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Masters of the Grill

Golf’s “Greatest Day of the Week”

when dad stays home

The

walker home Life on Rolling Hills Ranch

Salina area’s premier Magazine on People, Places & Style summer 2010 $3


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Underthecover volume 01 / issue 02

A Sunflower Living roundup… As the stories and photographs began taking shape for this issue of Sunflower Living, photographer Larry Harwood noted that it was turning into “the ranch and grill” edition. He was absolutely correct. With articles on the Walker and Koehn ranches, a travel story that discovers a lakeside stable and a feature on “grill masters,” the ranch and grill theme weaves through this summer issue. The second edition of our magazine also includes stories about stay-at-home dads, cycling experts, a senior golf group, a popular shake joint and more. Even then, such as in the story about the Payne home, you’ll notice that grilling makes an appearance. The ranch and grill theme seems entirely appropriate for Salina with its Great Plains heritage and emphasis on good living, aspects of local life that we are delighted to highlight. But whatever theme plays out in any issue of Sunflower Living, there will always be one constant: Our magazine is written by and about Salinans. We are dedicated to covering Salina and the Salina region in all of our stories and photography. There is a time and place to think globally and nationally, but there are also plenty of reasons to appreciate everything immediately around us. That’s what these pages are for, and will be about, in each and every issue. Enjoy your Salina summer! Nathan Pettengill Editor

Publisher Tom Bell advertising director Kim Norwood advertising sales managers Christy Underwood Kathy Malm Linda Saenger for advertising rates and information (785) 822-1449 Sales executives Matt Browne Tina Campbell Brian Green Leah Plumer Jamie Stroda Edward Welch Erica Wiseman Ad designers Jamie Jeffries Natosha Batzler Annette Klein Derek Bergman photographers Lisa Eastman Larry Harwood Contributing writers Patricia E. Ackerman Melinda Briscoe Chelsey Crawford James R. Godfrey Renee Hardesty Cecilia Harris Sarah Hawbaker Karilea Rilling Jungel Nancy Karst Production and editorial services for Sunflower Living provided by: Editor Nathan Pettengill Designer Shelly Bryant Copy Editor Susie Fagan Art Director Darby Oppold General Manager Bert Hull Coordinator Faryle Scott e-mail Comments to sunflowerliving@sunflowerpub.com

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Subscriptions to sunflower living $15 (includes tax) for a one-year subscription for subscription information, please contact: Salina Journal Circulation Department Mollie Purcell 333 S. 4th, Salina, Kansas 67401 (785) 822-1467 / (800) 827-6363 ext. 347 mpurcell@salina.com

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contents

summer2010

Features

sunflower spaces 6 a cape cod corridor where the walkers roam Charlie and Carolyn Walker’s Rolling Hills Ranch is an authentic Western home with a safari soundtrack

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The Payne home combines seaside heritage and woodland isolation for an ideal family haven

10 The Koehn ranch Following in his father’s footsteps, Chad Koehn creates a ranch and way of life for his family

sunflower resumé 14 sylvia rice

Director of Visit Salina, a division of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce

local profiles 16 Senior Golf mix

Grill gurus Where there’s smoke, there’s a grill master—with secrets and skills for a sumptuous summer feast

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By switching their usual pairings, a group of veteran golfers creates “the greatest day of the week”

for the family 18 Dads on duty Stay-at-home fathers face the normal highs and lows of parenting, with a few twists on career tracks and dress codes

health & fitness 22 Summer Cycle Four cyclists share their favorite warm-weather riding routes

on the cover:

local flavor 26 here’s looking at you, bogey’s There isn’t a shake they can’t make at the diner that is part Hollywood, part golf and all flavor

out & about The Rolling Hills Ranch crew of volunteer cowboys, family members, and ranch hands herds cattle down the road.

28 Trailing Kanopolis This summer adventure has you leaving the beach­—with no regrets

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Cape Cod Corridor The Payne home combines seaside heritage and woodland isolation for an ideal family haven

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hen David and Ann Payne are not playing a round of golf at the Salina Country Club, they often are found enjoying the quiet tranquility of their deck and its awe-inspiring view of the Smoky Hill River. Surrounded by a wooded area, their home sits on nearly two acres of land in the River Place addition and combines the privacy of country living with the convenience of the city. “It’s like you are in the country and you are close to everything,” Ann says. “I’ve got Lakewood Park close by and the river runs behind us.” And perhaps most importantly, the home has provided space to raise a new generation amid connections to their family heritage.

story by Nancy Karst

photography by Larry Harwood


SunflowerSpaces

Creating family space The Paynes moved to Salina in 1974 so David could become a partner in Payne Oil Company, a business owned by his father, Dick Payne. The couple took over full ownership in 1985 and three years later designed their two-story dream home with the help of architect Lee Haworth. Their home’s architecture and unique décor bring back pleasant memories of Ann’s childhood in Cape Cod. “I wanted a saltbox; a Cape Cod style house,” Ann says. “I wasn’t fond of the small rooms that traditional Cape Cod style homes had, though.” The Paynes’ three grown sons were part of the reason Ann wanted open spaces. When designing the four-bedroom and four-and-one-half-bath home, she chose to line the walls with windows and construct an open kitchen.

“I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while my sons were outside,” Ann explains. “I wanted to be part of the family, whatever they were doing.” Since building the home, the Paynes have made several modifications to accommodate their growing family. In 1989, they added a family room and the deck. In 2000, they remodeled the master bathroom to include a standalone shower and a garden tub in a serene setting for the ultimate relaxation after a long day. In 2002, they added a lower level to their deck and completed additional kitchen renovations. To Ann, the kitchen remodeling didn’t seem to be a big project, but David recalls differently. “It’s always changing,” Ann says about their peaceful dwelling. “We find that we use each space differently now that our boys are no longer at home.”

