Saturday, August 27, 2011

I love to make my own dressings.  I got tired of buying bottled dressing to only throw it away because I wasn't using it.  So I started making my own.  Most dressings and vinaigrettes make only a small portion, so I can use it up.  A friend brought a pasta salad with this dressing on it and it was amazing. Enjoy!

Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette

yield: Makes about 2/3 cup
Only ten minutes to make - start to finish!
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 oz parmesan, finely grated (1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Mince garlic and mash to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt, then whisk together with vinegar, lemon juice, basil, parmesan, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until well blended.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cranberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

I heard this afternoon that Cranberries are the new super fruit and should be included in your daily diets.  So here's something to pop into your oven while you do your morning Tai Chi.  Then call your best friend over for breakfast and coffee and tell her you need some help with something... :)

12 ServingsPrep: 10 min. Bake: 50 min.
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Additional milk, optional
  • In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl,
  • whisk together the egg whites, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into the
  • oat mixture just until moistened.
  • Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake
  • at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until oats are tender and liquid is
  • absorbed. Cut into bars. Serve in bowls with milk if desired. Yield:
  • 12 servings.

Adventures in Tai Chi

I had some time before the retreat to memorize my stretches and the order they came in and was feeling fairly confident... and more than a little scared.  I decided that these ladies had probably never heard of the exercises and wouldn't know if I just made it up as I went along.  As the ladies entered the beautifully decorated room and made themselves comfortable, I sat at a back table clutching my Native American CD and my notes and tried to wake up from the dream I must obviously be having.  Finally the retreat director brought everyone to the front of the room and introduced me.  Twenty ladies stared back at me, some with looks of delight and others curious.  The director was looking a little frantic and I hoped I did not have a deer in the headlight look on my face.  I started the flute music and explained a little bit about the benefits of Tai Chi and told them this one had name I just could not pronounce.  They all giggled a little, but one woman lifted her chin, and with a twinkle in her eye said,  "Oh! Qi Gong!"   Well isn't that special.  Someone in the group was familiar with those exercises.  I allowed myself to panic a little, but pasted a huge smile on my face and agreed with her.  As we began the stretches, I continued to talk gently about the importance of crossing the midline and how these exercises not only stretch your body, but allows you spend some quiet time with God.   Their faces lit up and they followed my every move.  One woman gasped in delight when I renamed one of the stretches Calling to the Spirit.  When it was all over and the sounds of the flute drifted away, we began the retreat in prayer.  Several of the women came up to me and actually asked me if I lead classes in Tai Chi and how could they sign up?   I wasn't about to tell them I had only hours to learn the moves and then just trust in the Holy Spirit.  Some day I will...    
I got to lead the routine again in the morning when we gathered for breakfast.  I learned a lot about myself that weekend and the power of friendship.  Tai Chi truly energizes you and forces you to become silent for a moment.  I hope you do learn some of the stretches and try them in the morning.  And I hope you all have the kind of friends who call you  and get you involved in all kinds of crazy activities that force you out of your comfort zones. (This is the same friend, by the way, who got me to play for her daughters wedding on five minutes notice.  The bride was literally standing just below the foyer. But that's a story for another day)
  I felt like I was free falling that weekend of the retreat.  Lucky for me the Holy Spirit was there to lift me up. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What are friends for?

