Frank Perdue and the Pope

One of the main sponsors of Larry’s Country Diner on the RFD channel is Springer Mountain Farms. They are a company nestled  in the Blue Ridge Mountains specializing in all natural chicken that is fed on a vegetarian diet. It is supposedly available at local grocery stores. The main brand at the stores we shop is Perdue. Every time I see Perdue chicken, this story comes to mind.

Chicken magnate Frank Perdue goes to Rome to meet with the pope. “Holy father,” he says, “I have a proposition for you. If you will change one word in one prayer, I will donate $25 million to the church, which you can use any way you like.”

The Pope says, “Mr. Perdue, prayers are not for sale. But out of curiosity, what exactly is the change you’d like?”

“In the Our Father,” Perdue explains, “I’d like you to change ‘our daily bread’ to ‘our daily chicken’ – and I’ll up my offer to $50 million.”

“I’m sorry,” the Pope says, “but it wouldn’t be right.”

“Look,” Perdue says, “you’re obviously a tough negotiator, so I’ll get to my final offer. Your Holiness, I am prepared to give the church $100 million dollars in return for this one change. Think of the good that money would do!”

The Pope thinks for a minute and says, “Very well,  I will go tell the College of Cardinals about our deal.”

The next day, the Pope speaks to the cardinals. “My brothers,” he says, “I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we have gained $100 million for our charities throughout the world. The bad news is we lost the Wonder account.”

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A Cup of Tea

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups.

Spotting an exceptional cup they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.” As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and pulled me over and over and I yelled out, “Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone,” but he only smiled and said, “Not yet.” Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was made to suit himself and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. “Help! Get me out of here!” I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, “Not yet.”

When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! “Ah, this is much better,” I thought.. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible.. I thought I would gag. “Oh, please, stop it, stop,” I cried. He only shook his head and said, “Not yet.”

Then suddenly he puts me back in the oven. Only it was not like the first time. This was twice as hot and I just knew that I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering, “What’s he going to do to me next?”

An hour later he handed me a mirror and said, “Look at yourself.” And I did. I said “That’s not me. That couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!”

Quietly he spoke: “I want you to remember. I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I had not put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

The moral of this story is this: God knows what He’s doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to ‘stink’, try this.

Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

Keep your fork

Trimming and Fertilizing Melons

It is too early to put this information to immediate use, but tuck it away in your memory as you will need it later.

Melons can support fewer vines and fruits than they normally produce. About mid-summer you will want to pinch off the tips of the vines and remove baby melons that will not ripen anyway. This will direct more energy into the developing fruits. Cantaloupe can have 6 to 7 fruits per plant while watermelon should not have more than 3 or 4 per plant.

As melons begin to bulk up, the vines will need extra water and nutrients for the fruits to finish out properly. This usually happens with the late summer heat when the plants produce excess vines. Plants can prematurely collapse with this extra heat, foliage, and fruits. When the melons are about half size, start using a finisher fertilizer such as a 9-15-30 along with a little Epsom Salt.

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The Frying Pan

We spent a couple of days out antiquing this past week. One of the things we saw plenty of in every store we were in was cast iron. Seeing the frying pans reminded me of a story that Snoozle told me about his nephew who lives over in West Virginia.

His nephew came home from work one day to find his wife very upset. “Honey, what is it?” he asked her. “Did something happen during little Timmy’s first day of school?”

His wife answered, “I’m so mad I can barely speak. Do you know what your son said when he got home today?”

His nephew said, “Please, honey, calm down and just tell me. Whatever it is, we can make it better.”

She composed herself and said, “Your son came home today, and when I asked him what he did during the first day at school, he said, ‘I ate ginger snaps and screwed the girls all day.'”

His nephew’s jaw dropped. “That’s just not right,” he said, going right for the frying pan.

His wife, in a panic, said, “Oh my God, honey. I mean, I’m upset too, but we can’t hit him with a frying pan!”

“Who’s gonna hit him with a frying pan?” Snoozle’s nephew asked.

“Well, what are you going to do with it, then?” his nephew’s wife asked, staring at her husband, dumbfounded.

“I’m gonna fry him up a steak,” he said. “You can’t expect a boy to screw all day on ginger snaps.”

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The Charlie Schultz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.

You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them. Just read the post straight through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss america pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the head liners of yesterday.
There are no second-rate achievers.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies…
Awards tarnish…
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one.

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials.. the most money.. or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.

“Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken!”

Keep your fork

Vietnamese Eggrolls

It’s Memorial Day! The old timers called it Decoration Day. Whatever we call it, it’s a day to remember all those men and women who served to protect out freedom. Thank you to those who served.

For many years the church we were members of in Watertown, SD held an annual Nordfest which included traditional Scandinavian food. It wasn’t until we got a different pastor who put a little pressure on those in charge to make it more inclusive and invite people of other descents to also participate by providing their native dishes.

Gwen Peshman, another church member, was born and raised in Vietnam. She met and eventually married an American GI who served in Vietnam. For many years Gwen had wanted to provide Eggrolls but was always told that if it was not Scandinavian it could not be served. With the change to Nordfest Plus, Gwen and the rest of us of other descents could finally also provide our specialties.

Gwen invited those of us who wanted to learn how to make Vietnamese Eggrolls to attend a workshop where we could learn her techniques as well as make hundreds of eggrolls for Nordfest Plus. I was one who took her up on the offer. After about 2 hours of rolling I began to chuckle. Gwen asked what was so funny. I told her that back in 1970 while I was stationed in Fort Ord learning how to fight her people that if someone had told me that someday I would be cooking with a Vietnamese woman I would have vigorously disputed that statement. She got a big chuckle herself out of that. Here is her recipe for her authentic Vietnamese Eggrolls. They truly provide a foodgasm!!!

Vietnamese Eggrolls

5 c. ground pork
5 c. ground chicken or turkey
2 c. bean thread (soak in water for 15 minutes)
1 c. black bean fungus mushrooms (soak in water for 30 minutes then cut into 1 inch long pieces)
2 large onions sliced thin
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 egg beaten
2 packages spring roll wraps

Combine all ingredients except egg. Place a wrapper on large plate and spread 2 tbsp. of the meat mixture. Starting with the edge, roll the two edges to the right and left of the mixture toward each other until they are snug against the roll of meat. Continue to roll the wrapper until it becomes a tight cylinder. Seal the edge of the wrapper to the roll with a little beaten egg. Deep fry until golden brown and drain on paper towel.

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Care of Potato Plants

Good soil cultivation along with proper weeding is essential. Move the soil from the center of the row toward the plants when they are 6 to 8 inches tall. THIS IS ESSENTIAL! Potatoes will need to be hilled a second time during the growing season. Covering up some of the leaves when you hill the plants will actually improve yield and the potatoes will be larger and harvesting will be easier. Mulching with straw after the second “hilling” will help with bug prevention and protection from sunlight. Remember that sunlight will cause the potato skins to turn green, which is toxic. If the weather is dry, water well from bloom till harvest.

Keep your fork