SW OH | Jan./Feb. 2014 | Issue 18

Page 1

HealthSource of Ohio

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2 | Salt | January/February 2014

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Salt | January/February 2014 | 3


Front Porch


Ron Coffey — Highland County, Ohio Greenfield City Manager

What is your favorite line from the movies? “I’ll have what she’s having,” from the movie “When Harry Met Sally.”

Front Porch Profile offers a personal glimpse into the lives of notable people in our communiities

Green or blue? Blue.

By Lora Abernathy

What does a lazy Saturday look like for you? To sleep in, have a late breakfast, perhaps do a little shopping or go to Zanesville and see the grandkids.

Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies? Chocolate chip. Baseball, basketball or football? Watching football and playing basketball. What do you love most about your community? I like the fact that you rub shoulders from the most humble to the most remarkable people. There’s not a whole lot of class distinction. You’re a part of the community. Everyone knows you and you know everyone else.

4 | Salt | January/February 2014

Recipe Index Baked Potato Soup.................................... 36 Broccoli, Cheese & Potato Soup.............. 13 Butternut Squash & Apple Cider Soup... 36 Effie’s Most Requested Butter Horns...... 39 Effie’s Oat Rolls.......................................... 39 Italian Cream Cake................................... 36 Linda’s Homemade Vegetable Soup....... 39 Nancy’s Taco Salad................................... 39



Not His Mother’s Bean Soup.................... 13 Pan-Roasted Spiced Apples.................... 36 Roast Pork Loin.......................................... 33 Sharon’s Sugar Cookies........................... 35 Single Bottom Crust.................................. 35 Stove Top Dutch Oven Roast with Gravy.... 10 Stuffed Pepper Soup................................. 15 Vegetable Lover’s Soup............................ 13



CONTENTS features

12 18 22 24 26 28

Winter soups to warm your soul By Andrea Chaffin

Allow me to introduce you to my Dutch oven

10 For the love of alpacas

Many moons ago By Kathleen Norman

Catch ‘em in the kitchen By Pat Lawrence


Turning ‘blah’ into ‘ah’ By Stephanie Hardwick Stokes

Have a little faith

The Best Pork Loin

By Beverly Drapalik

Dormancy: science or habit? By Beverly Drapalik

columns By Pamela Stricker

Salt Notes By Lora Abernathy

Recipe for disaster By Kay Frances

32 Protecting precious pollinators

Reader Recipes Out & About


Saltlt | January/February 2014 | 5 nua

7 9 14 36 37

Publisher’s Note


Flavor for Everyday Life www.thesaltmagazine.com

New ! for 201b4lishing

w pu Salt is no s a year! 6 time or your uf Thank yo ort! supp

January/February 2014 Publisher Editor Food Editor Layout Design

Pamela Stricker Lora Abernathy Andrea Chaffin Tina Murdock

Find the SHAKER in this issue, visit us at thesaltmagazine.com, click on the Shaker Contest link, complete the entry form, and be entered to win one of the $10 grocery cards. All entries must be made by February 12, 2014.

Congratulations to our most recent winner: Judy Gano of Wilmington You could be our next winner. Just look for the shaker in this issue then visit thesaltmagazine.com and click on the shaker button to enter.

Sales Adams County (937) 544-2391

Terry Rigdon trigdon@civitasmedia.com

Brown County (937) 378-6161

Julie Richmond jrichmond@civitasmedia.com

Shaker time!

Clinton County (937) 382-2574

Pamela Stricker pstricker@civitasmedia.com

Fayette County (740) 335-3611

Sherri Sattler ssattler@civitasmedia.com

In each issue of SALT, we try to feature creative photos of Salt and/or Salt & Pepper shakers from our readers’ collections.

Greene County (937) 372-4444

Barb VanDeVenter bvandeventer@civitasmedia.com

Highland County (937) 393-3456

Sharon Hughes shughes@civitasmedia.com

Contact SALT: editor@thesaltmagazine.com 761 S. Nelson Ave. Wilmington, OH 45177 (937) 382-2574

6 | Salt | January/February 2014

Hide & Shake

SALT is published six times a year by Civitas Media, LLC and is available through the Georgetown News-Democrat, Hillsboro Times-Gazette, Ripley Bee, Washington CH Record-Herald, West Union People’s Defender, Wilmington News Journal, Xenia Gazette and Fairborn Herald. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is prohibited. SALT is free to our subscribers and is also available for purchase at each of the newspaper offices for $3/copy or contact us to subscribe. Mailed subscriptions are $21 per year. Please Buy Locally and Recycle. Follow us on Facebook (The Salt Magazine) and Twitter (TheSaltMagazine).

Please submit photos and descriptions to editor@ thesaltmagazine.com by February 12, 2014 for considerations. Enteries will also be considered for printing in the future issues of SALT and at thesaltmagazine.com. Congratulations to our most recent winner: Cathy Meredith of Washington Court House Submit your photos and be entered to win a SALT apron!

On the Cover The Salt cover was taken at one of our favorite places to do photo shoots: The Shoppes at Olde Mill in Wilmington. We can always find props that work just right. This photography was done by Maggie Wright of Wilmington.

Winter ... my cup of tea thoughts that have busied themselves in my mind to a halt. Here in the silence, I breathe deep … taking in a moment that stands still in eternity. I love winter. Yes, I tire of the season and truly welcome spring, but winter in Ohio is still very precious to me. I like bundling up under scarves and heavy coats. I love the drifting aroma of wood-burning fireplaces as the snow crunches beneath my boots. I love watching the gentle New-fallen snow hushes the night flakes drift through the sky and into silence, the world seemingly decorate the evergreens, listening taking a deep breath settling into only to the music of the wind in the peace. The volume of usual noise pines. I like coming in from the cold of a passing motorist is muffled to a to the warmth of home. distant sound, hardly disturbing the Winter is a time to catch our blanket of quiet left by the white and breath. A time to pause. A time to drifted snow. restore the rhythm of rest that so The hush has sent the scurry of easily eludes us.

I can so identify with these words from J.D. Salinger…




“I’ll read my books and I’ll drink my coffee and I’ll listen to music and I’ll bolt the door.”

We all could use a break from the break-neck pace that dictates much of our lives. Come sit down with me and pour a cup of tea … enjoy these last days of winter in Ohio. Breathe in the beauty, embrace the splendor. It’s only a season and only a matter of days till winter gives birth to spring. And pass the Salt please…

Pamela Stricker, Publisher pstricker@civitasmedia.com

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Salt | January/February 2014 | 7

Dan Ballein 937 725 0836 Jay Bush 513 515 8023 Bill Smith 937 307 4871 Tom Williams 513 505 1207 Michele Talley 937 725 0811

By Andrea L. Chaffin


8 | Salt | January/February 2014

Shop featuring non-electronic items offers something different in Wilmington In a society becoming increasingly digital, one family is looking to do the exact opposite. Mom’s Friendly Game Shop, a store featuring more than 400 non-electronic games, opened in downtown Wilmington last spring. The store features different types of games for all ages, including educational, strategy and party board games. Games for the serious gamer — like theme and role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons — are also available, in addition to playing and collectible cards. It’s owned by mother-son duo Jane Griffith and Daniel Kolodziej, who moved to Clinton County from New Jersey two years ago. Similar stores are popular in New Jersey, and Griffith’s sons missed sitting at a table where they could play a game while socializing with friends and family, Griffith said. “I think it’s the perfect avenue for connecting and keeping in touch with people,” she said. “Video games and computer games are so isolating, so we really believe in sitting down at the table and opening up a game and convers-

But, after her sons had difficulty finding jobs in the area, it became clear they needed to put their knowledge of games to work. The closest shops were in Dayton and Cincinnati. “We decided Clinton County deserved its own game shop, so here we are,” Griffith said. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 am. to 7 p.m. And, if you can find it in the big box stores, you won’t find it at Mama’s Friendly Game Shop. “It’s one of our requirements for picking out games,” N Mom’s Friendly Game Shop, located next NTOW said. N E W S TO RE DOWGriffith S and place where to Books ‘N’ More in Wilmington, AMaEtime M O Moffers GIn S FRIENDLY money is tight, Griffith is enabout 400 different games for all ages. couraging families to think differently about entertaining over the game.” ily was searching for a new ment. A game is an investThe store also allows cus- place to live. They used to ment, she said. tomers to try out several open travel to Dayton for ham (am“Instead of spending mongames before making a pur- ateur) radio conventions, and ey to take the family out to the chase. There is no charge decided to look at the county movies where you sit in the to sit down at one of the two seats surrounding Dayton for dark and stare at the screen tables and play. “We hope a place to settle down. for a couple hours, people they’ll find something they “He fell in love with Wilm- should come in and buy a like and buy one eventually,” ington,” she said. “Mostly, the game and play it and actually Griffith explained. community was trying to help talk to each other,” she said. The store has been a de- itself so much. Even though “And, they can do it over and cade-long dream for the fam- there were hard times, over again for the same cost ily. After Griffith’s husband no one’s really given as one movie.” n retired in New Jersey, the fam- up.”




Salt Scoop Do you have a recipe that has been passed down to you? How about an old piece of furniture, an item of clothing or a family tradition? We want to hear from you!

Email us your recipes, stories and photos. Please send in by February 12, 2014. Make sure to include your name and address. (We only publish the town.)

Every submitted recipe will be entered in a drawing for a $25 Kroger gift card. Congratulations to Helen Ellison of Waynesville who won the drawing for her “Pan-Roasted Spiced Apples” recipe submitted for this edition of Salt. Check it out on page 38!

