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Country Echoes

By MAE BABER, R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin

How nice it is to receive an un-expected letter. This is about the only way a writer has of knowing whether what she writes is read and appreciated. We are just like anyone else in needing encouragement now and then. Two of the most recent I have received are from southern states. Mrs. Lee Davis of R. 1, Miami, Oklahoma wrote such a nice letter about my book, and Mrs. Earl G. Smith wrote in response to this column and the Stone Ground Whole Wheat Bread recipe. She has an improvement on it, which I haven't tried as yet but certainly plan to. She made it the same as the recipe only added 1 potato, mashed and the potato water she had cooked it in. I can see where that would help the texture and and flavor. I have a recipe for Potato Rolls that is a real standby and they are So Delicious. Here it is.

POTATO ROLLS

1 cup of freshly mashed potatoes 1 cup of scalded milk (cooled to lukewarm)
1 teas, salt
4 Tbls. sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 compressed yeast cake dissolved in a little lukewarm water
1 cup flour.

Let rise until light, then add cup of melted lard and flour enough to make a stiff batter. Let rest for a few minutes before kneading. Have covered with towel at all times. Knead well and let dough rise again. Then shape into rolls or roll out and cut with round cutter and fold over with butter between for parker house rolls.

Atone of our Homemaker Meetings we learned how much your dough will stiffen up in a few minutes rest before kneading it. It makes for the use of less flour and a much more tender product. The softer you can handle your dough the better your rolls. And have a tender touch. Dough is like a husband. The more tenderly you handle them both the nicer they get. And getting back to the rolls, if you make them Parker House, use the handle of a wooden spoon to press the crease where you want to fold them over. Then bring it over just a bit over half way and they will be beautiful. Of course you grease them before they are set away to rise. Cover then too, be sure. The baking temperature should be about 375 to 400 and the time around 20 minutes. All ovens aren't alike so one has to use your judgment. (This is put in f o r the brides.)

About the time this will be going into print a lot of summer brides will have walked down the church aisles of our country. Really what a wonderful estate matrimony is. After thirty years of being very happily married I still marvel that two people of different home environment, often different nationalities, and entirely diverse personalities can create a home that has a quality built out of all of these ingredients. It is rather like a recipe, isn't it? So many things go into it and the result is often quite wonderful. Now, we, as parents of our six have watched three homes be built by the products of our love, and the mates they love. And they are good homes, very good homes. How grateful to God we are for this.

God is honored in all of these homes and His Word read daily and prayer offered to Him. Certainly this is a sound recipe for content and as the saying goes, 'The best things in life are free'. In sad contrast, an unbeliever near us, placed his gun in his mouth not long ago and pulled the trigger. It makes one shudder.

What better recipe is there for any life than real abiding faith? As we let our John go into the army I had a new experience in my walk with God, real commitment. I found that I could entirely place him in God's hands and leave it there. What a blessing! He is doing fine and doesn't sound too lonesome.

Yesterday I received another letter than the two aforementioned. This was from a dear friend of mine who is also a writer and much more prolific and successful in her vocation. She wrote me that she receives about 100 fan letters a week and she attempts to answer all of them. She has just published her fourth book, DEAR PAPA and I am sure it will be as challenging as the other three, PAPA'S WIFE, MAMA'S WAY, and PAPA'S DAUGHTER. I am sure many of you have read the books. The Dear Lady who authors these books writes that she and her husband, and their youngest daughter are planning a trip to her beloved Sweden this year. I was so pleased to hear of her plans. These fan letters really spur her on to real heights. So if you care to write-HOW I'LL LOVE IT TOO. In return you may get some much improved columns but I doubt whether I could ever handle answering 100 letters a week.

The different responses one gets at a Reunion are really amusing. One gentlemen on finding out who I was took off promptly, muttering, 'Hoisch, she quotes scripture'. But what better is there to quote in this world? And a writer can always quote it without fear of plagiarism. God wants His word spread everywhere. So it goes, what is one man's meat is another man's poison. (At least that is what he thinks.)

Yesterday was also rather sad and eventful for my husband, he sold his Case 65. Suddenly the transaction was made. The family is all a little shocked about it. It seems the right buyer came at the right time. So we will have no more steam days at our house for the time being. Yes- I feel he will own another one someday. It has been a great experience, as are so many others. Our newest venture is a farm fish pond stocked with trout and the Mr. around here took his cast rod out last evening and hooked three of the lively fellows. He came in all smiles in spite of having sold his machine. The pond is fed by tile lines so we have some reclaimed land to show for it and have kept our water here on the farm. So your next column may well be 'written from a rowboat!' In the meantime how I would love to hear from you. Either pro or con suits me. I need both. I won't promise to answer every one personally but 'see you in the column, Friend!'