Sarah Wheeler had a bit of a hard time adjusting to living near Blackfoot after being born and raised in Olympia, Wash., but now things are different.
She moved here in 2011 to be closer to family.
“It took a while to learn to enjoy the simpler things in life and not have the constant entertainment,” she said.
Now she and her daughters, SkyeAnn, 6, and Tori Ellen, 2, who are country girls, enjoy what the area offers. The family also has a kitten named Ruby.
She said in her spare time she likes to learn new things, hangout with her kids, and make memories. They live near her grandparents on 40 acres along the shore of Lake Oahe. They enjoy outdoor activities the area offers.
“SkyeAnn is my real four-wheeling country girl,” she said. “I like to give my girls a new experience as often as I can.”
The girls recently went ice-fishing for the first time. Sarah said they really enjoyed it.
Sarah also rides and trains horses. She explained that she “starts colts,” training to be ready to ride and then moves on from the basics to more intense training.
Sarah has a new job an administrative assistant at Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics, where she refers patients to doctors in the outreach clinic and does nurse scheduling. She has been with MRH&C about six weeks.
Sarah also is a member of the U.S. Army National Guard, recently finishing her basic training. She is a truck driver for the 740 Transportation Company based in Aberdeen.
Sarah said she learned to cook from her grandmother, Genebeth Scarpellini, who made everything from scratch, using fresh ingredients.
“She is an amazing cook and uses all her own recipes,” said Sarah. “We always told her that she should open a restaurant.”
Sarah has great memories of cooking with her grandmother. One of the most memorable was the baking of Christmas cookies.
“She would bake tables full of cookies,” she said. “There were stacks of cookie tins that we would fill and give them out as gifts.”
If Sarah was planning a “girl’s night” Sarah said her daughters would like a pizza calzone that she makes or fresh fish and French fries. Sarah said SkyeAnn is interested in learning to cook and for Christmas she received her EZ Bake Oven.
Sarah remembered one cooking experience that was a good learning experience as well. “I think I was making burgers and was sautéing onions,” she said. “I thought I might as well just add the fresh jalapenos to the pan. The jalapenos burnt everyone’s eyes. Tears were shed.”
Sarah said didn’t know the peppers would do that.
“It was way worse than the onions,” she laughed.
Sarah Wheeler’s Recipes
Mule Skinner’s Chili
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 strips bacon
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Tabasco
1 tsp. paprika
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 pound pork chops
1 pound chuck eye steak
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion
12 ounces beer
Cook bacon and crumble. Set aside. Cube all meat and brown in a pan with a little olive oil. Put cubed meat in a pot or dutch oven. Sauté onions. Add bacon and onion to the pot. Add all other ingredients and simmer on low for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Aunt Jean’s Dinner Rolls
1 cup warm water
1 package or 1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let yeast rise in water. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl. Let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. Spoon into greased muffin tin, and let rise for 10 to 20 minutes. Bake 10 to 20 minutes or until golden on top.
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 large beaten egg
1/3 cup English toffee
1/4 cup dark choc chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ounce melted choc
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 cup flour + 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave butter,chocolate chips and chocolate. Stir in coffee until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and add sugars, egg, and vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add chocolate mixture (saving a little to drizzle on at the end) and toffee or brickle bits. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray and drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool for 1 minute before moving to wire rack. Drizzle saved melted chocolate on top.
2 pounds fresh green beans
3 strips of bacon
4 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
Brown bacon and crumble. Set aside. Put a little olive oil in a frying pan and add green beans. Cover and cook on medium low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add bacon and teriyaki sauce and continue to simmer covered for about another 5 minutes.