German POWs

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father In previous posting I have discussed experiences with the German WWII POWs. Now the war is over and it is time for them to go home. My father, my sister Beatrice, and I had developed a rapport with these men and were sad to see them leave. They were all very nice, polite men who were victims of this war just like many others. My experience with them made me...
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Homemade Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake recipe is a must-have for cake lovers. Unlike most box cakes, the cake is moist and absolutely delicious. My daughter Haley made this for me, and I was blown away at how much I loved it. She made the cake from scratch and used store-bought frosting, but you can use your favorite frosting recipe if you like. This recipe is adapted from the recipe you can find...
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I’d like to save the butterflies, but I can’t even grow weeds.

Ever since I wrote "The Honeybee Sisters" series, I have been quite concerned about bees and butterflies. I canceled my pest spraying service and have been looking at flowers to plant that bees and butterflies love. One reason that monarch butterflies are disappearing across the country is because milkweed is disappearing, and milkweed is what monarch caterpillars eat. With no food source,...
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Braided French Bread

This is a fantastic bread for beginning bread makers.  It's mostly foolproof, and despite a few mishaps I've had with it in the past, it always turns out delicious and beautiful.  The loaves are big, and if you'd prefer you can divide the dough into four smaller loaves instead of just two.  The loaves will freeze or you can share the love with a neighbor or friend. Start by combining 1/2 cup...
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Prisoners of War on a Utah Farm

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father Near the end of WWII, German POWs were brought to the United States and housed in camps around the country. They were brought here because there was no place to keep them in Europe, and there was a shortage of labor here. One of these camps was located here in Orem. Farmers could get these men to work on their farms. My father would get ten POWs to help...
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Quilting Bee: Two Ribbon-Star Quilts, Part 2

Last month, I showed you these beautiful ribbon-star quilts and explained how I made the stars. Now let me show you how I finished the quilts. First, I laid out all 18 stars so I could decide which stars I wanted in each quilt. I tried to divide the stars evenly by color, trying various arrangements until I found two patterns that I liked the best. Then I numbered every star. (I had spent so much...
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War from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy

My father, Roy, was born in 1900.  He was too young to serve in WWI and too old to be in WWII. (I wonder how high those numbers will go.) Many of the young men from our small town served in the war. Wesley Graff came home burned and disfigured. Every time I saw him I was reminded of the war. George Rohbock spent much of the war in a German POW camp.  He came home and became a florist. Phil...
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Valentine Pizza

I love Valentine's Day.  I know I may be in the minority here, but I do.  Even the years I didn't have a significant other I loved celebrating love.  I'd buy the cheap cardboard valentines and hand them out in my school classes along with delicious candy for everyone.  I did this well into college...seriously.  I would have girls' night with my friends almost every year where we would order...
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Strawberries and Seagulls

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer's father. My father  planted fruit trees and while waiting for them to mature, he planted strawberries in rows between the trees. We would plant the berries one spring, and then they bore fruit the next spring and several springs to follow. We used a horse-drawn cultivator to stir up the ground between the rows of plants to remove weeds and to make the ground more...
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The Finished Quilted Present Quilt

Last month I showed you my beautiful present quilt top. I had sewn together all the fabric pieces to create the beautiful top, but I had not yet had a chance to add batting and backing and sew it all together. Today, I’m excited to show you the finished quilt, with top, batting, and back, all stitched together with the edges bound. After I finished the quilt top, I picked a backing fabric, and...
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