Last spring we had a wonderful womens' retreat in our church.  It was a weekend of relaxation and renewal in a spa-like atmosphere- for those attending.  For those of us planning,  it was a hilarious journey of panic and stress.  After months of hip deep snow and sub-zero weather, the director was determined to give us a weekend of inner peace.  And she did.  It was a beautiful weekend that ladies are still talking about.  We had many wonderful speakers and scrumptuous food.  Then she got the idea of Tai Chi exercises.  She had the name of an older woman in the community who was familiar with the process and she agreed to come and lead us.  The morning of the retreat I was jarred out of a blissful sleep by the sound of the phone.  It was the director's husband, apologetically calling for his wife.  On hindsight, she probably thought I would not say no to him.  I imagined her sitting in bed with the quilt covers up to her nose as he started dialing.  He went on to relay the bad news that the woman leading the Tai Chi class was stuck in a blizzard in North Dakota and would not be at the retreat.  He gently explained that his wife wanted ME to learn the moves and lead the class in just a mere six hours.  What?!  Assuming this was all a bad dream, I laughed and pinched myself.  No luck.  I was still standing there in my jammies, hair standing on end, clutching the phone in silence.  What was she thinking?  When the phone was passed to my friend, I hear the panic in her voice.  This is the first retreat she has ever put together. In fact, she finally revealed that she had never even been to a retreat and she didn't know what she was doing and needed my help.  Then she told me she already emailed me the link for the exercises and would I please...   The real panic hadn't set in yet for me, so I reluctantly agreed and went straight to the computer to look at the nine stretches.  I watched a video on someone doing some of the moves and thought (famous last words)  how hard could it be?  So I printed the exercises, grabbed my coffee and headed off to work.  Yes...  I had to work that day and would be practicing the moves in my head all day long until the retreat.  I admit during recess duties, I gave furtive glances around me and practiced a few moves.  My co-workers, of course heard the story and were in stitches all day long waiting to hear how this would all turn out.  to be continued...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fabulous Beet Recipe

I was never a fan of beets growing up, but now I love them.  I heard of this recipe in a book I am currently reading and I just had to google it.   This sounded way too good to keep to myself.  I cannot WAIT to try this:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb onions (2 medium), cut 4 by 4
1 teaspoon sugar
2 (15-oz) cans small whole beets, drained and quartered (or halved if very small)
3 oz crumbled feta (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (1 oz), or more
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add 2 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.
Cook onions with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and sugar in remaining 1 tablespoons oil and Pam in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Add onions pinenuts and beets to dressing, stirring gently to combine. Serve sprinkled with cheese,
Makes 4 servings.

Daily Grace

...The last two days of summer vacation...  where did it go?  It seems like just one blink ago, I had that goat on my front lawn, taking care of extra grass.  Sort of.  And now the nights are getting so chilly, the days growing shorter.  Back to school shopping reminds me of penny loafers and brand new boxes of 16 count crayons.  That was the biggest box you could get then.  We didn't carry backpacks to school in those days.  I imagine we carried our supplies in a brown paper bag.  We only lived a few blocks from school, so we walked on most days.  I do remember getting to ride the Town Bus once in awhile. I have vague memories of first grade and adoring my teacher.  I don't remember the walks home, but I do remember telling my very curious little sister everything about school when I got home.  She would watch for me at the back door and ask so many questions. Then we would settle in for an afterschool snack and watch Popeye on our old black and white television.  Dinner time was always six sharp.  Shortly before that we would be called to set the table, which meant pulling the table out from the wall and fighting about who set the plates and who set the middle.  Before long, dad would roll up the drive in his old pickup, come into the house all dusty from work and give our mom a quick kiss.  Then he would ask how his 'girlies' were before cleaning up for supper.  We each had our own mealtime prayers and mom would finish with the main grace.  I can still hear her soft voice as she prayed, head bowed.   I have been researching meal prayers for years trying to find the exact one she used, but have had little luck.  Meals were simple on most days.  Typical german meat and potatoes meals, with lots of pickles, veggies and fresh bread.  Most of the food was grown in our backyard or bought from neighboring farms.  I can remember going to pick corn.  We brought back bushel after bushel that mom froze.  There was nothing better than coming home after an afternoon of swimming to pluck a piece of corn out of the boiling kettle.  Salt and butter dripping off our chins, we would talk about our days.  That sunny little kitchen seemed to be the heart of our home. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Prairie Mornin'

Mornings on the Prairie are just so beautiful.  Especially after a wonderful evening with friends and a peaceful walk home.  We gathered for a barbecue to celebrate a birthday this week and I was thinking what a blessing friends are as I walked the brief two blocks home. My sister and her family came north for a wedding this week and stopped to visit our other sister during their busy week.  It sounds like they had a fabulous visit.  I could almost hear their laughter over morning coffee and caramel rolls as they began to catch up on their lives.  And everyone got to fuss over the new baby in the family.  My little group of friends are each as different as we could possibly be.  I often wonder why we are friends - we are that different from each other.  But when we're together, we're a tight group and there's nothing we wouldn't do for each other.  It was my mother's biggest fear that we sisters would not really know each other as adults.  But to our delight, we have bonded and can truly say we are all friends.  And we are all as different from each other as can be.  Our mother had five rose bushes planted in her yard.  Was she thinking of the five of us when she planted them? I like to think so.  I like to think of her prayers for us as she planted each one.  Her hopes and dreams for our futures.  She was that kind of mom.  A piece of her is in all of us...  whether it's her giggle, sparkling eyes, love of baking, creativity, or enthusiasm for life.  I always think a hug from my sister is like a hug from mom...  and how many hugs I missed on this last family visit.  I miss you all!

