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March 11, 2013
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

There's nothing timid about this winter. It seems it is like a winter we used to talk about, but hadn't had for awhile. I've heard many bemoan this winter and what could be ahead for the rest of March. The weather can be severe with the mercury really dipping and the wind really blowing the snow around, but as long as we keep power, I don't complain too much.

March can have a warm side. A few weeks ago we did have warmer temperatures and bright sunshine and the hopeful sound of water dripping from the melting snow on the roof. Now that melting snow has turned into some giant icicles. However, one of these days we will have milder temperatures, bright sunshine and the hope of water dripping from the roof.

When I hear someone say, "Will this winter ever end?" I think back several generations to our ancestors. Our past relatives were sturdy people who lived winters in spite of no telephones, no electric lights, no television, no indoor plumbing, no Internet, nor automobiles; yet they enjoyed a multitude of activities, in addition to the awesome burden of daily chores. To them, winter was just another season with its particular share of pleasures, toils, hardships and celebrations. As often, as possible, those who lived before us got together and had a good time in the winter. Whether they were country people, or lived in town, they usually favored the same activities. Dances, potlucks, quilting bees, church and town socials kept them busy.

However, there were days, often weeks when the family had to stay together within their own home. It was a kind of togetherness we don't have now. Today people are bored and restless if they are snowed in. Years ago they were so busy having fun, doing winter work and doing plenty of cooking and baking, they didn't have time to be bored.

During this time of the year meals can be pretty ho-hum too. Here is a quick recipe to perk up any winter meal.


1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup water

6 to 8 potatoes, sliced

2 onions, sliced

salt, pepper and garlic

salt to taste

8-10 boneless pork chops

dry mustard; very


Pour oil and water into a 9X13 baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Layer potatoes and onion slices on bottom of pan; sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Arrange pork chops over vegetables. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper and garlic salt and mustard, if desired. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until tender and golden. Serves 8 to 10.

"A family in harmony will prosper in everything." -Chinese Proverb



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