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This week’s cook believes in keeping things as natural as possible. Instead of sugar in her recipes, she uses honey. The fact that she keeps bees and has her own honey makes this much easier. Norma Hauck, the daughter of the late Leila and Tom Taylor, was born in southern Iowa. In 1948 her parents moved to rural Livermore so her father could work for Wallace Hauck’s uncle. That was how Norma met Wally, her future husband. Norma graduated from Gilmore City High School. Wally grew up in the Humboldt/Livermore area and graduated from Gilmore City High School.
Norma and Wally were married for 61 years at the time of his passing in 2011. They are the parents of six children: Sherry and her husband, Dennis Foth, live in Bozeman, MT; Kenneth and his wife, Kelly, live in Livermore; Carol and her husband, Monte Ballard, live in Ankeny; Christy and her husband, Brian McCullough, live in Livermore; Steven and his wife, Kathy, live in Humboldt; and Robert lives in Livermore. Nineteen grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, 18 great-grand children, 10 step-great grandchildren complete the family for now; but two more great-grandchildren are expected this fall.
Norma attends Faith United Methodist Church in Livermore and is a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Besides cooking, her hobbies include artwork, sewing, reading and beekeeping (with which she has some help). Norma and Wally farmed their entire married lives; except for the time that he was in the service. After Wally’s passing, Norma decided to keep some livestock, just to keep her “out and going” and she “likes the raw milk from her goats.” Favorite meals include the basics: meat, potatoes, veggies and fresh fruit in season.
Norma’s recipes have been altered for the use of honey. To substitute honey for sugar: reduce the total liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. (Norma says she omits this step.) Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning. Honey is sweeter than sugar, so less can be used—for example 3/4 cup honey for a cup of sugar. Coating measuring utensils with a light coat of oil makes for easy measuring and pouring.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup
2-1/2 - 3 pound chicken, cut up
6 cups cold water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
6 peppercorns
3 whole cloves
Place all ingredients in a large pot and boil until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and let cool. Strain liquid and replace in pot.
10-3/4 ounce can chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery
1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup cut up potatoes (small
1 bay leaf
Mix above ingredients together in a bowl. When chicken is cool, cut into bite-sized pieces. Add mixture to broth in pot and cook until the vegetables are tender.
Then add: 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1 can cream of mushroom soup.
Feather Dumplings:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup milk
About 30 minutes before serving soup, mix up dumplings. Mix above ingredients until they form a moist, stiff batter. Drop by teaspoonful into hot chicken and vegetable mix. Cook covered and without peeking for 18-20 minutes or until dumplings are done. Yields 10-12 servings.

Double Color Roasted
5 medium potatoes (sliced)
3 sweet potatoes or yams
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped
thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in 9x13 pan and place in oven until butter is melted (just a few seconds). Add potatoes and seasonings to the buttered pan, stirring as you add. Cover with foil and bake approximately 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

Frozen Rhubarb Slush
6 cups cooked rhubarb
2 cups sugar (I used honey)
1 can frozen orange juice
1 can frozen lemonade
Mix all together and freeze in plastic cups. Makes an excellent cool treat on a hot day.

Banana-Blueberry Smoothie
A healthy snack
1 cup kefir, plain (a liquid
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 cup frozen blueberries
5 pitted dates
Dump all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. If it is too thick for your blender to mix, add a little more liquid (milk) or more kefir.

Sesame Crunch Bars
6-1/4 cup sesame seeds (I buy
them in bulk)
1/2 cup sunflower seed
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup wheat germ or quinoa
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1-1/4 cups almonds or walnuts,
pecans or cashews, chopped (any combination is fine)
3/4 cup peanut butter or raw
almond butter
1/2 cup coconut nectar
3/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
Put first 6 ingredients a big bowl. Cream together the peanut butter, coconut nectar, honey and vanilla. Pour the creamed mixture over the dry ingredients and mix (I use my hands) until all dry ingredients are moistened evenly. I found I had to add more coconut nectar. Put into a 15x10 baking sheet until flattened to a uniform thickness. Keep on hand in freezer. My family likes these better than any purchased granola bars.

Carrot and Apple Salad
4 large carrots, finely grated
2 apples, coarsely grated
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 orange, juiced
Combine all ingredients and serve immediately.

Pickled Beets (Canned)
Cook beets and slip skins, slice or quarter or if small, leave whole.
Combine 1 cup vinegar, 2 cups sugar (I use honey), 3 cups water in a large pan and heat until it forms a hot syrup. Pack beets in sterilized jars and cover with syrup. Seal and put into a water bath and bring to a boil. Turn heat off and let it cool in the water. (Make sure lids have compressed.)
The beets can be served as pickled beets or the syrup can be thickened with cornstarch, butter added and served as Harvard style.

And Norma said she couldn’t resist including this recipe “for a good laugh.”
Elephant Soup
1 medium sized elephant
20 bags of salt
500 kilograms of peppercorns
750 bushels potatoes
150 bushels carrots
475 springs of parsley
1 rabbit and onions
Cut elephant into bite-sized pieces. This will take about 6 weeks.
Chop vegetables into cubes (another 4 weeks).
Place meat into a jumbo-sized missionary pot. Pump in 5,000 liters of elephant gravy and simmer for 28 days.
Shovel in salt and pepper to taste.
When meat is tender, add vegetables. To speed up the process it is recommended that you use a steam shovel.
Simmer slowly for another week, then garnish with parsley.
Serves about 3,500 people.
If more guests show up, add the rabbit. However this is not really recommended as very few people like hare in their soup.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.