Saturday, March 31, 2012

"In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge"

p. 191 of A World of Experience Teachers' Edition, published by American Book Company copyrighted in 1963. The story, "Jim Thorpe," in Chapter 4, "Game Champions," was written by Robert H. Shoemaker.
 The crappy old story concludes with some questions.

Earth Hour

"Uniting people to protect the planet." Sounds like a good idea. But I have a few questions.
Don't get me wrong. I think it is our responsibility to be good stewards. As my fellow Mississippians would say, we are blessed to be entrusted with Earth's care. We should act in ways that honor this blessing. And so we shall. 

I've been looking for shades for these two lamps for months.
Tonight at 8:30 Central, we will turn on some lights to honor Thomas Edison, one of God's more ingenious creatures. 

By the way, those are real encyclopedias.  I can read them when the lights go out.

I don't think this would go over very well here.

Via HotAir quoting CBS New York:
Fearing that certain words and topics can make [NYC public school] students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.

The word ‘dinosaur’ made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like…. ‘Halloween’ is targeted because it suggests paganism; a ‘birthday’ might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Among the 50 are:

-Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
-Homes with swimming pools
-In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
-Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
-Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
-Vermin (rats and roaches)
-Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)

HotAir has the complete list and pokes some good fun.

Note that the request is to eliminate these words from city-issued tests. Never having had children in the NYC school district, I don't know how prevalent tests issued by the city are. Nevertheless... . 

Recipe: Rutabaga and Chickpea Curry

Our friend Alix, to whom we gave some rutabagas, sent me the recipe for her creation, Rutabaga and Chickpea Curry. Sounds yummy. Alix often posts recipes she's come up with on her blog, MississippiVeggie.

In Alix's own words:


Time: ~ 1 hour, if you're working with canned/cooked chickpeas
Serves: 6 easily

Toss 2 cans of chickpeas (I cooked 1 cup of dry beans) with a little olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375, shaking the pan every 7 minutes, until they're lightly browned, about 25 minutes.

While that's going on, cook 1 onion, sliced, in 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil until it starts to soften.  Add 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 2 Tablespoons of curry powder (I did one each of masala curry and plain curry, because I'm culturally insensitive), 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom.  Once fragrant, add rutabaga, a handful of golden raisins, a handful of cashews (I rinsed the salt off of them), 2 Tablespoons tomato paste, 1 can coconut milk, 1 can of water.  Let it all burble away until the rutabaga is cooked.

Serve on top of rice with chickpeas spooned on top along with a dollop of plain yogurt and chopped cilantro.


That's what it looks like to me.
However, I do not see yarrow listed among the wildflowers in my Southern Wildflowers book by Lucile Parker. And it certainly is growing in the wild. In any case, it sure is pretty!

Friday, March 30, 2012

While I was away...

Big Life carried on.

I'm seeing a lot of these. I hope they are reproducing like crazy because the aphids sure are!

This flower will magically turn into a dewberry. With others, it will be turned into dewberry jam. 

Standing tall!

iAdventures Concluded


The UPS guy showed up at 3:15. One hour later I am up and running. Thanks to Time Machine-- a feature of Macs which allows you to backup everything just as it is in a moment in time-- my desktop is cluttered with the same stuff it was cluttered with on the old machine, my settings remain as I had them. It's quite comforting.

And now back to Big Life (I hear Missy in the kitchen playing with the lovely packaging that held my new computer).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

RECIPES: A very nice French supper

Tonight we had a very nice French farmer's supper.


Serves 6-8

2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp flour
2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large onions, sliced
1 C celery, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp marjoram, crumbled
¼ tsp thyme, crumbled
1 C dry red wine
1 C mushrooms, sliced
Rice, noodles, or potatoes (for serving—see recipes in a appropriate sections)

Preheat oven to 325o. Blend soy sauce with flour in a 2 ½ -3 quart Dutch oven, add beef to soy sauce mixture, and toss to coat meat. Add remaining ingredients except mushrooms to meat, stirring gently to mix. Cover tightly and bake 1 hour. Stir mushrooms in gently, over, and bake 1 ½ -2 hours longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Serve with rice, noodles, or potatoes.

