1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t dry mustard
1 t lemon zest
1 t onion, finely minced
1/3 c lemon juice
3/4 c salad oil
1 T poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients and wisk briskly. Chill and serve over fresh fruit or vegetable salad. Makes 1.5 cups
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
Grandma’s chicken in corn bread
I’m cleaning up some papers (picture a laundry basket with paper of all types piled in it, odd items (like a bike lock) interspersed throughout, and lots of dust and dog hair). This recipe for Grandma Elma’s chicken in corn bread surfaced. The dish was common in my childhood, especially for special events like the Fourth of July picnic on the farm. The chicken in cut into pieces, with skin and bone left in place, and baked. About half way through the baking, a corn meal batter is poured over the chicken. This recipe calls for the dish to be prepared in a 2 quart casserole, but I remember it in a 9″ x 13″ aluminum cake pan.
3 lb chicken, cut into pieces
1/4 c four
2 T oleo
Coat chicken with 1/4 c flour. Place 2 T oleo and chicken in 2 quart casserole and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
2 T oleo
1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped onion
1 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
Sauté 2 T oleo, celery, and onion. Blend in 1 T flour, salt, and pepper. Place around chicken.
1/2 c flour
1/2 c corn meal
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t sage
1/4 t thyme
1/8 t pepper
1 T oleo
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c milk
Combine dry ingredients. Blend in oleo, eggs, and milk. Spoon this topping over chicken.
2 T chicken soup base
1.5 c water
Dissolve soup base in water. Pour over topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
Enjoy this rich and savory dish under the shade trees while the sun shines above. Pair with watermelon and volleyball on the lawn.
Just the right size
The title says it all: Just the Right Size: Why Big Animals are Big and Little Animals are Little.
This great science picture book explores the size of living things from microbes to whales and the factors that influence their size. There is math (length, surface area, cross section, volume, and mass) to explain the Big Thing, Little Thing (BTLT) rule, but wait, there’s more! Flight, surface tension, walking on walls, strength, digestion, respiration, circulation, habitat, temperature, and migration, and communication all come into play. I recommend this book for everyone, especially those who can share it with nine to twelve year old children.
If this book sounds too serious, read it for the superhero debunking, giant spiders that break their legs, and whale guts.
It has been written “Shelfies: Like Selfies, But for Book Nerds“. Since I fit in the book nerd category quite comfortably, here is one of my shelfies.
This is one of my favorite spots in the house because everything in it has a special meaning to me. The bookshelf was built by my dad for a nook at mom’s house. At that time, the green recliner sat near it and my dad would read in it after school. I could snuggle in dad’s lap before bed. Now that mom has a built-in bookshelf in that nook that holds a small portion of her photo albums and art books, dad’s bookshelf lives with us. Identification guides live in the upper right (flowers, birds, and fossils). Vintage books are found below them. Beautiful Joe: An Autobiography by Marshall Saunders includes this inscription:
The book is from George’s family and the book was just published in 1896, the year it was given as a Christmas gift. Can you tell who the book was for? Irvy? Orvy? The shelf below holds paperbacks, along with a reprint of Beeton’s Book of Household Management, which strangely enough, George likes. Other books on the shelf include those of travel stories; Alaska and other cold places; and Pat McManus humor.
The blue heron carving was handcrafted by Arnold Rasmusen of Withee, Wisconsin and once lived at Aunt Anita and Uncle Carl’s home. The batik lily original by Christine M. Huffman (1989) was found at a neighbor’s garage sale. Kay gave me the frog crock, made by Jim and Gina Mahoney (1998). Jack built the ash shelf from lumber that was harvested on mom’s land. He gave it to me last weekend and I haven’t decided what to put in it yet. As you might guess, not just anything gets thrown in this corner. The chair was purchased, along with a sofa, recliner, book shelf, and table lamp, from our friend Pat when we moved last year. Mom says the fabric reminds her of the print fabric of her grandmother’s dresses. The chair is of the type that was at George’s family farm and one that my parents received from Uncle Arno when I was young.
Around the corner is George’s new toy, an aquarium from his colleague Bill. Ellen provided us with a few guppies from her tank yesterday and they haven’t died yet, so it seems that fish are in my future. How did I ever get involved with a man who loves domestic animals so much?
Besides the fact that this corner contains many things I love, it also doesn’t have any of that stuff that is essential around the home, but doesn’t have any internal beauty. Those are the magnetic knife strip, notes on my refrigerator, and toilet brush that will likely never be photographed or blogged about.
Back to the shelfie theme, here is George’s shelfie. It is the pile of books that he is reading. Is it coincidence that the spines are all facing the wall, or is he hiding what he is reading?
Yes you can…
…have too much candy. Although the 2.25 cups of corn syrup and 2 cups of sugar should have tipped me off, Martha’s delicate picture of nougat threw me off.
Especially when the candy isn’t cooked quite as long as it should be. It isn’t ready to share with anyone who isn’t leaning over the pan with a spoon. Now that we have both overdosed on nougat, it has been wrestled into the freezer. Ask for some when you stop by. We have had enough!
2013 in review
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here it is in its unaltered format.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 760 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.
Oatmeal and flax chocolate chip cookies
3/4 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 t vanilla
1 c flour
1/2 c ground flax
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla to the creamed mixture.
In another bowl, mix flour, ground flax, baking soda, salt and rolled oats.
Blend together the dry and cream mixture. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
Using a tablespoon, scoop batter separated about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown around edges.
If you are like me, the 325 F oven provides lots of forgiveness to forget the last cookies in the oven, start a blog post, and then remember the cookies without having burnt them. However, Grandma Siggie and I agree that only cowards cook on low.
Recipe adapted from Ellie’s Whole Grains.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
New on the farm
One Year in Coal Harbor
While the cover art for One Year in Coal Harbor far surpasses that on Everything on a Waffle, I liked the later more. I’m not sure if it was the book or my mood, so if you enjoy Waffle, give Coal Harbor a whirl. Here is a favorite passage of mine.
“You can’t replace one dog with another any more than you can replace one person with another, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t get more dogs and people in your life. Even though no one you love is replaceable, you need a dog for the dog place in the heart, I decided, and a child for the child place, if you have a child place in your heart, not everyone does, or a dog place, either, I guess. I’ve known people who have a ferret place, to which I can only say I am thankful I was not born with one of those.”