Anyone You Know?

On the first day of school, a red-headed lad handed his new teacher a note from his mother. The teacher unsealed the note, read it, looked at the child with a frown, and placed the note inside her desk drawer.

“So what did she write?” the boy demanded.

“It’s a disclaimer,” the teacher replied.

“A what?” asked the boy.

“It says,” answered the teacher, ” ‘The opinions expressed by Donnie are not necessarily those of his father and mother'”.

End of story. Maybe that’s why Donnie never talks about his mother!

Keep your fork

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Bread Hints

Here are some hints for better bread.

  • Large air holes in the crust may be caused by overkneading.
  • Let nut breads and other quick breads stand in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan so they become firmer. They may become soggy if allowed to cool completely in the pan.
  • A rib of celery in your bread bag will keep the bread fresh for a longer time.
  • Dry cereal and potato flakes can be used as substitutes for bread crumbs.
  • Freshen dry bread by wrapping in a damp towel and placing it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove towel and heat in oven for a few minutes.
  • After your rolls have baked, remove them from the pan immediately to prevent steam from forming and making them heavy.
  • To avoid lumps in bread batter, add a pinch of salt to the flour while still dry.
  • Place a small dish of water in the oven while baking bread to keep it from getting a hard crust.
  • To improve the texture of baking powder biscuits, knead it for 30 seconds after mixing.
  • Put frozen bread loaves in a clean brown paper bag and place in a 325º oven for 5 minutes to thaw completely.

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Broccoli and Carrot Stir Fry

Here’s a delicious way to enjoy fresh broccoli and carrots.

2 Tbsp canola oil
1-1/2 c small broccoli pieces
1 c thinly sliced carrots
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
3/4 c chicken broth or hot water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
1 tsp soy sauce

Heat oil in wok or large skillet. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Stir fry one minute. Add broth or water and the salt. Cover and cook until carrots are tender crisp, about 3 minutes. Mix cornstarch, cold water and soy sauce. Add to the vegetables and stir until thickened.

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I’ve Had Better Days

As I sit here at the breakfast table looking out the bay window, two decent sized deer are gazing back at me.

These two are ‘regulars’ while four or five other deer of various sizes come by a little less often. Almost every time we are at the table some form of wildlife grace us with their presence. If there are not deer, or even if there are, raccoons, possums, cottontail, squirrels,  black bears or turkeys along with a menagerie of smaller birds may be seen.

While sitting here yesterday morning, I noticed a small bird on a collision course with the window. Once or twice a month we’ll hear a loud ‘thud’ and later find a bird on the ground below the window that has gone to the great bird sanctuary in the sky. I was certain that word had spread amongst our aviary friends that the clear, shiny patch of sky was a trap that would reach out and grab you by the nib (beak). This fine specimen of a bird must not have received the latest warning memo as it was headed to certain catastrophe.

Around five feet out I could see the reflection of the house in its tiny eyes. Its thin little legs were still tucked up tight against its belly, while its wings were still beating at full speed. It was like watching an old silent movie, but with sound, knowing the thud was close at hand.

It must have been about three feet from the eventual collision when I knew that its days of pecking at the bird seed in the feeder or at the grit for its gizzard were surely coming to a quick end. Its eyes were now the size of dimes showing the reflection of just the window. It had dropped its tail feathers and began to wildly flap if wings in reverse in an attempt to change course.

Reality must have set in at ‘contact plus 12 inches’ as I could see the reflection of the fly strip hanging inside the window in its quarter sized eyes. Its tail feathers were tucked tight against its vent (bird talk for bung hole) and it had thrown its wings into the air as to say, “I give up!” It;s legs and six tiny toes were sticking straight out to brace against the collision while it was trying to quickly turn its head to the side to protect its little seed and grit pecker (beak) from being crushed.

And then the inevitable happened. It hit the window about head height just as I tipped my hot cup of coffee to my lips to take a sip. It’s impossible to duck and sip coffee at the same time. I don’t know which of us hurt worse, the bird or myself with the hot coffee which I had snorted and was now dripping out of my nose.