Don’t just do something, stand there “In life, like in music, the rests are just as important as the notes.” — Author unknown

I adore quotes like the one above because they contain so much wisdom despite their brevity. When I heard this quote years ago, I appreciated the analogy as a musician, and I immediately grasped its power as a life application. As a triathlete, it has become, over the years, a quote that often comes to mind — especially while preparing for my next race. All training plans call for at least one rest day, but I know athletes who ignore it, who don’t give their bodies the time they need to recover. I’ve been guilty of that on occasion. Our bodies were made to rest, just as much as they were made to move. Resting is so vital that God programmed us to spend at least one third of our day doing so. Yet our culture continues to find ways to keep us from finding that rest. Little league sports are played on Sundays. Spending too much time on social media sites steals away our time. TV programing is not limited to the boob tube in our living rooms anymore; we can catch it online or on our phones. As I thought about this winter issue of Salt, the words “dormant” and “fallow” came to mind. Like the cornfields need the winter to rest, to be strong for spring, we, too, need moments of quiet in our lives. We may not have the luxury of three consecutive months of dormancy, but we can seize small, intermittent opportunities to push back, to reclaim some quiet parts of our lives. Instead of sipping our coffee or tea in the morning while watching TV, why not find a chair by a window in our home and watch the world outside our window, perhaps following a squirrel as it jumps from branch to branch? We can resist the urge to scroll through Facebook while we’re in bed. We can turn off the radio during our drive to work, and turn off the TV and leave our cell phone in another room during dinner. These tiny moments can starting adding up. I’ll leave you with another one of my favorite quotes, which comes from Henry Blackaby’s book, “Experiencing God.” Encouraging readers to be able to hear the Lord, to be still, he writes, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Even in the church, he writes, we’re so busy doing the Lord’s work that we miss our time with Him. I hope the next time you prepare to say yes to a new project that will spread you too thin, or mindlessly flip through Twitter when there is perfectly good snow to watch falling outside your window, you might consider choosing not to do something. Just stand there.

LORA ABERNATHY Lora is the editor of the Wilmington News Journal and Salt magazine. She competes in triathlons, and is still in mourning over the TV show “Lost” no longer being on the air.

Salt | January/February 2014 | 9

Shoot an email to editor@thesaltmagazine.com


Allow me to introduce you to my

10 | Salt | January/February 2014

DUTCH OVEN The last few years for Christmas, I’ve received a vacuum, dishtowels, pink toolbox and some cooking equipment as gifts from my boyfriend. And, despite how that might sound, I’m not even mad about it. My new vacuum isn’t your 1950’s housewife vaccum. It’s robotic, which means it cleans the house while I’m at work (score!), and provides entertainment when I’m home because the There is cat chases it down something the hallway. The purely magical toolbox — which about what may or may not have a Dutch oven been designed for an can do. I don’t 8-year-old girl — and understand dishtowels are practiit, but I don’t cal and pretty, as well. argue with it. But the real star here is the cooking equipment. Two years ago, I rushed over to the Christmas tree to find his oddly and creatively wrapped items underneath. “Pick it up!” he called from his chair. I tried and was unsuccessful the first time. Whatever it was peeking out from the paper was much heavier than I had anticipated. After ripping off the paper, I laid eyes on my rugged 7-quart cast iron Dutch oven for the first time and my 10-inch cast iron skillet. Ah, love at first sight. Key the “Tim The Toolman” grunt here. The skillet is perfect for pineapple upside cake and cornbread. Mmm. In my younger years — OK, a few years ago — I figured I didn’t need such a Dutch oven, any type of large pot would do for a one-pot-meal job. Whatever I’m making just needs to fit in the pot, and go on the stove — right? Wrong. Allow me to explain why you should also tote around this 20-pound piece

of beauty. The first part, I really can’t explain though. There is something purely magical about what a Dutch oven can do. I don’t understand it, but I don’t argue with it. All I know is that when I put a piece of seasoned red meat into this searing pot, toss in some sliced onion, and cover it with broth, a few hours later I end up with the best Sunday night comfort dinner every time. Tender beef basking in a perfect gravy — no flour or cornstarch necessary for thickening. The broth condenses on its own. Chuck roast, bottom roast, rump roast … honestly, it doesn’t matter. We usually have whatever is on sale at the grocery store. Cast iron is preferred by many cooks for its durability and superior heat retention. It can be used on nearly any heat source, too. Place it on the stovetop, pop it in the oven, put it on the grill or straddle it over a fire — anyway, it can take the heat. Also, it just looks really cool and is totally vintage. Whenever he has friends over on the weekends while I’ve got this baby going, they can’t help but sneak into the kitchen and peer into the pot, oohing and ahhing, and making comments about their grandma’s cookin’. A lot of folks are scared of cast iron. Don’t be! Just follow two simple rules: Keep it dry, and keep it oiled. Most of the cast iron sold in stores these days is pre-seasoned. When I’m finished with mine, I gently wash it out with water and just a little, little bit of soap. It won’t be perfectly clean, but that’s OK! Then, immediately dry it off with paper towels (yes, there will be stuff on the towel — it’s alright), and wipe it down with oil inside and out. Often times, after oiling it, I put it in a warm oven for about 15 minutes to reset any seasoning. If you leave it wet, it will rust. I will admit, though, it’s somewhat difficult

to store. But that’s something we’re all just going to have to get over, isn’t it? Trust me. It’s worth it. It really was a perfect gift. But, to be fair, I should mention my boyfriend can be romantic. He proposed on Christmas Day the year before the Dutch oven. STOVE TOP DUTCH OVEN ROAST WITH GRAVY Add about 1 tablespoon oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Meanwhile, season meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder (or whatever spices make you happy). Place meat into oven, browning on all sides. Toss in a sliced onion, mushrooms, celery, carrots (or whatever root vegetables speak to you). Once meat is browned and vegetables have some color on them, add in enough chicken broth (low sodium, please) to barely cover the meat. Scrap the good stuff (that’s called fond) up as you stir in the broth. Put the lid on and turn heat down to low. Simmer for about 2 hours, adding broth as needed, or until meat falls apart. Serve with mashed potatoes, vegetable and bread. Don’t forget to take care of your Dutch oven afterward! n

ANDREA CHAFFIN Andrea is a reporter for the Wilmington News Journal and the food editor of Salt magazine. An OSU graduate, she enjoys piddling in her garden, making way too much food than two people ever need, singing in the car and exploring photography.

Salt Shakers In each issue of Salt, we try to feature creative photos of Salt and/or salt and pepper shakers from our readers’ collections. Please submit photos and descriptions to editor@thesaltmagazine. com by Feb. 12, 2014 for consideration.

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Salt | January/February 2014 | 11

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Salt reader Cathy Meredith, of Washington Court House, recently shared her collection of snowman salt shakers.

winter soups

to warm your

SOUL — and belly!

12 | Salt | January/February 2014

by Andrea Chaffin, Food Editor

2 1/2 cups chopped broccoli 3 cups chicken broth 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese 2 cups milk Salt and pepper, to taste When the weather is cold, nothing beats a steaming hot bowl of soup. Not to mention, it’s one of the greatest one-pot meals, perfect for a lazy Sunday or busy Tuesday night dinner. I’ve included four of my tried and true soup recipes. But, really, it’s a stretch to refer to these as “recipes.” That’s the great thing about soups and cooking in general; you don’t have to be bossed around. Make your food how you like it! Be your own boss! So, here’s how I like my three soups, because I am my own boss. Just, whatever you do, serve it with good bread, real butter and salad.

Directions: In a large saucepan, saute onion and celery in butter over medium heat until tender. Add flour, pepper and salt and stir until smooth. The mixture should resemble a paste. Cook over medium heat for about one minute until paste begins to brown (this eliminates the “flour-y” taste). Add broth, milk and potatoes, stirring regularly until it boils and thickens. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. When the potatoes are about half-cooked, add the broccoli. If using frozen broccoli, add earlier than fresh broccoli. Stir in cheese and cook over low until cheese is melted and soup is heated through. Season as desired.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons oil 1 small onion, diced 1 (46 oz.) can tomato juice 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice 8 cups mixed fresh or frozen vegetables, such as carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans, peas or snow peas, diced potatoes, halved Brussel Sprouts. Salt and pepper, to taste Directions: In a large pot (because no one can ever make a little soup), saute onion in oil until translucent. Add tomato juice and tomatoes. Stir. Add vegetables. Cook until potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables are tender. Season as you go, as desired.


Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped onion 1/3 cup chopped celery 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup flour 4 cups diced potatoes (I like red potatoes, skins on, but use your favorite)

continued on page 15

Salt | January/February 2014 | 13

I started making this recipe in an attempt to leave behind my favorite potato soup (you know, the everso-delicious and calorie-packed Loaded Baked Potato Soup with cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onion). Turns out, I like this one even better. Made with chicken broth and milk, this lighter version leaves my belly just as happy without the heavy cream or half-andhalf. This is a winter meal deserving of seconds — without the guilt!

I didn’t grow up eating bean soup (unless you count Campbell’s Bean with Bacon Soup — which I don’t). Maybe that’s why I didn’t care for bean soup until I made a much VEGETABLE LOVER’S SOUP thinner, less hearty version with potatoes and veggies. I came up I believe there are two ways to with this recipe when faced with an make a base for vegetable soup: overwhelming amount of leftover beef broth or tomato juice. I’m ham and a ham bone. Served with a tomato juice girl through and cornbread fixed in a cast iron skilthrough. Because I LOVE vegetables, beef is optional. Vegetable let, this soup will leave the bean soup is also a great way to clean out lover (and the bean liker) in your your produce drawers and freezer. family equally happy. (Remember that bag of corn you tucked into the corner of the freez- Ingredients: er six months ago? Those Brussels Ham bone with some meat Sprouts leftover from Thanksgiving? 3 medium size Idaho potatoes 1/4 diced white onion Now’s your day to shine, baby). 3 whole carrots, peeled and diced Other than canned tomato juice, I stay away from canned vegetables. 1/4 green pepper, diced 1 tablespoon butter Frozen and fresh have a much bet1 (16 oz.) can pinto beans ter texture that can stand up to the 1 (16 oz.) can Great Northern cooking process. Now, pat yourself Beans on the back for a healthy supper.

recipe for disaster

By Kay Frances

14 | Salt | January/February 2014

we’re cookin’ now — or not!


