Annie dog & I went to the orchard on Saturday and came home with bags of Cortland and Melrose apples, an acorn squash, and 3 pie pumpkins.
Today, my kitchen is a fragrant and wonderful place.
But today, I miss my grandma.
Every fall, Mom, Grandma and I would drive to the orchard (about 1/2 hr. from where I live now) to buy apples. Once our trunk was loaded, we headed back to Gram’s to make apple crisp for supper, apple pies for the freezer, and apple squares, just because they went so well with a cup of coffee.
Grandma’s been gone for a number of years, but every time I bring a bag of apples into the kitchen and get to work, I think of her.
I haven’t made any pies yet (and my apple pies aren’t nearly as good as hers were), but the apple crisp is cooling on the counter, and the apple squares have just come out of the oven.
My husband is a lucky (and getting chubbier with every year) man.
Grandma’s Apple Squares
- 1 3/4 c. Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 2 c. Flour
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 c. Oil (I used Canola Oil)
- 1 c. Chopped Walnuts
- 5 small Peeled, Diced Apples
In a mixer bowl, cream sugar and eggs until very foamy.
Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oil.
Stir in chopped nuts and apples.
Bake in a greased and floured 9” x 13” pan for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cool. Cut into small squares and serve.
The Montana Department of Employment, Division of Labor Standards claimed a small rancher was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate him.
GOV’T AGENT: “I need a list of all of your employees and how much you pay them.”
RANCHER: ”Well, there’s only two here. There’s my hired hand, who’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. Then there’s the mentally challenged guy.
The mentally challenged guy works about 18 hours every day and does 90% of all the work around here. If he’s lucky, he makes about $10 per week. He also pays his own room and board, but I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life. Occasionally, he also gets to sleep with my wife.”
GOV’T AGENT: “That’s the guy I want to talk to – the mentally challenged one.”
RANCHER: “Sir, that would be ME.”
Though this is obviously a joke, I remember Farmer D telling me shortly after we got married, that “no one farms for the money.”
I thought he was kidding.
As a city girl raised watching Bambi and countless other “animals are our friends” movies, I have always been dead set against those who killed animals for sport, but now that I live in Farmtown, I have to learn to look at things from a different perspective.
Let me be clear: I am not a fan of hunting, but am surrounded by family members that are. As a matter of fact, stepdaughter #4 is the most successful hunter in our extended family (which makes her male cousins very jealous).
So, in the interest of open-mindedness, I have recorded the following points as a way to look at both sides of the story:
- Almost 3,700 deer were “harvested” from our county last year. That sounds like a lot to me, but many people say there are still too many deer. (Source: Ohio Division of Natural Resources) Too many deer means things like deer/car crashes …or on occasion, deer/house crashes.
- The deer are lovely to watch from the kitchen window as they graze near the woods, but they’re hanging out there because they think our soybeans are an all-you-can-eat buffet.
- The fields feed the deer. The hunters feed their families.
- Farmers expect a certain amount of crop loss/damage, but on average, one deer can consume seven pounds of food per day. (Source: whitetailhunting.info)
- People should coexist with nature, but there should be a balance.
What’s your take on deer hunting?
Leave a comment. I’d like to know.
Instead of referring to Farmer D as a “turkey,” as I am occasionally known to do, this week I have to share that my darling, never-take-a-vacation-because-travelling-is-not-fun husband is actually in Turkey.
He went to Istanbul with a friend from his church, whose daughter and family are missionaries there. Farmer D and Dean are doing welding and construction work for another family that works with the ministry, Athletes in Action.
So while D’s off enjoying the sunshine, the view and the excellent cuisine (he’s already told me I need to get recipes from Sara), I’m home planning my midlife crisis and playing hooky in Ohio.
I started the day by dying parts of my hair purple.
I then put on the new t-shirt I promised D I’d never wear when with him, and headed out on the motorcycle.
I headed north in search of peace, quiet and good scenery. I found all three of them at Pymatuning State Park.
I sat on a picnic table for a while and soaked up some autumn sunshine, then got back on the bike and left the state.
I made it all the way to Pennsylvania.
(Which was the other side of the lake.)
In strange (for me) territory, I took a chance and stopped at a little diner to get something for lunch. The place was wonderful–the food was good, the coffee was hot, and the waitress greeted most of the customers by name.
And, the restaurant’s signature dish is a 1-lb. burger called the “Just Bite Me.”
Lunch was good, though I didn’t order the burger. Afterward, I found a nice, hilly road to take me back toward my own neck of the woods, until I hit Ohio again and the ground instantly became flat.
Farmer D might be enjoying the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean, but I’m sure he’ll be jealous when I tell him about the great day I had without having to get on a plane.
This month, I’m obsessed with age.
You see, I have a birthday at the end of the month. Though not what most people would consider a “milestone” birthday (for it doesn’t end in zero), but one that is significant for me for a few reasons:
- This birthday forces me to move to a new age bracket on all those surveys I fill out.
- This birthday serves as my annual reminder that I’ve only read 1/3 of the books this guy says I should have read by age 30.
- This birthday will place me officially closer to the next decade of my life than the previous one.
- This birthday reminds me that I’ve gone from maiden, skipped mother (because I’ve been told often as the “wicked stepmother” that “you’re not my ‘real’ mom.”), and am headed right to crone.
- This birthday confirms that I will never again play the part of the ingenue…unless I hang out with some octogenarians.
- This birthday leaves no doubt at all that I am middle-aged.
- This birthday isn’t even here yet, and the damn eye doctor made me get bifocals.
- AND on top of everything else, my mother sent me and email today that says I have to learn a whole texting language:
Senior Texting Codes (STC)
ATD- At the Doctor’sBFF – Best Friends FuneralBTW – Bring the WheelchairBYOT – Bring Your Own TeethCBM – Covered by MedicareDWI – Driving While IncontinentFWIW – Forgot Where I WasFYI – Found Your InsulinGGPBL – Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery LowGHA – Got Heartburn AgainHGBM – Had Good Bowel MovementIMHO – Is My Hearing-Aid On?LMDO – Laughing My Dentures OutLOL – Living on LipitorOMMR – On My Massage ReclinerOMSG – Oh My! Sorry. . . GasROFL…CGU – Rolling on the Floor Laughing…Can’t Get Up!TTYL – Talk to You LouderWAITT – Who Am I Talking To?WTFA – Wet the Furniture AgainWTP – Where Are the Prunes?
(Beside dying my hair purple…plans are already in the works.)