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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.

bobbsey1-500x500raggedy-ann-and-andy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Farm News October 2013

We had a fun and busy summer here on the Zills Farm.  We did some traveling, and had a wonderful time at the wedding of our granddaughter in Oklahoma City.  Most of our family was there and it was a renewal of our family bonds.  I’m so proud of my family and what good people they are.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to spend lots of time with various family members this summer.
Lee has been busy and even managed to get a new roof put on the old farm house.  His next project is replacing a couple of windows in the farm house, and most of the windows in our house.

 

Corn is not dry yet.

Corn is not dry yet.

Actual farming has been delayed due to the weather.  The soybeans and corn have been slow to dry so are still waiting to be harvested.  We had a very wet spring so the fields were planted later than normal.  Consequently the late harvest.
Here’s something new.  Lee found an enormous Giant Puffball mushroom.  I’ve never cooked or eaten them, but he really wanted to try it.  I sautéed some for him to put on the pizza we were having for dinner and he liked it.  I did not.  I thought it tasted like soggy bread.  I’m going to try cooking it differently by slicing it into “steaks” to fry in butter. See the picture below.
The hummingbirds are gone.  Most of the sandhill cranes are gone.  We have a robin and a couple of kildeer still hanging around and I’m not sure why.  I hope they get moving soon.

I’ve been trying some new recipes, so stay tuned!
Have a happy fall!

 

Giant Puffball.  This one was as big as a soccer ball.

Giant Puffball. This one was as big as a soccer ball.

Stop Giving Me Cucumbers!

Just kidding, Tammy!  Love those pickles!

I’m trying to play catch up.  I have cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes to deal with.  Our neighbors put in a nice garden this year, and they’re overloaded with produce.  The zucchini are from my little plot.  I got so bogged down because I spent nearly the whole month of August fighting a virus that really kicked my butt.  It was mostly in my chest and throat and I lost my voice for a couple of weeks.  I’m feeling better now and facing all the produce that’s piling up in my kitchen.

photo from Taste of Home

photo from Taste of Home

I started by making dill refrigerator pickles.  I use a recipe I got from the June/July 2009 issue of Taste of Home magazine.  I just looked it up online, and they have changed the recipe slightly. My original recipe does not call for sugar. This recipe makes about 4 quarts of pickles. You can find the recipe here:
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/refrigerator-dill-pickles

Today I made tomato soup for lunch.  I’ve been using this recipe for decades.  I love it because I don’t have to peel or seed the tomatoes, and the soup is delicious.
TOMATO SOUP
2 1/2 cups tomato, cubed
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 dash garlic powder
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1.    Place cubed tomatos in blender or food processor.  No need to peel or core.

2.    Add the flour, sugar and seasonings.

3.    Process until smooth.

4.    Put through a sieve (removes the skins and seeds) Foley food mill works great

5.    Cook on  low about one hour.  For more than 4 quarts, cook longer.  Soup should be smooth, thickened, and rich in color.

6.    To serve: add milk and butter.

Makes about 1 pint.

So, that’s what I’ve gotten done so far.  I shredded a large zuke and will deal with it tomorrow, along with several cucumbers I plan to make into freezer sweet pickles.

January/February 2013

jan-13 horses     The first two months of 2013 have been  typically boring for me.  It’s the weather.  It’s cold.  It snows.  The wind blows.  I’m forced to go outside twice a day to care for my animals, but the rest of my time is spent indoors within the confines of my cozy home. We live in the country and   I hate driving on icy winter roads, so I don’t go anywhere alone.  Lee takes me to the grocery store about every 7 to 10 days and we usually also hit the drugstore and have lunch somewhere while we’re in town.  That is my winter life.  It’s why I look forward to spring so fervently.

 

 
charlie footWe did have a couple of events that broke up the monotony for us.  Our Boston Terrier Charlie had grown some lumps and warty things that needed to be removed.  There was a large lump on the pad of his paw that turned out to be a benign tumor. We had to keep that paw bandaged for two weeks, and I have to say he really milked it for sympathy.  He held that paw up pathetically whenever anyone was looking at him.  We carried him up and down stairs and such so that he wouldn’t pounce and rip his stitches.  He got to the point where he expected to be carried.  He’s all healed now and he should be able to go for long walks with me when the weather gets nicer.

 
jd visit jan-13JD made a work related  trip to Wisconsin and stayed with us the nights he was here.  I loved having him here, doing Mom stuff for him.  All three of my children have moved out of state and I just don’t see them often enough.  I miss them.

 

 

 
Looking forward to:  My annual trip to Las Vegas with my Vegas buddy (and sister-in-law) Shirley; A trip to Oklahoma City in July for a family wedding; and long term, a trip to Hawaii in 2014.  These planned vacations keep me alive in winter!

 

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