Partridge Pie

When I was teaching in the midwestern states, hunting pheasants and partridge in the fall was a favorite pastime of mine. Here is an excellent way to fix Hungarian partridge.

1 c cubed partridge
3/4 c canned peas
1/2 c cooked carrots
1 c seasoned gravy
Biscuit dough

Combine the first four ingredients (the partridge, gravy and vegetables) in a casserole dish. Top with the biscuit dough. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Keep your fork

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And Now, The Rest of The Story

On 22 June 2016 my post was ‘Just Part of Life On The Massanutten’ and yesterday my post was ‘Who’s The Real Winner?’. Both dealt with the big hickory tree that blew down near our house. If you remember the first post, the good Lord gave me more fire wood, but was kind enough to keep it closer than usual to my splitting/stacking area. For that I was thankful. But, I got cocky and paid the price for it.

Cutting up the branches of the main canopy wasn’t bad at all. After cutting them into firebox length, I simply loaded them on my trailer and pulled them downhill to the s/s area where I split what had to be split and stacked that with the other smaller pieces that didn’t require splitting.

When I got to the main trunk area, the real work began. The smaller of these rounds were loaded on the trailer and pulled downhill where they await splitting and stacking. These rounds (around 75 to 100 lbs. each) I either muscled onto the trailer or rolled them up a ramp onto the trailer. The bigger rounds were another story.

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These bigger rounds were well over 100 pounds each which meant there was no way I could load them. While contemplating what to do, the good Lord spoke to me again. “I gave you this firewood and now it looks as if I’ll have to help you move it as well,” He seemed to say. “Have you considered using gravity?” End of conversation. The distance from the tree to the s/s area is about 200 feet downhill with a dog leg to the right at the bottom. I selected the smallest of these big rounds, spit on my finger to get the wind direction and speed and sent it on its way. What a sight to see. It rolled downhill, made the curve to the right and disappeared from sight. Wanting to make sure it didn’t hit the barn or roll out onto the road, I went to see how good ‘we’ were. It was still on its side but had stopped five feet short of where I wanted it. Close enough for Massanutten work.

Knowing that I was GOOD, I rolled round 2 onto the launching site and gave it a kick. That’s when the Good Lord decided He had to teach me another lesson. It ended up next to an autumn olive bush left of where the dog leg was. Round 3 landed in the dense weeds left of and 15 feet from the launch site. Round 4 ended in the same place as round 2. Round 5 just about made the river but hit an autumn olive bush North of the garden.

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Round 6 stopped short of the garden fence after much pleading with the Lord not to take my fence out.

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After gathering and rolling these wayward rounds to the s/s area, I guided most of the rounds that were left downhill by hand to save myself some work. That left only 3 BIG, unruly rounds left. The two that I hope to mill into slabs I asked the Pickle Queen to help me with. It took us over an hour but even with their going off course many times we finally managed to get them safely to the north lean on the barn.

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The last round was the one taken closest to the stump. It measured 33 inches across and looked like it didn’t want me to make it into firewood. Finley just happened to stop by with his tractor and loader and agreed to take it home with him. He’ll get some firewood from it and my back will thank me many times over.

As for the stump, when the contractor comes to put in our new driveway, I’ll ask him to push it into the trees where it can live happily ever after.

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And now you know the rest of the story.

Keep your fork

 

Teacher’s Dilemma

Those of you who have been or are currently in education have probably seen this one, but it should bring back memories to those in retirement.

After being interviewed by the school administrators, the prospective teacher said:

“Let me see if I’ve got this right.

You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps or race and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Zulu or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, and a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this, and then you tell me … I CAN”T PRAY?

 

(This was probably written before computers, the internet, twitter and other social media, cell phones and God only knows what else they come in contact with these days. Teachers need all the help they can get!)

Keep your fork

Venison Scrapple

We finished processisng our second deer of the season, therefore a venison recipe.

When one thinks of scrapple one usually thinks of heart, liver and other less desirable cuts of meat as the main ingredients. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a recipe for scrapple using ground venison and ground pork from my Grandmother’s recipe collection.

