English or German?

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and had accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will be replaced with the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favor of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage when more komplikated changes possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Kep yur fork

Best Meats for Jerky

Most jerky makers have their favorite combinations of sauces and spices they use when making ‘dried meat’, including but not limited to Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, garlic, soy sauce, onion, curry powder, seasoned salts and pepper. They know to use extra lean cuts of raw meat, cut slices across the grain, and cutting off all visible fat, not to mention a proper cure, dehydrating methods and time, etc.  What some have trouble with is selecting the best meats for making their jerky. Here are a couple of hints/thoughts:

Beef: Flank, round and sirloin tip cuts.
Game animals: Venison, bear, and elk flank or round cuts. (Venison is excellent because it has no marbled fat)
Poultry: Use the same cures as you do for the red meats. The jerky is more brittle because the meat is more fibrous than red meat.

Keep your fork

Apple Stack Cake

Here is a recipe for an apple stack cake that our great-grandmothers would have served to their families.

1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c shortening
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 c white sugar, 1/2 c molasses (or all molasses)
1 egg

Mix the first 5 ingredients together, mixing well. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out into circles and bake on a greased cookie sheet until browned. Between the cake layers, spread cooked dried apples that have been flavored with cinnamon, giving it a real intense flavor or use cooked fresh apples or any other cooked or fresh fruit. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

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Do You Want to Talk?

During a stop in Texas for a connecting flight to Washington, D.C., a man boarded the plane and was seated in first class next to a little girl.

He turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.” The little girl who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you like to talk about?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said the senator. “How about global warming, universal health care, or stimulus packages?” as he smiled smugly.

“OK,” she said. “Those sound like interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff, grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

The senator, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea. To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss global warming, universal health care, or the economy when you don’t know crap?” Then she went back to reading her book.

Keep your fork

Putting Up Tomato Sauce

With the shortage of canning lids/flats, gardeners may be looking for an alternative way of putting up tomato sauce or the like, now that tomato season in upon us.

Pour the sauce into zip-close freezer bags and close securely or into vacuum seal bags and just seal (DO NOT use the sucky mode) the bags. Mark each bag with the date, contents, and amount before freezing flat on baking sheets. When the bags are completely frozen, you may stack them in your freezer, saving space for other frozen foods.

Keep your fork

BLT on a Stick

Ever think of serving a BLT on a stick (skewer)? It’s not that hard to do and it’s a unique way that your family and friends will remember.

4 slices sourdough bread, toasted
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 slices cheddar cheese, quartered
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 pickle chips
Roasted garlic sauce for dipping
8 wooden skewers

Cut each slice of toasted bread into 6 equal pieces. Cut each slice of bacon into 4 pieces. Cut the iceberg lettuce into 2-inch chunks. Dice the avocado into 8 pieces. Skewer one piece of the bread onto each of the 8 skewers. Add a piece of the bacon, a lettuce stack, a piece of the avocado, a piece of cheese and a cherry tomato half. Follow with another slice of toast, a piece of bacon, a lettuce stack, a piece of avocado and a cherry tomato half. Finish each skewer with a piece of the toast and a pickle chip. Serve with the roasted garlic sauce for dipping.

Keep your fork

A Christmas Tradition

I realize that it is nowhere close to Christmas, but with the temperature being in the 90’s and into the triple digits I thought a story about a Christmas tradition might ease our pain to some degree.

When four of Santa’s elves came down with a virus, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones.

Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When Santa went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were not to be found anywhere.

Then when Santa began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidently dropped the cider jug which broke into hundreds of little glass pieces which scattered all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, “Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?”

And thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Not very many people know this.

Keep your fork

Canning and Freezing Yields – Fruits

With fruit canning and freezing season in full swing, one may wonder how many pounds of a certain fruit is needed to make 1 quart of finished product. Here are some common fruits and the approximate weight in pounds needed per quart of that fruit. See a previous post for amount of vegetables needed.

Apples = 2½ to 3 lbs. per quart
Apricots = 2 to 2½ lbs. per quart
Berries = 1½ to 3 lbs. per quart
Cherries = 2 to 2½ lbs. per quart
Grapes = 2 lbs. per quart
Nectarines = 2 to 2½ lbs. per quart
Peaches = 2 to 3 lbs. per quart
Pears = 2 to 3 lbs. per quart
Plums = 1½ to 2½ lbs. per quart
Strawberries = 2½ to 3 lbs. per quart
Tomatoes = 2½ to 3½ lbs. per quart

Keep your fork

Skillet Coffee Cake

Here is an easy to make coffee cake that is baked in a cast iron skillet.

2 Tbsp. butter
1c flour
1 c sugar
1 c milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 to 2 c berries, your choice

Melt the butter in an iron skillet. Stir dry ingredients together and add milk, mixing until no lumps remain. Pour mixture into skillet containing the melted butter. Sprinkle the berries over the top and cook at 350º for around 35 to 40 minutes. To add a great touch, sprinkle sugar over the top before baking.

Keep your fork

Heading to Pittsburgh

Three priests were heading to Pittsburgh to attend a convention. The youngest priest, knowing he was most connected to the secular world, offered to get the tickets.

Upon arriving at the counter, he noticed that the cashier was wearing a low cut top and a short short skirt. His heart fluttered a moment.

“Yes Ma’am, I’d like to purchase three tickets to Titsburgh.” Realizing his slip-up, he bolted back to his traveling companions, telling them the story.

“I’ll get the tickets,” said the middle aged priest.

Approaching the counter, he noticed her short short skirt and her low top. He felt an urge not felt in years as he asked her for the tickets.

“Young lady, I’d like to purchase three tickets to Pittsburgh, and I’d like the change back in dimes and nipples,” he said. He turned, hurried back to the other two, recounting his error, asking God for forgiveness en route.

The eldest priest assured the other two they’d soon have their tickets.

“My length of service will guide me through the purchase. You boys should watch how this is done,” he told them.

The three approached the counter together, the oldest in the lead. The aged man noticed how her short short skirt rode high and how her low low top showed all of her cleavage. He cleared his throat and asked for the tickets.

“Ma’am, I would like to purchase three tickets to Pittsburgh. And please give my change back in dimes and nickels. I would also like to comment on your attire. You have brought a shame upon you this day as you’ve allowed two blessed men of the cloth an opportunity to question their vows. Your skirt is ill suited for any mannequin to wear, much less a woman. Your top is too low cut as well, allowing the eyes of a stranger to gaze in places they should not. Why, Young Lady, if you don’t choose to change your ways, upon your death, when you face the Pearliest of Gates, Saint Finger will be waving his peter at you.”

Keep your fork