I like food and I love to eat, but the process of cooking has always kind of baffled me. I have always admired cooks who could just “throw stuff together.” I have tried that and it just comes out looking like a scientific experiment gone awry. Any time you start over thinking it or assuming that you can make alterations to a recipe, you are courting disaster. I always figured if two is good, then four has to be even better! Wrong. I’ve discovered that there are a few “rules” to cooking. I have always made the mistake of assuming that ingredients are interchangeable. Cream of tartar/tartar sauce. Potato/po-TAH-to. What makes the difference? As it turns out, a lot. (Tartar sauce does not help make your meringue fluffy.) I have also been guilty of thinking that the expiration date is just a suggestion. I found it shocking that spices from 1988 have lost their flavor and have to be thrown out and replaced. That’s just wasteful. I know that cooking is not an exact science, but there are some physics involved. For example, baking soda has scientific properties and a very specific purpose. Therefore, you can’t mess around with the amount that you’re supposed to use in a particular recipe. I recall a story my mom told of when she and Dad were first married. Dad was in the kitchen attempting to make biscuits. He hollered into the other room, “How much baking soda do I use?” Mom hollered back, “A level teaspoon!” But, what Dad heard was, “Eleven teaspoons.” Let’s just say those biscuits got taller than necessary. He was probably lucky he could even pull them out of the oven. The lesson here? Don’t holler from room to room! One of my earliest recollections of attempting to cook was in high school when I took a class called “Home

Arts.” Besides learning flower arranging and crocheting, we did some light cooking. One of our assignments was to make an “international dessert” of our choosing. One of the girls in our group got the bone-headed idea to make a 6-foot strudel. First of all, that was way more time, effort and energy needed to complete the required task. Second, we didn’t have access to a 6-foot oven. Granted, I daydreamed a lot during my geometry classes, but even I knew that this idea wasn’t mathematically

I always thought that the clothes dryer got a bad rap for eating socks. I suspected that ground-up socks were the “secret ingredient” in Goop.

100 yards from a grocery store.) The problem with Dad’s stew was that new items were being added all the time, but some things would stay in there for days on end, like the vegetables. The green beans got so thin and transparent that you could’ve used them to make rice paper to practice your calligraphy. Never knowing what kind of animal was lurking around in that stew completely took away my appetite. My parents could never figure out why I was so skinny. I was on hunger strikes way before it was cool. Turns out a person can sustain life by sneaking drinks straight from the Hershey’s syrup can. When Dad retired, he had more time and energy and suddenly developed a desire to mess around in the kitchen. There was a dish he made called “Goop.” Mmmmm! Just hearing the name makes you want to belly up to the table! It always had some kind of tomato product and meat, but beyond that, it could contain anything. I always thought that the clothes dryer got a bad rap for eating socks. I suspected that ground-up socks were the “secret ingredient” in Goop. In summary, for those of us who don’t cook, it would appear that we have a few options: 1. Learn to cook. 2. Befriend/hang out with/marry good cooks. 3. Live on sandwiches. I may revisit the idea of learning to cook. What’s the worst that can happen? If it all goes terribly wrong, pizza is just a phone call away! If I get really ambitious, I’ll make a 6-foot strudel. What could possibly go wrong? n

feasible with the normal-sized oven that we had at our disposal. After much argument, we finally settled on a nice pudding. Strudel Girl never did understand why her idea was rejected. She probably went on to build a bakery with a 6-foot oven just to prove us all wrong. Growing up, Mom did the lion’s share of the cooking. It seemed that the only time my dad cooked was when it involved an open fire and raw meat, like on a camping trip. In other words, once a year. There was one exception to this. As a child, I remember Dad’s famous “stew.” This was before crockpots and microwaves. He would make a huge pot of soupy stew-like substance and keep it on the stove, set to “low.” KAY FRANCES For days. Kay is a motivational humorist Additionally, Dad was a hunter and who encourages people to would bring home various small “laugh more, stress less and take care of yourself!” She animals and add parts of them to the is the author of “The Funny stew. Rabbits, quail, gerbils. One never Thing about Stress; A Seriously really knew. Swamp dwellers had noth- Humorous Guide to a Happier Life.” ing on us. (With all of this “living off the To order the book or find out more about Kay, visit www.KayFrances.com. land,” you’d never guess that we lived

Directions: In a large pot, saute onion, carrots and green pepper in butter until vegetables are soft. Place ham bone into pot. Cover with water. Season with pepper (no salt, due to saltiness of ham). Simmer about two hours, adding water as needed, or until meat separates from bone and water turns into amber-colored broth. Add potatoes and beans, simmering until potatoes are cooked through. If desired, garnish with diced onion.

STUFFED PEPPER SOUP I came across this recipe on Pin-

terest (oh, how I love thee) by The Country Cook. It really is like a stuffed bell pepper in soup form. Because I’m a pepper addict (and also because I cannot just be a good girl and follow directions), I changed it up a little bit. Ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef 1 small onion, diced 1 large green bell pepper, diced 1 large red bell pepper, diced 1 (29 oz.) can diced tomatoes 1 (10 oz.) can tomato sauce 1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth 2 cups cooked rice 1 tablespoon sugar Salt and pepper, to taste Cheddar cheese, for topping

peppers and onion over mediumhigh heat. Drain grease. Add in diced tomatoes, chicken broth and tomato sauce. Stir well, then add rice. Add seasonings; sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste). Cover and let soup simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes to let all the flavors blend. Serve topped with cheese (and sour cream, if you’re feeling naughty). I also go for a few dashes of hot sauce (Texas Pete’s please!). n

Directions: In a large pot, brown and crumble ground beef along with

Salt | January/February 2014 | 15


SOUPS continued from page 13

Meghann MacMillan makes friends with this Tanglewood Farm alpaca.

For the love of alpacas

16 | Salt | January/February 2014

Story by Meghann MacMillan — Photos by Sonia Keith Down a stretch of winding country roads near my home in Brown County, there is an unusual animal grazing in an old horse pasture. As I walk by, it sees me and stretches his long furry neck over the fence welcoming a scratch. Almost llama, but not quite, this animal has been taking Ohio’s farmers by the heart strings. It is the alpaca. It’s hard not to fall in love with an alpaca at first sight. They are quiet, easy-natured animals, smaller than horses but bigger than dogs. Of the two farms I visited, both had an alpaca friendly enough to brush my cheek with their whiskers in an unusual animal kiss. Cuteness aside, these animals are also easy on the land,

easy to care for and are used to hardy cold conditions. It’s no surprise that alpaca farms are popping up all over the farmlands of Ohio. Yet, for as many alpaca farms that are established in the area, there are twice that many that have tried and failed to garner a living from the alpaca lifestyle. What does it take to own a successful alpaca business and who is it right for? Of the five alpaca farms registered in the area, only two were still operational. Those closing down cited the economic downturn as a crippling factor to their business; some stated that they ran into problems they hadn’t expected — such as the cost of veterinarian care — and still more claimed that the animals This alpaca at KB Alpacas in Wilmington looks cute for the camera.

Alpaca products for sale from the KB Alpaca shop.

take proper care of your animals. A single alpaca, depending on gender and breeding, could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000. Learning how to trim hooves, give shots and assist in a birthing are all things that potential owners should know before bringing home their first alpaca. The best way to do that, according to both farm owners, is to work at an alpaca farm. Most owners will welcome the extra help and are eager to share their knowledge. The DeLaneys even offer a seminar on alpacas, a requirement if you wish to purchase one of their alpacas as a first-time owner. Both farms had a shop dedicated to alpaca goods. Although breeding was considered the primary income, alpaca farmers are trying to shift their efforts into the fiber market, a necessity if alpaca farms are to survive in the United States. Although it is possible to shear, card and spin your own yarn, it is often time consuming and a poor product reflects poorly on your herd. A first-time farmer would probably invest in a shearer to shear the animals each spring and a mill to spin the yarn. Alpaca yarn has been heralded as the new fiber. Stronger, warmer and hypoallergenic, alpaca fiber is superior to wool in nearly every way. For sale in the shops were ornaments, felted bags, fuzzy teddy bears and shoe insulators among the usual hats, gloves, scarves and mittens. Although the price is slightly higher, the quality and comfort is unlike anything sold in big box stores. With one last cheeky kiss from the friendly alpaca and a handshake from the hardworking farmers, I went away with a better knowledge of what it

Hats and gloves are just some of the items that can be made from alpaca wool, as seen in the shop at KB Alpacas.

The alpacas at Tanglewood Farm in Fayetteville check out the visitors.

takes to own a herd. In short, don’t expect to retire on an island in five years. Alpaca farming, just like anything else, warrants a return worthy of the effort you put forth. You have to enjoy the animals and the lifestyle of farm living in order for alpacas to be right for you. n MEGHANN MACMILLAN Meghann has lived in the country all her life and loves it more every day. She raises chickens, rabbits and two adorable children with her husband in Brown County.

Salt | January/February 2014 | 17

were just too much for one person to care for. It seemed a tricky business according to the farm owners facing the hard task of selling off their herd. Tanglewood Farm owner Christiane Rudolf in Fayetteville is still running a sustaining alpaca business, but times are tough, especially since one of her herd had recently been to The Ohio State University for a serious pneumonia issue. “I’m still paying off that bill and the animal had to be put down anyway,” said Christiane. As we toured the farm, she made a laundry list of updates and repairs that needed to be made, but her worry over these minor problems came to a halt when we entered the alpaca enclosure. They had a calming effect. One brushed my side and wrapped his neck across my body in what could only be seen as an animal hug. Christiane sat with her alpacas, pointing out the names, breeding and fiber quality of more than 10 alpacas. It was easy to see that while running the farm on her own with another part time job was exhausting, Christiane truly enjoyed the company of her animals. Next on my tour was KB Alpacas in Wilmington. Running a much larger herd, I was excited to see how Kim and Brad DeLaney made the business of alpacas work for them. Kim and Brad were very frank about the business and advice they hoped to impart to new owners. “It’s just like any other business. You have to budget and you have to market,” Brad said of his alpaca experience. And market they do. KB Alpacas has a website and Facebook page that is updated regularly with information about new alpacas, events and products. In addition, they make regular connections with other farmers and owners at alpaca shows across the eastern side of the United States. One thing both farms considered important was a constant drive to learn more about the animals. Alpacas are relatively new to the United States and, as time goes on, farmers are always learning new things. In fact, that was a point the DeLaneys wanted to make to potential owners. Do your research. While it is easy to fall in love with an alpaca at first sight, there are several things you need to know in order to


Living in the country has taught me to accept I will always have a personal relationship with mud.

