A small, family farm in Wisconsin

Archive for the ‘farm life’ Category

Try to Avoid the Cooties

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I know this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, but WHAT A CRAZY WORLD!!

We’ve been in quarantine since mid March, along with the rest of the sane population of the US and many other countries. I’ve only been going to the grocery store twice a month, and the shortages are just so bizarre. Why would there be a shortage of eggs, or milk, or produce when producers are dumping their milk and plowing their vegetable crops under. Just today I saw a photo of potatoes, piles and mounds of potatoes, being left to rot. Now the slaughter houses are closing because the workers are getting sick and spreading the virus. Which brings me to my tip for you. Find your closest local meat market and buy from them. Quality is superior to chain grocery stores meat departments and local butchers have plenty of availability. Yesterday I called in an order to our favorite meat market, and picked it up this morning.  I had ordered 2 whole chickens, which I’ve already poached. Here’s my post about poaching chicken . I don’t like to buy ground beef in the grocery store because of the way it’s handled in the packing plants. We don’t need e coli on top of cooties, so I also got 10# of ground chuck from the butcher. We still have beef and pork in the freezer, but I was running low on ground beef.

It won’t be long and the farmer’s markets will be bursting with beautiful fresh produce. I know lots of folks are planning their own gardens.

I miss my family and can’t wait to see them again, hopefully soon. We did a family brunch via Zoom the other day and that was fun. We have another one planned for Mother’s day. The kids have been doing game nights and trivia nights on Zoom.

I hope we all stay healthy and happy, and stress free would be great too.

 

 

Amish Yumasetta

My son lives in OKC, and he recently traveled here to Wisconsin on a work related trip. He was here for a week, so we were able to enjoy his company every evening after work and I tried to keep him well fed. On the Friday night that he was here we went out for a delicious local bar fish fry.
One of the dishes I didn’t have time to make for him is called Yumasetta. It’s an Amish recipe and it was one of his favorites when he was a kid. This recipe makes a large amount, suitable to take to a pot luck or for feeding a bunch of kids. Because it uses canned soups it’s difficult to halve the recipe, but I make the whole thing and freeze half of it. I hate using canned soups but when I do, I use the low fat, low sodium soups. Some of these old recipes just don’t taste good with modern substitutions.
AMISH YUMASETTA
2 lbs ground beef or turkey
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 c chopped onion
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup, undiluted
1- 16 oz pk egg noodles
8 oz grated cheddar. The recipe asks for Velveeta but I try to steer clear of processed cheese.
DIRECTIONS
Brown ground meat with onions and salt and pepper to taste.
Add brown sugar and tomato soup.
Cook and drain noodles
Add cream soup to noodles.
Spray a 9×13 pan.
Layer 1/2 of noodle mixture into pan and 1/2 of cheese on top of noodles.
Spread all of meat mixture on top.
Spread last 1/2 of noodle mixture on top of meat and end with the last of the cheese.
Bake covered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

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Spring Update

hawaii52       Blogging has gone by the wayside lately, so it’s time for a little update.
This has been another late spring, due to very cold temperatures. Lee has just finished planting corn, and got a start on soybeans but then the rains came. We got so much rain that Lee is concerned about the bean seeds washing out. That’s the way farming goes. We just have to roll with it.
Our little Charlie is doing well. We know there’s cancer growing somewhere inside him, but he seems fairly normal and isn’t showing any pain. We keep a very close eye on him. We don’t want him to suffer.When Charlie had his surgery he was shaved on his belly, and one leg, and a large patch on his back. The back shave was to facilitate the placement of a fentanyl patch for pain. Oddly, not one bit of hair has grown back. There just isn’t any new growth. The surgery was in early April, so it’s been 2 months! Just an odd little bit of trivia for you.
In about a month my kids and I will be embarking on my bucket list trip to Hawaii. For me it will be a return to my birth place and a reunion with my mother’s family. Some of those family members I know and remember. Others I don’t recall having met. The main reason I haven’t been connected with this side of my family is that my mother didn’t stay connected with them and wouldn’t talk about them. I actually had to search for them and found them through a query on a genealogy forum. I was able to hook up with a cousin through that forum and then used Facebook to find and connect with the rest. One of the people I’m excited about is my half sister, who I haven’t seen since I was 11 years old. Well anyway,it’s going to be a fun and rewarding trip and I can’t wait for my kids to see the island where I was born and spent part of my childhood.
I’m planning to blog daily while we’re on our vacation, so that family and friends will be able to see and read about what we’re up to.
How about a recipe? We’re trying to eat more salads as entrees. It’s hard to get all those veggies into our daily diet.
Here’s a salad we like a lot. It’s a taco salad. You can substitute lower fat ingredients wherever you want to and it will still be great.
TACO SALAD
1 pound ground beef, extra lean, cooked and cooled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, broken
15 ounces black olives, sliced
15 ounces red beans, drained
1 cup of grated cheese
1 cup tomato, chopped
8 ounces tortilla chips, crushed
8 ounces thousand island salad dressing, low-cal
8 ounces taco sauce
Tip: substitute romaine, or spring mix. Iceberg just doesn’t have any nutritional value
Mix the thousand island dressing and the taco sauce together.
Mix all ingredients. Toss with the dressing.
Serves 8