“The copper frying pan is piled high with glistening Mushroom Risotto. Though the dish needs no additional beautifying, we crowned it with a “turned” sautéed mushroom [see instructions in Basics section] and bordered it with sliced green pepper.”

“NOTE: Canned beef consommé or canned chicken broth may be substituted for the Basic Beef or Chicken Stock. However, this is only an emergency substitute—good, but never quite as good as that you make yourself.”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)


3 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, sliced thin
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
¾ C Sauterne (or other dry white wine)
2 C yellow rice
4 C chicken stock (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
½ C grated Parmesan cheese, plus more if desired for serving Risotto
1 large sautéed mushroom and green pepper strips (for garnish)
Lemon juice (for serving Risotto, if desired)

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over low heat, add onion, and cook, stirring constantly, until transparent but not brown. Add sliced mushrooms and stir until mixed. Add wine, stir well, and simmer until most of the wine is evaporated. Add rice and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add 1 C stock, mix well, and cook until stock has been absorbed by rice, stirring frequently. Repeat with another 1 C stock. Add remaining stock, stir well, cover skillet, and simmer, stirring frequently, until all stock has been absorbed. “Cooking time is 25 minutes after first stock has been added.” Remove from heat, add ½ C cheese, and stir well. Cover and let stand 3 minutes. Garnish with a large sautéed mushroom and green pepper strips. Serve wit additional grated Parmesan cheese and lemon juice, if desired

iAdventures, con't

According to United Parcel Service, my package will arrive tomorrow before the end of the day.

That's not very specific, is it? When I track a FedEx package, I get a time frame that's better than the cable guy's. UPS gives me 24 hours. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The iAdventures Begin

As iI lamented in last evening's post, my computer time is limited, but via my smart phone-- which is Smart but not Genius-- I discovered the Telephone number for The Apple Store (not the Apple Store at Saddle Something Crossing in Memphis, just 1-800-MYAPPLE). I rang up a the number and a very polite fellow in Austin answered my call. We chatted. I told him an entry level 15" MacBookPro straight out of the box would work fine for me, and that he should go to Fion at Shiner Ranch. We proceeded through his iObligatory attempts to sell me the iExtended warranty (if a Mac is so dang good, why does the extended service/support cost $350?) and then got down to business.

I'm looking at my notes, and Caesar-- like the Roman Emperor, that's this name-- assured me that my computer would be delivered by 3/30 at the latest. And there was a good chance it would be delivered TOMORROW. I was skeptical. Just because Caesar is in Austin doesn't mean my computer is coming to me from Austin. We talked in the morning, and Austin is only about 9 hours from here. So if my computer is in Austin, and if Caesar was going to get off work and drive it to the Farm, I could have a new computer tomorrow. But I was skeptical about "as soon as tomorrow."


When I asked about shipping modes,Caesar said that it was FedEx or UPS and he had no control over this. Too bad, because Memphis is a FedEx hub. And I would have looked forward to a 3/30 delivery date. It seemed a bit ambitious, but I was hopeful that it would be shipped via FedEx.

I've gotten a tentative email from UPS. 4/2. That's next MONDAY. 4/2 IS LATER THAN 3/30.

Fortunately for me, Caesar gave me his direct TELEPHONE line. We will chat tomorrow. Perhaps I'll invite him and my new MacBookPro out to the Farm for the Weekend. It's a short drive.

Jeff-- Can family rally to the cause and offer Caesar a cigar or something in return for delivering my new computer-- which is already paid for-- before UPS gets around to it?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bare with me

My computer time is negligible. Mr. Big Food's new work computer won't arrive for a while, so meanwhile, he's taking this computer-- which has a keyboard designed by a moron-- to work each day, leaving me little time to blog. 

So. It looks like once every six or seven years I'll lament not living next door to an Apple Store. Buying an Apple Computer online is stupidly difficult. I cannot find the "add to cart" button.

Please excuse me while I change the channel on the Television. I may not be able to blog, but that doesn't mean I don't have access to the world wide web. So there's really no reason I have to settle for Fox Noise.