By Kathleen L. Norman “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” says Native American tribes invented moon names as a way to distinguish one lunar cycle from the next. Moon names were based on recurring seasonal activities or observations of the natural world made during each lunar cycle. For example, July was called “Buck Moon” by some tribes, because it was the time bucks began to grow new antlers. Moon names varied by tribe with each having its own preferences; they also varied by geography since seasonal observations in New England varied greatly from those in the Southeast or on the Great Plains. “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” first published in 1792, relied on the moon names of the Northeast Algonquin tribes since these were the tribes with which the colonists were most

18 | Salt | January/February 2014

Full disclosure:

“Closely watching the weather” for me actually involves surfing weather sites on the Internet and yelling, “WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE OUT THERE?” to my husband.

familiar. In the Algonquin tradition, January was called “Wolf Moon.” It was named for the time of year when the wolves began having difficulty finding food, making them more vocal. The Omaha Indians of the Plains called it, “Moon When Snow Drifts Into Tipis.” The Kalapuya Indians of the Pacific Northwest called it “Stay Inside Moon” – my personal favorite. February was called “Snow Moon” by the Algonquin for obvious reasons. Washington state’s Columbia River Indians called it “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” and the Kalapuya called it “Out of Food Moon.” March was called “Worm Moon” by the Algonquins because, at this time, worms were starting to work their way up through the soil. The Shawnee called it “Sap Moon,” while the Arapahoe on the Great Plains called it “Buffalo Dropping Their Calves Moon.” Most families have similar shorthand they use to anchor events in the history of their shared lives. Now that my husband and I have children, the shorthand of our family is mostly related to kids’ schedules and seasons: back to school, soccer, Christmas pageant, basketball. However, if I were to use the Native American method of naming the moons, my calendar year would start with “Shivering Girl Scout Moon.” I don’t know whose idea it was for 10-yearold girls to peddle Thin Mints and Samoas from door-to-door in January — but it was

clearly not someone from Ohio. The marketing materials given to my daughter’s Girl Scout troop always show happy girls wearing shorts and colorful Tshirts skipping down sunny sidewalks. I have yet to see that happen here. If Ohio children were used, then the brochure would have a red-faced girl in a parka, mittens and snow boots climbing over a snow drift to get to your door. In 1977, that girl would have been me. January 1977 was one of the most bittercold years ever recorded in southwest Ohio. A record low temperature of -21 degrees was recorded on Jan. 17 and a blizzard struck on Jan. 27. The NOAA calls it, “a brutal stretch of weather (that) has been the measuring stick for any Arctic outbreak since…” According to WeatherSpark.com, Dayton, Ohio, had around five to 10 inches of snow on the ground continually for 44 consecutive days, from Jan. 1 to Feb. 13. Now, I’m not implying I actually sold cookies when the temperature was -21 degrees. But I do remember my neighbors were quite surprised to see me struggling up their driveway that year, battling through snow drifts, my cookie order form clutched tightly in my mitten. To this day, when I drive down certain streets in the neighborhood where I grew up, I see nothing but snow no matter what month it is. But pity sells a lot of cookies – I was a top seller that year with a patch to prove it! Take THAT, marketing! My moon name for February would be “Breaking Buckets Moon.” Frozen water buckets isn’t one of those

things they tell you about when you are thinking about getting a horse. I learned about it when I was a teenager and spending every free moment at the 50-stall barn where my horse was boarded. Since I was horse-crazy, I helped with everything, any time I had the chance. There was an old ax handle we used for “breaking buckets” to crack up the ice allowing the horses to drink in freezing weather. If the ice was really thick, we might have to lift the bucket out of the stall, stagger down the aisle with it, muscle open the partially frozen barn door and then take turns dropping it on the ground over and over until a huge round bucket-shaped ice cube fell out. It’s a lot easier to appreciate the suburbs after an afternoon of breaking buckets. I must have told my husband that story more than I realized, because when we built our barn and moved our horses into it, he insisted on heated water buckets. But old habits die hard, so I still find myself closely

watching the weather like a seasoned frontiersman, wondering if I need to get an ax handle out. (Full disclosure: “Closely watching the weather” for me actually involves surfing weather sites on the Internet and yelling, “WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE OUT THERE?” to my husband.) In my lunar calendar, March would be “Muddy Paws Moon.” Living in the country has taught me to accept I will always have a personal relationship with mud. We have three varieties of mud at our house: mud mixed with driveway gravel that is fairly easy to wipe off on a welcome mat, mud you pick up walking to the barn that doesn’t come off until summer and muddy dogs. Between the melting snow, thawing ground and rain, March is heaven for farm dogs. And it’s hard to get mad at them because they look so happy when they are covered in mud. Right after we moved to our farm in Chester Township, we brought home two dogs

from a rescue – a German Shepherd mix and a Rottweiler mix. They quickly learned to stop at the door for a paw inspection before coming into the house. They always submitted, despite the indignity of having their paws wiped off with a Smokey the Bear beach towel. But no matter how diligent we were, we would still find muddy paw prints in the house. Once we even found a trail of them leading to the family room couch. That, of course, is a whole other story. But if I were to tell it to the children, perhaps around a campfire, it would start like this: “It happened during the Muddy Paws Moon of 2002 in the time Before the New Couch.” n EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series.


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Story and photos by Pat Lawrence

Linda Masslow

Nancy S

n i m e ‘ h c t Ca

22 | Salt | January/February 2014

Beryl Gruelle

Connie Surber

It’s not haute cuisine, and the ingredients are handy rather than exotic, but some exceptionally fine eating goes on in our part of the country. No doubt, ready access to homegrown produce and farm-raised cattle contribute significantly to the good meals, but it takes a knowing hand to turn even fresh ingredients into something memorably delicious. Our local county cooking is like country cooking, only a little bit better. That “little bit” is the key. Seems like every county cook has a few secrets, a few little covert operations that set her culinary offerings above the rest. It’s why certain dishes become unalterably attached to certain names: Helen’s baked steak, Effie’s rolls, Jennifer’s brownies and, of course, Nancy’s taco salad. Prying counterintelligence from a Cold War spy is easier than getting cooking secrets from a county cook. It isn’t that they are unwilling to share; they’ll write the recipe out for you on the spot. But yours won’t taste the same, and no matter how many questions you ask, no matter how often you read that dang recipe back to them, no matter how carefully you measure, it will NEVER taste the same. It isn’t that they won’t tell you why. They can’t tell you why. Every one of them, and believe me, I’ve asked them all, say, quite sincerely, “I don’t do anything special.” For them, whatever it is that makes all the difference at the table is so natural, so unremarkable, it’s

no more noteworthy than turning on the stove in the kitchen. After years of culinary disappointments, like an eager bird watcher hoping to discover a hidden nest, I found that county cooks must be observed in their natural habitat. You have to actually watch them or you’ll never find out what makes their cooking the best. Even though they’re economical by nature, our good cooks are loyal to the brands that have been part of their best recipes and their best meals for

half ground meat and half ground pork, “for more flavor and less fat.” One cook adds about a fourth more onion than any recipe calls for. “It makes things a little more savory. A medium onion is about one cup chopped onion, so an extra fourth of a cup is about right.” She also adds at least a fourth of a teaspoon of dry mustard to soups, chili, stew and spaghetti, “pretty much everything! Dry mustard enhances flavor without adding any of its own.” She uses red new potatoes instead of

Prying counterintelligence from a Cold War spy is easier than getting cooking secrets from a county cook. decades. Sure, seemingly acceptable substitutions will provide reasonably acceptable results — just not the exact results. When you ask for their recipe, always ask for their brands. For county cooks, flavor trumps fancy, but that doesn’t mean they spend less time on preparation than city chefs. When Connie Surber from Clinton County makes stew, she doesn’t dump everything in the pot. She individually sautés each vegetable first. She says, “It makes layers of flavor and it makes an ordinary meal outstanding.” Her real secret is pork. “I use fresh ground pork — which is naturally lean and doesn’t need to be drained — and a pork thermometer, so I don’t overcook it,” she says. “A little pink means delicious.” For ground meat recipes, she uses

baking potatoes to make an especially savory potato soup, and to turn ordinary potato salad into a memorable side dish. “New potatoes are sweeter and have a smoother texture and more flavor,” she says. Corn casseroles are another specialty and her secret is to use white corn instead of yellow corn when the recipe calls for frozen or canned corn. “White corn makes it a little sweeter, a little more special.” County cooks choose fresh, lean meat whether it’s beef or fowl. To avoid clumps of ground meat, one moistens her hands and breaks the beef into a fine mix before adding other ingredients for a great textured spaghetti sauce. She also adds about a fourth a cup of oats to stretch ground meat for chili or spaghetti. “The oats absorb all the seasonings

Effie Boehm

Shelly Mor ton

n e h c t i k e h nt


Sharon Mills

she says, take real butter and selfdiscipline. For the rich, golden texture and taste that made Toll House Cookies the nation’s favorite cookie, keep the dough covered, in the fridge, for 24-48 hours before baking. For cakes, she says, “Add a teaspoon of vanilla to store-bought cake mixes. It gives them a more homemade taste.” County cooks learn from experience, either their mother’s or their own, and even in a hurry, they know some things can’t be rushed. If a recipe says sift the flour or confectioner’s sugar, they sift. Sifting helps prevent clumps. Also, each time a new ingredient is added to a recipe, they stir it in well before adding the next one. Thorough blending means richer, smoother flavor. No matter how far behind she might feel, Beryl Gruelle, of Highland County, wouldn’t think of using a “store-bought” pie crust. She says, “My mother always made her pie crust from scratch, and I make my pie crust from scratch because that’s how my mother did it.” She uses a pastry cutter to “cut in” the flour and lard. “The secret to keeping crusts from being soggy on the bottom, is just add half the flour to the Crisco to start and mix it in really well, then add the rest of the flour and mix that in really well, too. You gotta really mix it in.” Effie Boehm, of Belfast, gets ingredients like eggs and butter to room temperature before making pastries. Bacon grease is a staple condiment in county kitchens and not just a little. Besides using it in cabbage, greens and green beans, Linda even adds a

couple tablespoons to her vegetable soup. Mrs. H. adds extra bacon, finely chopped ingredients and stirs well at least three times for good dressing coverage to make the best tasting broccoli salad in Belfast. Helen Hawkins makes baked steak by browning tenderized, salt-andpeppered meat in a skillet of vegetable oil with a sprinkle of garlic powder and a few onions. She removes the meat to a casserole dish, then makes a gravy in the skillet with water, flour and the browned meat remains and pours the gravy over the meat for baking. It’s the best baked steak I’ve ever had. Effie uses oats to give her yeast rolls texture and flavor and they smell just as wonderful as they taste. And the secret ingredients in Belfast resident Nancy Sullivan’s taco salad are sharp cheddar cheese, Kraft Zesty Italian dressing and only Nacho Cheese Doritos. Nancy makes taco salad in giant crock bowls because no one ever has just one serving. Like every county cook I’ve asked about their specialties, she said, “It’s just what I always make, nothing special,” Check out recipes from but of course, it’s just these great cooks on better when it comes page 35 from her kitchen. n PAT LAWRENCE Pat is a professional journalist, congenital gardener and incorrigible collector of hostas for her historic Hillsboro home.

