Fifteen grandchildren of Harry D. and Adena Nelson came together this past weekend at Fritz and Margaret's farm from all over the U.S. and Mexico to celebrate their shared past and common gene pool. As you can see from the photos they were all freshly washed and wearing their best T-shirts and bibs to impress the relatives. The weather was gorgeous and sitting on the crest of a hill on the old Louie Herth place, the locale is stunning, with rambling perennial gardens and a five mile vista. Earlier I said it was Fritz and Margaret's farm. It's not. Judging by the restored horse barn and a enormous hippodrome, it belongs to Margaret, her horses and the pack of dachshunds who guard the farm against rabbits, squirrels and other interlopers. Fritz is allowed to live there only as long as he performs his services in a satisfactory manner.
After milling around talking, drinking dark, hoppy beer and picnic wine, Chuck Shaw's finest, we moved to the open garage for a little food - a potluck of traditional picnic dishes - barbecued pork, Clarks Grove salad, and various wonderful desserts. When you assemble a group of older (can I say that?) Danish ladies, all giving it their best shot, you can really eat well.
After having "a little lunch" people pulled the chairs into a circle and talked smart, shared memories and passed around old albums, snapshots and scrapbooks. A high point was Chuck Nelson and Patty announcing their pending marriage, which of course surprised no one, but was still touching. An nice advantage for the family was a standing invitation for free room and board at their home in Baja. I think we should surprise them en masse. As eyelids started getting heavier we went into the house for a book exchange. Now, I have to tell you, it's wonderful marrying into a family that has book exchanges. These are not prearranged. When they get together they just all bring stacks of books to share. There were more books there than a small library, all with personal reviews. Just wonderful!
Late in the evening people drifted off to their homes or hosts, only to reassemble in the morning at our home for "a little breakfast'', consisting of a baked egg, cheese, onion, sausage, etc dish, assorted fresh fruit and ABELESKIVER! with Hope Creamery butter and maple syrup...and more coffee and talking.
Monday morning Fritz and his sister, Judijudijudi climbed on his BMW and headed for L.A. where he will drop her off and then motor back to Minnesota. Lorna and I took her brother, Kurt and sister, Joy to the airport in Minneapolis and returned home to a life finally winding back to normal again.
Clarks Grove Salad
1 7 oz pkg shell macaroni
1 can peas
I can French style green beans
2 c shredded carrots
1 can kidney beans
Drain & marinate 1 hr in 1 c wt vinegar
Mix : 2 c mayonnaise
1/2 pt whipping cream
½ c sugar
1 jar mustard
Pour over drained vegetables and add macaroni.
Add: 1 sm diced onion
1 green pepper
1 c celery
Make one day ahead. Keeps for 2 to 3 weeks.
Fresh vegetables may be substituted…then referred to as Geneva Salad.
Abeleskiver (including penciled margin notes)
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp baking soda
Pre-heat pan for 15 minutes on medium heat.
Beat egg yolks until they’re light. Add sugar and beat until thickened. Sift dry ingredients and add, alternating with butter and milk. Beat egg whites until soft and fold into batter. Fill iron pan cups 2/3 full. Cook medium until bubbly and turn over with a fork. Cook until they are golden brown.
If using apples or other fruit, pre-cook fruit and push in little pieces before turning over.
Make 3x or 4x for Christmas, depending on how many are coming.
Looks like you really lucked out when you married into the Nelson family, Gunnar. Certainly, they have improved your eating and drinking habits as well as expanded your book reading horizon.
Question: what's a "Clarks Grove salad?" Sounds like something an old toad would like to munch on ... not to mention the Abeleskiver ... yummm!
P.S. Put in a good word for me with newlyweds Chuck and Patty ... and I'll show up on their doorstep in Baja someday (it's a long "hop" from Oregon ... but a lot closer than Minneysoda).
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