Add a Little "Punch" to Family Celebrations

When you’re part of a large family, says Mary Schumacher of Ackley, Iowa, there is always something to celebrate.  Mary is the youngest of nine children.  Her husband, Steve, is the ninth out of 15 children.

Birthdays, baptisms, weddings, anniversaries and graduations keep their social calendar full, and each special occasion calls for special party foods.

Fortunately, cooking is a favorite past-time for this busy wife and mother.  Mary has been employed for 24 years by the Ellsworth Hospital.  Her husband, Steve, is a Latham® dealer.  And the two of them are the proud parents of two daughters and one son:  Molly, 18, attends Loras College in Dubuque.  Abbey is a sophomore at AGWSR High School, where she’s involved with volleyball and track. She also plays AAU volleyball.  Lucas, 11, is active in baseball, wrestling, karate and trap shooting.

The girls enjoy shopping with their mom in their free time, while Lucas prefers to spend time making customer calls with his dad.  Just recently, Lucas said he’d like to farm and take over Schumacher Seeds when he grows up.  There’s nothing like a kid dreaming of a career in agriculture.  And if Lucas plans to become a Latham dealer, I’ll volunteer to make the punch!

Sherbet Punch is one way the Schumachers celebrate special occasions.

“My mom always made punch for holidays when we were growing up, and the favor of sherbet would vary with the season,” says Mary Schumacher.  “It’s a tradition that I’ve continued.  This punch recipe is easy to make, and kids love it.  We’ve used strawberry soda with strawberry or raspberry sherbet.  We also like using orange soda with orange sherbet.”

Check out Mary’s favorite punch recipe below.  She’s also included a recipe for bagel spread, which could be the perfect complement to one of the 18 soup recipes now posted on The Field Position.

How do you add “punch” to family celebrations?  What foods are made for special occasions?


Sherbet Punch



  • 1 quart pineapple juice
  • 1 quart sherbet (softened)
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream (softened)
  • 1 quart 7UP® or Ginger Ale



  1. Mix the first three ingredients with a mixer until smooth, and then refreeze until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Place punch mix in punch bowl with 7UP or Ginger Ale.
  3. Depending on how thick you like it, you may want to add more or less than the 1 quart of soda.

COOK’S TIP: Refreeze in smaller containers as it thaws a little faster and mixes easier in the punch bowl.


from Mary Schumacher