A Feline House Guest

I’ve written about Violet before.  At nearly 11 years old she’s my oldest barn cat.  She lives a mostly solitary life because she refuses to associate with the other barn cats, and she’s terrified of most humans.  Violet loves me.  She chose me to be her person and so I’ve always watched her closely to be sure she’s doing well.  This winter has been hard on all of us.  I noticed Violet shivering  at times, and because she’s pretty old for a farm cat I felt like she needed special care.  So I brought her in the house.  I’m hoping she’ll be ready to return to her previous life of freedom when the weather warms up.  Her residency here has been almost trouble free.  I’m surprised that Violet has taken to using a litter box as if she’d been doing it her whole life.  She had never been in  the house before.  She learned quickly that the kitchen table is off limits.
We do have a serious problem though.  Charlie.  Violet hates Charlie.  I hoped at first that they would meet, be wary, and tolerate each other.  They rumbled twice.  First time wasn’t too bad.  Violet tried to kill Charlie, he backed off and left her alone.  The second time was more violent and Violet clawed his face, very close to his eye.  Charlie has typical Boston Terrier eyes and they are vulnerable.  I’m now very afraid that Violet will scratch his eyes out, so I keep them safely apart.   They each have plenty of roaming time, but just not together.
Violet’s favorite place to be is wherever I am and especially in my lap.  I’m determined that she will not be a permanent house cat, but time will tell.

Competing with the computer

Competing with the computer

Charlie 2/14

Charlie 2/14

Snuggling in my lap.

Snuggling in my lap.

Christmas Past

tinytearsOne of my Facebook friends posted this morning, asking about favorite childhood Christmas presents.

That got me started down Memory Lane.  I do have some wonderful Christmas memories from my early childhood.

I was a “girly girl”.  I loved dolls, and anything related to dolls  As I got older, my favorite gifts were books.

The first doll I remember coveting was a Tiny Tears doll.  The ads and commercials for Tiny Tears made her sound amazing.  She cried real tears!  She had her own bottle, and when I fed her water, and then held her upside down and squeezed the heck out of her, the water came out of her huge tear ducts.  She lost her appeal pretty quickly.  I recall that she was followed by a doll called Betsy Wetsy, and of course she had a hole on her butt and wet her diaper.

Another doll I remember begging for was a walking doll.  She was large, and she had braids.  In order to get her to walk, you had to hold her hand and sort of rock her side to side while pulling her forward.

No batteries required in any of those early toys!

 

walkingI also had a doll house which I loved.  When I was a child, we used our imaginations, and although we did get a TV when I was 4 or 5, I seldom watched it.

dollhouse 

 

 

 

 

baton1One toy I remember begging for when I was probably 9 or 10, was a twirling baton.  I intended to become an accomplished baton twirler.  Well, I did learn the basics, but I was never good at it and I got discouraged.  I think the baton stood in a corner of my closet forever after.

I became a little bookworm as soon as I was able to read, and I tended to get wrapped up in reading and collecting book series.  As I got older I loved the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, but my favorites early on were the Bobbsey Twins books, and the Raggedy Ann and Andy books.

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I wonder if those books are still available these days, and if they would hold the interest of today’s children?

Please feel free to leave a comment about your favorite or best remembered childhood Christmas gift.

 

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