Food Quotes

"No therapy or drug known to modern medical science can rebuild tissue that has been damaged by disease or trauma. Food alone can accomplish this feat. It is for this reason that nutrition is an indispensable weapon against disease".
Dr. Bernard Jensen (1908-2001)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Optimum Food Choices: Part One

Though I am not a licensed nutritionist, I do consider myself to be a nutrition researcher. Really, we all are. We hear stuff all the time from the media, our doctors, our mothers, etc. about nutrition and we either listen and adhere to what we've heard or we opt not to act on that information. Which ever is the case, our research is really hands-on and we are the guinea pigs. What we put into our bodies does affect us tremendously. I found out how true that is when I "listened" to what "traditional food" resources were saying, started eating traditional food and got better all the way around.

If you have not read the first two posts, Real Food - Not to Fear, and Real Food Recipes - Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding, it would be helpful to read them before diving into this one.

But we are all experimenting with our bodies everyday concerning food, so we really are food researchers in a sense. I've just taken it one step further by purposely seeking out pertinent information. Now that I know what real food is, I continue to read about optimizing the diet my husband and I eat.

For the next six or seven weeks I will be posting what I've learned in a sort of practical way, with "food reviews" and also nutritional information about the foods that we commonly eat. The review will concern optimum food choices, why these foods are the best choices and where to find them. For the first lesson, I want to give you a picture to grab onto that will help you understand why some foods are better than others.

This is really simple. We all know what happens to an apple when it is cut it in half and laid out on the counter for awhile. Of course, it starts to turn brown on the cut sides. This is called "oxidation". Wherever an apple is exposed to air, heat and light, it starts to deteriorate and succumb to"free radicals". Food of this nature is damaged and when you eat damaged food with its free radicals, it causes damage in your body. For lack of being able to repeat the technical, scientific jargon, I think of free radicals as out-of-control, marauding rebel cells that go about causing harm to healthy cells. That is actually exactly what they are and what they do.

Now that you have that picture, think of the old t.v. commercial about "horrid age spots" that appear on an older person's hands. I have them. (I don't like the way that sounded!) Those brown flecks are what free radical damage or oxidative stress looks like on our bodies. This same kind of damage happens on the inside our bodies also. Granted, age spots appear as we age. But we can age faster or slower depending on the foods that we eat or don't eat. Free radical damage not only ages us, it causes weight gain and also degernerative diseases such as arthritis, diabetes 2, heart disease, cancers and more.

You have probably heard or read recently about "antioxidants". An antioxidant is a component in foods that prevents oxidation, so that is a good thing. If we squeeze lemon juice onto the cut surface of the apple, the vitamin C in in the lemon prevents the apple from turning brown or from damaging oxidation. Hence vitamin C is an antioxident - one of many. It's good to eat lots of antioxidents, for they reduce the free radical damage done in your body, just as vitamin C does for the apple.

Now translate that simple lesson into all of the food we eat. Processed food undergoes damage in the processing phase. When foods are exposed to high heats, oxygen and light for sustained lengths of time, they become very damaged - full of free radicals.

Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are some of the worst culprits. Just like an apple, when the seed - let's say corn seed - is broken open and exposed to air, heat and light, all parts of it begin to oxidize. The oil from the seed is extracted by high, prolonged heat. Then the last 5% of the oil that still remains in the seed is pulled out by a solvent called hexane gas (similar to gasoline). When all of the oil is extracted, the hexane gas is boiled off (residues always remain, however, and it is found in human breast milk).

After this destructive process, the oil looks gray and murky and smells rancid, as it is, so it is deodorized and bleached, for no one would buy it if it was not. This is the pretty, sparkling golden corn (soybean, safflower, etc.) oil that you pick up and pay money for at the supermarket. When you take it home and heat it in a pan, it is further damaged.

Anyway, as I begin to share info with you about specific foods, one of the food reviews coming soon will be more about fats and oils. Though I may not specify when I refer to the foods in the food review, it is a given that they are in the best state possible - organic - without the dangers of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, genetic modification, steroids, antibiotics, etc. Also when you see a #1 or 2 listed, the number one refers to the optimum-most form of the food with number two being the next best choice and so forth.

With that in mind then, let's consider the following:

Beans, legumes, grains, rice, nuts
– buy them organic and whole. If you buy these out of bulk bin containers, make sure to get them in a store where the turnover of the bins is good, such as Whole Foods Market or Raley's. Otherwise buy them in vacuumed packages if you can find them as this will keep the oils from turning rancid. Most all beans, legumes, grains, and nuts (not rice) need to be soaked for 8-24 hours to remove phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. Soybeans are never a good chooice because of the extremely high phytic acid content, anti-nutrients, carcinogens, goitrogens (cause thyroid goiter) and phytoestrogens. WFM; TJs; FC; R*

Note: For more information about phytic acid, please refer to Real Food Recipes - Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding

Bread – 1) sprouted, 100% whole grain breads or sour dough whole grain breads (Alvarado Street Bakery makes delicious sprouted whole grain breads, hamburger, and hot dog buns as well as dinner rolls and sourdough bread.) If you decide to make your own bread, soaking the flour for 7 hours in the water called for in the recipe removes the phytic acid (this robs the body of minerals and locks away the nutrition of the grain). WFM; TJs; FC; R*

There will be a post in the next few days for a recipe for easy slow roasted nuts (so yummy!) Look for that soon. Also, for the next food review, I will cover butter (and other fats and oils), breakfast cereals and cheese.