The Paynes have renovated their home several times to adjust to the family’s changing needs. The kitchen was most recently updated in 2002.


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“I wanted to be part of the family, whatever they were doing.” — Ann Payne

Ann does much of the interior decorating, but she also enlists help from locals such as Don and Jim Loader as well as Joleen Stein. Ann looks to Wichita designer Sara Gans (who happens to be the sister of Martha and David Inc. coowner Martha Brown) for help with embellishing her walls. Heritage around them Ann’s love of the Cape Cod area and her family connections are displayed throughout the house. A model of an ocean-faring sailboat that her father built when he was 18 sits in a spot of honor above the fireplace. Ann also has three paintings depicting the land surrounding the Cape Cod Canal, as viewed from outside the house where her father still lives. Part of Ann’s Cape Cod collection includes a quahog basket, once owned by her dad and used to gather the hard-shell clams. In the living room, there are more tributes to Ann’s father, including memorabilia from his time playing professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds from 1938 to 1939, a career cut short by serving in World War II. One of Ann’s most precious heirlooms is a grandfather clock that her great-aunt acquired in England. David’s favorite antique—his grandmother’s table— stands in the dining room, while his influence is reflected in the many paintings of the Salina Country Club, where he serves as president of the board. Drawn by Bill Kossow, these pictures appear on the wall along with a painting by

[5]

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Sunflower paces Lindsborg native Charles Sanderson, a still-life by Katy England and an exquisite sketch of their own Cape Cod beauty created by Vernon Bieberly. But on the long summer days, the antiques and décor take second place to the couple’s preference for their deck and outdoor kitchen. Lee Weis, of Lee Weis Construction, recently completed a new outdoor kitchen for the deck, just in time for summer grilling season. “Dave is an expert griller,” Ann says. “This will give him a chance to do what he loves in our favorite setting.” Ann looks forward to the long summer days as well. “I love to be outside,” Ann says. “I’m an outdoor girl, and I love our setting. I could be outside nine months out of the year.” [4]

[ 1 ] A model boat, created by Ann’s father, is displayed in the Paynes’ living room. [ 2 ] An old-style produce scale sits in the Paynes’ modern kitchen. [ 3 ] The Paynes’ home was designed to reflect a Cape Cod influence. [ 4 ] David and Ann Payne hope to spend time this summer relaxing on their deck. [ 5 ] An heirloom family table stands at the center of the Paynes’ dining room. [ 6 ] The Paynes’ deck overlooks a quiet area above the Smoky Hill River.

K-State Wildcat in outdoor stonework

Antique grandfather clock

A grandchild’s photograph and artwork

A table set by A window looking to the backyard

the

details

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Koehn Ranch Following in his father’s footsteps, Chad Koehn creates a ranch and way of life for his family

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Western mood resides just east of Salina, and Chad Koehn, wife Susan and their children Morgan, Pallie, Landon, Jess and Ty wouldn’t have it any other way. At home on their ranch that Chad built, the family enjoys impressive panoramas: expansive views of Iron Mound just to the southwest, sunrises from the east porch and visions of a beautiful day’s end from the welcoming western front porch. For the Koehn family, the house is homestead, ranch, farm and realization of one man’s vision. A dream for his family Susan and Chad blended their families as well as their dreams when settling into this old-fashioned homestead. Both are from rural southwestern Kansas, where work ethics met strong values and souls were all

story by Karilea Rilling Jungel

photography by Larry Harwood


SunflowerSpaces

about turning youth onto life in order to be masters of their own universe. Both came from loving families, and Chad’s parents took in other children in need of a good home. He and Susan have done the same with the inclusion of Jess, born in Guatemala nearly 12 years ago. Chad, the owner of United Capital Management of Kansas Inc., and Susan met through a mutual friend before working together and later marrying. Susan now keeps the books for the business from home, where she is near the children and still assists in managing the administrative side of the office as well as ranch concerns. On this day she is directing a delivery of hay. Living purpose While Chad and the children unload hay, Susan prepares supper. As she cooks, she tells how her husband

knew he always wanted to live outside town and was able to purchase some native grassland in 1998. She reminisces how Chad began working his plan by putting up fences while living in a trailer house and bringing out the children who looked upon the land as a giant playground. By 2004, the two-story home with its wraparound porch was complete. Susan continues that Chad had not realized at the time that while he wanted to have horses and possibly raise a small cattle herd, he wasn’t thinking back then of the ranch having rodeo features. Chad says he basically “wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps” and raise his children like he had been raised: on a farm, with cattle all around. Good thing, too, as roping and riding seem to be in Landon’s blood. Morgan would rather rodeo and ride horses than live in town. Ty enjoys showing off the

Chad Koehn raises a herd of Corriente cattle for roping practice.


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chickens. Jess also does rodeo and enjoys taking care of various animals, including goats, burros, dogs and cats. Pallie prefers the house and books but is also big on sports.

