Did You Know?

  • A strawberry isn’t a berry, but a banana is.
  • Avocados and watermelon are also berries.
  • Brussel sprouts grow on long stalks.
  • Cashews grow on trees.
  • Chocolate milk was invented in Ireland.
  • Ketchup used to be sold as medicine.
  • Carrots were originally purple.
  • McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day.
  • Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing.
  • Ripe cranberries will bounce like rubber balls.
  • An average ear of corn has an even number of rows of kernels, usually 16.
  • Betty White is actually older than sliced bread.
  • Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas.
  • Honey never spoils. You can eat 32,000-year-old honey.
  • Peanuts are not nuts. They grow in the ground, so they are legumes.
  • Vending machines are twice as likely to kill you than a shark is.
  • Coconuts kill more people than sharks every year. So do cows.
  • Pound cake got its name from its original recipe, which called for a pound each of butter, eggs, sugar and flour.
  • The possibility of you drinking a glass of water that contains a molecule of water that also passed through a dinosaur is almost 100%.
  • Honey is made from nectar and bee vomit.
  • Kiwis grow on vines.
  • Ginger is the root of a plant.
  • Cinnamon is just the inner part of a tree.
  • Artichokes are flowers that are eaten as buds.
  • “Spam” is short for spiced ham.
  • Popsicles were invented by an 11-year-old in 1905.
  • Apples, like pears and plums, belong to the rose family.
  • The official state vegetable of Oklahoma is the watermelon.
  • Peas are the most popular pizza topping in Brazil.
  • There are over 7,500 varieties of apples throughout the world and it would take you 20 years to try them all if you had one each day.
  • The twists in pretzels are made to look like arms crossed in prayer.
  • Canola oil was originally called rapeseed oil, but was renamed by the Canadian oil industry in 1978 to avoid negative connotations. “Canola” is short for “Canadian oil.”
  • No matter what color Fruit Loop you eat, they all taste the same.

Keep your fork


Canned Coleslaw

If you have extra cabbage and want another way to preserve them for future use, try canning coleslaw.

1 larage head cabbage, shredded
1 c celery, diced
1/2 c onion, cut up
1/2 c vinegar
carrot, small amount cut up
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp mustard
2 c white sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together, put into jars and cold pack for 10 minutes.

Keep your fork

Weights of cabbage heads (L to R) 9-1/4 lb, 12-3/4 lb, 14 lb, 15-1/2 lb The cauliflower weight was 10 lbs. Note: the pint jar of spaghetti sauce is for size  reference

You may have to increase the amount of ingredients for heads this size!

Classic Television programs of the 50’s and 60’s

I would bet that there are very few, if any, of us that can remember the late 1940’s when television stations began to send out signals to millions of Americans. During the 1950’s and 60’s a new era for entertainment began with the broadcast of some of these classic television programs, many of which are still viewed today thanks to re-runs, syndications and online. How many of these do you remember?

Addams Family
American Bandstand
Andy Griffith Show
Beverly Hillbillies
Dick Van Dyke Show
Gilligan’s island
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Highway Patrol
Howdy Doody Show
I Love Lucy
I Spy
Lone Ranger
Lost In Space
Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mission Impossible
Mister Ed
My Friend Flicka
Perry Mason
Sky King
Star Trek
Twilight Zone
What’s My Line?
You Bet Your Life

Did any of these bring back childhood memories?

Keep your fork



Wayward Sheep

The year was 1978 and Langford, SD was looking for an agriculture instructor to start an agricultural education program in their school system. The Pickle Queen’s two older brothers had an empty farmstead 14 miles out-of-town where we could move onto. It was just a few miles from their places and they had added this land to their operation and didn’t want the buildings to set empty. So, we loaded up our belongings and moved from a new home in Fairmont, MN to an older farm-house in windswept SD.

We had neighbors about a half mile to our west. An empty farmstead sat half a mile to the east. Between us and the place to the west sat a slough that provided excellent duck hunting in the fall. A stock dam sat in our pasture between our building site and the empty place to the east. Deer liked to travel between the rushes of these two water sources via the grove of trees surrounding our place that gave us some wind protection on all sides except the south. But, I digress.

The Enstad’s, living on the place west of us, had a dairy operation with a small farm flock of sheep to give the kids some responsibility. They had no problem with the dairy cows getting out, but the ewe’s were another story. Anyone who has been around sheep know that there hasn’t been a fence built that sheep can’t find a way through. It seems that it was a weekly chore for the Enstad’s to round up the wayward sheep and return them to their pen.

