Our First Dinner

I met Ken dancing.  He was staying in the Twin Cities to do a pottery show.  I asked if he wanted to meet for dinner.  He said yes, when he came in for the second load of shelves and unsold pottery after the show.  I called him in Turtle Lake to arrange that.  This impressed Ken.  In those days each long distance call cost money, and no one had called him in Turtle Lake; he …

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Ken and Names

Ken forgot people’s names.  He knew who they were, he could tell them their entire story, but heir name?  Not so much. Once when we attended an evening mass he approached a person and seemed excited (later I learned it was because he actually remembered her name), and said, “Dorothy, Dorothy!” He then followed with a gesture to me and said, “This is….”  Yes, he was so excited he remembered Dorothy he had forgotten my …

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Following in Ken’s Footsteps – Making Sourdough Bread

Ken had so many cooking jobs – bakery, pizza parlor, restaurant, hospital and finally as a private chef.  He made bread for us.  He left me a starter.     Sylvia worked to bring Ken’s starter back to life AND came over to show me how she makes bread.  I last made bread in my twenties with yeast and had no sour dough starter experience. Well, now I am ready to practice and make my …

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For Valentines Day – My Love Story

People often ask how we met.  The short answer is folk dancing.  But today, on Valentines Day, it seems right to tell the whole story.  It starts with Ken.  He and a former flame decided to travel together between Christmas and New Year’s when flight rates were low.  Ken wanted to go to Banff, Canada, but Margo insisted on a warm, sunny place: Mexico.  Ken’s priorities were crafts and ruins – history.  They did research …

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Ken and Jokes

Ken always struggled with jokes.  Although he got the gist of the humor, he got lost in the sequence or the details.  Once I arrived on the scene,  he practiced on me until he could get the sequence and details.  But many who knew him well just laughed at his joy in the telling – right or not. My favorite story, which resurfaced recently was from a friend.  Her husband Ron told Ken one of …

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Buddhas for Judith

Before I met Ken I had a small house in St Paul.  I had many flowers and wanted a buddha statue.  I saved my pennies and when I returned to the garden center the buddha was gone.  Each time there or any garden center I looked for a buddha.  No buddhas.   I had told Ken this story and he listened each time and nodded.  Once when we were doing a pottery show in the …

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Onion Skins

I weave rag rugs.  At one point I saved dry onion skins to dye some dull rags.  I set them in brown paper bags in the old kiln shed. Ken created glazes from ashes – he used wood ash form apple trees, maple ash, and he also used crop sources like the husks from dry beans or corn stalks.       When Ken went to clean the old kiln shed he found the bags …

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Ken Helps Out

Ken loved working all things malleable – making soil blocks, throwing pottery, making bread, black smithing ( which he said was like making taffy, but it’s too hot to touch), mudding sheet rock, laying and grouting tiles, etc. When a musician friend asked Ken to mud some sheet rock Ken said, “Sure! Just get a bucket of sheet rock compound, and call me.”  Ken answered the call, and the friend loved to tell the story …

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One of Ken’s Favorites

Ken loved fruit.  Each winter he would buy pears.  And when a bunch ripened all at once he would bake them!  His recipe: Halve lengthwise and with a small spoon scoop out core.  Place cut side up on a baking pan.  Place small pieces of butter on pears.  Drazzle (a Ken word) the pears with maple syrup and brandy.  Sprinkle with ground cloves.  Bake and serve.  Leftovers are great warmed in the warming oven of …

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Watermelon Cake

Years ago Ken read in Mother Earth New that we should all be putting watermelon syrup on our pancakes because watermelon has a much higher sugar content than maple sap.  He tried it and prefers maple syrup Since some watermelon  matures when nights cool off and it no longer is what we crave, Ken cooks down some of it.  He fills kettles with pulp, and once it comes to a boil he runs it through …

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