Salt | January/February 2014 | 23

and blend right in.” Another farm family manager adds a teaspoon of water to frying ground beef. She says,“It helps pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.” She also times the addition of garlic depending on who’s coming to dinner. “For company, I add garlic at the very start for a light garlic taste; when it’s just us, I add it toward the end of the cooking time.” Fried chicken is one of the basic food groups around here, and most families prefer the chicken their mothers make. Clarksville resident Shelly Morton’s mom taught her to soak chicken in buttermilk before frying it. “Mother usually rolls the pieces in flour, but she’ll use Bisquick or Panko bread crumbs or just about anything that sticks to chicken,” Shelly says. In turn, Shelly shared her trick about turkey. “I turn it upside down in the pan. It doesn’t look as pretty when it comes out of the oven, but it makes the breast really moist.” Linda Masslow, of Hillsboro, says she spent years looking forward to the next day’s turkey sandwiches, but not the Thanksgiving turkey itself, which always seemed a little dry. “Now, I just cover that whole turkey in parchment paper. It browns beautifully and is really tender.” Sharon Mills, of Hillsboro, the best cookie and cake maker I know, also uses parchment paper — for her cookies. “With parchment paper, cookies don’t stick, don’t spread so much and they bake more evenly. They just come out better.” And the best chocolate chip cookies,

Story by and photos courtesy of Stephanie Hardwick Stokes

24 | Salt | January/February 2014

Turning ‘blah’ into ‘ah’ I hate taking down our Christmas decorations. The house which had twinkled and sparkled all throughout the holidays has suddenly lost all of its magic. It looks and feels blah. And it doesn’t even smell like cookies since the January dieting has begun. Perhaps you have felt the same way? As our family burrows down for these dark winter months, I find myself “redecorating” and trying to add a bit of winter cheer. Allow me to share with you a few of my favorite decorating ideas for this snowy season. The easiest way is show you – so here are some great photographs of winter decorating ideas to bring solace for the soul. Set a welcoming mood Evergreens (or branches) in baskets, apple crates or even urns make such a welcoming statement. Whatever your design style, fresh greenery is God’s gift all winter long. We live on a farm and have numerous evergreens scattered over the acres. It has been our Christmas tradition to cut fresh branches from several differ-

Adding winter cheer to your home has never been easier ent types of pines and spruce, wire the branches together, adorn with a festive bow and attach to our outdoor light fixtures. For a number of years, we took these garnishments down at the conclusion of the holidays. Then it dawned on me, all I had to do was trade out the holiday ribbon for a more neutral color, or remove any ribbons at all, and the house appeared so much more inviting. I like to do this with my window boxes and hanging baskets as well. When the mums come out in the fall, pine and spruce branches go in the containers. By one or both of our entrances, we often have an antique Radial Flyer sled propped against the brick wall of the old farmhouse. Any vintage outdoor winter sports equipment would

do beautifully – snow shoes, skis, ice skates. See what you might have tucked away that could become your new entry accessory. This winter, I discovered the picture of the vintage bicycle wrapped in twinkling lights and thought my 4-year-old and 7-year-old children would adore this idea. Now all we need is the snow to keep the setting looking picture perfect. Go for the bold Large scale stripes and chevron patterns are everywhere in the design world. Painting a colored accent wall or adding some variety of stripes to an existing wall will definitely liven things up around the house. One of my kitchen walls is on the project list this winter. Cozy on up This is the time of year for pillows, throws — and lots of them. Trading out textiles is such a simple way to seasonally update your main living space or your bedroom. If you select seasonal pillow covers that are size appropriate to your more “everyday” pillows, it will make storage so much efficient. When

cold weather arrives, simply trade out the covers on your pillow inserts. Texture is a key element in interior design. When thinking pillow options, consider burlap, fur or faux fur, vintage knitted or crocheted, monogrammed and wool or flannel plaid selections.

tion. Lights and glass icicles add great pizazz but, depending on your design style, would certainly be optional. Another darling concept is using a rustic, antique crate and adding canning jars filled with Epson salt “snow” and candles along with your greenery. What a great focal point for a coffee table. I also like to start growing fresh herbs or forcing paper white bulbs in the kitchen this time of year. There is something so refreshing about seeing the new plants sprouting inside as you watch the snow swirl outside. May each of you have a blessed new year filled with many peaceful moments, awe-inspiring interior design and the solace of winter beauty. n

Antlers The reindeer may be gone for the year, but antlers are still the rage. Real, faux, mounted or loosely grouped in a display, you can’t go wrong with including antlers in your design plan. I have used them to update a bookcase shelf display, a mantle arrangement, end table accessories and the secretary style desk in our master bedroom. Animal print rugs Another easy winter update is adding an animal print rug, especially zebra prints and cowhides. Layering rugs provides the look of added warmth and texture and is a great solution since many of the animal print rugs are smaller in dimension. Front and center Update your coffee table, entry way or kitchen island. Tree branches and


pine cones in a cylinder vase provide a stylish yet simple statement. They give great height, yet are airy enough to not block your line of sight for conversa-

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have a little

faith 26 | Salt | January/February 2014

Story by Beverly Drapalik Photos by Maggie Wright

Guy and Sandy Ashmore stroll through the fields of their farm.

The Ashmores prepare to haul away firewood. those things, or did I want them? My situation moved my thoughts in a whole new direction. What if I wasn’t so sure the store would open as soon as it got some power? What if I could not have faith in the system that puts food into my pantry? I watch farmers on their machinery, season after season, working to provide for our community. Have I ever thought about their thoughts and faith at this time of the year when fields are bare? In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree; In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free! In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be, Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see. — from “Hymn of Promise,” by Natalie Sleeth A visit to Paul Schaefer brought my thoughts into perspective.

He and his wife, Judy, have been farming in the Oregonia area for around 38 years. He doesn’t think of retiring. “I will farm as long as I can,” Paul said. “Sure, there are aches and pains, but that’s part of it.” They have milked cows, baled hay, planted, harvested, and driven most types of machinery throughout the years. Paul remembers his first ride in a combine. “I was 12 or 13 at the time,” he said. “I sat in the front on a five-gallon bucket. It was a far cry from the equipment today, but I thought it was the best thing in the world!” He was hooked, and farming became a career. Today, Paul admits that farming must “come from the heart.” He grew up on the farm, playing in woods and creeks, but chores were part of his life. He says he learned to have respect for others as well as respect and appreciation for the land. “It is a big gamble to plant each year, and it takes faith

- Paul Schaefer that those seeds are going to grow,” he said. Spring is his favorite time of the year because he can see sprouts in the rows that he plants. “It’s God’s creation. Really, how much did I do?” The winter gives Paul a chance to actually think about farming. All other times of the year he is making plans, ordering seeds, mending fences, repairing machinery — a farmer’s work is never done. Well, that’s almost true. He jokes about the 4 x 4 on the back of this truck. “You know what that stands for? I work four weeks in the spring and four weeks in the fall,” he said. After the laughter, I notice the extra twinkle in his eyes. He admits that he is very blessed. The Schaefers farm about 3,800 acres, and all of that land is gaining strength at the moment. The winter gives Paul a chance to think and plan; it gives a chance for the land to rejuvenate; and it gives Paul and Judy a chance

Salt | January/February 2014 | 27

Driving into the Kroger parking lot one cold Thursday in December, I knew that the last of my errands would be completed in a few short minutes. As I walked up to the sliding doors, I noticed more than one person standing on the sidewalk. The windows were dark and the sign on the door read, “The store has lost power. Sorry for the inconvenience.” Well, to me it WAS an inconvenience; however, I began to think that for some of the people on that sidewalk, food could be a necessity. This particular Thursday happened to be the day before a predicted snowstorm. Walking back to my car, I thought, “Well, at least I can get gas for the car and go home … uh-oh. Maybe not!” The computers at the store were the same ones that run the gas pumps! So, driving home that day, alongside the corn and soybean farms, I was dwelling on the food and gas that I wanted at that moment. Did I need

“It’s God’s creation. Really, how much did I do?”

28 | Salt | January/February 2014

to be even more involved with their church, just around the corner. “Real” farmers apparently have similar views about their chosen profession. Talking with Guy and Sandy Ashmore reveals more about a special faith that crops will grow and land will rejuvenate during the winter. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. — Genesis 8:22 The Ashmores have been farming for more than 30 years. They are happy that all three of their children want to be involved in the business, That Guy’s Family Farm in Clarksville. They grow organic produce, pasture-raised meat and flowers. Eighty percent of their business is customer-based. They sell directly to people, and they love that part of the business. They admit that farming would be drudgery if not for the special people they see and hear from every day. Winter is also a special time for them: They can finally take a short vacation and the land has a chance to rejuvenate. Caring for animals, mending, planning, ordering and attending farm conferences are winter activities. They are careful to rest as much as possible, though. Guy reminds me that rest is biblical, as well as an “organic principle.” Many months, Guy and Sandy are planting, harvesting, and going to numerous farmers’ markets. Several times a year, when the driveway is full of cars and trucks, they are processing chickens. People show up just to help out and learn the process, and Guy says that is one of his passions — mentoring people who want to eat well and grow their own food. “The world needs more farmers. If someone wants to try farming, he should make sure he has a passion and

start small,” he said. Sandy quickly mentions that a good way to find out about farming is to “put yourself on a farm, literally.” The Ashmores “practice what they preach” because they have interns on their farm each year. Most recently they worked with students from Earlham College, Wilmington College and Miami University. Guy says that people are the favorite part of his work. He and Sandy enjoy connecting to “people who have an appreciation of clean food.” Guy likes the spring most because the land is coming out of dormancy and he wants to see what will come. Sandy enjoys summer because she gets to “exist outside” with no constrictions. She also enjoys the harvest because food is finally ready to eat. Then, becoming philosophical, they mention that aside from activities on the farm, they like making a difference in the community. They get to work with nature, and they feel that taking care of the land and people is the “right thing to do.” Their work includes “integrity, community, equality, and simplicity.” It also provides “peace.” I notice that they also live around the corner from their church. Not everyone can farm, and not everyone wants to farm. Everyone can, however, participate in farming by eating food grown in our community and listening to farmers’ stories. Farmers are not always on our minds because they do not have the huge signs like supermarkets do. Neither do they have gas pumps with ever-changing prices. They do, however, have faith. n BEVERLY DRAPALIK Beverly lives in WIlmington with her husband, Jeff. The also live with a dog, a cat, a parrot, chickens and bees. She teaches English at Wilmington College.