Sign above the front gate

Cowboy boot bouquet vases

The elk skull is a tribute to Chad’s father

A rope lead in the horse barn

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Western cattle, Western art The legends of the West are alive and well at the Koehn Ranch, both inside and outside the home. Corriente cattle dot the Koehn pastures. Originally from Spain, these mild-mannered creatures are just the ticket for rodeo producers because they are basically trouble-free, with strong foraging capabilities and some innate sense of not seeming to mind rope training. Inside the house, Chris Owen prints abound in each room, bringing the artist’s wise understanding of Western landscapes and understated Old West elegance to each room. In Chad’s eye, the nostalgic artwork is not so much about a lost past but reflects a vision of the future he has chosen for his family. At home The impression of wide-open space continues inside the home, with exceptionally high ceilings in every area and vaulted ceilings, resembling the innards of a barn, in the main living room. Taupe walls provide a sense of security throughout the home, giving way only on the east wall of the kitchen, which was painted a deep maroon at Susan’s request. Perhaps the most important part of the home is the dining room, where the table easily seats 10 but remains cozy enough to invite great conversation among family and friends. It is at this table every New Year’s without fail that the children write their goals for the coming year. Susan saves the goals and plans to return the writings to each child on his or her 18th birthday. The children spend much of their time in the upstairs bedrooms. In one, a dress hangs waiting for a special dance. Another room is marked by knotty pine ceilings and walls, reflecting the boys’ masculine style. There are family mementos such as an elk’s skull decorating a bathroom wall across from a glassed-in keepsake of Chad’s father, bearing an old hunting jacket and coveralls. Summer 2010

Chad thinks the atmosphere and lifestyle of the ranch help the children realize their individual worth, and that this basic heritage will transfer to anything they might tackle in life. For him, that is what coming home to this ranch is all about. That night as Chad watches his son practice roping, he hears the coyotes, somewhere nearby on the prairie, seeming to howl in agreement.


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The legends of the West are alive and well at the Koehn Ranch, both inside and outside the home.

[4]

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[ 1 ] Landon, left, and Chad work as a team to rope cattle. [ 2 ] Horses run in front of the Koehns’ home. [ 3 ] Chad Koehn and his family stand outside their house west of Salina. Back row from left: Pallie, Susan, Chad and Ty, and front row from left, Jess, Landon and Morgan. Trigger, an Australian shepherd owned by a ranch hand, also receives family status. [ 4 ] The kitchen area of the Koehns’ home has a small table for individual meals. [ 5 ] Ty spends some of his time on the ranch taking care of a baby lamb who was abandoned by its mother. [ 6 ] The dining room is perhaps the most important area of the home, where the family gathers for meals and special celebrations. [ 7 ] Jess Koehn sits on a ranch fence outside the home. [ Below ] A wooden sign promoting the 100th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo reflects the history and intensity of the sport the Koehns enjoy.

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ylvia Rice leads her staff and several hundred volunteers in promoting Salina as the “Right Place, Right Reason, Right Now.” The seemingly tireless director of Visit Salina, part of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, runs an intensive night-and-day gig to market the community to potential tourists and visitors, and is a wife, a mother of three and a grandmother of six. “Our kids are spoiled,” says Rice. “They don’t get that the Smoky Hill River Festival doesn’t just happen all over. They don’t get that they take classes from professionals at the Salina Art Center for a minimal enrollment fee. They don’t get that through the tremendous generosity of a local citizen, we have easily the coolest zoo in the Midwest. We need to do a better job as parents and mentors of explaining to them how incredibly fortunate they are and that it’s their responsibility to take care of [these assets] through financing and volunteering so that these things can continue to flourish. Pass that baton, because my great-grandkids won’t know if my grandkids don’t understand.”

Sylvia Rice Occupation: Director of Visit Salina, a division of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Job Location: 120 W. Ash, Salina Name:

Birthplace:

Russell, KS

What did your parents do for a living?

Both of my parents were musicians. I always remember my father with a guitar.

Sylvia Rice

What was your educational path that led you to your present director’s position?

1980

1980-1981

Enrolled at Moved to Salina when I was 20 years old Salina Tech with a toddler

1982

1991

Went into the Began work hotel industry at the Chamber

My favorite thing to do by myself is to watch: Old Movies

Discovery Channel

Pro Football

from your experience, what are the reasons that people decide to relocate to Salina? 10%

Low crime rates

30%

Family entertainment options (shopping, business/services)

30%

Churches, schools & community centers

30%

Close-knit community sentiment

Is there anything you would like to add about the success of industry of tourism & community growth & Positivity? What is your Greatest accomplishment?

I really like my kid & I’m taking some credit. Before I wanted to be a tourism diva, I just knew that I would become a some day.

teacher

I always thought I would be. I kind of am in small ways. 14

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We have secret shoppers. Sometimes it’s my grandson. We send people into hotels & ask what there is to do for this youth ... one lady didn’t know we had a zoo. My grandson was SO upset. He got in the car & said, “Grandma, she didn’t know we had a zoo.” “A ZOO!” I replied, “Well, she will tomorrow.” story by Renee Hardesty

photography by Lisa Eastman


localProfiles

Senior Golf Mix By switching their usual pairings, a group of veteran golfers creates “the greatest day of the week”

I

magine, if you will, walking into a kitchen and putting everything you find in the cabinet or refrigerator into a large bowl and stirring it all together. Then, just before pouring this concoction into a pan and putting it into the oven, you add one special secret ingredient, and somehow, when you take it out of the oven, it has become the best thing you have ever enjoyed. Something similar has happened, and continues to happen, every Thursday morning at the Salina Municipal Golf Course. A variety of individual lives have blended to create a wonderful group—and the “secret ingredient” that bonds it all together is golf. The Salina Municipal Men’s Senior Golf Association (SMMSGA) began in the late 1970s at a time when many seniors would come out to the golf course, play a round with their usual foursomes and go home. But three men, Bob Gerdes, Jack Dean and Bob Hill, thought it would be great to “stir the pot”

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by mixing the foursomes, and soon they had 30-40 players joining them. Since that time, the group has grown to about 170 active members—farmers, businessmen, professionals, military veterans and others—and about half of them can be found on any given Thursday morning at the “Muni,” clubs in hand, golf carts charged up, ready to go. Golfers Charlie Lang and Carl Strecker describe these Thursdays spent playing golf with this group of men, who range in age from 60 to 90 or more years, as “the greatest day of the week.” The group mixings have turned the Thursday golf games into extended gatherings, with card games and story swapping after the teams return from the links. “We don’t care if someone has $10 in the bank or $10,000,” says Gerdes. “People recognize each other for who they are, not who they think they are.” It’s that mixture of respect, friendship and, of course, the secret ingredient of golf that keeps this group playing. story by James R. Godfrey

Carl Andrews A member of the group since its formation, he is a veteran of the 101st Airborne serving from Normandy to Bastogne.

