Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Saturday, February 4, 2023
A re-post (it's been a busy day) from 2009
This, of course, is the original of the corncrib where Elizabeth and Ben found the unhappy Kyra. It's functioning today as a toolshed and a carport for our little utility vehicle but in 1973, when we bought the upper part of the farm from Clifford and Louise, the corn crib brimmed with fat dry ears of white corn -- Hickory King, I think it was.
Corn was the staff of life on the small farm. Every so often Clifford would take a bag or two of the whole corn to a mill in Tennessee where it would be coarsely ground -- shucks, cobs, and all -- and mixed with cottonseed meal and molasses to make feed for the cows. Every day Louise would pull the shucks off a few ears and toss them to her chickens who would eagerly peck the cobs clean. Nell the mule was the daily recipient of more ears (but not too many, lest too much corn make her 'rank' (overly frisky and unmanageable.) The fattening pig, who lived mostly on buttermilk, foods scraps, and garden waste, would be fed ears of corn during the month or so prior to butchering to "harden up the flesh."
And this same corn, shucked and shelled would be taken, not to the big mill, but to a nearby little mill run by a belt attached to the rear wheel drum of a tractor. The owner of this improvised mill would take his pay in meal -- in a little measure specifically for the purpose. This fragrant meal, which was freshly ground in small batches twice a month, provided the best cornbread in the world. Eaten midday -- hot and steaming out of the wood stove, dripping with home-churned butter, it accompanied an array of vegetables, fresh or home-canned, depending on the season, and a very modest taste of some sort of meat. The leftover corn bread might go to the pigs or the hounds, or, dunked in chilled buttermilk left after the day's churning, provide a light supper.
"You keep the mule to plow the corn and you grow the corn to feed the mule," Clifford told us. Man, animals, and corn -- their existence was interwoven.
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Monday, January 30, 2023
Saturday, January 28, 2023
I kinda feel like I posted this recipe previously but can't find it so here goes.
We are big fans of collards and have been forever, long before kale came on the scene. There was a time, I recall, along about the first grade, that I didn't like collards but when my mother told me that Vance Smith (a boy in my first-grade class that I must have had a crush on) loved collards, I gave them another chance and have eaten them happily ever since.
My family always cooked them in broth with some sort of meat--fatback or hog jowl. I add onion, garlic, a tiny bit of sugar, red pepper flakes and serve them with chopped raw onion and vinegar. Sometimes I stir fry them. Mighty good, either way.
Then I saw this recipe on the package of greens (yes, a shortcut--chopped greens) and found another thing to love about collards.
Mixed with cooked potatoes and a little milk, the greens are elevated to, well, maybe not quite fine cuisine, but seriously and surprisingly good. Maybe an American version of England's Bubble and Squeak? Whatever--it's delicious. Would be a nice base for a fried egg too.
Here's the recipe:
3 pounds white potatoes, cut in two- inch chunks
2 TB. Olive oil
16 0z. chopped collard greens
1/2 c. chopped red onion (or more) with more for garnish
1/2 to 3/4 c. milk
Cook potatoes in salted water to cover till tender. Drain in colander and set aside.
Add olive oil to drained pot, heat over medium heat, add greens and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir till wilted.Add onions and cook another few minutes.
Add the drained potatoes to the greens and mash well. Stir in 1/2 c. milk. More milk and more salt if desired.
Friday, January 27, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Not since the rats of NIHM has there been such an endearing gang of rodents. A group of rats (plus one cat), suddenly have the power of speech as well as enhanced intelligence. In search of the good life and the means to fund it, they decide on the old pied piper dodge. The rats will infest a town and Maurice, with the help of a seemingly dimwitted youth who plays the penny whistle, will see that they are rewarded generously for 'getting rid' of the pests.
Of course. it being Terry Pratchett, there is word play aplenty and social commentary and philosophy interwoven in this hilarious take on an old fairy tale. Highly recommended.
Sir Terry wrote about 70 books. I have lots to look forward to.
Monday, January 23, 2023