Dogs are doing well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recipe: Summer Squash Soup / It's not going to win any contests, but it was good.

This evening's supper marked the beginning of our Spring/Summer Soup Contest. The first entrant was Summer Squash Soup. It was good. There's not much more to say. There's really no reason to describe it in detail since it's not even going to make it to the dance. I did go back for seconds, though.

My comments should not discourage you from enjoying it! It's simple, fresh, and delicious. I just know, from experience, that there will be Spring/Summer Soups that will be better. All entrants in the soups contests are at least a standard deviation out from the norm (if quantifying soup is possible, which it's not). As we progress through the contests, we are looking for those which are two or three.

One addition to the recipe was a bit of evaporated milk-- half & half or heavy cream would have worked just as well, we just happened to have an opened container of evaporated milk in the fridge. 

Recipe below.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This time it's for real

Yesterday the screen on my computer started to flicker. I preformed every life-saving measure I could thing of, but it just won't start up. So here I sm sgain on Mr. Big Food's computer which has a keyboard designed by a moron.

See what I mean? The 's' is where the 'a' should be. I'll get used to it-- again-- but meanwhile, please excuse the typos. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Followup: Farm Safety & Government Intrusion

Crappy old books / Research materials
This is a followup post about the Department of Labor's efforts to make it illegal for a kid to do farm work.

With no citation to the 85 page DOL thing, I assumed that the motivation for rules that would make it illegal for a kid to operate a cordless drill was The Safety of The Children. 

This got me thinking about Safety through the ages.

And so I walked around and accumulated a few crappy old books that I thought might have something to say about tool safety.

The top book is one of my favorite books, Shopwork on the Farm, by Mack M. Jones, M.S. It was published in 1943 by McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Inc. (New York, London). From its Index:

I want to read a bit more before I say anything more.

Recipe: Hamburger Cresent Rolls

Made with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

We are purists of a certain sort. The recipe calls for 1 pound of ground beef, which means that five minutes before Mr. Big Food browned 1 pound of ground beef with 1/2 cup of onion, he processed 1 pound of sirloin steak through the meat grinder.

But you don't have to be a purist to enjoy Hamburger Crescent Rolls. We used fresh oregano and rosemary, but dried would work just as well. 

Recipe below.

Recipe: Carrot Souffle II


Serves 6

½ stick butter
¼ C diced celery
1 Tbsp onion, chopped fine
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ C sifted flour
3 eggs, separated
2 C mashed carrots

Preheat oven to 350o. Melt butter, add celery, onion, pepper, and salt, and cook until onion is lightly browned. Blend in flour, remove from heat, stir a little hot mixture into beaten egg yolks (taking care not to curdle yolks), and add mixture back to hot mixture, blending thoroughly. Blend in carrots, then stiffly beaten egg whites. Place mixture into a well-greased 1 quart casserole, place casserole in a pan of hot water, and bake for about 45 minutes or until firm in center.

Recipe: Chicken Enchilladas II

Here's the photo and post.

Here's the recipe. Mr. Big Food substituted some leftover grilled turkey pieces for the chicken.

Farm Safety & Government Intrusion

Typically, I think-- and I could be delusional-- when I have a point I want to make about something cultural or political, I lead up to it. And I oft times  invoke crappy old stuff in the lead up. Not so in this post. Oh! Don't worry! There will be plenty of crappy old stuff from crappy old books. But this time I'm starting with present-day absurdity.

The Obama Administration’s rules are so strict they would restrict minors from handling most animals and even from using battery-powered screwdrivers. [my emphasis]
At issue are 85 pages of proposed rules from the Department of Labor that would prohibit minors-- otherwise known as kids-- from engaging in common farm work and activities.