“We don’t care if someone has $10 in the bank or $10,000. People recognize each other for who they are, not who they think they are.” — Bob Gerdes

photography by larry harwood


localProfiles

Richard Bronson Ask most anyone in the group, and they’ll tell you, “If you want a good story, believable or not, you need to ‘go to Bronson.’”

Joe Milbradt came out of the clubhouse, and I introduced Joe Milbradt joined the Army the day myself and asked him how old he was. He said, after Pearl Harbor and served in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. At 91, he’s the group’s ‘I’m 88, but I almost feel too damn tired to play today.’ I asked, ‘What do you mean too tired?’ oldest active member, but you wouldn’t He said, ‘Well, I go dancing every Wednesday know it by looking at this man who always night and I didn’t get home until after stands ramrod straight. midnight last night. Those old widow ladies “I came out here for my first association just wouldn’t leave me alone.’ Well, we played tournament and found I had been paired up that first day and ended up tied for third.” with Joe Milbradt,” recalls Jerry Jones. “He

Juan Torres Retired Marine Juan Torres is one of the group’s many former military servicemen, which include veterans from Vietnam, Korea and even World War II. “I feel privileged to play with this group,” says Torres. “They may not hit it long, but they hit it straight. And when they’re on the green, they’re deadly.” Sunflowerliving

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for theFamily

Dads on Duty Stay-at-home fathers face the normal highs and lows of parenting, with a few twists on career tracks and dress codes

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story by Sarah Hawbaker

photography by larry harwood


for theFamily

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osh Ratliff knew, even before his daughter was born, that he might become a stay-at-home dad. His wife, Susan, is a pediatrician, and while Josh has a degree in marketing and has worked a lot over the years, he thinks the best way he can contribute to his family right now is by staying home with the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, Elsa. “My wife is obviously the breadwinner of the family,” Josh says. “We thought the value of me staying home with Elsa was greater than the money I would make.” Unlike Josh, Lyle DeWalt had not planned on staying home with his kids. With his wife busy climbing the corporate ladder, Lyle found himself stepping out of the work force in 2004 when the company he worked for was bought out. Lyle said it was convenient at the time because his son was having some struggles with school. “It just made sense for one of us to stay home,” he explains. And getting out of the work force didn’t make a huge impact on him. “In a way, it was a relief because I had been traveling a lot for work,” he says. The DeWalts’ son Henry will be entering fourth grade and their daughter Liesel just completed kindergarten, making last year the first in six years that Lyle didn’t have a child at home with him during the school hours.

“I am totally proud of what I do.” — Josh Ratliff

LEFT: Stay-at-home dad Josh Ratliff reads to daughter Elsa. on this page: The laundry and dishes do get done—and long naps during the day help—but Josh’s favorite times are when he is able to play with Elsa.

New definition of dad Following different paths, and at different stages, both men are part of a growing but still small trend in American society. Decades after the cultural spoof of Mr. Mom, stay-at-home-dads are no longer a novelty, but at an estimated less than 10 percent of all fathers in the United States, they are still far from the norm. Traditionally, “fathers are expected to provide for and protect their families; moms are to handle the daily aspects of raising and nurturing children,” says David E. Thompson, an assistant professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University. Thompson notes that these stereotypes are fading slowly, especially because men have faced job layoffs at a higher rate than women in recent years, leaving more fathers at home to “hold down the fort.” Lyle says staying at home with his kids is the hardest job he’s ever had. And the societal stigma that comes with it can be a challenge. “But I got over that really quick because I don’t much care what other people think,” he says. Growing up on a ranch in Colorado helped Lyle be OK with being the parent at home, he says. “Living on a farm, Dad was always around,” Lyle recalls. “He was always there for his kids, so that kind of helped.” Josh doesn’t think twice about staying home. “I am totally proud of what I do. I do have a problem with the Mr. Mom stereotypes. I’m not running around the house wearing an apron. I am a normal dad, caring for my daughter and doing some work too,” he says. As more fathers like Josh and Lyle choose to remain home with their children, they can be encouraged by new research. Thompson notes there is substantial evidence that children who spend time with their fathers are healthier mentally and emotionally and even have higher IQs. “There is really nothing to show that women necessarily have any more Sunflowerliving

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F

for the amily

“Living on a farm, Dad was always around. He was always there for his kids…” — Lyle DeWalt

‘maternal instinct’ in terms of caring for a child than a father does,” he explains. Doing all … or at least trying As any parent knows, getting everything done, from baseball games to doctor’s appointments to laundry and cleaning, is a never-ending battle. “There are times I sit back and feel overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done,” Lyle says. Josh notes stay-at-home dads face the same struggles as any at-home parent, such as rushing through laundry and dishes during naptime or even simply getting dressed for the day. But the latter isn’t always a necessity. “Frankly, there is no dress code for a stay-at-home-dad,” Josh says. Getting it all done is a learning experience. “I seem to be getting better at balancing caring for Elsa and getting housework done,” Josh says. “But I think sometimes I want to play with Elsa so much that I don’t really pay attention to the other stuff.” He tries to take care of the housework so that his wife can focus on spending “good mommy time” with Elsa when she comes home. Lyle’s luxury, so to speak, is that his children are older and more independent and he is able to get the kids started on something, such as a puzzle or game, then

Liesel and Henry DeWalt work at a community kids’ garden in Assaria. Both are spending their summers as they spent their preschool years—with their father. OPPOSITE PAGE TOP: Lyle DeWalt did not plan to be a stay-at-home dad, but he has enjoyed his years as the primary caregiver for Henry and Liesel. OPPOSITE PAGE BOTTOM: Nationally, more fathers are working as stay-at-home dads over the past few years. It seems likely that the parenting manual is slowly being revised by men like Lyle to include more air guitar, dancing and wrestling.

