Bob and Linda Reecy are a great gardening team. She loves the process, he loves the processing.
Linda enjoys planting, working in and watching her garden grow, but that is the extent of it. She said if it were up to her, she would pull it up before the fall harvest. It is Bob who takes what they grow and creates jars of jam, fresh sauerkraut, pickled beets, pickles, watermelon rind and fresh salsa. He also pickles eggs and sausage.
In fact, his salsa and sauerkraut are in demand and he gives it away to family and friends. They make a lot of queso cheese dip using his salsa.
The couple grows what does well during the South Dakota summers, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions and cabbage among others. Their potatoes are the purple variety for several reasons.
“They have so much more flavor and they grow so easily,” Linda said.
In fact, when April came along this spring, they had a potato patch already growing. She explained they must have left some of the tubers in the ground, which sprouted into the summer’s crop.
Bob said he had an abundance of green tomatoes one fall and made his salsa using the green ones instead of the ripe tomatoes. There was a distinct difference in the spiciness of the green product. For some reason the green tomatoes picked up the hotness of the peppers more than the ripe tomatoes did.
“It was good, but it sure had a kick,” he laughed.
He learned to cook and can from his grandmother, and still uses recipes from her cookbooks.
“She taught us how to darn our own socks, too,” laughed Bob. “After a certain age, she wasn’t going to darn our socks for us.”
Linda is originally from Watuaga, but moved to Mobridge with her mother when she was 15. Bob grew up in Clear Lake. Both of Bob’s parents worked so the kids learned to cook out of necessity. He said if they wanted an egg sandwich for lunch, with their mother at work, they learned how fry an egg.
In fact, they learned to cook at a young age.
“I remember when we still pretty young, we were camping out in the back yard. In the morning our dad came to check on us and we were making corn on the cob for breakfast,” he said. “And we didn’t have a garden.”
He is also the cook at home and said he cooks “whatever my wife wants,” for their meals.
Linda said if she had the choice, chicken fingers and onion rings made from their garden onions is top of her list. Bob is more a meatloaf, potatoes and scalloped corn kind of guy.
He is expected to make holiday dinners, including the pies for family gatherings.
Bob inherited the pie making chores after his first wife, Mary Jo, passed it on to him when he reluctantly told her the crust on her pie was tough.
“I told it was good, but she knew something was wrong,” he said. “She badgered me until I told her the crust was a little tough.”
He made the pies from that day forward.
Bob said his kids weren’t much interested in learning to cook although he has passed on the pie making tips to one of his nieces.
Between Bob and Linda, they have five children, nine-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with another on the way.
Bob Reecy’s Recipes
Hot Meat Sandwiches
1 lb. ground minced ham
1 lb. Cheese ground
1 small onion
½ cup chopped dill pickle
½ cup melted butter
½ cup of salad dressing mixed with a little bit of mustard, sugar and vinegar
Spread on bun and heat in oven until cheese is melted and serve hot.
Hot Chicken Salad
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water chestnuts (sliced)
1 cup diced celery
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 jar red pimento
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup mayo
2 cups cooked rice
½ cup chopped onion
3 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
Mix all together in a large bowl. Pour into 9 x 13 pan or 2 casserole dishes.
Sprinkle the top with
2 cups crushed corn flakes
¼ cup melted butter
1 pkg. slivered almonds
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 12
Chicken Rice Casserole
1 uncooked cut up chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
Put rice on bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Take ½ of each of the 3 soup mixes and stir them in with the rice. Lay the chicken pieces on this and pour the remaining ½ of the soups over the top. Cover with aluminum fail and bake for 2 ½ hours at 325 degrees.
Chow Mein Hot Dish
1 lb. hamburger
3 small chopped onions
l stalk celery (chopped)
1 can mushrooms 4oz.
1 can chicken rice soup
1 can mushroom soup
2 cups chow mein noodles
Optional: 4oz. of cashews
Brown meat and onions, cook celery. Mix ingredients with soups. Add milk if more moisture is necessary. Add mushrooms. Add noodles and nuts just before placing in casserole and bake at 350 degree for 1 hour. Serves 4-6
Too Easy Gooey Caramel Rolls
Ready in 30 minutes. Serves 6-8
1 (22 count) package frozen dinner rolls
1 (3 ½ ounce) box butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
½ cup butter or margarine
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pecan pieces (or more)
The night before: spray your bundt pan well and place the frozen rolls in pan evenly. Sprinkle the dry butterscotch pudding (not instant) evenly on top of rolls and sprinkle pecan pieces over pudding powder.
Melt butter and stir in brown sugar. Pour brown sugar/butter syrup over rolls evenly
Refrigerate over night. Rolls will rise.
Heat oven to 325 degrees
Bake 27 to 30 minutes until rolls seem firm on top and done in the middle. Don’t over bake. Let cool for 5 minutes and invert over platter to serve. Be careful it’s hot!