*WFM = Whole Foods Market
TJs = Trader Joes
FC = Food Co-op (email me about this if you want more info)
R = Raley's Food Stores

Monday, June 23, 2008

Franziska - Chapter Three

We left Franziska in Baltimore with her husband and three year old son, Helmuth, having just arrived from Germany on Sept 28th, 1886. Hermann had $700 in his pocket when they landed in the U.S. He was fascinated with Baltimore because it reminded him of Germany. But since he and Franziska had firmly decided on Nebraska, they soon continued on their journey.

When they arrived in Nebraska they settled in the small town of Beatrice. One of the first things they did was to join the local church. They were drawn to Beatrice because other German immigrants had settled there. It wasn’t long, however, before they picked up stakes and moved to Palisade, Nebraska.

Here, the couple homesteaded, erecting a sod house. Agriculture was somewhat familiar to Herman for he had farmed in Germany and had some experience operating steam engines and also threshing machines which were used to harvest wheat. He was kept busy six days out of the week with this new venture.

On Sundays the neighbors crowded into Hermann and Franziska's tiny 2-room sod house for Sunday School and church services. Franziska was troubled about the large man who came to the meetings. It seems that he enjoyed stomping his feet rather vigorously to the music and she was concerned that he might break through the floor boards and fall into the dugout beneath.

Though that never happened, this bird’s eye view into the worship services that were held in their home reveals the fact that these were no stogy meetings, rather, they were full of life and obviously enjoyable. Franziska's reaction to this man's energy is a confirmation of this for she was not critical of his expression of joy, only concerned for his safety.

Five more children were added to the family in Palisade – Helene Anna Marie (1887), Reinhold Gottlieb (1889), Herbert August (1890; my grandfather – my father’s father), Frederick Wilhelm (1892), and Rudolph Ewald (1894). Now with five more mouths to feed there was greater pressure upon Hermann to see that his crops would provide for the needs of the family. But this was not the case. The land was of very poor quality. Scarcity of food became a problem and at times they barely survived. With nothing but crop failures year after year due to very dry conditions the Meyer family was forced to move several more times, to Culbertson first, still attempting to farm, but the conditions got no better.

This was the land that was portrayed by American land developers as heavenly. In Germany, ads were posted on street corners picturing a chicken with a fork stuck in it, as if all one had to do was grab a utensil and eat. Now reality was before this couple and trusting God in the midst of the famine (literally) was not an easy thing to do. These were very difficult times for the family, sometimes barely staying alive because of a lack of food.

Three more children were born in Culbertson – Emma Amalia, Hannah and a little boy, Max. Hannah, however, died in infancy, meaning she may have been as old as one or two, as were the two little girls who died in Germany just before Hermann and Franziska left for America. It was also said of them that they died in infancy, though Hedwig was one and Hermine was two.

With one disaster following another we might wonder where God was in all of this. Did He not love Hermann and Franziska? If His love is measured only in doses of material prosperity and "good times", then we would have to say that He did not love them. But God's love does not work that way. Romans 8:38-39 assures us "that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." No difficulty can separate us from His love. His love is upon us in the midst of the difficulty which, in fact, is designed by His hand of love for us. He draws us to Himself through the difficulty to pour Himself out in comforting billows upon our grief-stricken hearts.

In Jeremiah 32:40-41, Gods tells us, "I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good...with all my heart and all my soul." What we think is good and what God knows is good are sometimes two different things. He is in the process of training us. But everything, pleasant or unpleasant, that comes to the child of God is from His sovereign hand of goodness and love - even the deepest, most heart breaking situations.

Did Franziska bear up under this great distress by remembering that nothing would ever, could ever or had ever separated her from her Heavenly Father's love - that, in fact, the trial was even His love expressed working for her good and His glory? She must have settled there on that truth for she never stopped serving her Savior out of a heart full of love for Him.

In 1899, 13 years after having arrived in America, following many sad experiences, including times of near starvation, the family traveled in three covered wagons, crossing the Missouri River into South Dakota to join relatives who lived there. Here they attended the Avon Baptist Church and continued farming. Two more children were born in South Dakota, Gustav and Arthur, but both died in infancy.

With every move, the family became part of the local church. Their life was centered there, and they regarded it as an extension of their immediate family. Hermann and Franziska served wherever they were needed. They regarded the church as precious – as the manifestation of Christ. With such heartache to endure, surely the church was a wellspring of compassion and stability for this couple.