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continue with chores. Both Lyle and Josh agree that time away from the kids is important. While Josh finds solace in his part-time work as a loan officer, Lyle refurbishes old woodworking tools. “You definitely have to have something going for you other than children’s stories,” he explains. “You have to have an outlet for yourself that keeps you grounded.” One aspect that is perhaps more difficult for stay-at-home dads is the transition after the years they have spent with their children. While working women have struggled for decades to negotiate or overcome a “mommy track” in careers, men are only recently grappling with these questions. Lyle has started looking to return to work outside his home. “This is kind of a temporary thing that has lasted a little bit longer than what I thought it was going to,” he says. And he worries that some potential employers might not understand the gap in his resume. Josh says it would be ideal to work from home in the future, depending on what opportunities come along, but he plans to take his present situation day by day. “We would love to have my income come back, but again, the value of staying home is just a no-brainer.”


Health&fitness

Summer Cycle Four cyclists share their favorite warm-weather riding routes story by Chelsey Crawford

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photography by lisa eastman

ummer is for relaxation, but all the fun of baseball games, cookouts, swimming and other seasonal recreation can leave you more exhausted than refreshed. Some Salinans, however, always make time to hop on a bicycle no matter how busy their summers might be. Whether they are pedaling for intense race training or to spend time with the family, these riders agree: Summer means hitting the roads for great rides.

The original Tri-Girl A mother of three sons, ages 7, 6, and 4, Maggie Hemmer also had soccer teams to coach, volunteer work with the Pregnancy Service Center, gardening and golf. With that full schedule, she wasn’t seeking to begin a new hobby; she just fell into it. A former college soccer player who continued to run and swim when possible, Maggie decided to add cycling to her repertoire and participate in her first triathlon in August 2009.

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The excitement of that race led her to help form the Salina Tri-Girls, a group of approximately 30 women who train together for the sport. “Not only can I compete,” says Maggie, “but it’s something I can do with my family and friends for years to come.” Riding together John Wachholz grew up cycling. In fact, he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t regularly riding. So it was only natural that shortly after meeting his future wife, Bette Sue, he would share his hobby with her, at first on a tandem bicycle and then on separate bikes in their leisure and as a commute to their jobs teaching in the Salina school system. “It’s actually very nice,” John says of his more than 40 years of Sunflowerliving

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&fitness

Health

cycling to work. “On the way to school, you can think of lesson plans. And then on the way home, it’s a great way to unwind and meditate.” The couple also competed in races, including a 100-mile century race, but mostly enjoy the freedom of cycling, connecting with one another and the outdoors.

“With cycling you can feel closer with nature.” — John Wachholz

They combine birding and biking, following one of their favorite birds—the dickcissel,a sparrow-like bird in the cardinal family—on their rides. “We can keep in touch with their migration. They come back in May and leave in August. We can see the changes of the season as we cycle,” says John. “With cycling you can feel closer with nature.” Cycling shop owner Shawn Jones boasts a pretty impressive motocross and street bike racing past, including some state championships. But he points to opening his cycling shop, Bike Tek, in 2005 as the highlight of his cycling career. As an advocate for cycling throughout the community, Shawn’s shop donates bikes to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Salina and partners with the Red Cross for Rides program. Shawn also recently added one more cycling interest—going for spins around the neighborhood with his wife and two children, who are both younger than 5 and just learning to cycle.

Shawn Jones


John & Bette Sue Wachholz Favorite route: State Street past Hedville for the hills and then back (25-30 miles) favorite time to ride: Morning Riding partner: Each other Favorite bike: “We’ve ridden Treks for the past 15 or 20 years,” says Bette Sue.

Shawn Jones Favorite route: (street ride) Gypsum Loop on Gypsum Road (30 miles) (trail route) Ark City Mountains near Arkansas City (11 miles) favorite time to ride: “Morning—the air is fresh and it’s an awesome way to start your day off.” riding partner: Anyone who wants to ride favorite bike: Right now it’s a Trek Fuel EX 9.8

Key:

Maggie’s Endurance Route Maggie’s Hills Route John and Bette Sue’s Route Shawn’s Street Route

Maggie Helmer Favorite route: (Endurance) Start at Country Club Road, ride to Kipp Road, then Gypsum and return (25-mile route) (Hills) Up Glen Avenue and down Upper Mill Heights Drive (eight to 10 times) favorite time to ride: “Definitely in the morning, to watch the sunrise on Kipp Road. It’s a serene feeling.” Riding Partner: Stephanie Beatty [at left in photograph with Maggie] favorite bike: “I only have one and it’s a Gary Fisher [ARC Super].”


