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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

Some Things Work and Some Don't

October 17, 2013

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Was a good day Saturday, with a solid six hours of cutting and hauling and splitting and stacking wood for the winter. Perfect autumn day, really, and there is nothing in the world like the feeling of kicking back after a long day of hard work. Especially when you've got something to show for it, and we sure did: an enormous pile, two tons I'd say, of clean-smelling dry wood.

Mr. Sundberg showered and set about making one of his specialty pizzas. The Thai one this time, complete with red peppers sliced thin and some savory peanut sauce. The kids were all out galavanting, and I figured it was prime time for a long hot bath. I filled the tub deep, and dissolved in the water the purple bath ball Mr. Sundberg gave me for my birthday a while back. The water turned purple, with a kind of bright pink oily foam, and it smelled lovely. Like lavender and maybe a touch of pine. I climbed in and soaked long enough to doze off. Slept nearly half an hour, and woke to a tub of cool water, and Mr. Sundberg hollering, "Pizza in fifteen!" I got out and dried off, and let the water out. The water drained, but the purple didn't. I mixed up some bleach water and set about scrubbing. Took me a while but I got most of the purple out. I dried off and dressed and hurried downstairs for some of the best pizza ever.

"What's that on your arms?" Mr. S asked as we ate. I looked. My forearms looked funny. They were an odd color, a kind of purply color, and I took a clean paper towel and ran it over my elbow. Purple. Oh, gosh. I got up and went upstairs and took off my clothes. All of me that had been immersed for that bathtub nap was a light purple color. Oh for god's sake. My ankles, knees, butt -- all purple. I jumped into the shower and stood there under hot water for a good ten minutes, and scrubbed, but purple I remained. "I am a pickled beet," I said to the mirror as I dried off again. The pizza was still warm when I got back down. "Where did you buy those bath balls you gave me?" I asked Mr. S. "Saw 'em at Menards on my way out. Big display, all colors and they smelled alright. Thought of you." "You're very sweet, " I said.

There was a blue one and a green one left, and, after dinner, into the garbage they went. Some things work, and some don't. I'm all for variety in life, and trying new things, but being purple isn't one of them. My skin is pink, always has been, and I like it alright. Same way I like my blue eyes, and the curls in my hair, and the unusual arch of my feet. It's what I got. Along with enough wood to heat the house for a couple months, kids who generally get home on time, and a man who really likes to make pizza and share it with me before he dozes off on the living room floor listening to classical music.

Doesn't take much to make a life feel complete. Especially after a day of hard work.

Perfect time of year for roast beef or pork chops, thick ones, and this recipe will round it off nicely, with some steamed asparagus, and rolls too.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes, quartered or baby red potatoes, halved red potatoes, quartered or halved baby reds
½ cup grated parmesan cheesegrated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp steak seasoning
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped and lightly browned in olive oil (or use 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
2 T butter
Parsley or rosemary, optional

In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return potatoes to saucepan on low heat. Sprinkle with Parmesan, steak seasoning and garlic. Mash potatoes, gradually adding milk, sour cream and butter, and a bit of parsley or rosemary if you wish. Mix until potatoes are fluffy. Serve, or spoon into lightly buttered 1½-quart baking dish and cover. Keep warm in oven up to an hour and serve.

Enjoy!

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