Chapter four will follow and will tell a brighter story as God works to establish a stable residence and livelihood for Hermann and Franziska's family.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Franziska - Chapter Four

If you remember from chapter three, the family made a move to South Dakota in 1899. This location was chosen because two of Herman’s aunts lived there.

The trip from Nebraska was an arduous, long 360 mile journey. That, by today’s modes of travel, is nothing. But moving along slowly in a covered wagon for 360 miles with seven children and livestock in tow would take much endurance. The wagons only covered 12 – 20 miles on an average day, so it would have taken anywhere from 18 – 30 days to make the trip.

My grandfather recounted one of his memories of the trip, “When we – that is my folks – moved to Avon, South Dakota from Nebraska we crossed the Missouri River on a flat ferry boat...crossed…with our 3 wagons and 7 others besides. It was a broad flat boat with railings almost all around propelled by a steam engine built on that great platform, and while crossing it belched great volumes of black smoke; it didn’t go fast but we got across alright.”

Traveling in three covered wagons, two of the sons, Rhinehold (called “Ray”) and Herbert (my grandfather) were given the great responsibility of leading several mules on horseback. They had difficulty keeping up with the wagons because the mules were stubborn and traveled slowly or not at all if they had such a mind.

At times the mules were so immoveable that the boys would lose sight of the little wagon train. At those times, in fear, they wondered if they would ever see their parents again. But all family members made the journey safely. It is interesting to note, however, that these two boys were only 8 and 10 years of age at the time, Herbert being the youngest. What a great weight of responsibility for such small boys!

In South Dakota a farm was rented and Herman raised corn, wheat, oats and had pastures of grasslands – I assume for livestock to feed on. He supplemented the crop income, if a crop was actually produced and sold, by painting buildings and digging cisterns.

Franziska and Hermann’s relatives – his two aunt’s families – helped each other in the fields, threshing grain and working together six days out of the week. On Sundays they worshipped and served together in the German Baptist Church in Avon.

The family continued to struggle in South Dakota as they had in Nebraska. As mentioned in the last chapter, two more children were born there, Gustav and Arthur, but died in infancy. My grandfather, Herbert Meyer, remembered that one child died as a result of drinking tainted water. This hardship, coupled with the same crop difficulties they faced in Nebraska, had to have been extremely disheartening.

About this time, Hermann’s brother, Ewald, who had come to America shortly after Hermann and having settled in LaSalle, Colorado, began urging Hermann and Franziska to join him there. Ewald was the pastor of the Beebe Draw Baptist Church in LaSalle and also farmed. He implored Hermann, “Why, with all those boys you could really make money raising sugar beets.”

But these moves were difficult for Franziska. Imagine her weariness with seven children to care for and the continued struggle she faced with each of the little ones that were laid to rest over the years. There was also the burden of farming, which the wife shared in most of the time. I’m sure she was doubtful after so many moves, each with its accompanying disappointment, that their lot would be any better in Colorado. Despite her initial reluctance, however, in 1904 the livestock and farm machinery were loaded onto a railroad car and the family of nine picked up and moved to Colorado.

Once there, Hermann and Franziska joined the Beebe Draw Baptist Church, where Hermann’s brother, Ewald, pastored. Hermann began farming again and he also preached at the church when his brother needed him to fill in. But Hermann not only preached at church, he made sure also that no one left his home without an encouragement from the Scriptures.

Hermann also enjoyed writing poems in his native German language for special occasions. These verses Franziska faithfully recorded for him. During dinner one evening Hermann suddenly sprang from his chair and motioned for Franziska to follow him. They went in the bedroom and shut the door. I'm sure the children wondered about this, but they stayed seated at the table nonetheless. Sometime later the bedroom door opened and Hermann and Franziska joined the children again. They then listened as Hermann read the poem he had just composed and that Franziska had recorded.

Max, a little boy born in Culbertson, Nebraska, died less than a year after the family moved to Colorado. He had contracted diphtheria and was so ill that the doctor was asked to come to attend him. Unfortunately, the doctor arrived, but was completely intoxicated and could therefore do nothing to help little Max. It may have been too late anyway by the time he arrived. Sadly, on Valentine’s Day, 1905, Max died, having just turned six years of age a few days before.

The family had a photograph taken soon after this loss. Perhaps Franziska felt a need to have a tangible record of her children that remained after having given Max over to the grave. (For those of you who read the first three chapters before this chapter was posted [Feb. 16th, 2008], you remember that this was stated to have occurred in Culbertson in chapter three. However, I had the chronology wrong and apologize for the confusion.)

In all of her struggles, I’m sure there were times when Franziska felt like giving up. After all, she had surrendered 6 of her 13 children over to the grave. She had faced the near starvation of her living children and the failure of one crop after another. She had seen her husband labor strenuously, long hours each day to get a crop into the ground only to watch it sprout and then die in the blasting heat of an arid summer dust storm.