It was a colder Saturday afternoon in mid-winter of 1980 when Brownie, our ‘farm dog’ started raising a ruckus. Knowing that coyotes were a common occurrence in the neighborhood, I grabbed my rifle and headed out the door. As I rounded the trees to out east, I seen the Enstad’s with their flock of sheep on the other side of our frozen stockdam. Evidently, the coyotes had scattered the flock and they were in the process of trying to get them back home. I walked over to them and said, “Hey neighbor, what are you up to?” as if I didn’t already know. I had seen them trying to chase the sheep  across the frozen ice, with no luck. I had seen them try to push the frightened ewe’s across the ice, also with no luck. As they were grabbing the sheep to try pulling them across I said, “You can’t take your sheep home that way.”

He replied, “I was just taking a shortcut across your frozen pond. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nobody pulls the wool over my ice!” I answered.

Think about it, he had to.

Keep your fork

Household Hints – Part 2

Here are more household hints to add to those that I started on 15 October.

  • For a crisp crust  on chicken, rub with mayonnaise before baking.
  • Use a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol to remove water spots from stainless steel.
  • Club soda will shine up stainless steel in a jiffy.
  • Add sliced green pepper to fried potatoes to give them a fine flavor.
  • To freshen left over mashed potatoes, put milk in a skillet, add the potatoes and heat; then whip them well and they will taste like fresh ones.
  • Boiled potatoes will stay white if a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar is added to the water.
  • To extinguish a grease fire on the stove, quickly sprinkle a lot of baking soda on the flames.
  • To make marshmallow creme, dissolve 10 oz. of marshmallows in 1/2 cup of milk. Makes 1 cup.
  • Use your potato peeler to shave chocolate. It makes long curled shavings, perfect for use in decorating tops of cakes, pies and puddings.
  • When baking drop cookies, try having a cup of very hot water handy to dip the spoon into. The batter will cut off easily and drop from the spoon without sticking.
  • When baking cream puffs, do not remove them from oven as soon as they are done, but let them stand in the closed oven until they are cool. This prevents them from falling.
  • Baking soda removes fish odor from hands and cooking utensils.
  • Thaw fish in milk for a fresh caught flavor.
  • To prevent edges of pies from browning too much, brush them with water before baking.
  • Household cleaner: put 1 pint rubbing alcohol, 2 tablespoons household ammonia and 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent into a gallon of water. A few drops of bluer coloring may be added to let you know that it is not water.
  • Try using honey instead of sugar in your fresh cucumber salads the next time you make them. It gives them a pleasant but different flavor.
  • Use a can of asparagus soup to cream your asparagus.
  • Homemade cake flour: Use 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of regular flour. Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and sift together.
  • To make brown sugar: Blend 1/2 cup white sugar and 2 tablespoons of molasses. This equals 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  • To double whipped cream: Add 8 marshmallows to 1/2 pint of whipping cream the night before. Refrigerate. Next day, whip until stiff. No sugar or flavoring is needed.
  • To make bananas stay fresh looking in jello, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the jello.
  • Pour pineapple juice over fresh fruits, such as apples and bananas, to keep them from darkening.

Keep your fork


Back in May I had several posts on dried beans. Here is a hummus recipe that is made with chick-peas. If you have someone who says they don’t like hummus, tell them that this isn’t hummus, it’s pureed chick-peas. Hummus is usually served with Arab or pita bread, but use it with whole wheat bread or as a vegetable dip.

2 c cooked chick-peas
1 clove garlic
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
cold water
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Using a food processor, blender or food mill, puree the chick-peas. Mix in the lemon juice and olive oil. If needed, add a little cold water to make a soft mixture. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and chill at least an hour before serving.

Keep your fork

Not The Brightest Cowboy

Back in South Dakota you have the real cowboys and the wanna be cowboys. It’s difficult to tell them apart as most guys and gals own and wear at least one pair of boots, blue jeans and a hat. I’d say there are probably more in the ‘wanna be’ category than the ‘real’ category. It’s hard to tell which one this cowboy belonged to.

A cowboy had two horses and had a hard time telling them apart. He cut one of the horse’s mane off, but it grew back; he cut off the tail, but it also grew back. A friend suggested that he measure the horses.

The cowboy measured them and went back to see his friend. “That was a great idea,” he told his friend, “The black one is 1 hand (4 inches for the wanna be’s) taller than the white one.”

Keep your fork