How flattered would you be if someone drove 200 miles just to meet you on a Friday afternoon? Would you fall in love and drive to Duluth on Monday morning to buy a marriage license? And would you marry that man just four days after your high school graduation? This, my friends, is the love story that has been the ground on which “my story” was built. It is the story of my Mom, LaVonne Allard, now married to my Dad, Art Anderson, for 60 years.
I didn’t know the whole story until my mom’s cousin, Cliff Morris, told me one day. For some reason, I believed it was three months before they were engaged, not three days. This misunderstanding came that they had to wait three months to actually get married. Going to Duluth for the marriage license didn’t keep the couple’s engagement secret for long. Little did they know as these announcements were published in the paper. Doris Lamb called my Grandma Isabelle Allard to share her congratulations. Shocked, my Grandma waited for her high school daughter to get off the bus and confirm the news. I cannot fathom her reaction. I see pictures of my mom and dad during this time and I understand the attraction. My dad had a “Rebel Without A Cause” look about him. He smoked, played cards, and probably danced. To a young Baptist, this was just too much to resist.
Over their 60 years together, they had three children: two boys and a girl. Missed Irish triplets by a month as Richard was born -September of ’62, Sandy October of ’63, and Gary August of ’64. For 23 months my mother barely saw her feet. They lived in a small home without running water until 1969. I remember the day Bill McKeever drilled our well, and I cried because they were wasting so much water. We had hauled water in milk cans the first six years of my life. Indoor plumbing is something I never take for granted.
I grew up with parents who liked to camp and snowmobile, and make homemade ice cream and wreaths. They taught us to be good neighbors, helping anyone and everyone who needed a hand. How to jump in, help, and make a difference. None of this was done for show or attention. They did it because they had both grown up without. It’s the little things that matter. Just last weekend, my parents visited to spend two long days building a fence for their granddaughter, just because they could. I can’t tell you how many projects and ideas of mine they have supported over the years. From high school spaghetti feeds to Field to Feast Community Dinners, they have done whatever needed to be done.
I look forward to sharing the celebration of their special day with all their family and friends. Those who can join them in-person
and those in spirit. I love and admire my Mom and Dad. I only hope I grow up to be just like them.
Peace and hugs to you, Sandy
“To be capable of lasting love or steady friendship are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.” – William Hazlitt
My mom has always been a wonderful baker. The smell of bread is a favorite childhood memory. These recipes are easy to make for even the novice baker.
If using a bread basket to raise, DO NOT BAKE IN THE BASKET. – Just ask LaVonne.
3 cups flour, all-purpose
2 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups very warm tap water, NOT boiling
Mix dough: Mix flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add water, then use the handle of a wooden spoon to mix until all the flour is incorporated. The dough will be wet and sloppy – not kneadable, but not runny like cake batter. Adjust with more water or flour if needed for the right consistency. Rise: Cover with cling wrap or plate, leave on the counter for 2-3 hours until it doubles in volume, it’s wobbly like jelly and the top is bubbly. Preheat oven. Put the dutch oven in the oven with the lid on (10” or larger). Preheat to 450° degrees 30 minutes prior to baking.
Shape dough: Sprinkle work surface with 1 Tbsp. flour, scrape the dough out of the bowl. Sprinkle top with 1/2 Tbsp. flour. Using a dough scraper or anything of similar shape (cake server, large knife, spatula), fold the sides inwards (about 6 folds) to roughly form a roundish shape. Don’t be too meticulous here – you’re about to deform it, it’s more about deflating the bubbles in the dough and forming a shape you can move. Transfer to paper: Slide a large piece of parchment/baking paper (not wax paper) next to the dough, then flip the dough upside down onto the paper (i.e., seam-side down, smooth-side up). Slide/push it towards the middle, then reshape it into a round(ish) shape. Don’t get too hung up about shape. In fact, lopsided = more ridges = more crunchy bits. Dough in the pot: Remove piping-hot dutch oven from oven. Use paper to place the dough into pot, place lid on. Bake 30 minutes covered, then 12 minutes uncovered, or until deep golden and crispy. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before slicing.
Morning Cinnamon Rolls
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400º degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with 2 Tablespoons melted butter.
Whisk flour, 2 Tablespoons white sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Work 3 Tablespoons softened butter into flour mixture using your hands. Beat milk and egg together in another bowl; pour into the flour-butter mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and roll dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush surface of dough with 2 Tablespoons melted butter.
Whisk 1/2 cup white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over butter-
brushed dough. Roll dough around filling to form a log; cut log into 18 rolls and place the rolls in the prepared baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven until rolls are set, 20 to 25 minutes.
Beat confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until frosting is smooth. Top hot cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.