I wonder what Scriptures Franziska turned to in order to find solace? Perhaps she was familiar with Habakuk 3:17-18: "Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines; though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food; though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvaion." Did she read Isaiah 41:10? "Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Or Psalm 34:18: "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

But Franziska's story does have many years of joy. In chapter five we will discover that now, after much past difficulty, with the family settled in LaSalle, Colorado, at long last, they were able to prosper. We will also get to know Franziska a little better – how she spent her time, what she enjoyed doing at home and how she ministered in the body of Christ.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Franciska - Chapter Five

Bottom photo:
Back row: Frederick, Herbert (my grandfather), Helen, Rhinehold, Helmuth
Front row: Franziska, Rudolph, Emma, Hermann

When we last left the Meyer family, they had just moved to Colorado where Hermann's brother resided and pastored at the Beebe Draw Baptist Church. Hermann filled in preaching when his brother, Ewald, was absent or unable to preach.

Hermann and Franziska were devoted Christians. They were consistent in their walk with God and bore testimonies of being honest and fair-dealing in the communities in which they lived. Though they lived all days of the week in this manner, Sundays were set apart as special for the family. Both parents saw to it that Saturdays were spent in preparation for Sunday so that the day could be enjoyed by all. The shoes were shined - 9 pairs - the children studied their Sunday School lessons, food was prepared and other work that pertained was done. Early on Sunday morning, the cows were milked and other necessary chores that had to do with the feeding and comfort of the livestock, but the rest of the day was spent at the worship services and at home relaxing.

The children and grandchildren remember that devotions were held morning and evening throughout the week in the household. The Bible was read and prayer was offered. After the last prayer, Hermann would rise and give Franziska a kiss.

Though Franziska enjoyed recording Hermann's poetry and acting as a "sounding board" for his sermons, she also found pleasure in many other activities centered around her home and church. She was very accomplished in many forms of needlecraft. She knitted socks and sweaters for the family on her own knitting machine. When a sweater or pair of socks developed a hole, Franziska mended it good as new. She also crocheted intricate fillet patterns in throws, doilies and tablecloths, obtaining the patterns for these pieces from Germany through mail order, as well as many of the supplies.

A garden was a necessity during this era and Franziska enjoyed tending to both the vegetable and flower gardens, naming her flower garden "Schwester", which translated means "sister". With her love for flowers, she made sure there were always some blooms in the house as well, adding beauty and grace to the home. She had no lawn. Instead what would have been planted as lawn, she planted in flowers. Even in her latter years, she enjoyed keeping her lovely pressed glass bowls filled with bouquets.

Franziska especially enjoyed reading frequently and expressively to her children and husband. The family also took great pleasure in singing together. To make the chore of dishwashing go faster and to distract from the tedium of it (since there were many dishes to wash three times everyday), Franziska would initiate singing as the family washed and wiped the dishes.

Though they were devoted Christians, Hermann and Franziska did have their faults. My father's sister, my Aunt Francis (named after Franziska) reported, that Hermann... "admired the legs of pretty girls and would say as much to Franziska, whereupon he would receive a sound scolding!"

And there were the little quirks also. Franziska thought it was important to enunciate English words clearly and would grow somewhat frustrated with Hermann because of his careless mispronunciation of words. He called tooth picks "two pigs". And when he took eggs from his chickens into town to sell, he, in broken English would announce, "I have dirty-six eggs today". Franziska would correct him, "Du muss nicht sagen 'dir-ty eggs, du muss sagen thir-ty eggs!" (You must not say 'dir-ty eggs, you must say thir-ty eggs!)

One granddaughter recalls her memory of Franziska.
"Grandma was good to me and very loving. The house was neat, and everything was spic and span. She was a very devoted Christian...president of the North American Baptist Missionary Society for 30 years. Sometimes she would say someone should not have bought something for her, but should have given the money to the missionary society. She saw to everyone's needs...Grandpa was the head of the house, but she had a strong personality - no shirking work."
Franziska also organized the Women's Missionary Society at the Beebe Draw Baptist Church, serving as its president for 25 years. The women involved in this ministry met often in her beautiful Schwester Garden, appropriately named for, as mentioned, in English it meant "Sister Garden". It was a place that was both restorative and motivational.

Many times Franziska acted in the capacity of a practical nurse. She cared for her mother-in-law while she and Hermann were still in Germany. Setting aside concerns for her own health, she frequently nursed people in South Dakota and Colorado with illnesses such as tuberculosis, scarlet fever and diphtheria, often leaving her own home to stay in the home of the ailing one. Amazingly, she functioned as a midwife, delivering the first babies of each her daughters, Helen and Emma, in her own home, following the custom in Germany for a daughter to go home to Mama to have her first child delivered.