Story and photos by Beverly Drapalik The dormant trees stand tall next to a nearby cornfield.


science or habit? When you curl up in your favorite chair with a good book this winter, do you suddenly crave macaroni and cheese? Or do you automatically go to the fridge for carrot sticks? There may be a scientific reason for the winter craving of comfort food that supports our “dormant” way of life for a few months. We understand the science of dormancy, but we rarely think that we are creatures following the laws of nature. We try to conduct all of our usual activities, even as days become shorter. We want to sleep and eat more, feeling generally sluggish for most of the winter. Animals actually “go dormant” during the winter. Some sleep for weeks at a time, only to arouse and conduct necessary routines without really waking. We try to conduct “business as usual,” and we add even more activities such as making quilts, cooking desserts and planning spring gardens. Our old habits keep us moving, but when we walk outside, we probably notice the extreme dormancy of winter. Leaves are gone from the trees and the land looks barren. Maybe we should take a lesson from nature, and instead of calling winter “depressing,” we

Rose of Sharon in the winter.

should relish in the opportunity to prepare ourselves for spring. Farmers know first-hand the life cycle of the land that provides food for many. Individuals who care about producing food only for themselves, however, have help in our counties’ extension offices. Tony Nye and David Dugan are the agriculture and natural resource educators for the OSU Extension in our region. They immerse themselves in telling our community about the land and its produce. Whether they are talking about crops or animals, they continue to consult in our region so that we can be ready for production in the spring. David spends his time in meetings, advising farmers and assessing research during the winter. Not only does he work with farmers in the industry,

but he is available to advise individuals about their vegetable gardens. He does suggest planting cover crops so that nitrogen doesn’t leave the soil. “Rye and wheat are traditional cover crops,” he said. “Probably root crops, such as radishes, are a bigger benefit to the soil because they break up the ground.” The ground is the most important factor in food production. This region is fortunate to have Spectrum Analytic in Washington Court House. For a nominal fee, this company can analyze soil and give advice about additives. Tony also spends the winter months working on farm rental agreements, tax information and rental rates — in short, the business side of farming. Tony is also the program coordinator for the Small Farm Program in Ohio. Wilmington College is the site of the Small Farm Conference on March 7 and March 8, 2014. Another conference will be in Mahoning County on March 22, 2014. Another project is Tony’s involvement in an urban agricultural economic development project in Dayton. The project

Radishes and rye can be used as a cover crop.

includes turning vacant lots into food production plots, and it targets the many ethnic communities in Dayton. Tony says the “goal is to develop economic viability within the city of Dayton.” Preparation of the land begins in the fall with the removal of old plants, growing of cover crops, building compost bins and testing soil. During the winter, if not able to migrate south, we can simply sit back with our comfort food, find indoor activities, and accept the “dormancy” nature has given us. n Contact Information Tony Nye: Nye.1@osu.edu or 937-382-0901 David Dugan: Dugan.46@osu.edu or 937-515-2314 The OSU Extension website is extension.osu.edu. Also, each county has its own site at the name of the county.osu.edu. Example: Clinton.osu.edu

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what happened to your


30 | Salt | January/February 2014

By Eileen Brady

“Sabbath was initially intended not as a heavy theological mandate, but as common sense — because we need to renew,” said the Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson, pastor at Wilmington’s First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The word “sabbath” means “to rest,” or even “to cease,” which makes the action more intentional, Stephenson said.

If you’re sitting down with this magazine, perhaps with a hot cup of tea, you’re probably not the person who needs to read this particular article. Maybe you should pass it on to one of those people who says, “I’m so busy” as a badge of honor. Tap Mrs. Busy on the shoulder and ask her to look up from her smartphone. Tell Mr. Busy to read after midnight, since he brags that he only needs five hours of sleep. Slip it to him on Sunday as he sits in the bleachers at his kid’s sporting event. It’s now a 24/7 world, and we’ve been conditioned to think that more is better, convenience is mandatory, and rest is a four-letter word. For 2,000 years, it was much different: A day of sabbath was observed across cultures, with time for worship and repose. Only in the past several decades has it eroded to the point where nearly any activity — shopping, sports, bar-hopping, working — can happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Sabbath was initially intended not as a heavy theological mandate, but as common sense — because we need to renew,” said the Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson, pastor at Wilmington’s First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The word “sabbath” means “to rest,” or even “to cease,” which makes the action more intentional, Stephenson said. Resting on the seventh day is the essence of the Fourth Commandment, and it applies not only to free humans, but to their servants and their animals. In the Old Testament, Stephenson said, it was about justice — even the slaves had to have days off. “The wisdom of that is that

even God takes a break, that God has downtime,” Stephenson said. Even farm fields are supposed to be allowed a sabbath every seventh year, though it never quite caught on. “There’s a time when the ground lies fallow — we forgot the fallow part. We’ve bought into a culture that says, ‘What have you done for me lately?’” Stephenson said. Both Stephenson and Victoria DeSensi, assistant professor of psychology at Wilmington College, point to a cultural shift in which downtime is actively discouraged. DeSensi, in her early 30s, remembers a time when stores were not open on Sundays — but now many are open 24 hours a day, including on Thanksgiving. Stephenson believes the post-World War II industrial revolution kicked off the notion of working without rest, and he remembers his father in the early 1960s holding three jobs to make sure the family owned its home instead of renting. “It’s no surprise that when we got to the mid-’60s, that families were falling apart in record numbers,” he said. From a psychological perspective, DeSensi said, a social norm has been created, and people think they’re now supposed to go shopping on a holiday that for hundreds of years had been a down day of family and food. Most stores opened their doors in 2013 on Thanksgiving, a formerly untouchable American holiday. “Blue laws” that ban Sunday activities in many states, dating to the 1600s, have gradually been repealed, with a few still on the books.

stopped attending services. Some churches have responded to the loss of families by adding alternative service times on Saturday, so church members can attend both sports and worship, according to the Association of Religion Data Archives. Other churches have instituted their own sports leagues to counter the exodus. Stephenson said he sees many families whose children participate in multiple extracurricular activities each week, and he worries most that the children themselves are not able to have their own downtime, their own sabbath, in order to rejuvenate themselves. The culture of academia supposedly embraces the idea of a sabbatical (based in “sabbath”), but professors and their students are not immune to the pressures of being on call or studying all hours of the day. DeSensi worries about the potential for burnout in some of her colleagues, and she knows that the majority of her students at Wilmington College, unlike her peers in graduate school at Indiana University, work jobs to help pay for school, in addition to their academic obligations. “It’s something I’ve had to remind myself, that these students are definitely overworked,” DeSensi said. Students are also now in nearly constant communication with other people through social media. Nearly 75 percent of adults ages 18 to 44 sleep within reach of their cellphones, according to a Stanford University study. According to various medical studies, lack of sleep leads to many health issues, including stroke, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression and the top U.S. killers: heart disease and cancer. Lack of sleep also causes people to make careless mistakes and have poor judgment, which can affect their daily work or their safety in an automobile.

“The restorative qualities (are) obviously something essential to physical health,” DeSensi said. “It’s kind of ironic, because people are trying to be more productive, but they end up making preventable errors.” DeSensi said she personally tries to be more efficient during work hours so she can leave for home at a decent time, where she uses her 35-minute commute to decompress. She also strives to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Stephenson admitted that pastors — with their round-the-clock access to congregants — are as guilty as anyone when it comes to burning the candle at both ends. However, he said, his current congregation is extremely understanding when he does find he needs time off, and he has tried to make sure he takes some time for himself. Like computers, he said, we sometimes just need to reboot. When a day of rest is not built into cultural expectations, and vacation days frequently go to waste, workers often become less productive because they are exhausted. A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. Many U.S. corporations are learning this lesson. Google, named for the fourth time the best company to work for in the United States, offers its workers nap pods, maintains 1,000 bicycles on its campus for workers’ use, and gives employees their own garden space to grow vegetables, among other innovations that keep employees happy and productive. The United States, however, is the only developed country in the world without a single legally required paid vacation day or holiday, according to the Center for Economic Policy and Research. By law, every country in the European Union has at least four work

weeks of paid vacation. And, unlike many American workers, the vacation is used each year. n EILEEN BRADY Eileen is the coauthor of “Images of America: Wilmington.” She can be reached at brady11@mac.com.

A FEW WAYS TO SPEND A DAY OF REST • Determine what “rest” truly means to you. Some people are introverted, so being alone and without the company of others helps them recharge. Extroverts, however, will find it rejuvenating to be among people. • Unplug from electronic noise. Shut down your computer, your smartphone, your television. Remove your Bluetooth and your children’s earbuds. Listen to the sounds of nature instead. Hear the wind blow through trees, the rain pelting the ground, the birds chirping. • Enjoy family time by playing board games or reading aloud. But don’t always include family in your own personal sabbath: People also need time alone with their thoughts, or with their spouse, away from children. Children, too, need time without noise and expectations and electronics. • Take a rest from worry and activities that stress you out. Don’t pay bills or work on your taxes, even if it’s quiet and you’re alone. • Remember time for recreation and hobbies. “Recreate” means to “make new again.” Paint, draw, look at art, gaze at nature. • Slowly savor a well-cooked meal. If you enjoy cooking, create a meal that you will enjoy. If cooking stresses you out, have something cooked for you by a professional.

