Lonny and Cindy Lehrkamp are pictured with son Logan. A long-standing division of duties in the Lehrkamp household has allowed Lonny to become a highly skilled cook and griller whose meals are eagerly awaited by friends, family and community groups.
Lonny and Cindy Lehrkamp are pictured with son Logan. A long-standing division of duties in the Lehrkamp household has allowed Lonny to become a highly skilled cook and griller whose meals are eagerly awaited by friends, family and community groups.
Monday, August 9, 2010

Lonny Lehrkamp of Carroll made a deal with his wife, Cindy, when they were married in 1983. Twenty-seven years later the deal is still on and his family and community are reaping the benefits.

Lonny, a route supervisor for Farner Bocken, agreed to do the cooking and grocery shopping and Cindy agreed to laundry and dishes. It’s a very fair deal considering Lonny’s outstanding skills in the kitchen and on the outdoor smoker. Cindy, a second-grade teacher in Manning, loves to bake so there is always something good to eat at their house.

Growing up in a family of all boys, one of the boys decided to learn to cook and it was Lonny. He thoroughly enjoys cooking for his family, friends, and co-workers. When his children were students at Carroll Middle and High School, he often provided dinner for teachers during conference time, as well as dinners for athletic teams.

His daughter, Kinsey, now 23, is studying fashion merchandising at DMACC in Ankeny and son, Logan, 19, attends Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. He is studying criminal justice and plays for the football and golf teams.

Lonny also takes pride in volunteering his time to help his community and friends. He often helps his friend, Bill Beck, of Carroll, feed Iowa State University athletic teams.

Beck, an employee of The Graphic Edge, is often times Lonny’s “grilling buddy.” Lonny says they like to get together and create their own recipes. He says, “We see what tastes good and find out what we like.” He and Bill are also working on a new project together. They are volunteering their time and donating food to the MET Revival, an ongoing fundraiser to remodel the clubhouse at the Carroll Municipal Golf Course.

Since Lonny’s outdoor smoker is his biggest hobby, next to golf and attending sporting events, he’s building a large fire pit in his backyard. The fire pit’s purpose is not to cook food. Family and guests will be able to sit around the fire and relax while balancing a plate of Lonny’s delicious food on their laps.

Taco Dip

This “dip” eats more like a meal. As the Lehrkamp kids were growing up, this was a Sunday ritual at their house as they watched TV or a movie together as a family. It’s also a perfect addition to a tailgate or Super Bowl Sunday. Lonny said it’s a favorite among friends.

1½ pounds hamburger
1 8 ounce container of French onion sour cream dip
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese (softened)
1 1.25 oz packet of taco seasoning
1 small tomato (diced)
1 small can of sliced black olives (drained)
1 large bag of shredded cheese
1 head of lettuce (shredded)

Brown hamburger and drain excess grease. Combine French onion dip, cream cheese, and taco seasoning.  Spread this in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Place black olives on top of mixture. Then add browned hamburger and finally, top with shredded cheese, lettuce, and diced tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Sweet Smoked Salmon

Surprisingly, this recipe is not a main dish. Instead Lonny enjoys serving this as an hors d’oeuvre with crackers. Lonny usually special orders this cut of fish from Landlocked Seafoods Inc. in Carroll. It is a half salmon that has been de-boned, but the skin has been left intact. It is cooked in a smoker on a piece of cardboard covered in foil, but a cedar plank could also be used. This is a definite favorite at tailgates and Lonny often serves it at Christmastime. He estimates he smokes 20 to 30 salmon a year.

3-4 pound salmon (boneless with skin)
brown sugar

Place the salmon in a covered container and cover the whole salmon with brown sugar.  Let the salmon marinate overnight in the refrigerator. The brown sugar will caramelize. Spoon excess caramelized sugar back over the salmon. Before you put it in the smoker, place the salmon on a cut out piece of cardboard that is slightly larger than the salmon. Cover the cardboard with foil and spray it down with olive mist or Pam. This will let the salmon slide off onto the serving plate with ease. Place into the smoker for about 2 ½ half hours at 225 degrees. Serves 12-18 people.

Stuffed Pork Loin

This is an original recipe by Lonny. He says any kind of sausage can be used. He used to stuff it with bratwurst, but found sausage packs more flavor. Any kind of ground sausage can be used including breakfast sausage such as Jimmy Dean or Italian sausage. The pork can also be grilled - it will take less time than smoking. He often cooks this for a tailgate before his son Logan’s BV football games, or just for dinner.
4-5 pounds of boneless pork loin
½ pound of ground sausage (if you want it spicier, use Italian sausage)
4 ounce can of green chilies (drained)
Small red onion (diced)
1 cup of celery (diced)

Cut the loin through the middle the long way and split open, but don’t cut it all the way through. Combine the rest of the ingredients and spread onto the split loin. Close the loin and tie it together several times down the length of the loin. It can be cooked two ways. I put mine on the smoker at 225 degrees until the meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees for about 2-2 ½ hours. You can also wrap it in foil and put it on the grill until the meat reaches the 140 degree mark. Let stand for ½ hour, slice, and serve.

Baked Beans

This comfort food is a favorite of his daughter, Kinsey. It makes a large batch, filling a full size crockpot. Lonny often makes this BBQ staple for family gatherings and it is popular among Farner-Bocken drivers too. He likes to add bits of whatever leftover meat he has on hand - his favorite addition is beef brisket.

3 to 4 21 ounce cans of Bush’s baked beans (I use one with brown sugar and bacon)
1 small can of Bush’s black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 small can of red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 small can of lima beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup of brown sugar
½ cup of molasses
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
¼ cup of Tones liquid smoke (This can be to taste, I always add a little more)
Combine all ingredients and put in crock pot to simmer all day on low, stirring occasionally.  I also add a little smoked meat to the beans (brisket or pork) that I have that day.

Hogum Slogum Sauce
No matter how you say the name of this dessert, it’s delicious.  Lonny isn’t sure of the exact meaning of “hogum slogum,” but says it’s a long-standing family recipe passed down by his German grandmother. He likes to introduce friends to this cake covered with a sweet sauce. The sauce is thick and Lonny says it sort of melts the cake. Instead of vanilla extract, lemon extract could also be used. When asked about storage of leftovers, Lonny replied, “There won’t be any leftovers.”

½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups water
½ cup butter (1 stick)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
White cake prepared according to box directions, bake in 9x13 pan
In saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Gradually stir in water.  Continue cooking, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Bring to boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Pour hot sauce over white cake and serve.