My great-grandmother was a woman concerned with the physical and spiritual needs of others. She delighted in counseling younger women, living out the charge of Titus 2:3-5 for older women to teach and train the younger women. She reminds me of the woman in 1 Timothy 5:9-10, who, though a widow, had spent her married years loving her family at home and in the body of Christ: "...the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works...she has brought up children...she has shown hospitality to strangers...she has washed the feet of the saints...she has assisted those in distress...she has devoted herself to every good work". That was Franziska.

Chapter six of Franziska will feature the farm where the family finally settled and the work that was done there.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Franziska - Chapter Six

The Home Place in LaSalle, Colorado

Note: Though I planned (as stated in chapter five) to end the story with this chapter, after investigating the family records, I realized that there is still more and that the story is not yet ready to be finalized. Since chapter five was devoted to Franziska's enjoyments, I decided that this chapter should present the work that was involved at the farm in Colorado.

In chapter five we were, at long last, happy to see Franziska and Hermann settled in Colorado, and able to make a go of farming. Though this was still difficult, it was not impossible as it had been in the Great American Dessert (Nebraska) and South Dakota.

The family settled on a farm southwest of Evans, Colorado in 1904. But the land on this farm on the Platte River proved to be difficult to cultivate with its thin top soil and bottom layer of gravel requiring a great deal of irrigation. For three years, however, Hermann and his sons worked at raising sugar beets.

Then in 1907, Hermann and Franziska bought a farm 1 1/2 miles south of LaSalle, Colorado. On this land they would finally settle and thrive. They called it The Home Place. Obviously, after so many years, home finally became a reality for these weary wanderers. Franziska was 45 years old. What a long time coming home! I don't think I would've lasted.

Though they finally settled in LaSalle, they did not regard this earthly sphere as their home. During these times folks knew and expected that this life was the low, short, brutish one and that another life existed beyond this flawed realm. Their hope lay there in eternity, a life that was more real to them than anything material here below. Hermann and Franziska had six children waiting for them there. The expectation level for this earthly realm was much different then than it is for us now. Yet Hermann and Franziska had come from a comfortable existence in Germany. How was it that Franziska adjusted so unquestioningly?

Part of the answer we find from the writings of a French aristocrat of that time, Alexis De Tocqueville. He visited America in the 1830s for nearly a year hoping to compile a work on this country's democracy in hopes that it would influence France to a better government. He spent time with families on the Western Frontier and made observations about the men and women there. He was fascinated with their tenacity. Though many came from well-to-do circumstances in the East, they willingly gave up all comfort to homestead in the wilds of the American frontier.

An excerpt from the 900+ page volume he compiled called Democracy in America reads:
"They take their wives along with them and make them share the countless perils and privations that always attend the commencement of the expeditions. I have often met, even on the verge of the wilderness, with young women who, after having been brought up amid all the comforts of the large towns of New England, had passed, almost without any intermediate stage, from the wealthy abode of their parents to a comfortless hovel in a forest. Fever, solitude, and a tedious life had not broken the springs of their courage. Their features were impaired and faded, but their looks were firm; they appeared to be at once sad and resolute. I do not doubt that these young American women had amassed, in the education of their early years, that inward strength which they displayed under these circumstances. The early culture of the girl may still, therefore, be traced, in the United States, under the aspect of marriage; her part is changed, her habits are different, but her character remains the same."
That character for Franziska has to be attributed to more than her upbringing. It was Christ living and abiding in her, as I'm sure it was for many of the women Tocqueville met with. Through much suffering Franziska had remained faithful to her God, her family and her church. She did not let the staggering tragedies of her children's deaths and the monumental struggles she faced daily embitter her or stop her in her devotion to her Savior and His call upon her to love and live in a way that glorified Him.

Franziska knew that her descent from a wealthy German home to the crude, wearisome life of the untamed wilderness was nothing in light of Christ's unfathomable plunge from eternal, majestic glory with His Father into the rudest of abysmal domains - that of the haters of God. Christ had gone before her from the loftiest to the lowest of realms (Phil. 2:5-8). He now was her strength in all the heartbreak, back-breaking labor and disappointment. She was resolute because Jesus had been so when facing the Cross for her (Heb. 12:1-2).

The toilsome nature of their lives continued in LaSalle, where Hermann, once more began the business of setting seed down in the ground - sugar beets, as on the Evans farm. Taming the land was arduous work and once it was ready for seed, the strain of labor did not decrease. Shortly after planting, when the seedlings emerged, there was thinning that had to be done. Over the years the boys, Herbert, Ray (Rhinehold), and Rudolph literally crawled hundreds of miles on hands and knees up and down rows of sugar beets, thinning and then weeding when the plants grew larger.