2 c ground venison
2 c ground pork
3 c meat broth
1 c corn-meal
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 tsp sage
Cayenne pepper

Combine the venison, pork and broth. Heat to boiling. Add seasonings. Slowly sift in corn-meal, stirring constantly. Cook for 30 minutes. Add a few grains of cayenne pepper. Pour into mold. Chill until firm. Cut in thin slices and fry until well browned.

Keep your fork

Once You Get Past The Smell

Growing up I always heard that once you get past the smell, you got it licked. Now I find out that it’s ‘Once you get past the smell, you’ve got it eaten’. What is ‘it’ you may wonder. Chitlins (Chitterlings) what else. You say, “I’ve heard of them, but have no idea what they are”. Others may say, “I know what they are and I’ll never eat them.”

Chances are if you have ever eaten a smoked, Polish, kielbasa, bratwurst or many other types of sausage, you’ve eaten a chitlin. The chitlin may not have been cooked with onions, potatoes, peppers, cloves and various other ingredients and spices, but none the less a chitlin. A chitlin is made from a pig’s small intestine. Your typical sausage casing is generally a ‘natural’ casing (chitlin), which is edible. Some casings may be made from an edible plastic, from collagen (inedible), or fibrous (inedible).

The first thing to remember in cleaning chitlins is that if not cleaned properly, you will have a bitter aftertaste in your mouth. Even when cleaned properly, you may still have a barnyard aroma and aftertaste to some extent. If you insist on beginning with plain intestines, know that it will take lots of time to properly clean them. Different people clean them in different ways, but here are some steps to follow if you are new to this.

  • Examine each chitlin and run under cold water. Remove and discard all foreign material by using a small soft brush.
  • Boil the chitlins in clean water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove any remaining membranes from the chitlin. Chitlins should retain some of the fat, so leave some fat on them.
  • Rinse the chitlins in several (at least 3 to 4) changes of cold water until the water no longer feels greasy or is cloudy.
  • You should have clean chitlins. Use them in your favorite recipe.

Be aware that the Virginia Department of Health recommends that you buy and use pre-cooked chitterlings (chitlins) to avoid bacterial contamination and illness. Here are their recommendations for cooking chitlins:

  • Wrap the container containing the raw chitlins in plastic wrap when thawing in the refrigerator
  • Keep children out of the kitchen until the chitlins are pre-boiled and the kitchen is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Handle raw chitlins as little as possible until they have been pre-boiled.
  • Keep raw chitlins away from all baby food and formula.
  • After touching the chitlins, wash your hands with warm water and soap, and clean under your nails.
  • Clean sinks and all places that were touched by the chitlins or their juice with hot soapy water or a chlorine bleach solution.
  • Wrap all waste properly and throw into an outside garbage can.
  • Clean all pots, pans, buckets and utensils in the dishwasher or in hot soapy water.
  • Wash dishcloths, towels or sponges used in cleanup in hot water.

Which ever you use, once you get past the smell, you’ve got the fixins for a good meal.

Keep your fork

 

 

So True

Here are some things to think about. In my mind they are so true.

  • It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction. -Diane Grant
  • You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.
  • Dear Algebra, Please stop asking us to find your X. She’s never coming back and don’t ask Y.
  • When an elderly woman was asked how she and her husband managed to stay together for 65 years, she replied, “We were born in a time where if something was broke, you fixed it, not throw it away.”
  • Be with someone that makes you happy.
  • Never lose hope. You never know what tomorrow may bring.
  • If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” -Albert Einstein
  • One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.
  • If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. -Lao Tzu
  • “What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.
  • Music is what feelings sound like.
  • The mind replays what the heart can’t delete.
  • You know why it’s HARD to be happy? It’s because we refuse to LET GO of the things that make us sad.
  • A pretty face is nothing if we have an ugly heart.
  • We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
  • Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created.
  • When nothing goes right… Go left.
  • Be thankful for the bad things in life, for they opened your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before!

Keep your fork