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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

It all evens out

April 21, 2009

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was sitting at the kitchen counter paying bills and just about fell off the stool when Heather Masse, Mr. Keillor and the Shoe Band started up with one of my very favorite songs ever: "Sweet is the Melody." It's a waltz, and the words are Iris Dement's, and they're about as poignant as you can get:

Oh, sweet is the melody, so hard to come by.
It's so hard to make every note bend just right.
You lay down the hours and leave not one trace,
But a tune for the dancing is there in its place.

Now, if you asked someone about the kind of person I am, they'd probably mention cooking and baking and the fact that I'm a mother. They'd say I've been a decent wife and that I have a rather quirky sense of humor, and I stand by my claim that no two words mean the same thing ("nude is not the same as "naked"). However, you would most likely not hear mention of billiards and hats and lutefisk. Never played pool, don't own a hat, and I've managed to get by without actually eating Mr. Sundberg's favorite meal. Oh, and singing would not be on the list, either. Can't do it. Not the way I wish I could, anyway.

Oh, I was in church choir most of my life, right on up through high school and after, until I got married. I sang in choir in school, and was in show choir, too, where we sang and danced on stage and had about as much fun as a person can have. Mine an alto voice, low alto, which pretty much tips over when I shoot for the high notes. The low notes I can sing, right along with the tenors, and I do, and I feel solid and reliable like an oak stump. Every voice is important, I know, and it is.

Just once, though I wish I could sing with the kind of voice that would get the wind swirling and the surf crashing, and there'd be wild horses and rose petals falling all 'round and everyone in the room would gasp and then cheer. The kind of voice that sounds like the sun breaking through clouds, and feels like a thousand white birds... Oh, for God's sake. Here I go again. Thing is, I believe in balance. If you lack something here, just look over there. If you're weak on looks, I'll bet you've got a fine brain. And if you aren't much at gardening, I'll bet you can cook up a storm. It's like that. It all evens out. Polka, anyone?


Rhubarb Hotdish
It's about that time of year again. Those of us who enjoy rhubarb have had a hankering for awhile now, and it shouldn't be long. Here's a different kind of recipe, a comfort food for spring.

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chopped rhubarb
ground cinnamon
sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the milk and cream; set aside. Combine the sugar and flour in a separate bowl. Pour the sugar mixture into the egg mixture, then stir until well combined. Fold in the rhubarb. Pour into a buttered casserole dish, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as desired. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
Enjoy!

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