Herbert said that, at the age of nine, he did the work of a grown man. My Aunt Francis wrote,
" later years, Herbert (her father and my grandfather) often indulged his sweet tooth with plenty of sugar (the end product of sugar beets), saying that he had earned it thinning them on hands and knees in the hot penetrating Colorado sun!" (Parenthesis added.)
The three boys, when coming in from the beet fields for lunch, often raided the lush strawberry patch that Franziska worked hard at to bring in a little extra income.

The house, itself, was a flurry of activity. Helen and Elmer helped with the younger children. Among other things, Emma, the youngest girl, worked in her mother's garden, fed calves and picked the cottonwood fluff off the strawberries that were to be sold.

Franziska never lacked something to do with all of her domestic responsibilities. Just keeping the clothing clean and in good repair was a never-ending occupation. This involved laundering the clothes (not so easy as it is now), ironing everything that was washed and hung out to dry, brushing her five sons' and husband's suits, replacing buttons, and mending worn and tattered shirts, pants, dresses, aprons, underwear, coats, and more. There was no option to just get rid of those pieces and buy new. Clothing was hard to come by, most of it sewn or knitted by Franziska or Helen to begin with.

There was other work also. Hermann and Ray built fences. And he and the older boys often built from scratch or added onto an existing structure. A second story and rear addition were added to the original house in 1916. When the courthouse in the nearby town of Greeley was dismantled, Hermann purchased the lumber and he, Fred and Rudolph hauled it in horse-drawn wagons back to the Home Place. This is the lumber that was used to enlarge the house, complete with windows also supplied by the courthouse. The photo at the top of the page is what the house looked like after the addition was made. (The photo was taken in the 1980s. The house is no longer owned by relatives, but is lived in and in good condition.)

In 1923, Hermann purchased the Beebe Draw Baptist church building, the congregation having relocated to LaSalle from the town of Beebe Draw. Hermann dismantled the church, and once again hauled the wood by horse-drawn wagons to the Home Place, where he used the wood to build a barn.

Hermann and Franziska remained on The Home Place until Hermann's death in 1933. We will continue in chapter seven with Franziska's latter years.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thai Cucumber Salad

1/4 c. rice vinegar
3 T. pure organic maple syrup
3 T. water
1/2 t. real salt
2 medium cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 c. finely chopped white onion
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh red chile, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
2 T. chopped organic dry-roasted peanuts

Directions: Combine vinegar, maple syrup, water and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until agave dissolves. Add cucumber, onion, cilantro and chile. Toss until evenly coated. Let sit for 15 minutes. Garnish with peanuts and serve.

Franziska - Chapter Seven

This chapter of Franziska's story is devoted to Hermann's home going. Hermann's obituary and a poem that he had written shortly before he died was translated from German to English by a friend from church. Thank you, Monica, for your kindness in translating the two pieces. So let us contunue...

In 1932, on May 29th, Hermann and Franziska celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. An account of the celebration appeared in the local German paper. An excerpt reads:

The evening of that day we reminiseced...about the church and friends and relatives who had been there previously. At this testimonial the representatives of the Meyer family, other relatives, and the congregation, delivered their wishes for happiness and blessings to the celebrating pair. May the Lord we serve give us more such festivities.
Looking back to when Hermann and Franziska met, an item of interest to me is the last entry in Franziska's "Poesie" book, that little autograph book that she kept from the age of 12 through the age of nineteen (mentioned in chapter one). The last entry was made in December, 1881 in Bromberg, Germany by Hermann. My Aunt Francis still has this little book in her possession. She writes of it:

One of the treasured mementos of Franziska still in existence is a small autograph book called 'Poesie' (poetry). It made the journey to America, survived the homestead, traveled to South Dakota by wagon and ferry, and onto Colorado and Oklahoma. The pages are brown with age and the once bright gilt edges are spattered with fly specks, but within are pages filled with exquisite handwriting... The first three entries are written in Thorn, a town near Bromberg, the latest being in December of 1881...The last entry is undated and signed, 'Hermann Meyer'! They were married in May of 1882.
Though Hermann's entry is written in German and I do not know what it says, it is more of a curiosity to me, as to why after 6 years of entries, Hermann's was the last. Franziska pursued no more autographs after his. Was she was satisfied to leave it with her future husband's as the best and therefore the last? Did she regard his entry as the culmination of all that had been written there in Poesie? Perhaps the answer lie in what he wrote and if I were to get it translated, the secret would be had.