Salt | January/February 2014 | 31

A couple of major companies have resisted the sevenday trend: Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby. Chick-fil-A’s 1,700 fast-food restaurants and Hobby Lobby’s 560 craft stores are closed on Sundays. Chick-fil-A’s founder believes that “all franchised Chick-fil-A operators and their restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so,” according to a statement on the company’s website. Nordstrom department stores, Costco warehouse clubs, and Menards hardware stores did not open this past Thanksgiving. Menards instead issued the following statement: “As a family-owned company, Menards believes Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness. With this in mind, we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day so you and our Team Members can celebrate this joyous time with family and friends.” The cultural expectations also play out in regard to when families should spend time together, or how sacred church services truly are. Stephenson and his wife have lived in Georgia and North Carolina, where there remains a Southern standard of keeping Sundays and Wednesday evenings clear of obligations outside family and church. Coaches of youth sports would push parents to allow their children to compete and practice on those days, but the Southern expectations and norms gave the parents the backbone to push back — with the parents winning out, Stephenson said. The any-day-is-sportsday philosophy is alive and well in Ohio and plenty of other states, however. A study published in the March 2013 edition of Review of Religious Research found that pastors of 16 “declining” American and Canadian Protestant churches blamed outside activities, particularly youth sports, as the main reason families have




By Andrea L. Chaffin

32 | Salt | January/February 2014

Local caterer shares secrets with Salt readers When Mike Allering told his wife and business partner he agreed to share the recipe for their famous pork loin with Salt readers, she was concerned. “She raised an eyebrow,” he explains. “She said, ‘What are you doing? Isn’t that going to give away the secret?’” Some have said the roasted pork loin All Seasons Catering prepares is the best they’ve ever had. It’s a dish often requested by the Highland County caterer and often suggested by Allering and his wife, Beth, a Leesburg native. After being asked for the recipe for years — and sick of giving the old an-

swer of, “Sure, but I’d have to kill ya” — Allering decided to share his method. “I can tell people exactly how I make this, and even if they do make it, it won’t be the exact same,” he says. “It’s important to have consistency. My consistency will be different than your consistency. I don’t have a fear of a closely guarded secret getting out and ruining me because it won’t happen. I have to be confident in my job.” All Seasons, based out of Leesburg, was started by the Allerings about eight years ago when the couple had the opportunity to purchase Nancy’s Catering.

Before that, Mike had worked in the food industry as a cook, manager and caterer for about 25 years, starting during the 1980s when he met a mentor at a high school job. “She had a love for cooking and I caught it from her and ran with it,” he recalls. “She taught me lots and lots of things about cooking and life, too.” By the late 1980s, he made his way to Maisonette, a Cincinnati dining establishment that was among the best in the country for decades. Describing his and Beth’s current venture as a “mom and pop shop,” All

Seasons serves comfort food to groups of six to 500 people. Highland County makes up the most amount of business, with Clinton and Fayette counties following. Among the other favorite made-fromscratch dishes are garlic Parmesan chicken, hash brown casserole, and macaroni and cheese. “Around here it’s, ‘Can I have two starches with my meat?” Mike laughs. “I usually try to sneak a green bean in there somewhere.” The best thing about the food industry — and the reason the Allerings decided to stick with their own business — is the instant gratification. When people walk into the line, load up their plates and make comments following the meal like, “That’s the best ___ I’ve ever had.” “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “I’m just trying to make food taste good.” n

ROAST PORK LOIN Ingredients: 3 lb. boneless pork loin Chicken stock Montreal chicken seasoning Sweet basil leaf Directions: Place pork loin in a roasting pan. Top with Montreal chicken seasoning, liberally. Pour chicken stock over loin, covering only halfway. Cover pan tightly with foil or a good-fitting lid. Roast in 350-degree oven for two hours

and 30 minutes. Place pan in refrigerator overnight. Next day, remove pork loin and slice. In a saucepan, combine two tablespoons sweet leaf basil with the liquid from roasting pan and heat to boiling. Thicken with flour, as any gravy. Place sliced pork loin in oven dish. Pour gravy over. Cover and heat in 350-degree oven for one hour. Serve with whipped potatoes.


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Salt | January/February 2014 | 33


protecting precious pollinators… one yard at a time Story and photos by Carol Chroust

34 | Salt | January/February 2014

“To Make a Prairie” By Emily Dickinson

Many insects, like this beetle, pollinate by crawling among the leaves, stems and flowers.

stated in the Dickinson poem, “If bees are few…,” in reality, they are. And in this instance, the revery alone won’t do. To make a prairie it takes Many scientists fear the a clover and one bee, — honey bee demise is just the One clover, and a bee, beginning of things to come And revery. on a larger scale. Perhaps it is The revery alone will do, the first tip of the iceberg of a If bees are few. Titanic-style issue and the rest of the gigantic iceberg is hovIt is winter. Everything is still, dormant, at peace. A fresh ering just below the surface of the future. snow sparkles as early sun In an extensive article, “The rays strike. People are subPlight of the Honeybee,” Time dued, stirring slowly awake Magazine, Aug. 19, 2013, in the morning as they check outside to see what transpired “Scientists coined an approin the night. All looks quiet with priate apocalyptic term for the mysterious malady: colonyfew signs of life. collapse disorder (CCD)….” But, if you place your ear and is what “some greens next to a honey bee hive, you call ‘second silent spring,’ a can hear it humming. The reference to Rachel Carson’s bees are keeping themselves breakthrough 1962 book, and the hive warm by cluster“Silent Spring….” “The first ing and vibrating their wings. recorded colony collapse was The hive is vibrant, alive and in 2006.” thriving! Heavily researched, most However, in more and more scientists agree CCD is places, the hives are silent. They are full of honey, but there caused, or partially caused, by is not a bee in sight. Somehow, a cocktail of new agricultural chemicals and fungicides. somewhere, they all died … The crop seeds are soaked billions and billions of them. While we admire butterflies in the cocktail. The chemicals and other pollinators, bees are transfer into the plants and the honey bee is exposed. usually regarded as stingAnother scientific focus is ing creatures to avoid. Honey on improving open spraying bees, however, are one of our methods, especially during most helpful friends in the insect world and are at the top high honey bee activity. The bees feed on wildflowof the Precious Pollinator List. ers and plants next to fields. They are responsible for The chemical cocktail acpollinating two-thirds of food cumulates in honey bees, crops here and abroad. As attacking their nervous, flying honey bee numbers decline, the loss to agriculture is tens of and navigational systems, and causes a lowering of the imbillions of dollars. Of worldwide concern, honey bees are mune system. They become disappearing fast. As playfully vulnerable to viral, fungal and

A honey bee sips nectar from a Russian sage flower. The bee brushes pollen from front to back and collects it in a pollen sac on the back leg. Here, the pollen sac is swollen with yellow-orange pollen.

Recipes from “Catch ‘em in the kitchen” page 23 SHARON’S SUGAR COOKIES 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. cream of tartar 1 cup butter 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup granulated sugar plus extra for stamping 1 cup powdered sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp. vanilla extract Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with kitchen parchment paper or grease lightly. In medium bowl, mix together flour, soda and cream of tartar. In large bowl, beat butter, oil and sugars until completely blended and mixture is creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Stir in dry ingredients until well blended. Drop dough, using cookie scoop or level measuring tablespoonfuls, on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball to 3/8” thickness using cookie stamp or bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. BERYL’S PIE CRUST Single Bottom Crust 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp. salt ½ cup Crisco shortening 3 tbsp. water Double Crust 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt ¾ cup Crisco shortening 4 tbsp. water Single Top Crust ¾ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup Crisco shortening 2 tbsp. water Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in Crisco ½ at a time until mixture is uniform and very fine. Sprinkle water, 1 tbsp. at a time, and work lightly with a fork. For double crust, divide dough into 2 equal parts. Roll dough about 1/8” thick between sheets of lightly floured waxed paper. Remove top paper and turn crust over into pie pan. More Remove remainRecipes ing paper and fit page 39 the crust into the pan, fluting edges with a fork.

Salt | January/February 2014 | 35

Nature a boost at the same time. There are many blossoms honey bees love and visit again and again. If they have a regular food supply nearby, they don’t have to fly so far. If a honey bee must travel two to five miles to find food, it can make only so many trips during the daylight. They must have an adequate supply of honey for their winter food. Every little bit for the bee helps. Even one bee-friendly plant on a small balcony or front porch can provide a lot of food for a tiny bee. Many people are becoming urban beekeepers. At least one community garden bacterial diseases, parasite China, one of the most in Rhode Island placed a hive mites and insect invaders. chemically toxic countries in the corner of the garden. America is behind. This on earth, is already there. There was a wonderful year, the European ComShockingly, Southwest China atmosphere, a small oasis of mission banned that group lost its honey bees due to the peace, in this community garof chemicals with a two-year disregard and unabashed den with all the flourishing restriction. overuse of toxic chemicals. vegetables and herbs wellWith research done on The honeybees are just tended by honey bees. The honey bee hives only, it about gone. garden had active, happy is difficult to measure the Is there a substitute on the bees and abundant yields. wild honey bee population. horizon? Several sources Perhaps adding bee hives Time magazine stated that reported a Chinese exto your back yard or going scientists report it is in “far periment in pear and apple native isn’t quite there for worse shape.” It depends groves where humans hand- you yet. By avoiding toxic on how close the wild bees pollinated each fruit blossom chemicals in your yard and live to where toxic chemicals with a brush. The time and choosing standard honey are being used. Bumble bee cost on a world-wide scale bee-friendly flowers, plants numbers, along with other would be too astronomical. and seeds from your local active pollinators, are also Bringing the situation home, plant supply source, you are diminishing fast. how much would one of becoming part of the soluWe are all aware that airthose pears, or any handtion, one yard at a time. dependent creatures and pollinated fruit or vegetable, To be helpful and expand plants, including us, are at cost on our local grocery the interest and beauty in great risk from too much store shelf? your yard, why not also chemical exposure, internalResearchers at Harvard add some butterfly and ly and externally. With all of University are working on an bird-attracting plants and a our technology, knowledge artificial “bee,” the Robobee. small water source? By makand expertise, how can this It is far from plausible and ing all these amazing and be happening? will take years to perfect. beautiful creatures welcome, The honey bee was here How many millions of robotic there’s no telling who might 100 million years ago. With bees and dollars would it drop by. n 137-200 plant, insect, bird take to pollinate massive and mammal species vanish- crops? CAROL ing daily, could our honey There is something each of CHROUST Carol has written bee, other precious pollinaus can do to help right away. for nearly 30 years tors, and hundreds of our We can be proactive and join for local, regional, favorite fruits and vegetables the battle to save our bees. state and national also disappear on our If we become honey beepublications. She is watch? friendly and provide a “Safe working on a historical fiction novel series. She and her husband, Jim, “Surely not!” we say again. BzzZone,” we add beauty to reside in Wilmington. “It couldn’t happen!” our lives and give Mother

Reader Recipes PAN-ROASTED SPICED APPLES Helen Ellison Waynesville, Ohio

“The recipe when you leave the peel on is a lot like baked apples, but is easier to eat with peeled apples,” Helen writes. “Either way, it is yummy!”

mixture until smooth. Add salt, apple cider and sour cream or Greek yogurt and blend well. Return to low heat 5-10 minutes. Ladle into bowls, top with apple and fresh ground black pepper, and enjoy!