This is the salad I brought to the party last night.  I don't mind telling you it is fantastic.  Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Salad
6 medium yellow and red tomatoes (about 3 pounds. I used some cherry tomatoes also) cut into wedges
1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 c fresh basil leaves, chopped

Heat vinegars and sugar over medium heat about 1 minutes until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; whisk in oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour warm dressing over tomatoes; sprinkle with basil and toss gently to coat.  Let stand 30 minutes to blend flavors.  Toss before serving.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

UMC Church

Elevator Memories

I live very close to train tracks and a friend commented recently that she really likes the grafitti that's prominent on the train cars.  I've never paid much attention to them, quite honestly, but I've gained a new appreciation for some of them.  Usually I'm irritated by the constant rumbling of the trains, or the loud wail of the whistle as it approaches crossings.  I think I might miss it if they stopped coming through our little town.  The trains pass by what's left of an elevator, which now is Yellowstone Bean.  It's where the pinto beans are brought every autumn for cleaning.  It's quite a noisy and dusty affair during harvest time.  They've long since torn down the actual elevator and left the bins.  I was sad to see the elevator taken down, although I can now see out into the badlands; but it always reminded me of the elevator my dad worked at for many years.  Sometimes my sister and I were allowed to go spend the morning with Dad at work.  I can barely remember the office area where we were allowed to play.  There was a yellow linoleum couch in the sitting area and a board with all the grain futures written on it.  If we were good, Dad would buy us a bottled Squirt or 7-Up from the machine.  An extra special treat would be an icy Orange Crush.  I don't remember what we did all morning, but he would admonish us to stay in that area and not to come into the loading dock where the trucks were pulling up.  I can remember the acrid, dusty smell of the elevator and recall looking up, up, up to the top. There were many times when we could not resist peeking into the loading area and watching as the trucks of grain pulled in.  I also remember being on the lookout for mice.  We were content to play all morning long in the office until the whistle blew at noon.  Then we would scramble into the old pickup and make our way home for lunch.  We would giggle as we bounced across the rail road tracks and headed toward 9th street.  I'm not sure why he took us to work with him every once in awhile, but it was fun to spend the morning with him and see what he did while he was there.  I do know that every job he did, he took very seriously and taught us all good work ethics.   Here comes another train...  and I must say, the grafitti is kind of cool...

We didn't have hamburgers often, but Mom made homemade buns for sandwiches often.  This recipe sounds like one I would like to try.

Whole-Wheat Burger Buns

From EatingWell:  Summer 2002
No store-bought bun can compare with rustic, wheaty, homemade burger buns like these.
8 buns | Active Time: 1 1/4 hours | Total Time: 4 hours


  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cups (approximately) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal, for sprinkling


  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the surface shimmers. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool to body temperature, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour water into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the water, stir, then let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to dissolve.
  3. Add egg to the milk; whisk well. Whisk in sugar, salt, oil and the yeast. Stir in whole-wheat flour. Using a heavy wooden spoon, beat vigorously by hand for 100 strokes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Start adding all-purpose flour to the dough, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough is somewhat firm and no longer too sticky to handle, turn it out onto a floured surface. With floured hands, knead the dough for 7 to 8 minutes, using additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Add the dough and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. When the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Using a dough cutter or chef's knife, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray and dust it with cornmeal. Shape the dough into tight balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Coat a large sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it over the buns, sprayed side down.
  7. Set the buns in a warm, draft-free spot until they have risen by about half, 25 to 30 minutes. Gently press down on the buns, pressing right on the plastic, to flatten them a little. Let them rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  8. Bake the buns on the center rack until golden and crusty, about 25 minutes. The bottoms should sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.


