Natalie Schmitt

Family names

Naming calves around our farm is considered a family sport. A mass email goes out to all of the kids and adopted family members for their most creative suggestions for the next generation of Ralma …

Muffins

The idea for this article started with a baking hack I saw on the internet. I like to make muffins, but I hate how the bottoms are always tough and overbaked due to the high temperatures required to …

Christmas wish

All I wanted for Christmas was to create memories with Mark. I told Mark all I wanted were 12 gifts. I would like for him to plan a date each month for the year. It could be a movie night, cards with …

Party treats

Now that we’ve made it through the holiday baking and cooking season, I’m looking for easy ways to enjoy family favorite treats.

Christmas games

Every year during the holiday season, the ghosts of Christmas past sneak into our consciousness as we recall special moments with family and friends. One of my favorite holiday memories is from the …

Decorating for Christmas

Many of us have already pulled out our family’s favorite Christmas recipes in anticipation of holiday baking. These recipes anchor family traditions through the generations and keep missing …

Second chance

Some would call our recent turn of weather an Indian summer in November. I like to think of our warmer and drier weather as a second chance, kind of like a snooze alarm for winter. Unfortunately, we …

Easy desserts and such

With the holidays just around the corner, I’ve been searching for new desserts to put on the table. I was craving traditional flavors yet wanted to find something the grandkids would like to …

All is well

At choir practice last week, the director asked us to share the highlight of our day. Many said a long walk through a tree park as colorful leaves danced to the ground. Another member said an extra …

Back to baking

Apples, pumpkin and cinnamon are three of my favorite things about fall. We haven’t had a killing frost yet, but a few chilly nights are pushing me out of the garden and back to the kitchen to …

Lost in time

The older we get, the more memories we have stored away someplace in our brains.

50 years and counting

The first time I heard the letter combination of DHIA was in Sherry Newell’s office at WJON radio station during June Dairy Month in 1985.

Cool summer meals, treats

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been struggling to be in the mood to cook. Our meals lately have been hamburgers or brats off the grill or large summer salads.

A spring of breakdowns

Sometimes you just have to laugh and heave a heavy sigh as all your best laid plans are kicked to the side by the latest breakdown. The alternative of letting the frustration explode into anger doesn’t do any good. If anything, it may lead to more breakdowns.

Garden fresh

Who would have thought three weeks ago that I would be pulling fresh rhubarb out of the garden?

Don’t blink

In the blink of an eye, your life can change. Years can disappear in time, either forward or backward. An ordinary site across the horizon, an earthly spring smell or the sound of rain on a tin roof can take our minds to another place and time in the blink of an eye.

Spring rush treats

While I still have some down time before the spring rush hits, I took advantage of the lull to clean out my recipe collections.

Marking time

This has been a long and snowy season with little hope of winter loosening its grip any time soon. It reminds me of the good, old snowstorms when our kids were little.

More treasures

It is amazing the new, old recipes I am discovering in my grandmother’s book. These women didn’t let anything go to waste, and the combinations of things they put together were so creative and delicious. 

Seeing clearly

I remember when my mom started wearing glasses. My dad hooted and hollered about the fact her first pair of glasses were bifocals. I didn’t understand what the big fuss was about until I repeated history.   

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