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LET’S COOK: Record Resolutions

By Staff | Feb 8, 2019

Kuchen Resolution number two was to introduce Lydia to the fun of making and enjoying kuchen. This was a family favorite in our home, and we made it using Ida Hoppe’s recipe. Ida was a baker extraordinaire in Underwood, and she had mastered the art of bread making beyond the loaf pan. Dough - 2 cups warm milk - ½ cup sugar - ½ shortening - 1 teaspoon salt - 1 package dry yeast - 2 eggs - Flour (to make a soft dough about 4 cups) This will make 10 kuchen. Add to warm milk yeast and other ingredients and make into a soft dough. Make into rounds with a rolling pin to fit pie pans. Let rise 20 minutes then fill with cream filling. Put any kind of fruit on top of filling such as apples, peaches, apricots or prunes. Sprinkle crumbs over the tops and finish off with a dash of cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Filling - 2 cups of sweet cream - 2 eggs - ½ cup sugar - 1 ½ tablespoon flour Beat 2 eggs add sugar and flour and blend well. Add this to cream and cook over low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool slightly before spreading on kuchen. Crumbs - 1 cup sugar - 1 cup flour - ½ cup butter Cut together until crumbs form. Sprinkle on top of kuchen before baking.

Last summer I was fortunate enough to discover and purchase a vintage vinyl record, “Your Guy Lombardo Medley,” at a garage sale. It was in perfect condition and has an impressive record jacket that featured a wonderful color photograph of Guy and the Royal Canadians. Many years ago Guy Lombardo performed at the Winter Show in Valley City. This record was purchased at the Winter Show and was autographed by Guy. It is a gem in numerous ways and all this for the cost of one dollar.

Listening to records brings forth a smile and a flood of memories: recalling quality sound, the action of the record player as the needle comes in contact with the vinyl, and the scent of the record as it come out of its cover. The aroma reminds of vintage paper that has been stored impeccably in a wooden drawer, and record vinyl always whiffs a new scent. Observing a record cover can bring forth great artwork such as a sketch or photograph, and then there is the backside which is habitually loaded with details about the artist and the songs.

My record collection is not vast, and I will admit some have been purchased just for the record cover artwork especially the Christmas albums. After all, who doesn’t like the family gathered around the fireplace singing in festive sweaters? Most often I purchase records because I enjoy the artist and the songs. For example on Guy Lombardo’s record is all instrumental and pays tribute to such great songs as September in the Rain, The Very Thought of You, April in Paris and Auld Lang Syne just to name a few. April in Paris is a favorite and the lyrics were written by Yip Harburg. Harburg was a prolific lyricist who wrote all the songs in the Wizard of Oz, including “Over the Rainbow.” The things we can absorb from the back of records!

I did make two New Year’s resolutions, and number one was to play the records I have collected. So just for the record I did accomplish this resolution by recently purchasing a compact record player in a stylish wooden case. I had my heart sent on a vintage stereo console but realized our home did not have the space to accommodate my wishes, and they are nearly extinct at garage sales! So thus the compact unit. It brings pleasure each time I play the vintage vinyl. As I write this column, I am listening to “It’s Only a Paper Moon” from the Guy Lombardo medley. Hearing it brings to mind the uncanny knack Lombardo had for guessing what the public would like to listen and dance to. Another bonus to this recording is presence of his talented brothers, with Carmen leading the matchless saxophone section, Lebert playing the trumpet, and Victor on soprano sax. I feel like rolling up the rug and dancing!

My writing is often prepared late at night in our living room. Jan and Lydia have gone to bed and it is me and our gold wingbacks with remnants of my two school girls’ day. Jan’s stack of school papers to be corrected, Lydia’s report on Water Quality, a teal and white backpack on the sofa, and a colorful sock by the end table. It is a created mosaic of an engaging day. Adding to this medley of memories is the sound of a vintage record on the turntable and proof that this spin on a New Year’s resolution will be an easy one to keep.

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