Per bun : 232 Calories; 3 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 28 mg Cholesterol; 41 g Carbohydrates; 9 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 318 mg Sodium; 164 mg Potassium
3 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch

Monday, August 8, 2011

Faith of Our Fathers

As organist for my church, I get to pick the songs and this last Sunday I picked this familiar hymn of my childhood.  As we sang with gusto, I couldn't help but remember the little church of my youth.  Just recently they celebrated their final service.  With aging members and dwindling numbers, they made the painful decision to close the church.  With heavy hearts, I am sure.  The actual building is to be sold and moved away.  I can only hope that it will house another family of believers who need a building to worship in.  That building held so many memories.   My sisters were married there, my parents' final blessings heard there.  My mother sang in the church choir and I myself played organ for Sunday Worship.  We girls sat in the front rows and usually caused our father great embarrassment by our giggling and quick whispering or note passing.  Many times, he would reach across pews and with a hard FLICK to the ear, we were disciplined into silence.  For a moment.  After church, we attended Sunday School and then walked home to Sunday dinner of chicken noodle soup and the Jamestown Sun funny pages.  Youth Group was always held on Wednesday evenings and in the summers VBS.  I remember long games of Ante Over the parsonage garage and the cups of kool-aid in the afternoons. Christmas Eve Candlelight Services, Sunrise service on Easter.  So many memories, and if I close my eyes, I can see the members' smiling faces and hear their thick German accents.  No matter how long we were away, we were always welcomed back with a smile or a hug.  It has always been a comfort to me to know that building was still warming souls and the thought of it being moved tugs at my heart.  I know it's just a building, and the true faith is carried on within us, but it's still painful to realize UMC of Wishek will soon be a distant memory.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Zucchini, anyone?

Did you know that August 8th is official Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day?  You have to get up pretty early in my town if you want to catch the Zucchini Sharer.  Yes, it's that time of year when it is just not safe to leave your cars unlocked or windows open.  You never know when a bagful of beautiful zucchinis will appear on your porch. Or your car.  Or your Office.  I was at the Post Office exactly three minutes one day and came out to find some happiness in my car.  I have my suspicions of who the bearer of Zucchini is and she has way too much fun delivering the succulent summer squash to unsuspecting victims.  I myself have heard the muffled giggle and squeal of tires as she makes her getaway.  People tend to get very suspicious of each other this time of year, casting furtive, sidelong glances and listening for the crunch of tires on gravel.  My mom was a sharer.  Not a secret sharer, really. She always made sure the Pastor's wife had an extra Tea Ring (always the best one ) at Christmas and I think the neighbors enjoyed her kuchens.  I remember her sending us next door with a plate of something to give to them.  We would stand there in our shy way and knock until Esther opened the door.  She was a tiny grandmother type with a genuine smile and eyes that twinkled.  And she liked to share back.  Whenever she made fried chicken, my sister and I usually got the drumsticks.  She always said, in her rich German brogue that she and Edwin did not care for drumsticks, so would we mind taking them?  There seemed to be nothing better than eating a cold drumstick shared by a wonderful neighbor on a hot summer day.  I don't remember my mother growing zucchini in her garden and I have no idea when this vegetable gained such notoriety.  But it has, and here we are, about to celebrate Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch day!  Celebrate it to the fullest, but be cautioned that no matter how many zucchinis you sneak on that day,  I guarantee you will be repayed and then some.  I have to confess, I have never made this recipe, but it sounds wonderful.  Enjoy!

Zucchini Breakfast Casserole Recipe

  • 6-8 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (from 2-3 fresh zucchinis)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (from 4-5 fresh tomatoes),
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil (from about 20 leaves)*
  • 4 cups cubed day-old bread (from about 4 slices)
  • Olive oil
*Chiffonade basil by stacking a few leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, slice thin, starting at one end of the cigar and working your way down.

