Jackie and her constant companion, Spirit, spend the day together on the Umatilla River near Walla Walla, Washington, a favorite childhood spot for Jackie and husband Scott. Below, Scott tosses Spirit a juicy apple from their orchard, Celtic Crosswinds.

Jackie and Scott Bacon call Bonners Ferry, Idaho home these days, but their roots are buried deep in Oregon.

"Our ancestors settled in Oregon as early as 1864," says Jackie. "My family traveled by ox-drawn wagons over the Oregon Trail."

A bit of that pioneer spirit lives on in Jackie, who along with Scott has nurtured a hobby farm since 1978.

"Most of our 15 acres is alfalfa bordered by willows which form a living fence and windbreak. We have edible landscaping including pears, plums, cherries, walnuts and gooseberries, rhubarb, asparagus, and raspberries. We hunt for morels and shaggy manes, another type of mushroom.

"Our heirloom apple orchard produces fruits such as Wolf River, Sops of Wine, Pound Sweet and Pink Pearl. The more varieties the better for my apple crisp, one of Scott's favorite desserts.

"I have known Scott since kindergarten. We married the day after we graduated

from high school. We learned quickly to cook cheap and make it easy, which came naturally to me since I grew up in a family that always lived frugally.

"I remember once asking my grandmother what the Depression was like. She replied that they never really noticed because it was just life as normal for them. Farm families were used to raising their own food, living cheap and making do…

"Defying the odds, both Scott and I finished college with bachelor's degrees. After graduation, Scott accepted a position here in Idaho, and I served as Chief Probation Officer for Boundary County for the last 20 years.

"The vast majority of people I worked with are pretty decent folks who just made a mistake," says Jackie, who recently retired. "I will miss the positive impact on some of the lives I've touched in my career.

"People ask us what we will do with ourselves now that we are retired. Scott

and I both like to camp. Our next project is converting our recipes to Dutch oven cooking. The ovens are still in the box, but not for long!

"And in the spirit of looking to the past for a key to the future, we are remembering those college recipes that enabled us to cook a chicken on Sunday, add lots of garden veggies and a medley of spices for nutritious meals that lasted all through the week. Once again we will have little money, but lots of quality time together. (Scroll down to find some of their favorite recipes.)

"We are both looking forward to this change in lifestyle. Our dream is to return home to Walla Walla, Washington, where Scott and I both grew up. We hope to find another small acreage where we can have a little market garden.

"I know there will be days we just dream away, listening to the chattering songbirds or gazing at a lone moose in the field, but I'm sure boredom will never be a problem!"


----As told to Lani Haag

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from Today's Cooks, click below.
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Super Simple Indian Seasoned Chicken

This is a flavorful, delicious way to use up leftover chicken.

  • 2-3 Cups cubed, cooked chicken
  • 2 CINNAMON STICKS
  • 2 tsp. WHOLE GREEN CARDAMOM PODS
  • 1 tsp. WHOLE CLOVES
  • 1 tsp. WHOLE BLACK PEPPERCORNS
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp. MINCED GARLIC)
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (1/2 tsp. GINGER POWDER)

Place the CINNAMON STICKS, CARDAMOM, CLOVES and PEPPERCORNS in a cheesecloth bag. Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer for 1 hour. Discard the bag of spices. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro if desired and serve over cooked rice.

Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Nutritional Information: Servings 4;
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups (360g); Calories 200; Calories from fat 25; Total fat 3g; Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 100mg; Carbohydrate 18g; Dietary Fiber 7g.

Need any spices for this recipe?

Spice Price Quantity
Cinnamon Sticks 3" 1 oz. bag $2.49
Cardamom #2 Green Pods .6 oz. 1/4 cup jar $6.39
Madagascar Cloves Whole .5 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.45
Whole Tellicherry Indian Black Peppercorns 2.2 oz. 1/2 cup jar $5.85
Garlic Minced 1.2 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.79
Powdered China #1 Ginger .9 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.65



Roast Chicken

Roasted chicken is a great meal for when company comes calling.

  • 1 5-7 lb. chicken
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. PENZEYS FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
  • 1/2 tsp. GARLIC
  • 2 tsp. HERBS of your choice (ROSEMARY, THYME, OREGANO, BASIL are nice)
  • 1/2 Cup water or chicken broth (1/2 Cup water mixed with 1/4 tsp. CHICKEN SOUP BASE)

Preheat oven to 400°. Thoroughly clean the chicken and pat dry. Wash the celery, cut it to fit your roasting pan and place, cavity side down, in the bottom of the roasting pan, about 1-inch apart. Season the chicken with salt, PEPPER, GARLIC and HERBS and place on top of the celery. Pour the water or chicken broth over the chicken and place in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Cook for 11/2 hours. Check every half hour and add more water to the pan if needed. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before carving. Discard the celery and use the pan drippings to make gravy, if desired.

Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Nutritional Information: Servings 6;
Serving Size 1 cup (217g); Calories 440; Calories from fat 240; Total fat 26g; Cholesterol 150mg; Sodium 370mg; Carbohydrate 1g; Dietary Fiber 0g.

Need any spices for this recipe?

Spice Price Quantity
Garlic Powder Granulated 1.3 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.79
Penzeys Freshly Ground Pepper 2.4oz 1/2 cup jar $5.69
Rosemary Cracked 1.2 oz. 1/2 cup jar $4.45
Thyme French .8 oz. 1/2 cup jar $4.79
Oregano Broken Leaf Turkish .5 oz. 1/2 cup jar $3.99
Basil French .2 oz. 1/4 cup jar $2.75
Chicken Soup Base and Seasoning 8 oz. jar $10.85


Baked Yukon Gold Potato Slices

Jackie prefers Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe, but any potato will work.

  • 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick (scrub but do not peel)
  • 3-4 TB. olive oil
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. PENZEYS FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER
  • 1-2 tsp. HERBS (CRACKED ROSEMARY, THYME, OREGANO, BASIL)

Preheat oven to 400°. Place the potato slices on a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, PEPPER and HERBS and gently toss to coat. Bake for about 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and bake an additional 20 minutes. Pierce with a fork to check for doneness. If the potatoes are still firm, turn again and cook a few more minutes. They should be golden when done.

Prep. time: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Nutritional Information: Servings 6;
Serving Size 1 cup (177g); Calories 190; Calories from fat 80; Total fat 9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 240mg; Carbohydrate 27g; Dietary Fiber 3g.

Need any spices for this recipe?

Spice Price Quantity
Penzeys Freshly Ground Pepper 2.4oz 1/2 cup jar $5.69
Rosemary Cracked 1.2 oz. 1/2 cup jar $4.45
Thyme French .8 oz. 1/2 cup jar $4.79
Oregano Broken Leaf Turkish .5 oz. 1/2 cup jar $3.99
Basil French .2 oz. 1/4 cup jar $2.75


Baked Dressing

Jackie writes, "This is really more like a savory bread pudding. I have had people at Thanksgiving dinner say they hate turkey stuffing, only to have second and third helpings of this recipe."

  • 1 large loaf day old, whole wheat bread
  • 2 Cups chopped celery
  • 2 Cups chopped onion
  • 1 Cup peeled, chopped apple
  • 1 Cup peeled chopped Yukon Gold potato
  • 1/2 Cup peeled chopped carrot
  • 1/2 Cup chopped pecans
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (11/2 tsp. MINCED GARLIC)
  • 1 TB. RUBBED SAGE
  • 2 tsp. CALIFORNIA BASIL
  • 1 tsp. TURKISH OREGANO
  • 2 Cups chicken broth (or 2 Cups water mixed with 1 tsp. CHICKEN SOUP BASE)
  • 1 Cup skim milk
  • 6 eggs

Tear up the bread and spread it out to dry a bit as you chop the vegetables for the dressing. Place the bread pieces in a very large mixing bowl. Add the SAGE, BASIL and OREGANO and mix well. Add the celery, onion, apple, potato, carrot, pecans and garlic. Mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken broth, milk and eggs. Pour over the bread mixture and mix thoroughly. It will look very wet. Place in a baking dish and put in the oven at the same time as the chicken. Leave in the heat until just before serving. If you are not making Jackie's Roast Chicken, bake at 325° for 90 minutes.

Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Serves: 10-12

Nutritional Information: Servings 12;
Serving Size 1 cup (192g); Calories 200; Calories from fat 60; Total fat 7g; Cholesterol 90mg; Sodium 310mg; Carbohydrate 28g; Dietary Fiber 3g.

Need any spices for this recipe?

Spice Price Quantity
Garlic Minced 1.2 oz. 1/4 cup jar $3.79
Sage Rubbed .4 oz. 1/4 cup jar $2.49
Basil California .2 oz. 1/4 cup jar $2.49
Oregano Broken Leaf Turkish .5 oz. 1/2 cup jar $3.99
Chicken Soup Base and Seasoning 8 oz. jar $10.85