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Column: Harvest season is now upon us

It's almost time for students to get two days off for MEA. Teachers will attend meetings while students either pick up extra hours at work, help their parents with fall clean-up or, for many, take two days just to kick back and relax.

Last week we drove past several fields where workers of Pahl's market were harvesting squash and cabbage. We talked about childhood memories of harvesting years ago. My friend who grew up south of Duluth recalled how fall vacation meant harvesting cabbage. If they didn't raise cabbage, they would help the neighbors. If they did, when one field was finished, everyone moved to the next one all week.

For me, it meant time to pick potatoes. Farmers would go to town and bring pickers to the fields. We'd each get a basked and potato sacks that would last until we got to the end of the row. Most of the time we worked in pairs as the baskets were heavy to lift and dump in the gunny sacks. We left our lunch at the end of the row and would eat when we got back to that area. At the end of the day everyone was paid and how much depended on how many bushels they picked. It was dirty hard work every fall but it had to get done before the temperature dropped.

Today the harvest is done with big pickers while our young people spend time on the computer or watch television.

Things have changed a lot over the years.

Apple butter

20 apples, cored, seeded and chopped

3 cups sugar

4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for one hour. Reduce heat and cook on low for 10-11 hours and deep brown. The sugar can be adjusted to your taste. Yield: eight pints

Pumpkin dip

1 8-oz, package cream cheese, soft

2 cups powdered sugar

1 can pumpkin without spices added

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1/2 teaspoon ginger

Combine ingredients and serve with ginger snaps