But for now we must return to what is known. In late 1930 or early 1931, Hermann was diagnosed with cancer. He suffered for two years and then on January 4th, 1933, he went home to be with the Lord. His obituary reads:

Brother Hermann Gustave Meyer, born December 12, 1857 near Bromberg, in the province of Posen, Germany, died after a lengthy battle with cancer on January 4, 1933 at La Salle, Colorado at the age of 75 and 22 days. He was married with his now grieving widow on May 29th, 1882 and the Lord blessed him with 13 children, of which 6 died before him. Last May Brother Meyer and his wife celebrated their Golden Anniversary with all their children by their side. 1886 was the year Brother Meyer and his family came to this country, where they settled in Nebraska, South Dakota and since 1903 near La Salle, Colorado. Brother Meyer accepted the Lord as his Savior. He was baptized by Brother Currant in 1877...Just as in the old country, so in this country, Brother Meyer showed a deep commitment to the work of our Lord by holding Sunday School and Worship Services in his own home, and many have come to Christ through his initialed contacts. He was a devoted Christian and kept faithfully to those teachings of the Word of God. Brother Meyer held many offices in his church, such as superintendent of Sunday School, secretary, treasurer and the last 20 years as a deacon. He consistently fulfilled his Christian duties, as he always wanted what was best for the Lord and His congregation. He was especially pleased, that all his children came to the Lord Jesus Christ. One of his sons, Herbert Meyer, from Alva, Oklahoma followed the call and became a pastor himself. A few weeks before his death, Brother Meyer composed the following poem which was read at his funeral:

At the Edge of Eternity

by Hermann Gustave Meyer
Written in December, 1932, a few weeks before his death.

I stand at the edge of eternity
And look back one more time
I see the God of Majesty
And am lifted to joy sublime.

I am so very happy

My Savior died for me
He took my guilt
He took it all and now, by grace, I’m free.

Christ freed me from God’s judgment;

“There’s no more fear” I cry.
He conquered death and gave me life
My soul shall never die.

Now Christ is my Protector;

He owns my life, my soul.
I’m clean by the blood of Jesus;
I’m free, I’m His, I’m whole!

Grieving are his wife, 5 sons, 2 daughters, 35 grandchildren, 2 great grand children, 2 sisters and many other relatives and friends. May the Lord bless all that are left behind and give them the assurance of seeing their departed loved ones at the Throne of God in good time. La Salle, Colo.

As I read and reread my Great Grandfather's poem, I am struck with the peace, joy and anticipation he exhibited as he looked forward to his own death. For the Christan this is the mindset concerning leaving this earthly realm. There is no fear because we know there is no judgment. Jesus Christ has experienced my judgment, my penalty and my punishment for sin. Now for me there is only great anticipation as I move toward eternity. I will be with Jesus - face to face. No longer chained by sin, I will be able to worship Him just as Grandfather Hermann now worships, without a single hindrance, alongside my loved ones who have gone before me. Oh, what satisfaction and joy! Praise God who has so generously given us His Son!

Franziska's story is nearly complete. The final chapter will follow with her latter years after Hermann's death.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Franziska - Chapter Eight

Note: If you have not read Franciska's amazing story up to this point, you should do so now. Find chapters one through seven here. Start at the bottom of the page with chapter one.

It has been months since I last wrote about Franziska. The previous chapter dealt with Hermann's (her husband) death in 1933. This chapter will bring to a close Franziska's life.

During Hermann's two year struggle with cancer, he was cared for by a granddaughter, Martha. She lived with the couple while caring for Hermann and learned how to give the injections that Hermann needed at that time. She devoted herself to her grandparent's needs until Hermann passed away.

Franziska was 71 years old when she gave Hermann over to heaven. The couple had been married for a little over 50 years. How difficult it must have been for her to now be bereft of the one she had spent nearly all of her life with. She would really need to cling to her Heavenly Father now, in ways she had never imagined while her beloved husband was still with her.

I wonder about Franziska's health at this time since she obviously needed the granddaughter's help with Hermann. After Hermann's death, her grandson, Robert Max stayed for a while with his grandmother. Then she went to live with her son Frederick and his wife Lena for about three years.

At that time, a pastor who knew Franziska arranged for a second marriage to a man named C. A. Borchers, living in Bessie Oklahoma (this is the town my own mother was raised in). Unfortunately, he turned out to be a somewhat cruel man, mistreating and neglecting Franziska especially whenever she was ill.

But Franziska outlived her second husband. After his death, she went to live with my grandfather (her son) and grandmother, Herbert and Lena Meyer in Ingersoll, Oklahoma for some time. But eventually, because she developed symptoms for what we now know as Alzheimer's Disease, caring for her became too great a demand for my grandparents.

At this point her two daughters, Helen and Emma, traveled to Oklahoma to help care for their mother for several months in 1947. Shortly after that she was hospitalized at Western Oklahoma Hospital in Supply, Oklahoma. This is where she would spend the remainder of her days on earth.

Just four days before her 87th birthday she went home to be with her Savior. What a reunion must have followed with Hermann and all of her children that preceded her in death, one of which was her son, Rudolph, who had died exactly one year before her, on January 2, 1948.

Following is Franziska's obituary. This piece of information was the first writing I came upon concerning my great grandmother after my own father's death in 2003. This was after obtaining the family records that he'd had in his possession. Her obituary was such a grand discovery for me - realizing that just a few generations before me, a godly woman had lived a life that brought much glory to the God who first loved her.
Franziska’s Obituary

Franziska Agnes Meyer-Borchers, born on January 6, 1862 in Germany, was called to her eternal reward on January 2, 1949 at the Western Oklahoma Hospital at Supply, Oklahoma.