LocalFlavor

Here’s Looking at You, Bogey’s There isn’t a shake they can’t make at the diner that is part Hollywood, part golf and all flavor

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uring Hollywood’s Golden Age, Humphrey Bogart won over audiences portraying a cynic with a noble side. For the past three decades in Salina, Bogey’s has won over fans with tasty hamburgers and 101 flavors of shakes. While the restaurant’s vintage movie posters decorating the walls might suggest it was named for that film star who spelled his nickname “Bogie,” this simply was not the case back in 1982 when Carole and Dennis Sperling opened their hamburger joint. “The name came about because my dad was a golfer and I had always thought the word ‘bogey’ would make a neat name for a place,” Carole says. But when it came to bedecking the restaurant, the owners never considered using golf as a theme. Instead, they turned to Carole’s collection of old movie posters. On one red brick wall, the restaurant at 1417 S. Ninth St. boasts a poster of Marilyn Monroe and four large oval frames filled with movie posters of Range War, Rio Grande, Roman Holiday and Singin’ in the Rain. Follow the red brick wall around the corner to a pair of ruby slippers hanging near four pictures from the classic movie

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Sunflowerliving

Summer 2010

story by Cecilia Harris

photography by lisa eastman


LocalFlavor The Wizard of Oz. There are photographs of Jimmy Stewart, Shirley Temple and other stars of the early Hollywood era as well as pictures of Elvis, who starred in numerous movies in the 1950s and 1960s. The nostalgic art provides grandmas and grandpas the opportunity to tell grandkids about these screen legends as light shines from a large brass chandelier attached to the red tin ceiling, adding a bit of Hollywood dazzle to the otherwise homey, inviting atmosphere. “People seem to enjoy looking at the old pictures,” Carole says of the artwork that sparks conversations. “We get such a variety of people here, and a lot of families.” When Bogey’s opened more than 25 years ago, it set itself apart with Kurly French Fries and handpressed burgers, still served that way with the restaurant’s secret mix of seasonings. As time progressed, the menu expanded to include such healthful options as grilled chicken, fish, wraps, salads and other sides. “A new thing we’ve added is sweet potato fries as they are a little healthier,” Carole says, quickly adding: “You can get them with marshmallow on the side to dip them in.”

After all, it’s the sweet items such as malts and shakes that built Bogey’s reputation. In the beginning, only the typical vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and pineapple flavors were served, but that all changed one day quite by accident. “Cherry Mash is my husband’s favorite candy, and I always got that for him on his birthday,” Carole recalls. “We were so busy on that day, I couldn’t get away from work to get it for him, so I thought maybe I could make the flavors into a shake. We had all the stuff, so I put it all together. That’s how the Cherry Mash Shake got started, and it’s still one of our best sellers.” Over the years, new flavor combinations have emerged and customers can choose to mix flavors to create unique combinations. So, yes, Bogey’s offers 101 flavors of shakes and more if you set your mind on a new tasty treat. In one of his most memorable lines, that “other” Bogie ended the movie Casablanca by saying, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” With so much to look at and choose from at Bogey’s, a new customer might just think the same thing.

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out&about

Trailing Kanopolis This summer adventure has you leaving the beach—with no regrets

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Sunflowerliving

Summer 2010

story by Melinda Briscoe

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ummer is beach season, right? Around Salina, that often means a short day trip to the Venango beach area at Kanopolis Lake. It’s one of my favorite areas to take the children to swim, enjoy a picnic lunch or set up the grill. The facilities are clean and easily reached after a scenic half-hour drive southwest from Salina past rolling hills and prairies. But this summer, when you cruise down Kansas Highway 140 and head on the Venango exit, you don’t necessarily have to take that first left turn that leads to the beach. There is another option. If you skip the sand for one day by continuing straight along the road, you will soon come upon what I think of as the lake’s hidden treasure, the Kanopolis Lake trail system. The trails don’t have the same summertime splashy fun factor as the beach, but they are perhaps the most beautiful and interesting part of the lake. So choose a change of scenery, leave the beach for a day, take a hike and enjoy one of the area’s most beautiful natural sites. The 27-plus miles of nature trails around Kanopolis are open to folks on foot, horseback or bicycle (dogs are welcome, as in other parts of the park, but do need to be leashed). Numbered posts along the trails provide a guided tour when used with a brochure available at many of the “You are here” mapped sites throughout the park. On the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail, you will learn how Horsethief Canyon was formed as water flowed over the Dakota sandstone on its way to the nearby Smoky Hill River, or how woodpeckers excavate cavities in dead trees photography by lisa eastman


out&about

Kanopolis State Park region, additional information: Equestrian Facilities

Rockin’ K Campground (designed for equestrians). Sites 1-10 are available for non-equestrians by request or reservation. Sites 1-4 are ADA accessible. Camping equestrians are encouraged to call the state park office at (785) 546-2565 or email KanopolisSP@wp.state.ks.us to inquire about availability of campsites. Park fees

The trails around Kanopolis Lake can be traveled by foot, left, on horseback, top, or by bicycle. The area’s steep hills and sandstone paths also lead to small wetland areas, above, with a natural appeal different from the more crowded lake beaches.

Vehicle permits, overnight camping and utility permits are required in designated areas. These permits must be purchased prior to use of facilities. Permits are required year-round and are available at the park office, marina, gatehouse or self-pay stations at each park entrance and area vendors. Sunflowerliving

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&about

out

that are enlarged by other animals to create “nature’s apartment house.” Along the way, enjoy scenery that is nothing short of beautiful and at times breathtaking. One piece of advice for the trails: Wear some hiking boots. The extra traction will come in handy when scaling some of the steeper portions of the trail or walking some of the occasionally dusty sandstone paths. Not far from Buffalo Track Canyon stand an office, a souvenir shop, two corrals, a wooden wagon and several horses. This is Goverland Stage Stop, owned and managed by one Walt Gove, better known as “Wrangler Walt.” Boasting a personality as big as the outdoors around him, Wrangler Walt will tell you with a grin that his area is the best part of the park “because this is where the horses are.” He rents his horses to gentle riders starting at $18 an hour and recommends routes along the trail system based on a rider’s skill and interest.

“Wrangler Walt” Gove, above, guides visitors on his horses, left, around Kanopolis Lake.