6 apples (cored and quartered, peeled or unpeeled) 1 tbsp. butter or coconut oil 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. nutmeg Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter in cast iron skillet. Arrange apples cut side up in skillet. Combine sugar and spices. Sprinkle over apples. Roast for about 10 minutes or until bubbly and apples are beginning to grow soft. If after 10 minutes or so apples are not soft, turn oven down to 400 to finish so sauce does not burn. Good served with vanilla ice cream for dessert or by itself as a side dish.


36 | Salt | January/February 2014

Emily Wilt South Vienna, Ohio

1 shallot, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup water 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth 3/4 cup apple cider 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 apple, cored and diced or thinly sliced (to put on top) Fresh ground black pepper In large pot, heat shallot, garlic and water over medium heat and cook 3-5 minutes. Add squash and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. In blender or food processor, puree squash

the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. When it comes out clean, the cake is done. The cake should be golden, but not too brown. • For the frosting With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the butter on high speed until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and blend in the sugar and vanilla. Beat well until the frosting is smooth. When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting and nuts between the layers and on the sides and top of the cake. Cake can be made a few days in advance. Flavors develop nicely over time. Store in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before ready to serve.

ITALIAN CREAM CAKE Melinda Harris Wilmington, Ohio

Ingredients: • Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 2 cups sugar 6 large eggs, separated 1 cup buttermilk, well shaken 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut • Italian Cream Frosting: 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1 stick butter, at room temperature 1 pound confectioners’ sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup chopped toasted pecans Directions: • For the cake Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening with the sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition. With the mixer on medium speed, add the flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with buttermilk. Add the vanilla, coconut and nuts and stir well to incorporate. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, whip

BAKED POTATO SOUP Jerri Gross Wilmington, Ohio

6 large baking potatoes 1/2 stick butter 1/2 cup flour 7 cups of milk 1 bunch of green onions, chopped 1/2 lb. fried bacon, crumbled 1 and 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese 1 cup of sour cream Salt and pepper to taste Bake potatoes until done, let cool. Peel and cut potatoes into bite-size pieces. In a large pot on medium heat, melt butter, add flour and stir until blended. Increase heat to medium-high, slowly adding milk until mixture is almost to a boil. Add potatoes, green onions and bacon. Stir in cheese and sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy. n

Submit your recipes for a chance to win a $25 gift card! See details on page 6.


March 1 The 11th Annual Adams County Amish Bird Symposium from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Join the Adams County Travel & Visitor’s Bureau and the Adams County Amish Community for a daylong celebration of birds that features speakers, vendors, live raptors from Raptor Incorporated, as well as other activities. Registration is required. For more information, call 937-544-5639 or toll-free at 1-877-232-6764.

CLINTON COUNTY Feb. 1 Hotel California: Eagles Tribute at The Murphy Theatre. This original tribute to the Eagles draws crowds of all ages with different musical styles. The Eagles’ great harmonies have been enjoyed by audiences across the world. Visit www. themurphytheatre.org or call 877-274-3848 for more details.

Feb. 8 Renfro Valley Barn Show from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Murphy Theatre. This variety show of talent comes complete with artists proficient in country, bluegrass, gospel and much more. For details, visit www.themurphytheatre.org or call 877-274-3848.

Feb. 14 Wild Carrot - New Lyceum Artist from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the historic Murphy Theatre. Pam Temple and Spencer Funk are Wild Carrot. This awardwinning Cincinnati-based group has what it takes to please all types of folk music fans. Rooted in traditional American music, their repertoire branches in diverse directions from original tunes to swing to blues. For more information, go to www. themurphytheatre.org or call 877-274-3848. Feb. 15 - 16 Hot Shot Classic Cattle Show at Roberts Arena. Free show. For more information, go to www. robertsarena.com.

Feb. 21 - 23 World’s Greatest All-Around Horse Show at Roberts Arena. Free show. For details, visit www. robertsarena.com. March 13 Home Study Hunter Safety Class from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Cowan Lake Association of Sportsmen. This class is required for a firsttime hunter license. It is free and open to the public. Participants register through the 1-800-WILDLIFE number and must complete the home study course prior to class. Attendance of the class complete requirements. For more information, call 937-289-2340.

FAYETTE COUNTY Feb. 22 United Way Spring Dance at the Fayette County Fairgrounds. Begins at 8 p.m.

GREENE COUNTY Feb. 1 - March 22 Project Feeder Watch at the Narrows Reserve Nature Center

in Beavercreek. Participate in a research project with Greene County Parks & Trails as well as the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Project Feeder Watch this season beginning at 1 p.m. Saturdays from Feb. 1 to March 22. For more information, call Greene County Parks & Trails at 937-562-6440. Feb. 15 Greene County Parks & Trails Full Moon Hike at 6:30 p.m. at Sara Arnovitz Preserve in Xenia. For more information, call Greene County Parks & Trails at 937-562-6440 or email abotkin@ co.greene.oh.us. Feb. 26 Greene County Career Center Chamber Networking Event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The Greene County Career Center will host a business networking event for the area Chamber of Commerce members. The event will be catered by students in the awardwinning culinary arts program. For more information, contact the Career Center at 937-3726942, extension 111. n

First Christian Church of Wilmington

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We have been locally owned since 1912 and you still can call us for your insurance needs on a personal level from people you know.


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Salt | January/February 2014 | 37

Helping folks sort out life’s mazes since 1828.

38 | Salt | January/February 2014

And one more thought...

“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter… In winter, the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity.“

— John Burroughs, “The Snow-Walkers,” 1866 Photo by Barb Regan, Wilmington

More recipes from “Catch ‘em in the kitchen” continued from page 35

Boil 2 cups of water. Add 3 tbsp. oleo and 1 cup of quick oats. Stir and cool to lukewarm. To the oats, add ½ cup lukewarm water, 1 package yeast, 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Stir in 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in 4-5 cups all-purpose flour. Knead until smooth, about 4 minutes. Let rise. Make into rolls. Lightly cover and allow to rise, about 45 minutes. Grease a 9x13 pan and place rolls lightly touching. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. NANCY’S TACO SALAD 1 lb. lean hamburger, fried and drained 2/3 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, broken into pieces 2 - 3 cut up tomatoes 1 cut up green pepper

1 large head of lettuce, torn 1 chopped red onion Add grated sharp cheddar cheese as much as you like (to your taste) Add Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing as much as you like (to your taste) Mix as salad when ready to serve. Top individual servings with Ortega Taco Sauce, sour cream and guacamole at the table. LINDA’S HOMEMADE VEGETABLE SOUP 3 lbs. lean ground beef Large onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 2 large tbsp. bacon grease 1 quart jar or large can whole tomatoes, chopped 1 quart or medium can whole kernel corn, liquid included 1 quart or medium can green beans, liquid included 1 quart or medium-sized frozen bag of peas, liquid included Small head cabbage, shredded 2-3 carrots, chopped (I like a thicker cut carrot) 3-4 potatoes, chopped (I like the potatoes a bit chunky)

1 quart or large can tomato juice (I prefer Campbell’s tomato juice) You can add any other vegetable that you like Salt and pepper to taste Brown ground beef, onion and celery together, then add the rest to the soup. Let it simmer for a couple of hours or until the carrots are tender. It always made plenty for our large family. EFFIE’S MOST REQUESTED BUTTER HORNS 1 package yeast 1 tbsp. plus 1 cup warm water ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar

½ cup oleo, melted 3 eggs, beaten 4 cups flour Mix yeast, 1 tbsp. warm water and 1 tbsp. sugar. Add 1 cup warm water, ½ cup sugar and melted oleo. Add three beaten eggs and 4 cups flour. Mix and refrigerate, covered, overnight. Divide into three sections. Roll dough to ¼ inch thick and cut in pie-slice sized wedges. Roll up wedges from long end. Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes. Brush with butter when done. * Oleo is another term for margarine.

Highland County Veterinary Hospital HIGHLAND COUNTY

VETERINARY HOSPITAL 740-393-2500 1440 N. High St. Hillsboro, OH



201 North Avenue Lynchburg, OH

New Patients Always Welcome!

Jarrod D Thoroman, DVM & Kathryn Thomas, DVM 40544815

EFFIE’S OAT ROLLS 2 cups water 1 cup quick oats 3 tbsp. oleo ½ cup lukewarm water 1 package dry yeast 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt 4-5 cups all-purpose flour

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Highland County Water Company, Inc. Main Office U.S. Rt. 50 West, Hillsboro, OH 937-393-4281 • 1-800-533-6839

Serving Highland, Adams, Ross, Brown & Clinton Counties! Water Service to the Area 40543880

Salt | January/February 2014 | 39

Treatment Plant 14080 U.S. Rt. 50, Hillsboro, OH 1-800-536-6839 • 937-365-1141


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