By Betty Street
It’s hard to pin Kelsey Crouse down on where her hometown is. Her father was in the U.S. Navy, and like any military family, they moved around a lot. Kelsey calls Brookings home now because she has an apartment there while attending South Dakota State University, where she’s majoring in journalism.
Kelsey feels that moving from place to place as required by her father’s military assignments gave her a “view of different hatreds.” But she strongly, emphatically feels that it’s okay to be different “especially in religion and race. And if you’re not hurting anyone, you should be left alone. I find it all kind of silly that we fight about things that don’t matter so much.” She is a staunch defender of marriage rights.
Several of Kelsey’s siblings are adopted. One is black. One of her sisters is a lesbian who is married and the couple has a daughter, who Kelsey loves very much. After talking about this sister Kelsey said, “I’m a sucker for equality.”
Of all the places Kelsey and her large family have lived—father, mother, four older sisters and four younger brothers—she liked the small town of Poyen, Ark., population 292, the least. Kelsey graduated from nearby Sheridan High School, and hated her experience there. In her words, she was “not a popular person. I was a misfit for the misfits.” Kelsey’s diverse family was not accepted or approved in the school. It was not a happy time in her life.
However, after graduating from high school, Kelsey went to college for several years in Boston, Mass., which was her very favorite place to live. She said there are so many different kinds of people living in Boston that nobody cares who or what you are.
Kelsey enjoys cooking, as does most of the family. At one time they owned a bakery, which was the setting for her worst cooking disaster. They were baking pies for the bakery and Kelsey was sitting at the table idly tapping the tabletop with a fork. The fork tapping got on her mother’s nerves and her mother told her that if she didn’t stop tapping that fork, she’d get a pie in the face. Kelsey was 21 years old at the time. (She’s only 22 now!)
Of course, Kelsey didn’t believe her mother would waste an entire pie over a ridiculous noise, and she kept on tip-tapping her fork. A few seconds later her face was covered in chocolate pie, as was her hair. It was down her blouse. It was everywhere.
The bakery was attached to a convenience store at a gas station, so Kelsey’s mom sent her dad over to get some shampoo, then made Kelsey wash her hair in the sink. She didn’t want Kelsey going home with pie all over herself.
Kelsey said the pie tasted pretty good.
Her favorite dish to cook is enchiladas (see below) because that means Kelsey is at home and at least most of the family is there.
In Kelsey’s rare free time, she enjoys reading, but she has to be very careful and restrictive when she has a book by favorite author Pamela Clare. Kelsey can get so engrossed in this author’s story that she devours the book and cannot stop reading. She doesn’t eat, doesn’t sleep, just reads and reads and reads.
She also likes mysteries. Mystic River and Helter Skelter are two of her other favorites.
Kelsey prefers real books that she can hold in her hands as opposed to electronic books and devices.
Eventually, Kelsey wants to pursue a career in journalism. She’d like to live in Texas, Houston preferably, because that’s only six hours away from her family in Arkansas. She wants to have children in foster care and adoption, and getting married is also an agreeable option.
KELSEY CROUSE’S RECIPES
Cream cheese, 1 8-oz. box
Cream of chicken soup, 1 15-oz. can
Chicken breast, cooked and diced
Mix first three ingredients just a little.
Put enchilada sauce on the bottom of 9×13-inch cake pan. Put some mix into flour tortillas and wrap. Place tight into pan against each other. Pour sauce over all and put cheese on top of them. Optional: Onions and black olives.
1 lb. sausage
1 lb. bacon
About 6 potatoes, peeled and cut up
1 onion or 1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup water
1 cube chicken stock
3-4 tsp. parsley chopped
Cook meat until light brown. Then place the meat, potatoes, onion, water, chicken stock cube and parsley in the Crock-Pot. Cook on low 5-6 hours.
Chicken breast (boiled and cut into pieces)
1 egg, fried
Sweet chile sauce
Place all in a tortilla. Fold like a taco, place in a skillet.
Equal amounts of cream cheese and cooked crab
Mix together cream cheese and crab.
Wet the edges of wonton shells with water. Spoon crab/cheese mixture into shells. Make a triangle and press wonton wrapper together with a fork. Cook in hot oil until golden brown.
My own creation
8 oz. cream cheese
3 Tbs. powdered sugar or less
Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add a little cinnamon and dash of milk. Mix. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon into tortilla. Place cream cheese mix on tortilla and roll up. Place in shallow hot oil, turning once, until light brown.