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Sunflowerliving

Summer 2010


Wrangler Walt came to Kanopolis by way of Yellowstone National Park, where he spent years riding. In tribute to that time, he calls his stable area “The Little Yellowstone of Kansas.” When asked what, then, would be the Kanapolis version of Old Faithful, he quickly retorts: “If you want to see a geyser, go and turn on a hydrant!” I love summer on the beach as much as anyone, but I certainly don’t regret time spent on the Kanopolis trails. Whether you ride on horse or choose to walk, the paths around Kanopolis Lake offer peaceful views and natural delights. The trails can be quickly traveled or slowly strolled, so explore at your own pace. Like the proverbial pirate’s treasure, if you invest a little bit of time in the hunt, the quest will pay off with many treasures.

Contact Information Goverland Stage Stop (785) 826-0789 goverlandstagestop.com Smoky Hill Wildlife Area (785) 658-2465

Kanopolis State Park (785) 546-2565 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kanopolis Lake (785) 546-2294 Sunflowerliving

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where the

Walkers r o a m Story by Patricia Ackerman

Photography by Larry Harwood

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Charlie and Carolyn Walker’s Rolling Hills Ranch is an authentic Western home with a safari soundtrack

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Driving up the long, winding lane

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PREVIOUS PAGES: Cattle gather at a pond on the ranch of Carolyn and Charlie Walker, bottom. Keith Riemenschneider drives a team of draft horses pulling a wagon through a field on the Walker ranch where buffalo are grazing. ABOVE: Charlie Walker mounts his horse to direct and help the ranch’s annual roundup.

to the Rolling Hills Ranch home west of Salina, visitors may find themselves greeted by three excited schnauzers running across the expansive green lawn. Meet Rough, Tough and Trouble. The canine welcome wagon is a relatively new addition to Charlie and Carolyn Walker’s household, a ranch-style home they constructed in 1980. For the past 30 years, the ranch has been a constant in the Walkers’ lives though it has seen many changes. In fact, the ranch barely survived its first years. In November of 1982, a fire swept across the plains and consumed one of the Walkers’ barns, miles of fencing, acres of pasture and some machinery. The flames were stopped only 6 feet from the house. In the years that followed, the Walkers rebuilt and developed one of the world’s largest Belgian horse-breeding operations with more than 100 draft horses. The beautiful animals drew hundreds of school children for tours each year, and to make their visits more interesting Charlie began adding exotic animals to his collection. A few black bears, llamas and a lioness have since evolved into the 145-acre Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure. Thousands of visitors now tour the Walkers’ zoo annually to see more than 100 species of exotic animals and attend special events in the 64,000-square-foot museum and conference center. The Walkers enjoy having the zoo nearby and living next to such exotic neighbors. For Carolyn, watching giraffes walk across the pasture and waking to the roar of lions make living on the ranch special. Their horse population has decreased, but eight Belgian geldings and two Percherons live on the Walker ranch and often pull


Charlie’s son, Trace Walker, separates calves during the roundup.

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an antique circus wagon, a stagecoach and a re-created Conestoga wagon in area parades and community events. Charlie, along with ranch manager Keith Riemenschneider, cares for about 200 head of cattle and 50 head of bison, which roam alongside longhorn cattle and water buffalo in pastures behind their house. Charlie continues to participate in the annual spring roundup and drives swathers, puts up hay and rides horses whenever he can. When he’s not in the saddle, Charlie goes to his office at the company he founded, Blue Beacon International, and both he and Carolyn serve on Rolling Hills Wildlife’s board of directors while maintaining active involvement in the organization’s daily operations. But they are also semi-retired and have more time to enjoy life on the ranch with its daily pleasures, such as the spectacular view across the plains. Carolyn, who grew up in town, admits she was leery about moving to the ranch. But she says now it would be difficult for her to leave the country life. “This is our home,” she explains, “and it’s quiet here.” Charlie, however, never had and apparently never will have any reservations about moving his life to the ranch. “I like it all,” he explains.

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Charlie pilots his helicopter, above left, over his ranch where he will land at the helipad next to his house, above. Ranch workers place the ranch brand—RHR—into the fire, top right, to prepare for branding cattle. Ranch hands mark a calf, right, with the RHR brand.


FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS, THE RANCH HAS BEEN A CONSTANT IN THE WALKERS’ LIVES THOUGH IT HAS SEEN MANY CHANGES.

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walker collections

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The ranch home of Carolyn and Charlie Walker also showcases their individual collections of historic and unusual items. Charlie is particularly proud of his collection of antique spurs [1] and his 1959 Cadillac convertible [2]. “They don’t make cars of this quality anymore,” Charlie explains. Carolyn’s interest in antiques and history is evident throughout the main house and the adjacent pool house, which features her grandmother’s antique table decorated with dishes from Mexico [3] and Roy Rogers souvenirs. In the pool house, she also keeps a collection of Buddy Lee dolls [4], a collector’s series that Carolyn has gathered for the past 35 years and which was originally distributed to promote Lee jeans from the 1930s to 1950s. Western motifs are found in unusual places throughout the Walker home, such as in their vintage cowboy-themed clocks [5 and 6]. Carolyn and Charlie also collect antique walking sticks [7]. The canes made of unique designs and materials are placed throughout the home.

Carolyn and Charlie Walker


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Where there’s smoke, there’s a grill master— with secrets and skills for a sumptuous summer feast

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GrillGurus Story by Melinda Briscoe Photography by Larry Harwood

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Carl Blocker grills chicken on his front porch for himself and Jerron Conner, opposite right.

