Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Get Together Beulah ND

North Dakota. To many it is a state of nothing, but corn fields and on long straight road. To me it is a feeling of family. Every year my family, along with my aunt and her family, and two of my dad’s cousins (brother and sister) and their families, get together for an extended weekend. With a total of 17 people it can be crazy. The good kind of crazy, the crazy that tells you, that you are exactly where you are meant to be. (Does that make any sense?) Each family takes a turns hosting it. This year my dad’s cousin, Paula hosted it. This means that we drove 7 hours to Beulah, ND. My dad was born there, same with my grandpa and my grandma was born in the next town over.
                The population of Beulah is 3,121.  It is the 14th largest town in North Dakota. Beulah was founded in 1913. It was named after Beulah Stinchcombe, the niece of a local land developer. When my grandfather grew up it was a German town, and still many people there are still from German descent. 

                Enough about the town, lets talk about one of my personal favorites about family reunions, the food.  Below are my 5 favorite foods. You are going to have to wait two more years until you get a whole menu because that is when our turn is to host.

1st fleischkuekle
                It is a German food, but most commonly found in the homes of North Dakota. It was carried over by German/ Russian /Polish immigrants. Flieschkuekle is my all time favorite food and I have made it 3 times before. However, we buy them frozen and then deep fry them at the Get Together because making them is a day’s event. This is one of the only foods we make every year. Also, in case if you were curious as to how many Calories fleisch has. It has 1200, but that doesn’t stop us from eating for supper, breakfast the next morning and for some carrying it in to lunch.

2nd Buster bar dessert
                Paula is a marvelous cook. One of the desserts she made was a buster bar dessert. Don’t know much about it, other than it was AMAZING!
3rd Slush the kiddy version a.k.a nonalcoholic
                Slush is a frozen drink that includes orange juice, ginger ale and other juices(?) it is frozen and when you want it you scrap away at it with a spoon put it in your cup and pour in lemon lime pop. Paula also makes an adult slush and so far no kids have gotten confused as to what was what.

4th Veggie pizza
                This was another fabulous food. It uses a crescent roll crust with a cream cheese sauce and topped with vegetables. It is a nice health option to down all the calories, and junk floating in our systems.
5th blueberry and peach kuechen
                Kuechen is another traditional food for us. However this is the first year that I have liked it. It means cake in German. Even though it means cake, we eat it for breakfast.

These are Paula’s hot pads. I really like them and will probably be making some in the near future.

Now on to the actual trip. Something many people don’t know about me is that I LOVE to pack. Kind of strange, nevertheless it is how it has always been. And I have gotten quite good at it over the years. The picture below is everything I brought. I do this for every trip I take so I know what I brought in case if something goes missing. The duffle bag I made a few weeks back because I didn’t like any that I have seen, so I made up my own pattern and made my dad and brother take me to Joanne Fabrics on the first day of summer break.

The drive is over 7 hours and not much happened. Paul slept, the road was partially flooded and I watched the series premier of Smallville on my iPod.

James town giant bison.

When we got there everything fell into place as if we never had a day without each other. Minus the fact my foster cousin S.T. grew about a foot and my 2nd cousin Sophie has turned in to a beautiful young lady. As for the rest of us kids: Paul, Sarah, Alec, Amy and I(in order by grade starting at 6th ending with 10th) were back to laughing, playing kickball and night games, staying up way to late, and planning pranks on the adults. Summer was in full swing.
Sophie and ST

Nothing really happened on Friday. Just hanging out, this is my favorite part about the Get Together:) we did how ever have fleischkuekle that night, and the men went golfing at the Beulah Black Sands golf course. It gets the name Black Sands from… well… you probably guessed it, the sand traps are black. Instead of using sand they use ground up coal.

 Saturday we went to the Garrison Dam. My dad’s cousin Brian volunteered to drive the kid car. I don’t know what possessed him to do it, considering he was the only adult in a car of six kids. Who were singing “99 bottles of Beer on the Wall” doing a Kentucky Fried Chicken remix form last year (see above) and making dam jokes. Then again now I understand why, because what did the adults do discus, stocks?  The Garrison Dam is the longest land dam in the world, and is at a record high water level. They had to start releasing water on spill way so the dam won’t over flow. This has only happened one other time.

What it usually looks like….                              
An empty piece of cement                                

What it looked like when I was their…
 150 gallons of water rushing out  of each gate every second.

May not be exciting to you, but I thought it was neat.
Then we stopped at this small (about the size of my living room) BBQ restaurant/ dinner and we got ice cream. I didn’t get a picture of it, but they had 24 different flavors of soft served ice cream. Personally I have only had chocolate and vanilla soft served. It was really yummy and refreshing.  We then went to the Beulah pool. It has a tube slide and I was honored that Sophie wanted to go on her first tube slide with me on it. That night my 2nd cousin Jessie brought out a CD of the 100 most popular television theme songs. We had to guess trying to beat the other team, or in our case the boys. It was a lot of fun even though I did not know no many of the songs, however I got Full House, Scooby doo and Happy Days. I only got Happy Days because it is on every day after Bonanza on TV land. (Yes that’s right I watch bonanza, I blame it on my dad’s family for taking me to the ponderosa ranch when I was three. Now I am a diehard fan, don’t judge) Also I was very disappointed that Bonanza was not one of the songs, I mean everyone knows it that is over the age of 30! And most others have heard it before.


 The next day was time to leave feeling like the shortest of all 10 get together. As tears welled up in every one’s eyes, we made a slow descent down the Battest’s front porch steps and to our car. Knowing all too well we most likely won’t see each other for another year. By that time I will have my license with only 2 years of school left. Amy will have completed a year in high school and be a fully fledged teenager. Alec will be entering high school and his voice will have finally cracked for the last time. Sarah will be an amazing magician and getting wittier every day. Paul will have reached puberty and grow like a weed. And Sophie will have be late elementary, no longer the baby I use to hold and pretend I was her mom. Megan will be in collage and Jessie will be closer to finishing it. The adults …well … I don’t know…I guess they will be just that much older (no offence to any of you reading this) all I am saying is instead of going around telling people you are 25 you might need to change it to 29:-)

As we drove up the drive way and down the road, they gave us my great grandma Rose’s wave. Waving until we were out of sight. Reminding us that family isn't about the blood that we share, but the moments that we share♥

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