Earlier this month, Senators Thune (R-S.D.) and Moran (R-K) introduced the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act. The bill has 37 cosponsors (I'm happy to see Cochran and Wicker among them.) From the press release at Thune's website (which has the list of cosponsors):
Last year, DOL Secretary Hilda Solis proposed rules that would restrict family farm operations by prohibiting youth under the age of 18 from being near certain age animals without adult supervision, participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating and hoof trimming, and handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes; operating farm machinery over 20 PTO horsepower; completing tasks at elevations over six feet high; and working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities. The language of the proposed rule is so specific it would even ban youth from operating a battery powered screwdriver or a pressurized garden hose.
The full 1-page text of the bill is here.

I have no doubt that the 85 pages of prohibitions are for the children's safety. So before I move on to crappy old stuff, let us consider some things kids under the age of 18 can now legally do: 


"Well, s*^t," she said.

A dead male dung beetle.
As it turns out, in my haste to manage the fly population, I've gone and killed off some of the good guys. 

Note to self: IDENTIFY first.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chicken Enchilladas II / Mac & Cheese

Substitute grilled turkey legs and wings for chicken
Mr. Big Food was a bit under the weather this past weekend but he still managed to grill some turkey leg quarters and wings. At the time, however, neither of us were too keen on enjoying them. So the grilled turkey parts were just sitting in the fridge, waiting patiently to become the main ingredient in Chicken Enchiladas II. 

The green stuff is spinach. 

I just asked Mr. Big Food how many chicken enchilada recipes there were in the Big Food Manual, and he said, "I'm not sure, probably six or seven."

The turkey was the last thing Mr. Big Food cooked this past weekend (Friday evening) before he succumbed to the weather. I cooked on Saturday & Sunday. For my purposes, "cooked" includes fixing sandwiches. For Sunday Supper, we had mac & cheese. It appealed to Mr. Big Food.

Oh. My. God. 


is good at Christmas & Valentines Day. Red is good in flowers. Red is good in checkered tablecloths. Red is very good in tomatoes and some peppers. 

Red is never good on weather maps.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dog pics


The current definition. I haven't looked at my crappy old dictionary entries.
The autonomy of the individual.

Let's see here, what individuals do we have? 


Not a bad photo at full (36X) zoom.
Who most enjoys spending time in the pasture, Rocky, Missy, or I?
The Eastern Meadowlark has a very distinctive call. You can listen to it here.


It's everywhere.
Yesterday at 8:30am we got in the truck and drove to Starkvegas. I dropped Mr. Big Food off, turned around, drove back to the Farm, turned around, drove back to Starkvegas, picked Mr. Big Food up, turned right, turned left and headed up to Tupelo. We then turned left and drove northwest to Southaven where we got out of the truck and sat around for a couple of hours. We then got back in the truck, turned left, drove a while, turned left and headed back to the Farm. We arrived home about 6pm. The dawgs were happy to see us-- and the feeling was mutual!

There was wisteria everywhere crawling over everything. It was beautiful.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This is NEWS!
Parker Roberson, age 76, of Parker Roberson Road was cited for possession of intoxicating beverages in a dry county.
He paid a $278 fine Tuesday afternoon in [our county] Justice Court, records show.

The state Revenue Department said charges for possession of the illegal distillery are pending.
It was an undercover operation. 

There are some things I just don't understand.

For example, how can you spend 15-20 minutes* playing around in a farm pond filled with rain and ground water, and turtle poopy -- a pond that is in the process of having an algal explosion, by the way-- and then object to being hosed off with clean city water?

* Weather permitting, each day we spend about 30-45 minutes in the pasture, about half of which they spend in the pond.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Repeat after me:

Onions, carrots, cabbage, onions, carrots, broccoli, onions, carrots, [brassica]... .

I'm planting this weekend. 

Throw in some lettuce & a radish or two, some peas/beans, summer & winter squash, a cucumber,  tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, and you're good to go. Don't forget the okra and corn.

This is my third season veggie garden here at the farm. 

Friday, March 16, 2012



What with the bugs, and the pine pollen,

and Missy shedding her German Shepherd undercoat and all, we agreed that we should crank it down and run the A/C for a few minutes.

