decreed) and set about raising a large family. If no man appeared to ask for her hand the daughter was expected to stay with her parents and then care for them in their old age.
Anty's life didn't quite follow that pattern. Yes, she did marry, but the marriage was a disaster. Her husband felt he was forced into marriage because of the impending birth of a child. I heard talk among the women of our family that he wouldn't even look at our cousin Gilbert, as a baby -- (actually, he never did acknowledge him in later years, either) even though his son resembled him so strongly he could not deny his relationship. Anty showed a tough streak and took her son and set about raising him.
This attempt to make her own way wasn't always smooth but those days were made easier for her because of the changes brought about by the man shortage during World War ll .She took Gilbert and left for the Twin Cities after a few false starts at trying to build a new life for them. One of those attempts was a second marriage to someone who turned out to have very weird behavior -- so I heard whispered.
During most of my growing up period the following description is the "Anty" that I remember Anty lived in St. Paul . She had a job in a factory that made upholstery for airplanes for the army; later it was converted to a factory for car seat covers. She was paid well for those days. She kept Gilbert with her whenever her hours were right. She probably took him to a home nearby for a lady to watch him. I think that after he started school it got harder to get good care for him. There were years when he stayed with Grandma (Dake) Greer. Then he would go to school with us in the school in Smith Lake. She continued in that factory until she retired.
I remember that Anty always had a nice car. She bought it, and did a lot of the work on it for herself. I remember getting to ride in the rumble seat of a coupe she owned. Another car was called an Essex Terreplane, I believe. I think both of those were used cars.
Finally she decided she could afford a new car (this was after the war) and she went to Grandpa Mellon's friend Ernie Medcalf, the Chevrolet dealer in Cokato. (He was one of the most honest men that was in business.) She became a Chevrolet owner from that day forward.
I remember too that she was always generous to a fault, but had to be careful with her money. I felt so sorry for her when at the end of her life she lost the money she had invested in Gilbert's farming effort. She bought a little house in Dassel, with what money she had left and went back to work, as a cook in the Red Rooster Cafe -- and she became an old woman, who many probably thought of as witch like -- she could no longer afford her former visits to the beauty parlor.
I remember yet the pretty and competent woman that she was in her younger days! I also think of how tough life must have been for her. But she was not afraid to tackle life "Head On." I think of her as one of a vanguard of women moving toward Women's Liberation!
The next article is to complete an earlier question.
Dakes Who Served in the Civil War
By the time of the War Between the States the Dake family had spread out. There were German Dakes in the South, and some of them served in the Continental forces. The descendants of George Dake had stayed in the North (for the most part) and several of them served in the Union Army. I would like you to meet three of the men that Les found out about in his study of family history.
Isaiah had been born on Oct 20, 1839, in Stowe, Vermont, but by the time the Civil War started he was living at Mineral Point,Wisc. He enlisted in the infantry --Company E of the 30th Regiment of Wisc. and served under Capt. Chappell. Not much is known about the service he saw but he did live through the war and it is known that he did in later life have to spend two winters in a hospital due to injuries. He lived in Kansas at the time of his death in December of 1901.
Winslow J. Dake
Winslow J. Dake was a private in the U.S.Cavalry of the Army of the West. He enlisted April of 1861 in Saratoga County, New York. He was killed in action at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, state of Missouri *on August 10, 1861.
Winslow was a student at Troy University when the war broke out. His Grandmother would tell how when the notice was sent to them ( from the university) of his enlistment in the army his Grandfather went to the school and got his belongings. Several books with his name hand written in them are still kept by the family.
Then, only a month or two later, his brother Warren opened the weekly Tribune and started to read aloud the list of killed at the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Suddenly he stopped reading , then said, "Winslow is killed!" Winslow was buried where he fell, but each Memorial Day a flag in his memory is placed on his Grandfather's lot in the Middle Grove Cemetery
* Wilson Creek's Battle Field Memorial and Museum are located a few miles south of our home.
Uncle Frank Dake
The following report was given to Les Green by my Grandpa Dake's sister Jane (Haines)
"My Uncle Frank was among the first men in McHenry County to enlist in the Civil War. He was one of "The Boys of '61" as they were later called. He was wounded in battle -- wounded in the leg, as I recall. He was put in an army hospital where he contacted tuberculosis, and was finally sent home. He had T.B. for 14 years. After Uncle Frank came home, he married and he and Aunt Laura moved to a farm across the Wisconsin line...... they couldn't have children of their own so they adopted two. A girl and a boy -- I think.
As Uncle Frank's T.B. got worse he knew he didn't have long to live so he asked grandpa if he could come home to die. He died in his dad's home and is buried in the Huntley Churchyard."
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
What with all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week.
What with all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of Larry La Prise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey" and died peacefully at age 93.
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in ... and then the trouble started.
sent by Elaine
Checking messages from the week on here tonight. Yes, I would love to subscribe to your newsletter ... if you would, you can send it to this home address. Thank You! I don't get to the computer everyday - but, I know I'll certainly enjoy reading it. Donna has sent me a couple -- and they are very, very interesting. I didn't realize I would be included in your newsletter -- had I known I was going to be "published" I would have put in more time and thought before I quickly sent my message off to mom! Ha! I'm sure you are having a good time visiting with the kids now ... tell them "hello," too! This will be all for now.........
This is from Barb......
Thanks for the Bulletin....I love it! It is like reading a novel...have a new chapter each week of a family biography...and I see you have relatives here from the beginning of US times...cool. Chris got a job...good deal!
Editor's Note: Below is a thought provoking article sent to Donna from Cousin Stanley Dake.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.
I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He was talking about "a thousand marbles" to someone named "Tom." I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job.
I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, "Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a thousand marbles." "You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.
The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years." "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.
Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part." "It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail," he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy."
"So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large,clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.
"I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight." "Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container.
I figure if I make it until next Saturday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones...... "It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show's moderator didn't have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked, with a smile. "Oh, nothing special," I said. "It has just been along time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
MAY ALL YOUR SATURDAYS BE SPECIAL AND MAY YOU HAVE MANY YEARS AFTER YOU LOSE ALL YOUR MARBLES -
Pass this along. Hopefully, it will touch someone and make them realize that life is so precious and so very short.
EDITORS:-------------Mom, Grandma, Aunt Dorothy, and Others
St. Cloud Correspondent---DOUG A.