The Ottumwa Courier


September 22, 2006

Eastern cook ‘adapts’ recipes when beaches are not available to pick up clams

Ottumwan's recipes featured


They have moved around during the service and Valerie said she had a teaching contract in California when they reassigned her husband to Washington state and she was unwilling to break her teaching contract which she had just signed, so she stayed in California. Then he was sent to Vietnam, so she was alone more than two years, which were difficult.

When he returned, he was offered a job as a teacher in Minnesota where many of his family lived and they moved again. She was able to complete her graduate degree at Morningside College in Multicategorical Education and began teaching special education classes, as they moved around Iowa, finally landing up in Ottumwa, where she taught in the Ottumwa Schools, retiring in June 2003.

Valerie’s 85-year-old mother lives in Rhode Island and has tea daily. Valerie’s father died when he was 42. Valerie tries to visit relatives in the East annually and renew her love of the beach and ready access to fresh clams and fish. But she has learned to adapt her recipes to landlocked Ottumwa, because after all the years of enforced roaming, moving is not in the Godfreys’ plans.

“We love Ottumwa and want to stay here,” she says.

Valerie and her retired pilot/educator have six grandchildren around the country.

This bubbly warm former teacher is very active in her church as president of the Women’s Circles, active in the sewing/quilting mission group and is trying to teach interested members to knit. She recently held a mother-daughter banquet (a first for the church) which she cooked all but the side dishes and so many attended, it made money!


Serves: 10*

1/4 pound margarine or salt pork

4 large onions, chopped

4 quarts water

2 quarts diced potatoes

1 quart milk OR one can tomato soup (10 3/4 oz.)

Text Only
AP National