It wasn't so much about the temperature-- the house is structured such that it takes a while to warm up/cool down, which is good. It's been unseasonably warm, and the house is still fairly cool. It was about ventilation/circulation. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One (or two or three) liners

I spent more time than I otherwise might have today learning a bit about Warren G. Harding, the 29th American President. Lest you think that's all there was to my day, I present a few lines about a few other things that would have been post-worthy, had I not been learning about President Harding. 

I saw a pair of birds on the side of the road yesterday. I am not an ornithologist-- heck, I'm not even a serious birder-- but I once spent a year learning how to look at birds. The birds I saw were remarkable. I described them to Mr. Big Food as having feathers with a herringbone pattern, and a red spot near their heads. This description matched perfectly the photograph and size & coloration description of Spruced Grouse in my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds (Eastern Edition). There's only one problem with this identification. 

Goin' to Memphis. / Were we not just there?

Indeed, we were.

This time we will be hanging in the 'burbs. I hear tell there's an Apple Store in Germantown. Maybe the Geniuses can fix my computer.

The "Return to Normalcy"

A couple of days ago North Mississippi Commentor put up a post titled, "Worst President?" Tom did this in response to comments in a previous post. Tom was
flabergasted that someone in comments suggested that Obama was the worst American president.
(Tom lives in Oxford, Mississippi which probably explains a lot-- LaFayette County is not exactly representative of the Sovereign State of Mississippi.) His candidates for worst American president are: James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Warren Harding. 

I must admit that I know next to nothing about these men and their presidencies. And I certainly know far less about them than high school students in 1956 were required to know. 

Just a little something

Having asserted my dominance over the canines, I have a few minutes to do some reading. I came across this which made me chuckle.
... revealed an extent of political immorality in Washington such has had no parallel in recent times.
From the crappy old Encyclopedia Brittanica (1962) entry on Warren G. Harding, 29th President of The United States.

Just you wait until the lights go out

and then we will see how smart you are.

Via Instapundit I learned this morning that 
[a]fter 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.
The New York Times story includes this quote:
“It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., a company based in Chicago, said in an interview. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”
Instapundit's notice includes this:
But reader Daniel McAfee sees a marketing opportunity: “They should market the current printed version as ‘The Sunflare Edition’ … Wikipedia’s not much use after the power goes out, now is it?”
I am way ahead of Mr. McAfee! My crappy old edition of Encyclopedia Britannica was copyright in 1962, and so does not include entries on global warming or the human genome project as the last edition (2010) does. But nevertheless, when the lights go out, I'll still be able to learn about Warren G. Harding. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I've delayed posting this

but I think we've made a break-through.

We are now on our third night, second day, of no fighting. Period. Except in the Pasture. And some tame stuff in the Bunkhouse.

It's amazing what a rolled up magazine sittin' in your hip pocket can do.

We voted today.

We were cautioned to sign just exactly as we were listed. So I am Marica C. And Mr.Big Food has a name that's very similar to Mr. Big Food's Dad's name.

Mr. Big Food was wearing his "Proud to be American" T-shirt.

To be honest with you, I think this is a really good time to be in the process of cutting down my tobacco consumption.

Mr. "Let's Talk About Out Grandkids" won.

Mr. Big Food and I talked about Mississippi tonight. Yeah. I know. Did we talk tonight about Mississippi or did we talk about Mississippi tonight, after the election results come in?

Little bit of both.


It's Spring, and so there are a lot of sounds.

Fresh frozen watermelon

on a chilly winter afternoon ridiculously hot day in mid-March.

"Insert image from this blog" since I am still without my own computer and Mr. Big Food's is not up to the task of uploading photos from my camera.
One of winter's treat-- at least here at on the Farm-- is having summer's bounty tucked away in the freezer... chase away the blues, something to look forward to, et cetera.

Dang! It sure is good.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recipes for the Birthday Cake

Cake. Filling. Frosting.

Too bad my computer is still not dry. If it were dry, there would be pictures.

The cake:


Today is Daughter C's birthday! Which is to say that on this date, some years ago, I gave birth to C. Today is also Mr. Big Food's birthday!! Which is to say that on this date, some years ago, Mr. Big Food's Mom gave birth to him.