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Add the ricotta and beat until smooth. Mix in the grated Parmesan cheese, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
2 Prepare the vegetables and bread. Once you chop the tomatoes, squeeze excess moisture out of them by pressing them in a sieve, or wrapping in paper towels and squeezing. Add the tomatoes, basil, and zucchini to the egg mixture. Moisten the bread cubes with a little water then squeeze out any excess moisture using paper towels. Mix the bread cubes into the egg mixture.
3 Coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish generously with olive oil. Pour the egg vegetable mixture into the baking pan and even it out in the pan. Place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. The casserole should puff up and brown lightly. If it hasn't after 30 minutes at 350, increase the heat to 425° and cook for 5-10 minutes further. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
Makes 6-8 portions.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

What a beautiful evening it was last night!  Fair week is always so busy as I'm sure it is in any little town.  What better way to kick off a busy week, but at a nice relaxing Book Club meeting.  We just finished reading Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.  I loved it.  Set in England in the early 1950s where a precocious eleven-year old finds a man murdered in their cucumber patch.  It is a race to see who can solve the mystery first - Flavia de Luce or the Inspector.  I laughed all the way through it, mostly because she reminded me of myself as a child.  I'm afraid I spilled many beans last night at PiCkLe readers book club...  (sorry).  Flavia is left to her own devices and overactive imagination in her huge country home with her two sisters.  She gets into plenty of trouble trying to solve the case, while exacting revenge on her siblings.  My sisters and I had many moments of revenge.  I clearly remember intentionally causing a ruckus in our little home knowing full well that eventually our irritated mother would separate us.  One of us would go to our boring little bedroom and the other would get to go into the inner sanctum. Our parents' bedroom.  Naturally, since I was the instigator, I had all bases covered.  When it was clear Mom would simply take no more of our bickering, I would position myself closest to their room, so I could stomp off to my Time Out and have many hours of peace.  During that time, while my sister stewed and simmered, I would try on Mom's feather hats and all the jewelry I could find.  I had a great time snooping in drawers and reading old newspaper clippings.  One time I even snuck in (ahead of time somehow... to this day I don't know how I accomplished that) my older sisters' wedding dresses and having a real fashion show.  I don't remember returning them to their storage boxes in the hall closet, but I guess I did because I didn't get caught.  Here's a family favorite cucumber recipe for you to enjoy. 

Old Fashioned Creamed Cucumbers


3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cucumber
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

I usually put in a sliced green onion as well.


Mix the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Mix until smooth.

Peel and slice the cucumber very thin. Pour the sauce over the cucumber; serve.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Creamy Dilled Potatoes

Isn't dill the most wonderful herb?  I also love basil, rosemary and fennel.  You will be hearing a lot about them.  I have used dill in dozens of wonderful recipes from breads to soups.  It is so healthy for you and smells absolutely divine.  I swear, when I breathe in dill, I am transported right back to my mother's garden and can almost taste the sweet and sour pickles of my youth.  My dad loved pickles and every autumn Mom would can quart after quart.  It was our job to haul the jars downstairs to the old canning room and place them carefully on the shelves.  The sharp smell of vinegar and dill would fill the air as she chopped and sliced.  Oh my goodness I miss her...

Creamy Dilled Potatoes
6 small red potatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh dill
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
With a vegetable peeler, remove a strip of peel around the middle of
each potato. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or
until tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.
Add the cream, dill, salt and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer for 4-5
minutes or until sauce is thickened. Drain potatoes; drizzle with
sauce and toss gently. Yield: 2 servings

August? Already?

How can it be August already? As I sit here enjoying a yummy latte and gazing out onto the misty Montana badlands, I wonder where the summer went.  It seems just hours ago when the children flung off their shoes in celebration of a long summer vacation.  And yet here we are.  This time of year I start thinking about glistening jars of jams and pickles, county fairs and wistfully glancing at piles of books that will have to wait as my life gets busier.  Growing up in North Dakota, the summers seemed to go on forever.  We spent hours at the Wishek Pool and then playing far into the night until our parents called us in.  Weekends or evenings were spent at Green Lake.  While Dad fished, our mother perched on rocks and relaxed.  I often wonder now what she was dreaming about.  We clambered around, my sisters and I, shouting and running and occassionally trying our hand at fishing.  I don't remember ever catching anything, but my sister does remember  going out with a net to get a fish and having the fish chase her back to shore.  She never quite recovered from that.  I am so thankful for getting to grow up in such a wonderful place as North Dakota...