Bread and Crackers

I took on Ken’s sourdough when he died.  I am still learning about bread baking, but can do a passable loaf.         I ended up with extra sourdough.  I guess this is a fairly common occurrence.  I am not a big pancake eater – one of the ways to use the extra starter, but I decided to try the recipe using starter in crackers.  Today I made my first batch, and I …

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Taking on Tasks Ken Did – Starting Seeds

Ken and I formed a team.  People are often surprised at areas where our skills did not overlap.  Ken loved planting seeds.  And he had his set up on the lower level adjacent to the pottery studio.  A few years ago he built a germination cabinet.     Ken started each season with the onion seeds.  On a trip to the root cellar I could walk by and see him planting.  Sometimes we’d discuss what …

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Bread – Ken’s and Mine

Ken was such a good cook and baker.  His experience was broad and deep.  He grew up cooing and canning from a garden in his back yard.  His grandmother owned and cooked at the Afton House.  Ken worked in restaurants, a bakery,  pizza shoppe, hospital kitchen, and finally as a private chef for one of the Pillsbury family.          I grew up in a food family, too.  My maternal grandmother had a …

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Memorial Service for Ken Keppers

  Memorial Service and Celebration for Ken Keppers     When: Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 1 p.m. Where: D D Kennedy Park Shelter, Amery, WI 54001 What: Sign in, music, readings to remember and celebrate the life of Ken Keppers BRING YOUR OWN CHAIRS

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Small Things that Take Time

Ken viewed everything as a potential material for a project of some sort.  He loved finding things.  He was a hunter and gatherer.  Some people called him a pack rat, but he used what he had.  Who else could build an entire chicken coop from scavenged materials?      People called our place the “Reuse center.”  But now I want my house back.  I am sorting through boxes, drawers, tubs of rags people gave me …

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Easter People

Years ago Ken and I joined one of his sisters for an Easter mass in the  before Easter dinner with his family.  During the mass the priest spoke of how important Easter is for Christians and told us to go forth as joyful Easter people.         This year I am thinking of Ken.  He was an altar boy, went to Catholic schools, but no longer attended church regularly.  Although not religious, Ken …

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A Gift from Ken

 I was a member of the zen center in the Twin Cities when I met Ken.  I knew of no zen centers near Turtle Lake, but I came with my Buddha,  incense, and gong; I put them on an old trunk my parents had given me when I went to college.  Ken decided he could do better than a trunk.     He took a slab and cut three holes.  He inserted and pegged the …

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Potting Soil

Few people knew which tasks Ken did and which I did.  We formed a good team, and I guess to many people the pieces were seamless.  Ken did the planting.  He made the potting soil in fall, brought in enough to fill four or five fifty gallon plastic barrels, made the soil blocks, planted, watered and transplanted. In Ken’s absence I found empty barrels – he hadn’t felt good enough to make the potting soil.  …

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No Maple Syrup this Year, But Next Year…

It is that time of year.  Warm days, nights below freezing.  And each sunny day in the forties I feel that maple sap running up the tree.        And each afternoon as I pick eggs and later when I shut the chicken coops for the night I look up to the stars and remember.        As a child near my birthday in March we would visit my grandparents and they made …

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One of the Surprise Christmas Presents

Today as I make bread I remember… Ken could surprise me easily.  I am often trusting and naive.  One year Ken asked me to help him move some lumber form one of the many lumber piles.  He told me he was pulling some maple for a project.  It never occurred to me the project was for me.     That year in the late fall Ken kept teasing me I had helped him move my …

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