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Perhaps

you know one. A highly skilled technician able to harness the culinary benefits of flame. Someone who can take a simple method of cooking and turn it into art, creating aromas that trigger a response that is downright Pavlovian. A grill master.   Grill masters embody all that is right and good in the world of outdoor cooking. They can put darned near any kind of food on the grill and make it taste phenomenal. These are the go-to people when families organize reunions, churches plan picnics and neighbors decide to have block parties. Their skills transcend season, climate and temperature. Even a bleak report from The Weather Channel is not enough to dampen their spirits. They can be counted on to create barbecue miracles in the midst of a snowstorm. If it were as simple as lighting a fire and sticking food on a grate, there would be no such thing as a grill master. But there is an art to it, and fans who know about the superb craftsmanship of a rare master will spread the word. Many times, those rave reviews travel just as quickly as the smoke that wafts enticingly around the grills. The Practical Grill Hero For more than 50 years, Carl Blocker has been a master at taking whatever he has handy and turning it into something

special. He is a practical man who doesn’t use fancy ingredients. When you ask him for tips or techniques, his answers are plain and to the point: “I like to cook with gas because you can set your temperature anywhere you want it. The grill doesn’t get too hot and cook the meat too fast. You can cook it as slow as you like.”

Grill masters embody all that is right and good in the world of outdoor cooking. They can put darned near any kind of food on the grill and make it taste phenomenal. Though he’s lived in Salina since the mid-1960s, Carl grew up in Oklahoma in the presence of several grill masters. And the man he describes as “one of the best grill cooks I’ve ever seen” is known to him to this day only as “Mr. Rutledge.” What made Mr. Rutledge so great? “Grilling was in his blood,” Carl says. “It has to be if you want to be a really good

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one, because otherwise you’re not going to take enough interest in it.” Barbecue sauce is an important component of Carl’s cooking, but it doesn’t have to be a fancy sauce made with highpriced ingredients. “I like an inexpensive brand called Memphis Masters,” explains Carl. “I add my own ingredients to it, and it always tastes good.” Likewise, Carl’s choice of rub is the nothrills Kroger Grill Time. Carl says his favorite meat to grill is ribeye steak, but one of his fans instantly jumps into the conversation. “Carl makes the best barbecue chicken I’ve ever tasted,” says Malachi Conner. The 16-yearold aficionado has been eating Carl’s food since he was 2 years old, and Malachi thinks he knows the reason why it’s so good: “When Carl grills, he uses a little something different every time. He’ll add a spice he’s never used before or he’ll add some juice to his sauce. He mixes it up, but it comes out delicious every single time.” The Jedi’quer In pop culture folklore, the Jedi is somewhat of a stealthy creature: He or she is usually quite unassuming in appearance. Jedi are not gigantic, overly muscular and growling like the Incredible Hulk. They blend into their surroundings. And yet they possess otherworldly skills and use their mastery with great aplomb. This description also fits Mike Haskett. He is an IT guy by day and a low-key but outstanding griller come picnic time. “I like charcoal because I like the ritual of getting the coals ready,” he explains. “I like soaking the “I like charcoal because I wood [he prefers hickory], getting the like the ritual of getting chimneys full and getting the coals lit. It adds to the social the coals ready.” interaction. You can ­— Mike Haskett kind of sit and talk a a.k.a. The Jedi’quer little bit more.” Mike’s favorite meat to grill is pork. “I just love the flavor, and I think it’s a lot more forgiving than beef,” he says. “Beef takes a lot more finesse than I have.” Another Jedi trait: modesty. In fact, Mike’s teriyaki steak is one of his specialties. Mike’s wife, Marsha, is one of his biggest fans. “Mike deserves the recognition because he can make anything taste good on the grill,” she says.

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The Smoke Maker Salinan Troy Lewis is a Texas gentleman who is quick to smile and quick to offer guests a plate of grilled meat that tastes even better than it smells—even if he barely knows them. That is how he was raised down in the Lone Star State. “My two biggest influences were my grandmother and my great-uncle,” says Troy. “My grandmother worked for the school system as a cook in our hometown for many years. And my great-uncle owned a rodeo arena down there. The biggest attraction at the arena was my great-uncle’s barbecue.” Troy still reveres his home state’s legendary barbecue, but he isn’t fanatical about any specific regional taste. “Grilling is a passion, and that’s why places like Texas, Kansas City and Memphis say they’ve got the best barbecue,” he explains. “They believe in what they do. I don’t think one place is better than another—they’re all good. You’ve got to want to get on your grill as much as you can and perfect your skills.” But being a Texan, he does have some expectations to meet. “If you’re from Texas,” Troy says, “you’d better be able to cook ribs and brisket, and you’d better be good at it!” Troy enjoys cooking with charcoal because of its “more authentic flavor.” He also likes using wood from fruit trees and experimenting with sauces. He will make his own sauces occasionally but freely admits using commercial brands such as Gates, Famous Dave’s or KC Masterpiece. “I enjoy blending my sauce with one of the store-bought brands sometimes,” says Troy. “As long as you have a good quality base, you can add to it and do a lot of different things.” If grill masters had superhero names, what name would this Texas transplant choose? Troy laughs, smiles and says after a minute of thought: “The Smoke Maker … because if you can make that smoke, people will gravitate toward your grill.”


Texas transplant Troy Lewis says a good quality sauce base is one of the fundamentals for great grilling.

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Mike’s Teriyaki Steak 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame oil 1 minced garlic clove 1 minced jalapeno (or a Serrano chile for more heat) 1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice ¼ teaspoon freshly grated lime zest Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into a sealable plastic bag with a couple of steaks before grilling. Seal the bag and allow meat to marinate in refrigerator or on counter for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove steaks from bag, discarding marinade, and grill as desired. This sauce can also be used as a marinade for chicken, pork, vegetables or tofu. Mike Haskett is a low-key griller who produces powerful flavors.

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The recipe can be adjusted to taste. Experiment with a range of ½ to 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice and ¼ to ½ teaspoon grated lime zest.


Sunflower Living Summer 2010  

Sunflower Living Summer 2010