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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

I really haven't risked much

February 5, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I made French toast and hash browns with cheese and bacon for dinner, and by the time the show was done the house was warm and smelled real fine. We're in the middle of the season's deep freeze, a blanket of Arctic air that crept in quietly late last week and, oh gosh, it's one humdinger of a cold spell.

No one left the house on Saturday, and though Sunday School was cancelled Sunday morning, I couldn't bear to miss my Bible discussion group so I left the house with everyone still asleep and drove on over to the church. There were 22 of us in the church library and we talked about the cold for awhile, then read the Gospel lesson which was the story of Jesus and Simon Peter in the boat, and the miracle of all the fish they pulled in, and how Peter agreed to leave everything and follow Jesus. We spent the rest of the hour talking about risks and what big risks we've taken and how it all panned out. Marriage was a common one, and someone said "divorce" and someone else said, "Quitting my job." Don, the group leader, pointed out that venturing out in this weather is a risk.

I sat there thinking how I really haven't risked much of anything in my life, and if I have, I haven't given it much thought. Sure, driving in this weather could be dangerous, but when you've lived with something all your life the element of risk kind of disappears. As for marriage, well, it was what was Next, and felt like the right thing to do. I suppose I could say having kids is all about risk, but again, it was the right thing to do. It seems you take a hundred chances a day where things could go the wrong way. And if you think too hard about it all, well, you'd waste time and you wouldn't DO half of them, and you'd miss out on all those surprises. And that's no way to live. Dare to fail, I say, and don't look back, and the kids will grow up and the cows will be fed and life will be a lot less complicated.

When I got home from church, the kids were eating oatmeal and Mr. Sundberg was debating whether or not he should cancel his ice fishing trip with his buddies. Well, I said, it sure is cold out there, but why not give it a go? What's the worst thing that could happen? You might last only an hour, but the bar and grill is open all day and they have that new big-screen TV. Must be something on worth watching.

For what it's worth, the kids and I had big plans to play a board game and make an ice cream cake and work on their art projects for the festival. Instead, we got a fire going and curled up on the couch to watch Fiddler On the Roof for the 17th time. Wasn't long before we were all asleep, all four of us, and the movie played on and the wind blew against the windows and I woke up a good while later thinking how I love Sunday afternoons.

I may have sent this one out before, but it's worth a repeat. A lovely batch of sweet bread perfect for a Valentine's Day treat. Each batch makes four loaves, so keep one and give the rest to people you love.

Erica's German Tea Bread

Soften 2 packages (2 T) dry yeast
in 1/2 cup warm water. Set aside.

Sift together
4 1/2 cups flour
4 T sugar
2 t salt

Cut in 1 cup butter.

Add 1/2 cup canned milk, the yeast mixture, and 2 unbeaten eggs. Mix well and chill 2 hours or overnight.

Before baking, melt in a skillet 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Add 1 t almond extract. Leave on low heat.

Divide dough into four sections. Pat out each section to 8 inches round on a floured surface. Put 2 T (I use a bit more) of nut mixture on 1/2 of the round. Fold dough over into a crescent and seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Make cuts 1 inch apart along the outside edge and gently turn cut sections onto their sides so filling is somewhat exposed. Let rise 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Frost while warm with powdered sugar frosting.

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