As I was leaving the garage after finishing breakfast I noticed a couple of small feather stuck to the oily spot on the window where the bird had hit. On the ground lay the tiny bird, motionless in a heap. I was right. It hadn’t received the memo.

Two hours later, upon my return from the garden, the bird was still in the same position. I bent down to pick up the tiny carcass to give it a proper burial when a miracle happened. The little fellow suddenly stumbled to its feet, jumped into the air and flew directly at my face. I jumped back, wrenching my already sore back ( see a previous post). It circled me twice and landed on a board in the deck railing.

As I went up the steps and past the bird, it sat there watching me with an evil look in its eyes. I sat down in a chair, took off my muddy boots and cleaned them all the while keeping a wary eye on the crumpled looking bird. It’s right wing looked a little out of place, the feathers on its breast were rumpled, but it’s little seed/grit pecker didn’t look broken.

Two hours later, the bird was still there. It was as if it had not gotten its sense of direction back. That’s when I decided to take a selfie with my new admirer. Not being able to squat down beside the bird because of my back, I gently picked the small bird up and placed it atop my head. As the flash went off, the bird flew off my head and pooped at the same time.

As I said in the title, I’ve had better days.

Keep your fork

Conservation of Farm Machinery

I came across a copy of Conservation of Farm Machinery that was sent to agricultural producers from the County Agents Office (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) dated December 1, 1942. I thought some of you might like reading some of it.

  • Keep Your Farm Machinery Going – You know the vital importance of farm machinery in the winning of the war. Increased food production is needed. So is machinery to help plant, cultivate, and harvest your crops. Labor will be scarce. But because of war production demands, new farm machinery will be scarce and hard to get. This means that you must take the best care of the machinery you have.
  • Check Your Machinery Needs Now – One of the most important things you can do to meet production goals on your farm, and help assure Victory, is to put every piece of your equipment in proper condition now , for its maximum use when it is needed. Go over your equipment now, while all your needs are fresh in mind. List the worn parts and itemize the work needed. Check up on all service weaknesses in your machinery; put workable discarded implements back on the job.
  • Order Your Machinery Parts Now – Place your order for new parts with your farm equipment dealer at once. It will be “first come first served.” Don’t be caught unprepared next spring when every working machine will be needed. Your dealer will get the parts if you give him time. Consult him now.
  • Make All Machinery Repairs This Winter – Make your own repairs if you can. If you are not equipped to make the necessary repairs, have your dealer do it. If your dealer cannot do your work, or other commercial repair facilities are not available, contact your vocational agriculture teacher. He will aid you in getting the proper instruction in farm machinery repair. His shop is available and is well equipped. Make use of it.
  • Protect Your farm Machinery – Keep all machinery under cover when not in use. An implement shed is a good investment. Repaint your machinery. Coat polished parts with oil, axle grease, or other material which will keep out moisture. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for adjustment, operation and care of your farm machinery.

Keep your fork

Radish Salad

I can remember having a radish salad that Grandma would often serve with Sunday dinner. I finally ran across her recipe and want to share it with you.

1 package sweetened Lime-flavored Gelatin
1 tbsp chopped pimento
Few grains salt
1/2 c sliced radishes
1/4 c chopped sweet pickles
2 c water

Combine the gelatin and water following the directions for temperature of the water. Cool until partially set. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill until firm. Cut in squares. Serve on a crisp lettuce leaf garnished with mayonnaise and paprika.

Keep your fork

You Know You Are a Farm Wife

You Know You Are a Farm Wife. . .

 

A lot of us were nurtured by a mother who was a farm wife. If not, perhaps you know such an individual, are married to one or are a farm wife yourself. I’m sure many of you can relate to these.

