Alex aims for culinary school
By Sandy Bond
Christmas is the time for aspiring culinary artist Alex Buechler to shine.
“I always enjoy trying out new things in the kitchen,” he said.
The son of Gene and Joline Buechler, Alex is the youngest of five children, and a junior at Bowdle High School. The family lives in Java in the same home where his mom grew up and in the same town where her dad was a long-time school principal. Gene works for Eagle Creek in Pierre as a senior applications development team leader and commutes on weekends. His mom is a former para-professional at the Selby Area Elementary where she is now a volunteer.
His four older sisters are Amber Culver, of Baker, Mont.; Danielle Carroll of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota; Tiffany Sattler of Rapid City; and Lindsey Jackson of Del Rio Air Force Base in Texas. This gives him seven nieces and five nephews to try out his cooking skills.
He and four of the older nephews and nieces exchange cookies instead of presents.
“Our contribution to Christmas dinner,” he said, “is dessert.”
He’s thankful for the time he gets at D & D Delights in Java under the watchful eye of DeeAnn Surma who often lets him come up with his own creative ideas.
Because the Buechler’s family has had a long history of service to their country, Alex has had the opportunity to enjoy foods from Germany, Holland, France and Luxenbourg on some of their travels, and recently, South Africa.
Although he enjoys trying many different recipes his favorite boils down to making his “Oodles and Oodles of Ramen Noodles” (yes there is a cookbook devoted to ramen noodles), which is his favorite go-to book, given to him by his grandmother, Shirley Ketterling, when he was 16.
Invented by a gentleman from Taiwan and developed in Japan, these “instant” noodles come with seasonings and lend themselves to many favorite meals. They’re also a legendary staple for many starving college students away from home for the first time with a limited amount of cooking skills under their belt. And best of all, they’re relatively inexpensive!
One of Alex’s greatest experiences came when he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel on safari to Glen Boyd, South Africa. There was an amazing array of safaris available from the traditional safari to photographic safaris. He and his dad were more interested in the traditional safari while his mom chose the photographic safari. He brought down a blesbuck.
There are even safaris that are called “green safaris” where mostly endangered animals like rhinos can be “shot” with a special gun loaded with a tranquillizer dart which temporarily puts the animal to sleep so that photographs can be taken. The green safaris are by far the most expensive, Alex said, because the hunting party must be accompanied by a veterinarian who ascertains the animals have totally recovered after the photos are taken.
The blesbuck was mounted by a talented taxidermist in South Africa and is mounted on the wall of the home.
But even then he was intrigued by the cuisine and different food preparations. Their guide, Dave, and his trapper, Shooter, became special friends. Shooter particularly enjoyed the M & M’s and breakfast cereal bars that the family had brought along from the United States.
ALEX BUECHLER’S RECIPES
1 cup milk
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 8 oz. Cool Whip container
4 Snickers candy bars (diced)
3 apples (cut in small pieces)
Combine all ingredients
Soft tortilla shell
Hamburger or meat of choice
Put soft tortilla shell on a hot grill pan. Top with spaghetti sauce, and cooked meat and shredded cheese (your choice). Options: When I make cheeseburger pizza, I use ketchup instead of spaghetti sauce, hamburger, pickles, mustard (drizzled) and cheese. Heat until cheese melts.
This can be done for dessert, too:
Nuts or grapham crackers (as topping)
Apple pie filling
Cut out center of biscuit with a small circle cookie cutter. Deep fry until they’re brown on both sides. When cool and the grease has drained from them, put them in a Ziploc bag with sugar and cinnamon.
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
8 pieces of cooked bacon
1 Tbsp. softened butter
Preheat oven to 495 degrees. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in 10-inch oven proof skillet oven medium heat. Coat buttom of pan and sides. Beat together milk, flour, sugar, eggs, and softened butter in bowl. Crumble bacon into botton of pan. Pour bowl mixture into pan over bacon. Place pan in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes until puffed and golden. Cut in wedges, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.