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February 10, 2013
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

I have taken a vacation for the last few months. No I wasn't on some warm beach, but recuperating from a broken hip. Something I wasn't planning on but accidents have a way of happening and though I'm still recovering I feel on the right track. The weather has been so bad that now is a good time to be house-bound. I found out just last week I shattered my femur and also broke my hip. Something that's going to take time. So far, things have been going along fine. I was afraid after our daughter, Vicki, left for Germany that Virgil would have his hands full with me but the county nurse, therapists and aides twice a week, we have done just fine.

Even though I don't really get out in the weather, it was good to say good-bye to January and hello to February. We have seen enough of snow, ice and cold weather and now maybe we'll be looking at better weather. February is a short month and when March comes spring can't be far away. There isn't much to celebrate in January, but February has a lot going for it. There are all kinds of things to celebrate like The Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, Lincoln and Washington's birthdays and Mardi Gras.

No matter where you live people always seem to have some kind of weather. In Iowa we can have some pretty severe winter weather. Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strung winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain. I have heard winter storms as the "Deceptive Killers" because most deaths are indirectly related to the weather and cold.

It is only natural that people like to eat more in the winter, not only from boredom, but for an ancient need. This is the time of the year that I like to cook comfort foods. One favorite of my kids and grand kids is porcupine meat balls. These have a great taste or maybe it's how they look.


1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1/4 onion, chopped fine

1/2 slice white bread

1 can tomato soup

salt, pepper or seasoning

salt, to taste

Take 1/2 slice white bread broken into pieces, add 1/2 cup cold water and mix. Add to meat, seasoning, onion and rice. Form into meatballs and place into ungreased, covered electric fry pan or heavy fry pan. Cover with one can tomato soup and 1 can water, which have been mixed together. Place cover on skillet or fry pan. Cook on medium heat (just so tomato juice lightly boils) until rice pops out like a porcupine.

I have also done this in the oven by baking them in a 359 degree oven, covered, until rice pops out.

"Stay warm."



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