In her long and eventful life she experienced much joy and happiness, but also much grief and sorrow. At the tender age of 5, her mother passed away, overshadowing her life with a dark cloud. In her teen years she came under the influence of the gospel message, accepting Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord. Upon her confession of faith she was baptized and joined the Konigstrasse Baptist Church in Berlin, Germany.

In 1882 she was married to Hermann Gustave Meyer, and in 1886 this young couple migrated to the United States, settling on a farm in South Dakota and later in La Salle, Colorado where her husband passed away in 1933. Three years after her first husband's death Franziska remarried. She was united to her second husband, the late C. A. Borchers from Bessie Oklahoma, in 1936.

Early in life she had made her choice to be a faithful, loyal and true follower of Christ, devoting much of her time and talents in sacrificial service to HIM who had done so much for her. She shed forth her Christian influence liberally as a good Sunday School teacher, young woman’s adviser and faithful president of the Ladies’ Aid for 25 years.

She was a devoted wife and a good mother, a fine Christian character and example. God blessed her with thirteen children, of whom six died at the ages of six and under. Two sons preceded Franziska in death a few years ago: Reinhold in 1942 and Rudolph in 1948. Five of her children survive her, along with 42 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grand child, as well as many Christian friends and neighbors.
I have hesitated in writing this final chapter because my great grandmother's last days were not so pleasant as you have seen. It pains me to think about this noble and gracious lady's difficult latter years without Hermann. But she dwells on high now and all is well.

I never met Franziska. I was born nine months after she died. She left a godly heritage - 13 children, 42 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. That adds up to 103 descendants at the time of her death. I include even the children that did not live but a few years for they are certainly worshiping the God who created them and ordained their days on the earth as well as the sons and daughters who grew to adulthood glorifying God, and who lived longer on this globe, also by the will of their Creator.

That makes me wonder how many more great, great-great, etc. grandchildren there are now. I am one more, not having been counted at the time of her death. But it comforts me to know that I had a great grandmother that prayed for the generations yet to be born as the Psalmist did (Psalm 78:5-7).

Her prayers for her unborn grandchildren included me and God honored her desires. For that I am eternally grateful to my Lord for He put me upon her heart ere she knew me. And as I write, I find myself lifting my grandchildren, those born and yet to be born to the same God, asking for the same thing that my precious grandmother asked for - that they might know and love the glorious and gracious God of creation and redemption.

How I would have loved to have known this regal daughter of the King, but our getting to know one another will have to happen in a different realm, beyond time and space. There, in that blissful city, we will have an eternity to "catch up".

But the greater wonder will be seeing Jesus, the Host of Heaven, the One who untied Franziska and myself in the family of God by His sacrificial death on the Cross. Yes, we are related by human blood, but we will be reunited by Christ's divine blood. It is because of our Savior that we will meet one day and enjoy one another's company in His very presence, never to part.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mexican Quiche

1 recipe yogurt dough (get recipe here)
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies, drained
2 ounces diced black olives (canned)
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions: Arrange pie crust in a pie plate and pre-bake for about 20-30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle shredded cheddar evenly over bottom of crust. Spread drained tomatoes/chilies and green chilies over cheese. Sprinkle olives over top. Beat eggs, sour cream, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and garlic powder until well mixed. Pour over mixture in pie crust. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes, until firmly set. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Roasted Chicken Salad with Green Grapes and Walnuts

Note: If you are following the Monday Menu Plan, then the roasted chicken you prepare today will provide for Friday's meal also.

One 5 lb. roasting chicken (or 2 if you have a large family, in which case you would double the first seven ingredients)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. raw, unfiltered honey
1/4 c. chopped fresh rosemary
6 T. extra-virgin, expeller-pressed olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 t. coarse ground black pepper
1 t. real sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
2 c. organic green grapes, halved
1/4 c. Gorgonzola cheese
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thin
1/2 c. chopped, crispy walnuts (get recipe here)
1 c. Champagne Grape Vinaigrette (get recipe here)
6 bibb lettuce leaves in the shape of a cup)

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine orange juice, honey, and rosemary in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually add olive oil in a steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Add vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Fold back the wings of the chicken and place in a baking dish. Rub with olive oil mixture. Bake until browned and cooked through about 1 hour and 20 minutes or so. Remove to let cool. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones (save for chicken stock) in strips. Measure out 4 cups of chicken and set aside. Refrigerate remainder for Friday's meal.

Meanwhile, combine grapes, cheese, fennel, walnuts and Champagne Grape Vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add 4 c. chicken and toss, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve in lettuce cup on individual plates with crusty sprouted bread (Alvarado Street is really good). Makes 6 servings.

© Franziska's Pantry

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © Franziska's Pantry. Website:

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