Happy Birth Day to all of us!

Daughter C. is out and about and so wasn't around to enjoy the citrus-inspired birthday cake.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recipe: Diner Grilled Hamburgers

When Mr. Big Food culls a cookbook looking for recipes to include in his Big Food Manual, he's always on the alert for good advise and interesting tid-bits. He often prefaces recipes with advise and tid-bits-- verbatim-- such as this.
“Beef patty sandwiches have been eaten in America since the early 19th century, although it was not until the late 1920s that the White Castle chain popularized the hamburger as roadside diner fare. Garnish the burgers with mustard, catsup (tomato sauce) and pickle relish.” —Diane Rossen Worthington, Diner: The Best of Causal American Cooking (1995)
I do not care for White Castle hamburgers. It's Kyle's fault. But Diner Grilled Hamburgers are great!

Happy Spring Forward Day! / How about a Burger?

I turned on my computer today, a week after the spill, for about 10 seconds--   just long enough to see the now vertical pink columns on what should have been a pure white screen. I am inclined to be in a very foul mood. Fortunately, the Day that Mr. Big Food Has Been Looking Forward To To Which Mr. Big Food Has Been Looking Forward (to) has arrived. 

He has been planning what to grill out when he can grill out at a reasonably late hour but still grill in the daylight for a couple of weeks now. For a couple of weeks now, he's been saying, "In just nine (eight, seven... ) days, this will be five (four, three... ) minutes after seven. And now is today! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Missy is learning physics / Overall, the dogs had a good day

At the end of the evening-- for you "city folk" that's somewhere between 8:30 and 9 o'clock post meridian-- the challenge is to get them all settled down. "Settled down" needs some unpacking. Missy on the bed counts as settled down. Missy repeatedly dropping the tennis ball off the bed, watching it bounce, hit the baseboard, ricochet back (that's redundant), and retrieve it-- REPEAT-- does not.

Rocky laying in Missy's box with the door open while Missy is learning about equal and opposite forces counts as settling down. That no one has bothered Suzy-- who is now up-- counts as settling down. That Missy cannot settle down does not. I would put her in her box, but Rocky's in there.

As I said, they had a good day, overall.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Recipe: Hawaiian Banana Bread

I made two loves (2/3 of the recipe) last Monday. It is a classic dark, moist banana bread with real character if you're careful to not over-mash the bananas. With a cup of coffee or tea if is a delightful mid-morning snack. 

Sorry, no photo. My computer is still drying out and I'm just not risking plugging my camera into this stupid computer with a keyboard that was designed by a moron.

Recipe below.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In the news.

I don't know about your news gathering habits, but it seems to me that some days-- the vast majority of days-- the World Wide Web, the radio in the truck and various other sources bring me bad news of the most disgusting and demoralizing sort. This is nothing new, of course, and it doesn't keep Mr. Big Food and I from talking about the bad news each and every day.

Fortunately, we get a reprieve on Thursdays. Thursday is when our local paper comes. Mind you, the news is not all good in our local weekly paper-- the jail docket bears this out!-- but it is never disgusting or demoralizing.

I am not sure if the top FRONT PAGE news is good or bad news (I suspect good). The board of directors of our county Development Council has voted to dissolve the Council.

In other front page news, an Associated Press analysis has deemed our county School District financially sound. That's good news. (I've only skimmed this story so stay tuned for a more thorough analysis from me.) The primary is set for Tuesday. And Head Start students went to the county Public Library for Story Time. They listed to "Curious George goes to the Chocolate Factory." There's a color photo!

It could be me... .

It could be this computer with the keyboard designed by a moron. It could be google. It could be increased solar activity. Heck, it could even be the weather. But whatever it is, it's causing problems. I can't even look at new comments. Geeze.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Rocky is, as Buddy was, accustomed to having sleep-overs with Mr. Big Food and I. We had sleep-overs when Daughter C. spent time in Starkvegas, or wherever.

We have some re-arranging to do. We will be having nothing but sleep-overs for the next month.

This is not going to be easy. I will focus on the dogs.

