Groundhog Control

If you don’t need the groundhog for the table but just want o get rid of ‘the pest’, here is one way.

Plug up all of the entrances/exits to its burrow except one. Plug up one end of a 4 or 5 foot piece of a garden hose with a dowel stick. You may have to use a hose clamp to keep it in place. Drill several small holes in the hose just above the plug.

Shove the hose, plugged end first, down the open entrance, leaving about 6 inches above ground. Place a small funnel into the open end of the hose. Carefully pour one quart of clear ammonia and one cup of liquid bleach into the funnel. Slowly pull the hose out, letting the liquid seep out the holes you drilled. Plug up the hole in the ground left by the hose. If the groundhog does not dig out, you accomplished the task.

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Gardening Tool Winterization

Now that the gardening season has pretty well wound down, it’s time to put away the gardening tools. Here are some ‘home remedies’ to help make that job easier.

  • You can protect and preserve the wooden handles on your tools by rubbing Crisco shortening into the wood and buffing with a clean, soft cloth. If you don’t have shortening available, you could spray the wooden handles with a thin coat of hair spray that will act like a shellac to protect the wood.
  • Use a clean, old toothbrush to clean caked on soil from the crevices of your tool. To shine up the metal surfaces of your tools, squirt a small dab of a regular flavored toothpaste onto them, rub with a soft cloth, rinse it off and let dry thoroughly.
  • Use a small amount of castor oil, a dab of Chap Stick, a drop of olive oil, a dab of petroleum jelly, or a few drops of a vegetable oil to lubricate the pivot points or moving parts of your tools.

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Roast Heart With Dressing

The heart muscle is probably one of the least used muscles on most wildlife big game animals. This may happen because you don’t have any idea on how to prepare it for consumption. Here is a good basic recipe.

Wash heart thoroughly in plenty of cold water. Dry off with paper towel. Fill with dressing and put in roaster. Add 2 Tbsp. lard or other shortening, salt and pepper. Cover and roast till done in medium oven, basting occasionally.

Dressing:
1/2 loaf stale bread crumbs
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
Pinch of salt and pepper

Mix well and fill heart. serve piping hot.

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Bikers Bar

Dusty Roads sent me this story that emerged out of an incident that happened at the motorcycle rally at Sturgis this past summer.

An old, blind cowboy wandered into an all-girl biker bar by mistake. He found his way to a bar stool and ordered a shot of Jack Daniels. After sitting there for a while, he yelled at the bartender, “Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?”

The bar immediately fell silent.

In a very deep, husky voice, the woman sitting next to him said, “Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:
1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
2. The bouncer is a blonde girl with a ‘Billy-Club.’
3. I’m a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weight lifter.
5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.

Now, think about it seriously, Cowboy…do you still wanna tell that blonde joke?”

The blind cowboy thought for a second, shook his head and muttered, “No…not if I’m gonna have to explain it five times.”

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Getting Ready to Cook Beef

Handle it Right

* Pat beef dry with paper towel for better browning.
* When stir-frying, partially freeze beef (about 30 minutes) for easier spicing.
* Use a gentle touch with ground beef. Over-mixing will result in burgers, meatballs or meatloaf with firm, compact texture.
* When roasting or broiling, place beef on a rack in the broiler or roasting pan to allow fat to drip away while cooking.
* For kabobs, cut beef into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. Pieces do no have to be absolutely square – some may have rounded or uneven edges.
* Thread beef pieces onto skewers leaving small spaces between them. Loose or tight spacing can cause beef to cook unevenly.

Keep it Clean
To avoid cross contamination and prevent food borne diseases, follow these easy steps.

* Wash hands in hot, soapy water before and after handling meat and other fresh foods.
* Keep the meat and meat juices away from other foods, both in the refrigerator and during preparation.
* Wash all utensils,cutting surfaces and counters with hot, soapy water after contact with raw meat.
* Keep carving boards separate from other food preparation areas and serving platters.

The Basics

* High heat can overcook or char the outside of beef cuts while the interior remains underdone. Overcooking meat, poultry or fish is not recommended.
* Turn steaks and roasts with tongs. A fork pierces the beef, allowing loss of flavorful juices.
* Turn ground beef patties with a spatula. Do not press. Pressing causes the loss of juices and results in a dry burger.
* Salt beef after cooking or browning. Salt draws off moisture and inhibits browning.

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Keep Your Meat Safe

Here are some important tips to remember in buying, preparing, and serving meat in order to keep your family safe.

At the store -Always buy your perishable foods last.

* Buy meat and food before the “use by” date on the package.
* Make sure that meat and perishable foods are cold and that frozen foods are solid when you buy them.
* Don’t buy packages that are torn, cracked, dented, or bulging.
* Take perishable foods home and refrigerate them right away. Never leave food in the hot car.

At home storage – Make sure your refrigerate is at 40 degrees F. or below; your freezer should be set at 0 degrees F.

* Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees F. or below; freezer at 0 degrees F.
* Put cold meat, poultry or fish in a plastic bag before refrigerating so it won’t drip on other refrigerated foods.
* Freeze meat, poultry or fish right away, if you won’t use it within one or two days.

Getting ready – Always wash hands before handling food or meat. Keep kitchen counter and utensils clean and neat.

* Wash hands with hot water and soap before and after handling meat or other food.
* Thaw foods in the refrigerator or microwave, not on the kitchen counter.
* If you use a microwave to thaw foods, cook them immediately.
* Cut meat, poultry and fish on a different cutting board than other fresh foods like vegetables.

Cooking – Follow the cooking directions and cook it right.

* Use a meat thermometer to determine when meat or poultry is properly cooked for beat flavor.
* Use this guide to internal cooking temperatures to determine when meat or poultry is ready to serve.
Pork – Chops, Roasts, Ground – 160 degrees F.
Beef, Veal, Lamb – Rounds/Steaks – 145 to 170 degrees F; Ground – 160 degrees F.
Poultry – Whole, Breast, Ground – 165 degrees F.

Serving – Always use clean dishes and utensils to serve your food. Never leave food out for more than 2 hours before or after you eat.

* Serve cooked food on a clean plate and use clean utensils. Never use the same unwashed plate that you used to thaw the meat to serve that food.
* Use separate utensils to serve each dish.
* Never leave cooked foods out on the table or counter for more than 2 hours.

Leftovers – Put leftovers in the refrigerator right away. When in doubt, throw it out. Better safe than sorry.

* Put leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours after serving.
* Reheat leftovers until steaming before serving.

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The Dollies

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. Nothing was held back. Well, almost nothing. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the woman had a shoe box on the top shelf in her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. For all these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the old man took down the box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dollies and a stack of money totaling $250,000.

He asked her about the contents.

“When we were to be married,” she started, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.”

The old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two dollies inside the box! She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. “Honey,” he said, that explains the dollies, but… what about all the money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the dollies.”

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