  • If your name is taped to the side of a cake pan.
  • If you call the implement dealer and he recognizes your voice.
  • If the vet’s number is on the speed dial of your phone.
  • If you know how to change the flat on your car, but can’t because the spare is on a flatbed.
  • If your second vehicle is still a pickup.
  • If your husband has ever used field equipment to maintain your yard.
  • If you’re in the habit of buying food stuff in bulk.
  • If a ‘night out’ involves the local 4-H club.
  • If the word ‘auction’ makes you tingle.
  • If you’ve ever washed off each other with a pressure washer.
  • If ‘a little bit of lunch’ involves 6 courses and a dessert made from scratch.
  • If taking lunch to the field is as close as you get to a picnic.
  • If your rock garden was hand picked.
  • If you can mend a pair of pants and the fence that ripped them.
  • If the shopping list in your purse includes the sizes of filters, tires, overalls, chains, belts, lights, cables, spark plugs or shotgun shells.
  • If ‘Farm’, ‘Ranch’, ‘Country’, or ‘Antique’ is in the name of your favorite magazine.
  • If your tan lines are somewhere below your shoulder and above your elbow.
  • If you ever went on a date to the bull sale.
  • If you’ve ever called your husband to supper, using a radio.
  • If being taken out to dinner has ever included a talk by a seed corn dealer.
  • If your driveway is longer than a stone’s throw.
  • If your mailbox looks like a piece of farm machinery.
  • If the wading pool has ever doubled as a stock tank, or vice versa.
  • If the daily paper is always a day late.
  • If you have a yard, but not a lawn.
  • If you have lots of machinery and each piece is worth more than your house.
  • If the neighbor’s house is best viewed with binoculars.
  • If the directions to your house includes the words, ‘miles’, ‘silos’, ‘last’, or ‘gravel road’.
  • If the tractor and the combine have air conditioning and an FM radio but your car doesn’t.
  • If your storage shed is a barn.
  • If you measure travel in miles not minutes.
  • If your farm equipment has the latest global positioning technology and you still can’t find your husband.
  • If you consider ‘hot dish’ a food group.
  • If your husband says, “Can you help me for a few minutes?” and you know that might be anywhere from a few minutes to six hours.
  • If you plan your vacation around farm shows or calving or planting or harvesting.
  • If grass stains are the least of your laundry problems.
  • If your refrigerator contains medicine for the livestock.
  • If your car’s color is two-toned and one of the colors is gravel road brown.
  • If you knew everyone in your high school graduation class.
  • If you’ve entertained the romantic notion of living in an old, country farmhouse with a fireplace,
  • If you’ve used newspapers to help keep the kitchen floor clean.
  • If you’ve ever said, “Oh, it’s only a little mud.”
  • If you need a pair of vice grips to run a household appliance.
  • If you’ve used the loader to reach the windows when they needed washing.
  • If you’ve ever discovered a batch of kittens in your laundry basket.
  • If dinner is at noon and lunch is before and after dinner.
  • If you shovel the sidewalk with a skid loader.
  • If quality time with your hubby means you’ll have a flashlight in one hand and a wrench in the other.
  • If you know the difference between field corn and sweet corn.
  • If you buy your husband’s ‘dress’ socks at Campbell’s supply.
  • If family ‘pets’ include deer, coons, pheasants, squirrels, foxes or birds.
  • If you can make a meal that can be ready in six minutes and will still be ready in two hours.
  • If your basement is really a cellar.
  • If ‘sharing a cab’ has nothing to do with a taxi and everything to do with getting across the field.
  • If your job in town is considered a farm subsidy.
  • If your ‘small hands’ have ever dislodged a piglet or calf caught in the birth canal.
  • If you have ever helped bury the family dog.
  • If the loaf of bread on the kitchen counter came from your own oven.
  • If you’ve heard your hubby say, “I don’t need a doctor, the bleeding has almost stopped.”
  • If you’ve cut asparagus from a road ditch.
  • If your ground beef had a name while it was in the feed lot.
  • If you share veggies from your garden with the neighbors.
  • If you know what a donkey basketball game is.
  • If while picking chokecherries you got into a poison ivy patch

Keep your fork