Find the Balance

We planted Marigolds in this year's garden to see if they would generate beneficial insects that would eat potato bugs. I think they may have assisted a little, but not to the level that we needed.

We planted Marigolds this year to see if they would draw beneficial insects into the garden to eat potato bugs. I think they may have assisted a little, but not to the level that we needed.

As we clean out the garden, the boys have had some interesting questions. One that I find the most interesting is…”Why are we done for the year?” This is amusing. It wasn’t more than a few weeks ago that we were trying to do our best to be encouraging and trying to find creative ways to make sure they were helping, learning and having fun.

This year’s lesson during the growing season for the boys… “If we work together, we have time to play together.” We set the timer for a 1/2 hour to complete a garden project together, and when the timer went off, we would play baseball or football together.

We constantly are striving to find the balance to teach them a good work ethic, while keeping it fun, knowing how hard to push and when to say, “Yes, you can play with the kittens or ride bike.” Or, “Yes, you have been working hard. Go ahead and get some M&Ms from the M&M tree.” Or “Yes, you have been working hard. I made a special snack. (O’Henry Bars, chocolate chip cookies or chocolate raspberry pie.)”

So as we wind down, I thought it would be fun to make a Harvest Feast meal for the kids. Keeping it fun, providing encouragement to finish off the project and a celebration for the work that has been accomplished. Below you will find the first in a series of recipes used for the Harvest Feast.

Garden Science

Once the Marigold flower dies, the flower dies and the seeds are left.

Once the Marigold flower dies, the dead, dried flower and the seeds within are left.

The kids were amazed at how many seeds were found in just one flower. It will be interesting to see how many Marigolds reseed themselves next spring, and if we have an increase in beneficial insects for potato bug control.

The kids were amazed at how many seeds were found in just one dead flower. It will be interesting to see how many Marigolds re-seed themselves next spring, and if we have an increase in beneficial insects for potato bug control.

The boys had fun planting the seeds in different areas of the garden and watching them grow. It was fun to share this science with the children in this year's CSA. Seeds can be kept until next year in a paper envelope and planted next spring.

The boys had fun planting the seeds in different areas of the garden and watching them grow. It was fun to share this science with the children in this year’s CSA. Seeds can be kept until next year in a paper envelope and planted next spring.

Recipe of the Week

This is a family favorite. Lefse is part of my family heritage, a cultural food from Scandinavia. I remember making lefe throughout my life, and love sharing this with our boys. I am thankful that I have a husband that also loves this food. The boys were extremely excited to make this. In fact Sam said, ” Lefse, I can’t wait. We haven’t made this in such a long time. I love it!”

Lefse

Dash of salt

4 cups of cooked potatoes

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup cream

1 Tablespoon sugar

Mash together the above ingredients. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours to 24 hours. When cool add 3/4 cup flour to every 1 cup potatoes. As potatoes get colder use less flour. Mix together and form into logs. Cut each potato log into 4-5 pieces. Roll out like a pie crust to about 1/4 inch or thinner. Fry on grill heated for 425-500 degrees. Lefse will look similar to a quesadilla. Spread with butter and sugar and roll up. Enjoy!

Potato lefse begins with mashed potatoes mixed with butter, cream and sugar. We use our "misfit" potatoes. Potatoes that were odd shapes, really small or that we stabbed with the potato fork while digging.

Potato lefse begins with mashed potatoes mixed with butter, cream and sugar. We use our “misfit” potatoes. Potatoes that were odd shapes, really small or that we stabbed with the potato fork while digging.

After mixing together the cold potato mix and the flour, the mixture is shaped into logs and cut into about 5 pieces.

After mixing together the cold potato mix and the flour, the mixture is shaped into logs and cut into about 5 pieces.

The balls of potatoes are shapped into circles and rolled out until they are about 1/4 inch thick.

The balls of potatoes are flattened out, shapped into circles and rolled out until they are about 1/4 inch thick.

Using a lefse stick, they are then gently rolled out onto a lefse grill. We have two grills. One of our grills is my Grandma Rialson's.

Using a lefse stick, they are then gently lifted from the pastry cloth and rolled out onto a lefse grill. We have two grills. One of our grills is my Grandma’s.

Our lefse sticks also hold meaning. Some are from my Grandma Railson. Keith noticed Grandma's signature on his. Some Steve has made and another is from a family friend. The sticks are used to gently pat bubbles out of the lefse as it is cooked and then used to flip the lefse over to grill each side until light brown spots form. Once cooked on both sides the lefse is placed between a couple kitchen towels and wrapped up to prevent the edges from drying. When all the lefse is cooked, the stack of lefse is quite high!

Our lefse sticks also hold meaning. Some are from my Grandma. Keith noticed Grandma’s signature on his. Steve has also made a few and another is from a family friend. The sticks are used to gently pat bubbles out of the lefse as it is cooked and then used to flip the lefse over to grill each side until light brown spots form. Once cooked on both sides the lefse is placed between a couple of kitchen towels and wrapped up to prevent the edges from drying. When all the lefse is cooked, the stack of lefse is quite high!

Making lefse does take some skill. This is how proud Sam was after flipping his lefse on the grill. The biggest reward ... the awesome taste of fresh lefse with butter and sugar on it and rolled up. We love it!

Making lefse does take some skill. This is how proud Sam was after flipping his lefse on the grill. The biggest reward … the awesome taste of fresh lefse with butter and sugar on it and rolled up. We love it! We cooled we then package it up into Ziplock bags and freeze. Thaw out as needed and enjoy!

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