A Presidential Debate

right here in Mississippi and you missed it!

[I do so wish I were certain that my computer-- not this one I'm using-- had dried out because I have a wonderful photo to go with this post. Mr. Big Food and I are in the middle of a nasty streak of computer problems, so I cannot risk introducing this computer-- Mr. Big Food's Big Food Computer-- to my camera.]

The debate was sponsored by Students for Ron Paul and by Student Democrats and featured student stand-ins for Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Barack Obama. Newt Gingrich was notably absent because was giving a speech in Jackson this evening. Really. No stand-in was available.

You should have seen them! All the candidates were gussied up in suits and ties, except for Stand-In Rick Santorum, a last minute volunteer who only had time to run home and grab a starched white dress shirt to threw on over his T-shirt. Still, it was a good look for Santorum: jeans, boots, and his starched Sunday go-to-meetin' shirt. All he needed was a spit cup and he'd really have been a man of the Mississippi People. He was on fire when Mr. Big Food asked about the Heller & McDonald decisions. To paraphrase, "Here in Mississippi we love our guns." He blushed a bit when Mr. Big Food interrupted and said, "They love them in Pennsylvania, too." Last-Minute-Santorum-Stand-In recovered well. 


Willie Nelson and family, April 9th in Oxford at the Lyric Theater

Details on ticket sales at the link.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Garden update


The radishes are jumping upside down to come up.

The lettuce will be o.k. One of those spinach seeds is up. It only takes one.



Yes. Mr. Big Food has already started cuttin'. (And he's not the only one!) "Cuttin'" refers to cutting grass-- what Mr. Big Food started today, March 5th. Last year he started cuttin' on April 3rd. 

{"Holy Toledo! The keyboard isn't illuminated?" she asked as she began to type after dark. Wow. Just wow. This explains so many things. How can you be satisfied with an inferior product?)

Those in the know know that this is not good. 

Rocky was digging in the garden today, and so was I. 

I didn't have ... that's a lie. I did have my biologist's hat on long enough to remember that the experts have determined and proclaimed that there's some # of "grubs" per square unit that's acceptable. And I wondered if there were some # of rolly pollies (eat your bread & jam*) that's acceptable, b/c I think we are approaching the limit.

There were a lot of slugs, too. But this is an easy question. The limit is as close to zero as you can get it. I hate slugs. Snails are only trivially more interesting. 


Mr. Big Food has graciously loaned me his other laptop. The one that has a keyboard that wasn't designed by a moron. Thank you! (That said, I no longer understand why people use PCs when there is an alternative.)

Monday, March 5, 2012


My computer is recovering from a spill. This is presenting all sorts of issues-- even for the dogs! Our routine has been disrupted. But on the bright side, I am sitting at the computer that contains 14,000 recipes which makes posting recipes much easier.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What a night!

We were bound and determined to bar-b-q chicken, sit outside with the dogs, and listen to music.
We made it happen. It wasn't easy, music was the problem. We figured it out.

I took better photos of Mr. Big Food and Rocky, but Mr. Big Food liked this one the best because of the smoke.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Fall/Winter Soup Contest is History.

The final entrant in the Fall/Winter Soup Contest was this evening: Rutabaga Soup. 

Having done everything but season it, my expectations were very low. It surpassed my expectations-- Mr. Big Food is a Master of Seasoning, I think it's one of his life-long experiments. But it still doesn't rank very high on my Lickert Scale of Fall/Winter Soup Contest soups. 

I admit that it was seasoned perfectly. The curry was a nice touch. But it was too thin for a Fall/Winter Soup.

That post is titled, "The Things We Do For Love." 

Here's the recipe for Rutabaga Soup. 

Take some veggie and chicken stock. Boil it. Peel and chunk about a pound of rutabagas. Put them in the boiling stock and simmer them until they are ready to mash. Mash them in the stock. Add seasoning.

Interestingly, one of the rutabagas was thinking seriously about sprouting. And come to think about it, there were some interesting blemishes on the others. I wonder... . After all is said, rutabagas are roots. Roots have amazing properties.

We gave Mike some rutabagas.