Friday, June 28, 2013

Mucho Meals on Wheels

This will be my 50th year- plus or minus- helping feed harvest hands. We fix it, deliver it and serve it...from the trunks of cars, backs of suburbans or in the luxury of an old un-air conditioned R.V.

 Assorted fare throughout the years has included Grandma Grace's homemade chicken and noodles, hot rolls, famous pickle slaw for hamburgers, and her assortment of delicious homemade desserts ranging from cinnamon rolls to cream pies; Mom's delicious Norwegian Corn casserole, Swiss Steak and Strawberry Cake, my sister-in-law Dianna's signature Blackberry Kuchen and German Krautburgers and today my daughters, daughter-in-laws, niece and even my brother, Monte's numerous delicacies...and I mean delicacies. They are not content presenting just any ole thing...they take it pretty seriously turning out tons of Pioneer Women, and Rachel Ray recipes. They own Traegers and the latest kitchen appliances. I think the harvest crew actually mourns the end of harvest, just because the food is stupendous!

My cooking, on the other hand, is pretty basic.  I just use what I have in the frig, and for the most part, the guys still rave.  I don't buy special ingredients, but concoct all types of yummy recipes from things on hand.  Yesterday I thawed out two packages of pork chops from a hog we purchased from a local FFA student. 

                                           Preparation for Chili Amarillo...because it wasn't verde

   I put the frozen, salt and peppered, pork chops in my favorite blue enamel pan, covered and cooked on low for about three hours. I then chopped the meat into bite-sized pieces covered it with water, added four cubed potatoes, 1/2 chopped Vidalia onion, 1/2 can (large) of hominy ( I reserved the other 1/2 for a summer salad) and two small cans of green chilies .  I seasoned with green chili powder (purchased at Hatch, New Mexico the green chili capital of the world), red chili powder-also purchased at Hatch, onion and garlic powder, cumin powder, three cloves garlic, 1/8 cup lemon juice, salt, pepper.  I continued to let it cook on low for several more hours.  You could speed up the cooking process, but I like to do it this way as it adds flavor, plus I can go do other things.  Towards the end of cooking time I reserved 1 cup of the liquid- cooled it then added 1/2 cup flour to this mixture stirring until smooth, I then added this back to the pot making a gravy.  Right before serving I grated 1/2 fresh zucchini (they didn't know they were getting their veggies) and turned it on low then made my salad.

The salad consisted of quinoa, a wonderful grain that I keep cooked up and stored in the frig.  We eat it for breakfast added to oatmeal or just plain with butter.  It is high in protein and has a nutty texture.  You must rinse it thoroughly or it leaves a bitter taste.  I added about three cups of quinoa, two cans black-eyed peas, the remaining hominy, diced summer, patty pan and zucchini squash (supplied by my great neighbor with the green thumb), three Roma tomatoes, diced purple onion, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, Mexican spices ( the same used in the Chili recipe), dried parsley. Chill.  Use whatever spices you like and add veggies you have on hand.

Everyone loved it except for one grandson who hates anything that looks like this...
Chili Amarillo

Summer Quinoa Salad

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunday Afternoon

New shoes..

...lack of supervision, and easy access to a water hose was a recipe for one humongous mud pie mess.
Still trying to figure out why this ritural is innate in little farm girls and not so much the boys...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Pondering

                                                           Summertime's here.  Dusty fields & gritty meals, windy days, S'mored fingers dressing baby kittens in bonnets, playing in the river, shiney hineys, snow cones, chocolate syrup, hard work, dirty pool, dirty nails, late nights, silly jokes and gobs of everything difficult, summer and satisfying.


I'm here.  Our ranch is here.  Did it take a complicated plan to make it work? No. But it did take wise decision making and a simple basic plan:  "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". Being frugal along with God's blessings has helped us sustain for the past 120 years.  If we made bad decisions we changed course, rethought our methods.  Adaptability = Sustainability and Sustainability= Profitability.

                               Common Core...Eat My Dust

What I'm learning about Common Core has me more than worried about my grandkid's future liberties and freedoms. I'm fearful, I'm mad, I'm fed up with it all.  So I'm teaching them anytime I can get my hands on them.  I'm not in control of their educations but I can augment it.  Deuteronomy 11: 18, 19 says, "Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign on your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates: …

I'm a thrift store junkie , I love creating something from nothing.  I buy VHS tapes  by the truckloads.  They're cheap and the variety is endless.  I begged Brad to let me drag this $3.00 dino Sharp T.V. home. He told me to leave it there. I twisted his arm.  Kasse thought it was one I'd donated several years ago...not sure but I have been guilty of  paying for and dragging a previously donated oil painting back into my house. 
So that's what I'm doing and with God in control I'm betting on a bright future for all of them!
I'm using  The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by W.W. Norton  as a guide. We are memorizing scripture, using a timeline to chronicle events in history.  We start the period with The Pledge, both American and Oklahoma (they had to teach me the Oklahoma pledge I'm ashamed to say)


I open a new box of tea bags. New and unimproved...slimmer,  thinner, tinier- less. 
I open a can of tuna or minnow perhaps?
I pour my cereal from a shorter, trimmer box.
I look for God in our schools, in our government, he was here...just yesterday.   
I strain listening for prayers at school. I heard them...only yesterday.
I channel surf hoping to catch a "G" wave.  Movies-commercials suited for little eyes...didn't they exist?
Nudging not shoving
I hear silence; watch numbness usher in incrementalism
But who will notice?

                                  Calling All Grasshoppers        

Once again I am hosting my perpetual annual Summer Grasshopper Gala where locals are offered their choice of Sevin or Tempo. Each year guests find it not only delicious and nutritious but completely satisfying.  Tell your friends...



Nothing New Under the Sun Including Sustainable Development

  I wrote the piece below last summer after listening to KrisAnne Hall speak at the CICA Convention.  As the Global and U.S. Roundtable fo...