Like so many couples, one of our wedding gifts was a glass 9″x13″ baking pan. Just like the old standby ones our mothers had as we were growing up. Back then, it seemed huge for just my husband and me (although we do love leftovers). Continue reading
(Editor’s Note: Last year, Dave Ross tried his hand at growing sorghum, then pressing and cooking the juice into the delicious old-time syrup many people remember. Here are his adventures in sorghum farming!)
Sorghum. At last the project has reached completion. From mail-ordered seeds that arrived in May, to sorghum syrup in my jars on the counter, to molasses crinkle cookies. It was a fun, educational experience, but honestly, I probably won’t raise it again. Sorghum syrup can be purchased from a local Amishman for a good price per quart. Lehman’s also carries it year-round, and that makes the effort of raising, stripping, taking the stalks somewhere to get them squeezed, and cooking down the sweet juice into finished syrup, more costly than buying it locally. Still, there was value and fun in the experience, and I’m glad I did it. Continue reading
Life will teach you lessons. Animals will teach you lessons. Pain will teach you lessons. Love will teach you lessons… Continue reading
After our family does something strenuous together here on the farm, we’re all hot, hungry and need to cool down. My sweet and generous husband wants to go out for great big strawberry ice cream cones or pull a carton of store-bought out of the freezer. It didn’t take long, though, before we all realized this frequent habit wasn’t helping us at all (dairy allergies, bumping up sinus issues, more colds). Continue reading
It’s cookout season! If your family is like mine, I never know how many are truly coming until the food starts cooking and the surprise hungry ones arrive. Continue reading
It’s the season of abundance. The bush fruit is approaching its peak. Eggs are coming faster than we can consume them and the cow is giving copious amounts of creamy milk. Finding ways to use it all up can be a challenge. Much fruit has been juiced and gorgeous jars of crystal clear raspberry jelly grace my pantry shelves. More has been set to ferment with sugar and yeast and will provide healing syrups during the winter cold season. Eggs have been fried and deviled, pickled and poached but still they come. Cream has been churned into butter and the milk is curing into rounds of cheddar cheese. Continue reading
Usually we have some notice. The storm is forecast and we can expect that snow or wind will take down power lines and leave us sitting in the dark. Continue reading
When I was in college, my Dad would send me a handwritten note every so often. This was just before email came into being, and he wouldn’t have used that anyway. Most often there would be a few dollars enclosed and the note would encourage me to take a break and treat myself to a coffee and pastry at the student coffeehouse.
The note usually came with the same basic instructions: “Eat. Sleep. Study. Brush your teeth.” (Yes, Dad paid for several years of orthodontic work on me.)
In a sense, Dad was telling me, through that note: “Take care of yourself. Take care of what’s important. Enjoy learning. Enjoy life.”
Here are a few more “Dad-isms” that have stuck with me:
“To each his own.” (Love and tolerate others, even when they are different from you.)
“You pays your money and you takes your chances.” (Life is not certain. There are no guarantees. We all take risks and we must live with the consequences.)
“Go outside and get the stink blowed off ya.” (Enjoy nature. Be active.)
I love my dad and appreciate the wonderful example he was (and is) more and more the older I get.
What are some Dad-isms your father instilled in you? Feel free to share a comment, and Happy Father’s Day to all Dads out there!
Here’s a fantastic new recipe from our favorite “wandering cowboy,” Mark Pendl. Mark is currently traveling the American West in his horse trailer, researching wild ponies for an upcoming book. Trust us when we say he knows campfire cooking! Try this “cowboy gourmet” French Toast at your next campout, or in your cast iron skillet at home. Continue reading